Tom Petrus & Miller LLLC







Lee T. Nakamura

LEE T. NAKAMURA was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. While in high school, he obtained a private pilot’s license on scholarship. He graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. He graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1976 with a Juris Doctor degree. In his third year at law school, he was elected Day Vice President of the Student Body.

Mr. Nakamura returned to Hawaii in 1976 and became an in house counsel for Unity House, Inc., a labor organization, where he conducted arbitrations, attended labor board hearings and negotiated labor contracts. In 1977, he became a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City & County of Honolulu. He was assigned to the Career Criminal Unit and prosecuted organized crime figures and high profile cases. He also conducted grand jury investigations and coordinated the trial training program for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

In 1981, Mr. Nakamura began his civil practice at the law firm of Libkuman Ventura Moon & Ayabe where he handled insurance defense cases including personal injury, automobile accidents, products liability cases, construction defects and asbestos claims. In 1988, he became a partner in the law firm of Ashford & Nakamura where he practiced in the area of civil litigation. He handled cases in the areas of personal injury, products liability, construction, insurance, aviation and commercial disputes.

In 1994, Mr. Nakamura joined the law firm of Fujiyama, Duffy & Fujiyama. He practiced in the area of general civil litigation handling cases in products liability, construction, personal injury, legal malpractice, medical malpractice and commercial disputes. He joined the law firm of Tom Petrus & Miller, LLLC, in January of 2000.

Mr. Nakamura has handled numerous complex cases in products liability. His cases have involved heavy industrial equipment, asbestos, airplane crashes, bicycle accidents, scaffolding failure, gas turbine failure, fires, and construction material failure. He was the designated Hawaii defense counsel for Clark Material Handling Company. He was the lead counsel for Clark Equipment Company in the case of Tabieros v. Clark Equipment Co., 85 Haw. 336, 944 P.2d 1279 which is a landmark decision in personal injury and products liability law in Hawaii. He is currently the Hawaii defense counsel for Crane Co. for asbestos litigation.

Mr. Nakamura has extensive experience in tort cases. He has handled cases in mediation, arbitration, trial and appeal. The types of cases he has handled include legal malpractice, medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, assault and battery, motor vehicle accidents, road design, animal owner liability, property owner liability, dramshop liability and slip and fall. His non-personal injury claims have included theft, fraud, misrepresentation, defamation, and insurance issues.

Mr. Nakamura has handled construction cases throughout his civil practice career. He has handled cases involving design, construction and product defects. He has represented developers, architects, engineers, contractors and suppliers. He has participated in Design Professional Conciliation Panel matters, mediations and arbitrations. Issues he has experience with include structural problems, material suitability, insect infestation, water infiltration, soils and foundational problems, wind damage, fire, personal injury and flooding.

Mr. Nakamura is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Hawaii, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Nakamura was selected by Super Lawyers as one of the Hawaii Super Lawyers 2013. He was named by "Best Lawyers" as one of the “Best Lawyers in Hawaii”, in the field of Personal Injury Litigation Defense for 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2015, "Best Lawyers" named Mr. Nakamura "Lawyer of the Year" in the field of Personal Injury Litigation - Defense. In 2015, Mr. Nakamura was selected by the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii for a 3-year term as a Lawyer Delegate to the Annual United States District Court Judicial Conferences. In 2017, Mr. Nakamura received a lifetime achievement selection to America's Top 100 attorneys.

Finance Factors Center •  1164 Bishop Street Suite 650 •  Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 •  Phone: (808) 792-5800 •  Fax: (808) 792-5809