Paul Alston

Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing Lawyers

Stockholder / Director

Oahu (Honolulu) 1001 Bishop Street, Suite 1800
Honolulu, HI 96813

About Paul

Paul Alston believes you must earn a client’s trust by consistently doing great work, exceeding expectations, and caring deeply about solving problems efficiently. He built a 40+ year career handling complicated disputes that involve large damage claims. His practice focuses primarily on commercial litigation, antitrust/unfair competition law, and appellate law, but he has also taken on a wide range of civil rights cases for the poor and disadvantaged.

Paul has been named Hawai`i Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America® four times, and in Chambers & Partners USA, a client describes Alston as “three steps ahead of everyone else.” He is listed as a “best lawyer” in seven categories. Benchmark Litigation identified Alston as among the litigation stars in Hawai`i.

Paul is a past president of the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association (Hawai`i Chapter), the Hawaii Justice Foundation and Hawaii Lawyers Care, a pro bono project. He has served as Special Deputy Attorney General (defending the justices of the Hawai`i Supreme Court, two governors and the Attorney General), was a Trustee of the National Conference of Bar Foundations, and is one of 200 lawyers elected to the American Academy of Appellate Attorneys.

He and his wife are farmers–they own and operate Hawaii’s largest poha berry farm with customers around the State. He snowboards and surfs for fun.

Awards and Recognition

Practice Areas

Other Areas

Additional Information

Representative Cases
  • Led 15 online travel companies to victory in an appeal of an assessment of nearly $700 million in transient accommodations taxes by the State of Hawai`i Department of Taxation. (2012)
  • Successfully represented a franchisee in an arbitration over termination of an Asia-wide franchise. Won a ruling that the franchisor acted in bad faith and vindicated the franchisee’s development rights. (2011)
  • Won rulings holding the State of Hawai`i liable for over $70 million in back wages and interest to underpaid employees. (2011)
  • Successfully defended the State’s largest electric utility company against a $40 million breach of contract/misrepresentation claim involving a large biofuels project on Maui (2010-11).
  • Won a defense verdict in a month-long federal securities fraud trial against investors seeking damages in excess of $500 million from one of the largest landowners in Hawai`i (2009).
  • Won a defense decision after a trial involving million-dollar-plus damages resulting from alleged fraudulent transfers (2009).
  • Defended a Kauai landowner against efforts by the County of Kaua`i to claim rights to a roadway across his beachfront property, which was worth over $25 million (2008).
  • In the course of two years, obtained settlements and judgments worth over $50 million to clients (2009-2010).
  • Won three appeals in the Hawai`i Supreme Court involving claims of (1) takings without compensation by the State of Hawai`i involving land worth over $60 million, (2) breach of contract claims involving over 15,000 teachers, and (3) denial of retirement benefits involving over 30,000 retirees. In each case, he successfully defended a favorable decision rendered by the trial court (2009-2010).
Litigation
  • Real estate title and escrow disputes, land use, and eminent domain
  • Banking and lender liability
  • Bankruptcy, creditor’s rights and fraudulent transfers
  • Environmental, including CERCLA, RCRA, OPA, and CAA
  • CWA and toxic torts
  • False Claims Act (Qui Tam)
  • ERISA and employee benefits litigation
  • Antitrust and trade regulation
  • Business disputes
  • Business torts (fraud) and contract disputes
  • Derivative litigation (corporations and partnerships)
  • Partnerships and shareholder disputes
  • Civil rights and constitutional law
  • Class actions
  • Communications and First Amendment law
  • Insurance coverage and bad faith
  • Professional malpractice
  • RICO
  • Securities
  • Unfair competition/unfair advertising
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
Appeals
  • Administrative
  • Hawai`i Supreme Court
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Affiliations
  • American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Foundation
  • Federal Bar Association, Hawai`i Chapter, President 2012-2013
  • Hawaii State Bar Association, President 1990-1991
  • Hawaii Justice Foundation, President 1986-1989
  • Hawai`i Lawyers Care (now known as Volunteer Legal Services Hawai`i), President 1981-1985
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy, Civil Trial Specialty
  • National Conference of Bar Foundations
  • The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, Board of Trustees
Admitted to Practice
  • Hawai`i
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Hawai`i
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Awards and Recognition
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • 2014 Hawai`i Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year
    • 2013 Hawai`i Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year
    • 2012 Hawai`i Real Estate Litigation Lawyer of the Year
    • 2009 Hawai`i Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year
    • Antitrust Litigation (2009-present)
    • Appellate Practice (2007-present)
    • Bet-the-Company Litigation (2009-present)
    • Commercial Litigation (1993-present)
    • First Amendment Litigation (1993-present)
    • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants (2009-present)
    • Real Estate Litigation (2012-present)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV rating (1982-present)
  • Chambers USA™ Leading Lawyers for Business
    • Commercial Litigation (2005-present)
  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Litigation Star: Appellate, General Commercial (2008-present)
  • Super Lawyers Pro Bono Award First Place (2011)
  • Super Lawyers
    • Business Litigation (2008-present)
  • Honolulu Magazine, Best Lawyers in Hawai`i (1997-present)
  • Justice Award for Promoting Public Access to Justice (1991)
Education
  • University of Southern California Law Center (J.D. 1971)