Bill began practicing business law in Hawai`i in 1979. His practice emphasizes intellectual property law (including copyright, trademark and right of publicity licensing and registration, entertainment, trade secret, art and advertising matters); government relations; real estate matters; and related dispute resolution including litigation, arbitration and mediation.
For more than four decades, Bill has provided creative legal and business guidance to a broad spectrum of individuals, companies and educational institutions, both in Hawai`i and on the mainland, including intellectual property owners, licensors and licensees such as artists, writers, photographers, television and film producers, actors including major cast members of primetime television dramas, composers, software and game developers, publishers, advertisers, broadcasters, art gallery owners, entertainers, recording artists, musicians, record labels, architects, scientists, apparel designers and merchandisers. Bill’s clients have included the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, local, national and international media companies and many of Hawai`i's top recording artists, record labels and film makers.
Bill’s government relations work has promoted the diversification of Hawai`i’s economy through the adoption of legislation which has enhanced the development of the creative and high tech industries.
Bill’s real estate related practice has focused on the resolution of complex disputes involving real estate development and sales transactions, land use, eminent domain, construction defects, affordable housing, government bid and contract disputes and real estate broker issues.
Bill has taught at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i at Manoa; the Pacific New Media Workshop, University of Hawai`i at Manoa; and the Hawai`i Music Institute at Windward Community College and served as a court appointed mediator for the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i in connection with intellectual property issues. He is past Chair of the Intellectual Property & Technology Section of the Hawai`i State Bar Association, and a frequent speaker on intellectual property, music, art, advertising, e‐commerce and Internet law, and has authored numerous articles and other materials on this subject matter, including continuing legal education materials for the Hawai`i State Bar Association and other organizations and publishers.
Bill was selected for inclusion in the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 “Hawai`i Super Lawyers” in intellectual property – the only intellectual property lawyer in Hawai`i to receive such recognition for 15 consecutive years and is peer review rated “AV” (preeminent) by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating available for legal ability and professional ethics.
Bill is active in community organizations dedicated to the promotion of literacy, the preservation of Hawai`i’s host culture and the arts and devotes time to a pro bono practice which assists creative individuals with their legal and business issues and mentors young lawyers interested in the creative industries. He has served on the Board of Governors of the Hawai`i Academy of Recording Arts, a Hawai`i non‐profit organization, which each year presents the “Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards” (which recognizes outstanding achievement in the recording arts in the State of Hawai`i) and the annual Lifetime Achievement Awards (which honors those who have made significant contributions to the music, culture and related arts of Hawai`i and/or the host culture of Hawai`i). See www.nahokuhanohano.org. Bill has served on the Board of the Hawai`i Song Writing Festival fka the Kaua`i Music Festival, the oldest and largest songwriters conference in the State of Hawai`i (see www.hawaiisongwritingfestival.com) and as special counsel to the Hawai`i International Film Festival and the Academy For Creative Media at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. In 2002 Bill received the Loyal Garner Award at the 6th Annual Hawai`i Music Awards for his service to Hawai`i’s music industry.
Bill is admitted to practice before all Hawai`i Courts; the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i; the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; the United States Tax Court; the United States Supreme Court and the United States Patent and Trademark Office and loves to play drums.