CWL is committed to helping our clients through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our attorneys and staff are working remotely to ensure that all of your litigation and transactional needs are met. As essential service providers, we remain able to respond to legal emergencies as the need arises. If you have questions about CWL’s response to government mandated distancing protocols for our offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Honolulu, please contact our managing partner, Marc Cefalu, at (415) 247-5270 or Note that most courts in California, Hawaii, and nationwide are experiencing significant delays in their calendaring of proceedings. Trials and hearings are routinely being continued by 30-90 days, if not more. Routine filing deadlines, however, may not be affected. For specific questions about your legal matter and how distancing protocols may affect it, please contact the attorney(s) with whom you work regularly.

Michael J. Nakano

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Michael J. Nakano

Cox Wootton Lerner
841 Bishop Street
Suite 1099
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808) 744-7020



Admitted to bar: 1997, Hawaii and U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii; 1996, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Areas of Practice

  • Business defense litigation
  • Admiralty/maritime law
  • Trust and estate litigation
  • Administrative law
  • General commercial litigation
  • Personal injury defense


  • Occidental College (B.A., 1993)
  • William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii (J.D., 1997)

Memberships & Admissions

  • Hawaii State Bar Association
  • Maritime Law Association (MLA) of the United States
  • Board of Directors, Network Enterprises, Inc.

Prior Experience

  • University of Hawaii Law Review, 1995-1997
  • Law Clerk of the Honorable Francis I. Yamashita, United States Magistrate Judge: 1996 – 1998
  • Associate Litigation Attorney, Alcantara Frame & Formby, 1998-2001
  • Senior Associate Litigation Attorney, Frame Formby & O’Kane, 2001-2006
  • Managing Partner, Frame & Nakano, 2007