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Adrienne has been a trial attorney, a litigator, her entire professional life.
Two weeks after she graduated from the University of Detroit Law School in 1972, at the age of 24, she arrived in Hawai'i. She was hired by the Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu. She started out trying traffic cases and within a year was trying felonies, then was the first woman made felony team captain. She was the first woman in the islands to be assigned to prosecute a murder case. She secured a conviction as charged.
In 1976, she transferred over to the Trials Division of the City Attorney’s office, the first woman in that division. In state and federal courts, she was again trying case after case, especially police defense, securing more verdicts in favor of the City and its employees than not. She was promoted Assistant Chief of the division.
In 1985, Adrienne partnered with her husband to form their own firm King and King. She continued to handle jury trials as a criminal defense attorney in state and federal courts. But she was also getting clients dealing with family law matters, divorce and child custody issues. After 5 years, around 1990, she was asked to be Chief of the Trials Division at the City, the first woman to do so. The unique challenges of the very public interest cases continually presented in that line of work was meat to her litigator’s blood. She couldn’t resist, returning to the City and staying for 3 years before rejoining her husband.
Having had over 70 jury trials to verdict, to say nothing of the hundreds of misdemeanor cases, civil and family law trials and hearings, her experience is broad and varied, which is unique in the legal community. She is, as one client described her, “refreshingly blunt”. She is respected by her fellow attorneys who know if she is opposing counsel, she will be well prepared and willing to settle, but not at all intimidated by the prospect of going to court to fight.
Sam is one of the most widely-respected trial attorneys in the state.
He began his career as a summer intern in the Prosecuting Attorney’s office of the City and County of Honolulu in 1972. After graduating from the University of Colorado Law School he was admitted to the Hawai’i Bar in 1974. He worked under former U. S. Attorney Joseph Gedan for a short while before joining the Land and Trials Division of the City Corporation Counsel’s office. As a young lawyer, representing the City and community's interest, he became known for successfully negotiating deals directly with older named partners of some of the most prestigious lawfirms in the state. He tried many condemnation cases for the city. One in particular saw Sam saving the iconic outline of the top of Punchbowl from developers whose proposed highrises were threatening to obliterate it.
In 1978, Sam drafted the City Charter Amendment to make the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County an elected position, rather than a mayoral appointment. His proposed amendment was introduced in the City Council, and placed on the ballot. It was passed overwhelmingly by the voters on Oahu in 1978. The first election for that position was in 1980, the same year Sam worked as a staff attorney for the Hawai’i State Senate Judiciary Committee drafting legislation that still governs critical aspects of Hawai’i’s criminal law.
The following year, 1981, Sam set out on his own and started concentrating on criminal defense cases. King and King commenced operations in 1985, and that same year Sam co-founded the Hawaii Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (HACDL). He served as it’s President from 1986-87. He is the Editor of HACDL’s highly regarded Newsletter, and has been, more or less since its introduction, from 1987 to the present. It is known to be read by every judge handling criminal cases in the state. Sam was Secretary of the Hawai’i State Bar Association (HSBA) in 1987 and was asked to serve on the HSBA Standing Committee on Judicial Administration from 1992-94, and again in 1999. In 1994, he was asked to serve on the Ethics Committee of the Guam legislature and appeared in the Federal District Court in Guam in a corruption case involving a Guamanian politician.
But Sam’s experience is not just in criminal law. The practice expanded to handle family court matters, including TROs, divorce, custody and property division matters, business disputes and accident cases. Sam was appointed by the State Supreme Court to serve as an arbitrator with the Court Annexed Arbitration Program, and acted as arbitrator in a variety of matters: insurance coverage, employer/employee disputes, traffic accidents, handling dozens of cases over the years. He was a Charter Member of the Association of Plaintiff’s Lawyers in Hawai’i and has been named one of Hawai’i’s Super Lawyers in 2016.
His awards are well deserved and earned, as in addition to the above accomplishments, he has tried close to 100 jury and judge trials in both civil and criminal cases in Hawaii State and Hawaii Federal District Courts, to say nothing of the hundreds of motions he has filed and hearings in which he has appeared. He has prepared innumerable appellate briefs and argued appeals before the Hawaii Court of Appeals and State Supremen Court, and, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
Sam’s passion for justice and fair play is unquestioned. His part-Hawaiian ancestry has informed his character. He is living pono, exercising balance in his life and work to always do the right thing to help people and the community.