William Meheula has more than 30 of experience litigating cases in Hawaii’s state and federal courts as well as before administrative agencies and other adjudicatory bodies. Mr. Meheula’s primary practice areas include complex commercial litigation, insurance litigation, real estate litigation, legal malpractice, and Native Hawaiian rights.
Mr. Meheula’s Native Hawaiian rights practice started in 1992 when he served as pro bono lead counsel representing beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust against the State of Hawai‘i that resulted in a $600 million settlement payable to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Since then, Mr. Meheula has been extensively involved in significant legal victories for the interests of Native Hawaiians.
In 1994, Mr. Meheula served as pro bono lead counsel representing four individual Native Hawaiians to enjoin the State of Hawai‘i from selling ceded lands pending resolution of Native Hawaiian claims to those lands. In January 2008, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court enjoined the State from selling ceded lands until the claim to those lands was resolved through the political process. In July 2009, the case settled with the passage of Act 176, which prohibits the sale of ceded lands to third parties unless supported by two-thirds majority vote of both houses of the Hawai‘i legislature.
Mr. Meheula has lectured on commercial litigation, trial practice, legal ethics and Native Hawaiian rights. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Meheula has served as an adjunct professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law where he has taught the Native Hawaiian Rights Clinic and coached the law school’s distinguished Native American Moot Court Team.