Jeffrey S. Portnoy

Jeffrey S. Portnoy


Cades Schutte LLP

Recognized since 1993

Honolulu, Hawaii

Practice Areas

Bet-the-Company Litigation

Commercial Litigation

Employment Law - Management

Insurance Law

Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants

Litigation - First Amendment

Litigation - Insurance

Litigation - Labor and Employment

Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants

Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2016 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2013 - Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2011 - Insurance Law
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Mr. Portnoy is a partner practicing in the area of litigation. He is the Chair of the firm's litigation department, and has practiced law as a civil litigator at the firm since 1972. Mr. Portnoy has extensive litigation and alternative dispute resolution experience in several areas of substantive law, including insurance, employment, mass tort, product liability, media, securities, and medical and legal professional errors and omissions.

Mr. Portnoy was President of the Hawaii State Bar Association in 2007. He is the current President of the Hawaii Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He served a three year term as Hawaii's representative to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Advisory Board.

He has served two three-year terms as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit, and was Chairman of the United States District Court Advisory (Biden) Committee. He also served as a Hawaii State Per Diem Judge and was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hawaii teaching media law for several years. He was elected to the Hawaii ABOTA chapter. Mr. Portnoy has served as the Hawaii State Representative to the Defense Research Institute. He has also served as the Hawaii State Bar Association's representative to the American Bar Association's House of Delegates. He is presently a regent at the University of Hawaii.

Mr. Portnoy has been selected by his peers as Lawyer of the Year (Hawaii) in several practice areas including Insurance Law. He has also been recognized by Bet the Company Litigation in Best Lawyers in America. He is listed in Who's Who in America. He has been the recipient of several local and national awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists' First Amendment Award, and the Exceptional Performance Award from the Defense Research Institute. Among other state and national recognitions, he has been selected as one of the leading litigators in Hawaii by Chambers USA and several other publications.

In his spare time, he has served as President of Manoa Valley Theatre's Board of Directors for 25 years and is the color analyst for University of Hawaii basketball on ESPN 1420. Mr. Portnoy has served as visiting Professor of Law at the Debrecen School of Law, Debrecen, Hungary, was a visiting professor in Tartu, Estonia, Poland and Warsaw.

EDUCATION
  • J.D. (1972), Duke University School of Law
  • B.A. (1969), Syracuse University
    ADMISSIONS
    • Supreme Court of Hawaii and Supreme Court of the United States
    • State Courts of the State of Hawaii
    • USDC for the District of Hawaii
    • USDC for the Northern Mariana Islands and the Northern District of California
    • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
      AWARDS AND HONORS
      • Elected to Membership - International Association of Defense Counsel - 1991
      • Exceptional Performance Award - Defense Research Institute - 1991 and 1993
      • Freedom of the Press Award - Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter - 1983
      • Selected by Governor Neil Abercrombie to serve on Judicial Selection Commission 2011 - 2017
      • Selected by Mayor Peter Carlisle to serve on City & County of Honolulu Ethics Commission
      • Selected for Best Lawyers in America from 1992 to 2015 in several practice areas, including (Commercial Litigation, First Amendment, Insurance, Legal Malpractice, Personal Injury Litigation, Bet the Company Litigation)
      • Selected for Chambers USA America's Leading Business Lawyers 2003-2015
      • Selected for Listing in Hawaii Super Lawyers since 2008
      • Selected for the Who's Who in America
      • Selected for Who's Who Legal: USA - Commercial Litigation 2006 - 2015
      • Society of Professional Journalists - First Amendment Award - 1995
      • State Leadership Award - Defense Research Institute - 1999
        PUBLICATIONS
        • New Forums Press, Inc., Mass Communication Law in Hawaii (1994)
        • Hawaii Chapter - Libel Defense Resource Center 50 State Survey - l982 to present. Media Privacy and Related Law
        • Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press - Manual on Access to Government - Hawaii Chapter
        • Western Newspaper Publishing Co., The Lum Court and the First Amendment, University of Hawaii Law Review, Vol. 14, No. 1,393-420
        • Speaker, teacher and author at numerous programs and seminars on media law, employment law, personal injury law, trial tactics, and commercial litigation.
          MEMBERSHIPS/ACTIVITIES
          • Hawaii Representative to ABA House of Delegates - 1994-1996; Member, Bench Bar Conference)
          • American Bar Association (Member, ABA Forum Committee on Communications; Former Vice Chair, Media, Privacy and Defamation Law, ABA Tort & Insurance Practice)
          • Hawaii Defense Lawyers Association (Past President)
          • Defense Research Institute (Past Hawaii Chair; awarded their Ambassador Award)
          • United States District Court Advisory Committee (Past Chairman)
          • Two three-year terms as Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit
          • Former Hawaii Representative to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Advisory Board
          • Elected to American Board of Trial Advocates
          • United States District Court Magistrate Selection Panel (Chairman - 1990)
          • Board of Directors of the Manoa Valley Theatre (President)
          • Board of Directors of the Hawaii International Film Festival (Former President)
          • Honolulu Neighborhood Commission (Former Chairman)
          • University of Hawaii Basketball color analyst on ESPN 1420
          • University of Hawaii, Department of Journalism/Media Law (Adjunct Professor, 1985-1992)
          • Hawaii Supreme Court Disciplinary Board (Director)
          • Media Defense Resource Council (Member)
          • The Hawaii Labor Letter (Former Editor-in-Chief)
          • University of Hawaii Law School Dean Search Committee
          • University of Hawaii Board of Regents

