Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher is pleased to announce that Hawaii State Attorney General, Mark J. Bennett will join the firm in January 2011 as a Director, specializing in complex litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. Mr. Bennett was appointed as Attorney General by Governor Linda Lingle in 2003 and served two consecutive four-year terms. Mr. Bennett is the longest serving Attorney General in Hawaii's history.
Mr. Bennett said, “I am delighted to join one of Hawaii’s best law firms. It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve the last eight years as Hawaii’s attorney general. I now look forward to new challenges at Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher.”
Mr. Bennett is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Less than 1 % of lawyers in the United States are selected to the prestigious college, and he is one of about thirty-two in Hawaii. Mr. Bennett has twice successfully argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, in Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Lingle v. Chevron.
Peter Starn, Chairman of the law firm said “We are honored that Mark Bennett will be joining our law firm. We look forward to working with Mr. Bennett and to adding his tremendous litigation experience and talents to our current team of exceptionally qualified and effective litigators.”
Mr. Bennett recently served as Chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Antitrust Committee and Antitrust Executive Working Group. He has been inducted into the Hawaii Joint Police Association Hall of Fame, earned the United States Department of Justice National Leadership Award (Missing and Exploited Children) and the Hawaii Law Enforcement Elwood J. McGuire Award for Contributions to Law Enforcement. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Chapter of the American Judicature Society.
Mr. Bennett earned his law degree from Cornell Law School (magna cum laude) where he was on the Board of Editors of the Law Review. He was a law clerk for the Honorable Samuel P. King, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.
Following his clerkship, Mr. Bennett worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, D.C. and also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Bennett tried major criminal and civil cases, argued cases on appeal, and supervised Special Assistant United States Attorneys. In 1986, he received a Special Achievement Award from the Attorney General of the United States, and throughout his tenure was a frequent instructor in criminal and civil trial advocacy at the Attorney General's Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C.
From 1991 through his appointment as Attorney General, Mr. Bennett was a litigation partner at a large Hawaii law firm concentrating his practice in complex litigation. While in private practice, Mr. Bennett served pro bono, as a Special Deputy Attorney General and as Special Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, prosecuting two murder cases in Hawaii state court. He has also taught many times as an adjunct Professor of Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Manoa, teaching Criminal Procedure.