A lot of people ask me about why I charge a Consultation Fee of $300. Employment Law is different from other areas of the law. For example, with a traffic accident case, a lawsuit can be filed shortly after the accident. So a number of attorneys provide free consultations to individuals because a decision on filing a lawsuit can be made shortly after.

For people with Employment Law issues, the situation is a lot more complicated. Employment law requires employees and former employees to follow a “process” or protocol in order to address their issues. The purpose of meeting with me is to find out where you are in that required process and what options you may have.

The consultation fee is to make sure that only people who are serious about pursuing a path that may result in a lawsuit meet with me. The fee is also based on my years of training and experience to help guide you to the next steps. You are getting the benefit of my real world experience in employment law and other areas of the law. That is why a Consultation Fee is required.


Ted H.S. Hong

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Practice Areas

  • Administrative Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business and Commercial Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Civil Rights
  • Employment Law - Employer/Employee
  • Estate Planning
  • Labor
  • Real Estate Law


Ted has lived in Hilo in 1991. He has been married for 32 years to Terri Lum. He has two adult children, Katharine (26), living in Los Angeles and Noah (24), finishing his degree at UH-Hilo.

Ted is in private practice concentrating in employment, workplace law and civil litigation. He is an experienced litigator with real world experience as lead counsel in more than twenty-six (26) jury trials in State and Federal Court. He has represented clients before the appellate courts of the State of Hawaii and the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been lead counsel in over fifty (50) arbitrations and a similar number of mediations.

Ted has served as the Chief Labor Negotiator for the State of Hawaii during the Lingle Administration. He was interim Regent for the University of Hawaii. He served as Corporation Counsel and Assistant Corporation Counsel under the Yamashiro Administration.

Ted recently authored a law review article, Masterpiece Cakeshop: "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" 52 UIC J. Marshall L. Rev. 83 (2018). Ted was lead counsel in what has been recognized as a ground breaking decision in the defamation case, Nakamoto v. Kawauchi, 142 Hawaii 259, 270, 418 P.3d 600, 611 (2018), which redefined the torts of defamation and negligent investigation in the State of Hawaii.

Ted is active in our community. He recently served as the Chairperson for the Hilo Yacht 100th Anniversary; Chairman for the Boy Scout Makahiki; Chair for the 100th Anniversary of Scouting on the Big Island; Chairperson for Friends of Scouting Community Fundraising, and was District Chair for Boy Scouts of America for Puna, Kau and Hilo. He was the Cubmaster for the Hilo Hongwanji Cub Scout Pack 23. He was a member of the Rotary Club of South Hilo. He was a member of the Hilo Medical Center Foundation. He has been a member of Hilo Intermediate School SCC and the Kaumana Elementary School's Safety and Audit Committees.

Classes & Seminars

  • Workplace Violence Risk Analysis, Univ. Hawaii at Hilo, 2002
  • Changes in Public Sector Workplace , SHOPO , 2005
  • SHOPO, Joint Labor-Management Meeting, Presenter, "That was Then, This is Now- Changes in the Workplace." July 20, 2005, Hawaii Prince Hotel
  • "FLSA - Recent Changes in the Law," July 12-13, 2005, County of Kauai.
  • Small Business Hawaii, April 29, 2004, "Change, Commitment and Challenges to Politics in Hawaii."
  • Ethics Discussion, Panel Member, MBA Program, UH Manoa, Februaty 11, 2004
  • Joint Labor-Management Seminar, sponsored by the HGEA, Employer Panel member; Hilo, Hawaii, November, 2003.
  • "Workplace Violence Risk Analysis: Effective Prediction and Intervention Strategies," July 23, 2002 - Hilo, Hawaii. Sponsored by the Pacific Institute for the Study of Conflict and Aggression and the University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • ''Violent Threats to the Workplace: Prediction, Prevention & Intervention," September 11, 2002, Hawaii Convention Center. Sponsored by the Pacific Institute for the Study of Conflict and Aggression
  • "Start Up: The Hawaii Entrepreneurs Bootcarnp." November 8, 2002, University of Hawaii. "Legal Issues: Employment Law"
  • "Supervisor's and Management's Challenge with Discipline and Termination.'' November 13, 2002, Sponsored by the County of Hawaii. "Legal Implications of Disciplinary Actions."
  • "Arbitrations in the Public Sector." Sponsored by Maui County, Office of the Cotporation Counsel. Spring, 2001.


