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Doug Chin, former lieutenant governor and attorney general, joins downtown law firm

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    Lt. Gov. Doug Chin chatted with colleagues before the Democratic Unity Breakfast held after the primary elections at Dole Cannery on Aug. 12. Chin lost his bid to Ed Case as the Democratic nominee for the District 1 Congressional seat.

Former Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin has joined the law firm of Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher as a director focusing on commercial litigation and government relations, the firm announced today.

Chin served as Hawaii lieutenant governor for most of this year and was Honolulu city managing director under former Mayor Peter Carlisle from 2010 to 2013. Chin is also a former Honolulu deputy prosecutor and tried about 50 cases to verdict while at the prosecutor’s office, according to the announcement.

He was also an attorney with the firm Carlsmith Ball LLC, where he worked as a lobbyist in 2013 and 2014 for CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America. Hawaii pays more than $40 million a year to house more than 1,400 state prison inmates at CoreCivic’s Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona.

Chin’s also focused on renewable energy and clean technology projects, land use and development and commercial litigation during his time with Carlsmith Ball, according to the announcement.

“Doug Chin brings impressive trial experience and will further enhance Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher’s substantial bench strength in Hawaii’s legal community,” said the firm’s litigation director Terence “Terry” O’Toole in a written statement.

Chin is probably best known for a series of federal court filings he oversaw as attorney general that opposed the policies and practices of President Donald Trump. The office under Chin took positions against more than 20 Trump policies, usually through lawsuits, legal briefs in support of other states’ lawsuits, and letters to the Trump administration or Congress.

Those efforts raised Chin’s profile significantly, and Chin staged an unsuccessful run this year for the U.S. House seat representing urban Honolulu. He became lieutenant governor in February after Shan Tsutsui resigned from that job, and Chin’s time in that role ended earlier this month when Josh Green was sworn into office as the new lieutenant governor.

“My experience as attorney general, lieutenant governor, prosecutor and city managing director will help me to find solutions for my clients in Hawaii’s changing economy,” Chin said in a written statement. “Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher is a strong fit for my talents and experience. I’m proud to join this firm.”

Chin earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his law degree from University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law.

Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher specializes in large real estate and hotel industry transactions as well as complex commercial litigation, according to a statement from the company. The firm was founded in 1994 and has twenty- two attorneys.

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