Mark M. Murakami's Profile Image

Mark M. Murakami

Pauahi Tower, Suite 1600, 1003 Bishop Street Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Firm: Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert ALC
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Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert ALC

Years In Practice

Phone Number (808) 531-8031

Mark Murakami practices in the firm's Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, Construction, and Business & Commercial Law practice groups.  His focus is on complex commercial disputes, land use negotiation and litigation, environmental, and general civil litigation.  He has appeared in all federal and states courts in Hawaii, most of the administration boards and commissions, and is licensed in the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Court of Federal Claims. He is rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

He is included on the Best Lawyers® list for Hawaii in the categories of: Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law, Land Use & Zoning Law, and Litigation-Real Estate.  He was Best Lawyers' Lawyer of the Year for 2013 for Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law.  He has recently been awarded the CRE (Counselor of Real Estate) credential by The Counselors of Real Estate, an international group of high profile real estate practitioners who provide expert advisory services to clients.  Membership in The Counselors of Real Estate is selective and is extended by invitation only, Mark is one of only two lawyers in Hawaii to receive this recognition.

Mark was the Valedictorian of the Class of 1999 from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii where he served as Articles Editor of the University of Hawaii Law Review. He has received numerous academic awards, including: Dean’s Scholar, Porter Scholastic Award (twice); Awards for highest grade in Property I, Torts I, Contracts I, Corporations, and Professional Responsibility; Kono Award for Academic Achievement; Phi Delta Phi Professional Responsibility Award; HSBA Real Property and Financial Services Section Award.

He is also a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.  He served for 13 years on active duty before joining the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in 2005.  During his time on active duty, he served on three different Coast Guard cutters, including command of a patrol boat in California.  He spent four years assigned to the Fourteenth Coast Guard District Legal Office, prosecuting courts-martial, litigating cases in federal court as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and advising Coast Guard officials on maritime, criminal, environmental and international law issues.  

Mark has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Metal, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals and four Coast Guard Achievement Medals.  Mark is currently a Captain in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

Mark authors a blog on federal litigation and maritime law, in and around Hawaii and Oceania, please visit:

Mark was born on Maui and raised in Kailua, Oahu.  He is a graduate of Kailua High School and was active in the Castle Performing Arts Center.  He is married to Kimberly A. Murakami, has one son, Tyler, and one daughter, Kyra.

Highlights of his experience:


Land Use Litigation:

  • Represent property owners, citizens and businesses in suits against governmental entities in land use and environmental area. 
  • Represent property owners in condemnation, exactions and entitlement disputes.
  • Represent transient vacation rental operators resolve disputes with governments and neighbors.

Trust and Probate Litigation:

  • Represent trustees, personal representatives and beneficiaries in litigation involving will contests, trust disputes, trustee malfeasance, undue influence and estate administration.
  • Represented a personal representative in a trial defending the estate from claims brought by disinherited heir, obtained verdict for personal representative.
  • Represented two beneficiaries of a trust in proceedings brought by a disgruntled beneficiary against an institutional trustee.

Commercial Litigation:

  • Represents businesses and landowners in complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage suits, land use and environmental lawsuits, and admiralty cargo damage actions.

General Litigation:

  • Defend business and individuals being sued in Hawaii courts for various breaches of contract and torts.
  • Represents persons injured in maritime or boating accidents.

Business Advice:

  • Assist businesses by providing legal advice on various corporate matters, including contract and lease issues, governmental affairs, insurance, litigation, land use and environmental issues.
  • Advise clients about federal and state regulation of ocean waters, Coast Guard documentation laws, vessel ownership and operations.

U.S. Coast Guard Experience:

  • Six (6) years as a line officer on Coast Guard Cutters involved with law enforcement, immigration, search and rescue and aides to navigation.
  • As Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, led investigation and preliminary prosecution of Chinese cook suspected of murdering Captain and First Mate on Taiwanese fishing vessel.
  • Directed investigation into several felony cases, including Clean Water Act, assault and narcotics.
  • Attorney-advisor on several post 9/11 security issues, including Trading with the Enemy Act, Magnuson Act and Patriot Act.


  • University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D. 1999)
  • U.S. Coast Guard Academy (B.S. 1992)

Representative Cases:

  • Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, Supreme Court Docket No. 10-1125, Cert Denied (2011) (Amicus Brief)
  • United States v. Tohono O’odham Nation, 131 S. Ct. 1723, (2011) (Amicus Brief)
  • County of Hawaii v. Coupe Family Limited Partnership, Supreme Court Docket No. 11-75 (on Cert Petition)
  • Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, et al. 130 S. Ct. 2592 (2010) (Amicus Brief)
  • County of Hawaii v. Coupe Family Limited Partnership, 124 Haw. 281 (2010) (On Briefs)
  • County of Hawaii v. Coupe Family Limited Partnership, 120 Haw. 400 (2009) (On Briefs)
  • Winter v. NRDC, 129 S. Ct. 365 (2008) (Amicus Brief)
  • County of Hawaii v. C&J Coupe Family Limited Partnership, 129 Haw. 281 (2010)
  • County of Hawaii v. Coupe Family Limited Partnership, 119 Haw. 352 (2008) (Trial Counsel and on Briefs)
  • UFO Chuting v. Thielen, Supreme Court Docket No. 07-1427, (2008) (Amicus Brief on Cert Petition)
  • MVRA v. County of Maui, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Unpublished Decision) (2008) (On Brief)
  • U.S. v. Lei Shi, 525 F. 3d 709 (9th Cir. 2007, Cert Denied (Agency Counsel)

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Inn of Court – Aloha Chapter (1997-2003)
  • American Bar Association
  • The Army Navy Club
  • Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline Board (2000-2003)
  • Good Beginnings Alliance, Board Member (2011 )
  • Hawaii State Bar Association – Admiralty Section (Co-Chair)
  • Hawaii State Bar Association – Professionals for Drug-Free Kids Instructor (2005)
  • Habitat for Humanity (2005)
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Legal Aid Society of Hawaii – Capital Campaign Committee
  • United States Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association
  • United States Naval Institute


  • Of Woodchucks and Prune Yards: A View of Judicial Takings From the Trenches, 35 Vt. L. Rev. 437 (2010) (with Robert H. Thomas and Tred Eyerly)
  • Laws Can Play Critical Role in Fighting Piracy, Pacific Business News, May 1, 2009
What legal services does this lawyer offer?
Lawyer of the Year recognition for Mark M. Murakami
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:
Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, Honolulu (2013)
  • CRE (Counselor of Real Estate) credential by The Counselors of Real Estate
University of Hawaii - Manoa, J.D.
Graduated 1999
Contact Details and Office Locations
Pauahi Tower, Suite 1600, 1003 Bishop Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
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