  • Meritorious Service Award - Hawaii County Bas Association
  • Recognition of Service - Hawaii State Legislature
  • 2006 Pukahi District, Aloha Council, Scout Family of the Year
  • Best Lawyer, Kama'aina Services, Best of Hawaii Island, Hawai'i Island ]011rnal, June 16-30, 2002
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Ronald T. Y. Moon, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawai'i, May 31, 2002
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Vocational Service, Rotary Club of Hilo Bay, June 25, 2003
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Hawaii County Police Department, June 26, 2000


  • University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, Honolulu, Hawaii
    • J.D. - 1983
  • University of Hawaii, Hawaii
    • B.A. - 1980

Bar Admissions

  • Hawaii, 1984
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1989
  • U.S. District Court District of Hawaii

Professional Associations

  • Hawaii County Bar Association, Present
  • Hawaii State Bar Association, member of the East Hawaii Section, Government Attorneys Section, and Employment Law Section
  • William S. Richardson School of Law, Alumni Association
  • Hawaii Island Portugese Chamber of Commerce

Representative Cases

  • Nakamoto v. Kawauchi, 142 Hawai`i 259, 270, 418 P.3d 600, 611, 2018, HI Sup. Ct.
  • Watanabe v. Employees' Ret. Sys., 148 Hawai`i 508, 479 P.3d 126, WL 70974 (2021), as amended (Jan. 12, 2021)

Published Works

  • Masterpiece Cakeshop: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?, UIC John Marshall Law Review, 1, 2018

Past Positions

  • State of Hawaii, Chief Labor Negotiator, 2003 to 2004
  • County of Hawaii, Assistant Corporation Counsel, 1992 to 2000
  • 1983-1984 Law Clerk, Honolulu, HI Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu Appellate Division; District Court Division - Special Assignment, develop Department's first form book for evidentiary foundations, including litany of foundational questions, requirements and case law annotations. Developed in conjunction with all divisions within the Department.
  • 1983-1985: District and Family Court Division: Prosecution of Family Court felony and misdemeanor offenses and District Court misdemeanor, petty misdemeanor and traffic violations.
  • 1986-1987: Felony Drug Prosecution Unit: Prosecution of Felony Drug offenses, advised law enforcement agencies, reviewed search warrants, and conducted forfeiture proceedings.
  • 1987-1988: White Collar Crime Unit: Investigative coordination, screening, Page 2 of 6 investigative Grand Jury, indicting and prosecuting offenses such as public corruption, bribery, theft over $200,000, securities violations and labor racketeering.
  • 1984-1988 Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu
  • 1988-1991 Deputy Corporation Counsel, City and County of Honolulu, HI Litigation Division: Advised and represented officers, representatives, agents, employees of the City and County of Honolulu in state and federal courts and state and federal administrative agencies, including appellate work.
  • 1991-1993 Associate Attorney Hilo, HI Roehrig, &ehrig, Wilson, Hara & de Silva Advised and represented Plaintiffs in personal injury cases, products liability c
  • 1993-2000 Corporation Counsel, County of Hawaii Assistant Corporation Counsel, County of Hawaii Hilo, HI Hilo, HI Responsible for the administration and supervision of forty-one (41) attorneys and staff, including legal assistants, accountant, account clerk, adjustor-investigator, and clerical staff. Planning and management of annual budget (FY 2000: $2,384,474). Advised and represented County officers, representatives, agents, employees, Boards and Commissions, before state and federal courts, state and federal administrative agencies, labor wage/interest arbitrations and collective bargaining agreement arbitrations. Lead counsel for the County of Hawaii in formulating, advising and defending the County of Hawaii, its officers and representatives in procurement actions brought under the State of Hawaii's procurement law and administrative regulations and formulating County procurement procedures and advising County officials and employees on procurement procedures.
  • 2001 to 2003 Hilo, HI Solo Practitioner. Advising and representing clients in Employment, Workplace and Labor related matters and civil litigation, administrative law and civil litigation including appearing before county agencies, state agencies, state and federal courts. Grand Jury Counsel, Third Circuit Court, State of Hawaii. Appointed by Chief Justice Moon to advise and represent the Grand Jury Panels on the Island of Hawaii. Tenn expired June 1, 2002
  • 2003 to July, 2004 Honolulu, HI Chief Negotiator, State of Hawaii. Office of the Governor, Office of Collective Bargaining and Managed Competition. Negotiated all collective bargaining agreements and amendments with all public sector unions. Responsible for developing a Statewide Plan for Managed Competition.
  • July, 2004 to the present Hilo, HI Solo Practitioner. Advising and representing clients in Employment, Workplace and Labor related matters, business law, administrative law and civil litigation including appearing before county agencies, state agencies, state and federal courts. Grand Jury Counsel. Third Circuit Court, State of Hawaii. Appointment from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007
  • Lead counsel in over twenty-five (25) jury trials in the State of Hawaii, the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii and appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Intermediate and Hawaii State Supreme Courts.
  • Lead counsel in over thirty (30) labor arbitrations (employer, employee and union) and mediations in disputes involving collective bargaining agreements, the EEOC, the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and the Court Annexed Arbitration Program in the State of Hawaii.
  • Arbitrator in over twenty (20) arbitrations involving contract interpretation, interest arbitration and personal injury litigation.