Location

  • Cades Schutte Building, Suite 1200
    1000 Bishop Street
    Honolulu, HI 96813

Education

  • Syracuse University, BA, graduated 1969

Bar Admissions

  • Hawaii, Hawaii State Bar Association

Affiliations

  • American Board of Trial Advocates - Board Member
  • Board of Directors of the Manoa Valley Theatre - President
  • Hawaii Defense Lawyers Association - Member/Past President
  • Hawaii Supreme Court Disciplinary Board - Director
  • Media Defense Resource Council - Member
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals - Lawyer Representative (Two three-year terms)
  • The Hawaii Labor Letter - Member/Former Editor-in-Chief
  • United States District Court Advisory Committee - Member/Past Chairman
  • University of Hawaii Basketball on ESPN 1420 - Color Analyst
  • University of Hawaii Law School Dean Search Committee - Board Member

Cades Schutte LLP
Headquarters: Honolulu, Hawaii

42 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

10 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

Best Law Firms Badge Full Firm Profile

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2016 - Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2013 - Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2011 - Insurance Law

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, Honolulu (2016)
  • Bet-the-Company Litigation, Honolulu (2013)
  • Insurance Law, Honolulu (2011)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 for work in:

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Employment Law - Management
  • Litigation - Labor and Employment
  • Litigation - First Amendment
  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation - Insurance
  • Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants
  • Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants

Special Focus

  • Arbitration and Mediation
  • Asbestos
  • Aviation
  • Aviation Litigation
  • Bad Faith
  • Casualty
  • Civil Litigation
  • Civil Rights
  • Complex Litigation
  • Constitutional
  • Coverage
  • Defamation
  • Defendants
  • Defense
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Government Relations
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor and Employment
  • Lawyer Ethics
  • Litigation
  • Maritime
  • Mass Tort
  • Media
  • Mediation
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Securities
  • Wrongful Death

Awards:

  • Elected to Membership - International Association of Defense Counsel - 1991
  • Exceptional Performance Award - Defense Research Institute - 1991 and 1993
  • Freedom of the Press Award - Society of Professional journalists Hawaii Chapter - 1983
  • Selected by Governor Neil Abercrombie to serve on Judicial Selection commission 2011-2017
  • Selected by Mayor Peter Carlisle to serve on City & County of Honolulu Ethics Commission
  • Selected for Chambers USA America;s Leading Business Lawyers 2003-2011
  • Selected for Listing in Hawaii Super Lawyers 2008, 2010, 2011
  • Selected for Who's Who in America
  • Selected for Who's Who Legal: USA - Commercial Litigation 2006-2011 (one of only five Hawaii attorneys)
  • Society of Professional Journalists - First Amendment Award - 1995
  • State Leadership Award - Defense Research Institute - 1999

"For many years Jeff Portnoy has been known as the strongest First Amendment attorney in the state. His counsel has proven correct every time we ask."

- Michael Rosenberg (KITV-TV), Honolulu, HI

"Jeff is an excellent top tier attorney. He has that rare combination of bull dog persistence and diplomatic candor that serves to advance the goals of his clients and resolve matters fairly and expeditiously. No matter how much he drills down into a particular issue or battle, he is always mindful of the big picture goals, which include helping us keep down our costs. In addition, he often assists us with training of our staff. He is an invaluable resource for our company and for me."

- Paul Naso (HEMIC)

"Jeff is an icon in Hawaii. Jeff enjoys a very respectful high profile position here with his extensive community involvement. In addition, he is thought of very highly by his peers and court system, and has been selected as the new President of the Hawaii State Bar Association. Over the years, Jeff has earned my respect to represent our company. He is forthright, honest, clear in his communication, develops consensus, analytical as a strategist, and a realist in his recommendation(s). Jeff and I share the same values of always wanting to be fair in our legal decision and outcome. This allows for a great partnership and commands mutual respect."

- Ernest Fukeda, Jr. (Hawaii Employers' Mutual Insurance Co., Inc.), Honolulu, HI

"Mr. Portnoy is as good as it gets in terms of effective and experienced counsel, especially on matters requiring local expertise and understanding of the dynamics of the local court's personalities and processes. He has handled a host of matters, large and small, for Verizon (and before that GTE) over the years, and has done so with a deftness of touch that is without peer. On one very substantial class action matter in court (concluded successfully for us), he knew exactly when to make a very pointed response to an argument about "these lawyers from Washington" lodged by the other side - which bundled together all the traits you want from counsel (articulate, smart, tough, spot-on tone). Apart from professional expertise, he's extremely well rounded in a host of other ways that make him a great guy to be around."

- John Walker (Verizon), Arlington, VA

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