Wednesday, November 25, 2015         

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Governor picks attorney general

By Dan Nakaso


David M. Louie, a trial lawyer and managing partner with the Honolulu law firm of Roeca Louie & Hiraoka, was nominated yesterday by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to be Hawaii's next attorney general.

Louie, 59, will spend the next several days and perhaps weeks wrapping up business with his firm and will then tackle legal matters ranging from making the transition to a state-appointed Board of Education to unfunded federal mandates to Medicare and Medicaid, Abercrombie said.

The appointment of Hawaii's next attorney general has "broad implications, policy implications," Abercrombie said. "What's need in the attorney general's office is someone to lead all of the other departments ... that what they're doing and where they're going is not only legally feasible, but has the full backing of the governor and the attorney general in terms of their ability to carry through on what I think are going to be some unique and forward-looking activities from the part of the state."

Louie, surrounded by partners, associates and law firm staff in Abercrombie's ceremonial chamber, began his comments by saying, "I've always been accused of speaking too long, so I will be very brief."

Abercrombie then interrupted with, "I knew we had a lot in common."

"I'm humbled, I'm thankful and I'm grateful that you have placed this trust in me to nominate me to this position," Louie said to Abercrombie. "To give me the opportunity to serve and protect the people of Hawaii and to work with you as you change and improve our state is a tremendous, tremendous opportunity."

Louie's selection requires confirmation by the state Senate.

He was raised in Los Angeles — the son of Paul Louie, a minister and member of the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission who taught David that "public service has always been a calling."

David Louie graduated from the University of California at Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law in 1977 and came to Hawaii 33 years ago.

He has served as president, vice president and director of the Hawaii State Bar Association and is vice chairman of the Hawaii Supreme Court Special Committee on Judicial Performance. He is former chairman of the state's Aloha Tower Development Corp.

The online biography that Roeca Louie & Hiraoka posted about Louie describes unspecified cases in which Louie successfully represented business owners, contractors, insurers, national retailers, manufacturers and other clients in cases involving construction defects, commercial disputes, negligence and product liability, among other issues.

"David Louie's record speaks for itself," Abercrombie said.

Louie's reputation in Hawaii's legal community could help resolve many contentious issues, the governor said.

"I'm hoping that some of the potential legal brambles that are out there, some of the quagmires that we may have faced — that we can get through because of the credibility that David Louie has," Abercrombie said.

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