Ellen Godbey Carson - Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing
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Ellen Godbey Carson

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2005

An honors graduate of Harvard Law School and former president of the Hawai`i State Bar,
Ellen is a leading authority on healthcare law and dispute resolution in the state of Hawai`i.


Ellen has thirty years of litigation and dispute resolution experience, successfully representing clients in federal and state courts, agency proceedings, arbitration and mediation.  Her work has included a broad variety of complex matters, including health care, constitutional, civil rights, environmental, contracts, real property and employment.


Her practice focuses on representing health care providers, hospital facilities, health plans and innovative health care companies in the regulatory world of health care law, including advice related to risk management, peer review, credentialing, HIPAA, ERISA, COBRA and medical malpractice defense.  She has provided hundreds of presentations on health care compliance, risk management and related health care issues.  Her clients have included most of the major health plans and hospital facilities in Hawai`i as well as numerous individual medical providers.   

Ellen's excellence in legal practice has been recognized by numerous accolades and leadership positions.  One of Ellen's lifelong goals is achieving equality for women and minorities.  As a strong and visionary community leader, her commitment and dedication have been the subject of awards by numerous local and national organizations.  

Harvard UniversityJ.D. 1980The University of TennesseeBA 1976
Court Annexed Arbitration ProgramDispute Prevention and Arbitration, Inc.Hale Kipa EmergencyYouth ShelterSex Abuse Treatment CenterNational Council for Japanese American RedressOrgan Donor Center of HawaiiInsititute for Human ServicesHawaii Women LawyersHawaii State Bar Association

Case History

Suzanne Osgood v. District of Columbia, 567 F.Supp. 1026 (D.D.C. 1983) — A prisoner rights/religious freedom lawsuit resulting in a consent order against the D.C. government requiring respect for religious freedom of inmates.
Locations, Inc. v. Hawaii Department of Labor, 79 Haw. 208 (1995)
Successful declaratory judgment action establishing that real estate agents can be independent contractors so that workers compensation laws need not apply to them.
Sallee v. Tropic Seas, (Haw., 1st Cir. No. 91-3936-1) and United States v. Tropic Seas, 887 F.Supp. 1347 (D. Haw. 1995) — Successful defense of an eviction action combined with a successful claim for family discrimination, resulting in a federal consent order with one of the highest monetary awards for family discrimination
Hawaii Management Alliance Assn v. Insurance Commissioner of the State of Hawaii, 106 Haw. 21 (2004) — A successful challenge to the state''''s mandatory external appeal procedure for benefit disputes, resulting in the Hawai''''i Surpeme Court holding the law was preempted by ERISA (the Employees Retirement Income Security Act)
William Hohri et al v. United States of America, 586 F.Supp. 769 (D.D.C. 1984), rev. 782 F.2d 227 (D.D. Cir. 1986), rev. 482 U.S. 64 (1987), on remand 847 F.2d 779 (1998), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 925 (1988) — A class action lawsuit for constitutional redress for Japanese Americans deprived of their civil liberties during World War II, that twice went to the U.S. Supreme Court

Office Location

1001 Bishop Street, Suite 1800
Honolulu, HI 96813
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Health Care Law of the Honolulu Metro Area2012 Lawyer of the Year in Health Care Law of the Honolulu Metro Area
Ellen Godbey Carson has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!Ellen Godbey Carson has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation
Health Care Law (Arbitration and Mediation, Certificate of Need, Credentialing, Health-Care Reform, Hospitals, Licensing, Managed Care, Medical Malpractice, Medical Staff Law, Physicians, Regulatory)

Other Information

Gender: Female