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About the Disciplinary Board of the Hawai’i Supreme Court

The Disciplinary Board of the Hawai`i Supreme Court is an 18-member body appointed by the Supreme Court to supervise the attorney discipline system.  Board members are both lawyers and non-lawyers, all serving without compensation.[1] The Disciplinary Board sets policy guidelines and procedural rules for handling disciplinary matters; acts as a reviewing body for all complaints that the Office of Disciplinary Counsel recommends for summary disposition and all cases in which formal disciplinary proceedings have been instituted; issues formal opinions on ethics issues; and oversees the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.[2]

There is a clear separation between duties and functions of the Disciplinary Board and the ODC with respect to attorney discipline.  The ODC is the “prosecutorial arm” of the attorney discipline process. It investigates all complaints and makes recommendations whether to pursue formal disciplinary proceedings.[3]  The hearing officer, and in some cases, a hearing committee, listens to the evidence and makes a recommendation regarding attorney. [4]The Disciplinary Board then acts as a reviewing body.[5] These three functions (ODC, hearing officer/committee and the Board) are not permitted to engage in ex parte communications except in special circumstances. Such separation ensures that parties and attorney respondents are given fair and impartial review of their cases.

The Hawai`i lawyer discipline system is funded solely by annual registration fees paid by Hawai`i’s lawyers.

[1] RSCH Rule 2.4(a)
[2] RSCH Rule 2.4(d),(e)
[3] RSCH Rules 2.6, 2.7
[4] RSCH Rule 2.5
[5] RSCH Rules 2.7(c), (d)


Jeffrey P. Miller, Esq., Chairperson
Tanya M. Hellum, Treasurer*
Leta H. Price, Esq., Secretary
R. Brian Black, Esq.
Sidney M. Fuke*
Peter A. Horovitz, Esq.
Shelton Jim On, Esq.
Neal K. Kanda*
Carol K. Muranaka, Esq.
William J. Nagle, III, Esq.
Jeffrey S. Portnoy, Esq.
David J. Randell, M.D.*
Richard H.S. Sing, Esq.
Diana L. Van De Car, Esq.
William J. Wynhoff, Esq.


(* denotes non-attorney Board Members)

Note: The names of the Disciplinary Board members are provided here in the spirit of public disclosure. Complainants and Respondents should not contact Disciplinary Board members directly; All communications should be directed to the Board as a whole.  Please address concerns to the Chairperson, care of:

Faye F. Hee, Chief Board Clerk; or
Philip H. Lowenthal, Esq., Board Counsel.

Board Member terms are for three years, subject to renewal on approval of the Supreme Court[1].

Persons interested in seeking appointment to fill any vacancy on the Board should contact the Supreme Court’s Nominating Committee, or check with the Hawaii Judiciary for current press releases regarding openings.

Liam Deeley
Nominating Committee
212 Merchant Street, Suite 200
Honolulu, HI 96813

[1] RSCH Rule 2.4 (b)

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