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.

Shawn L.M. Benton

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Shawn L.M. Benton

Cox Wootton Lerner
841 Bishop Street, Suite 1099
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 744-7020
Direct: (808) 892-3297


Senior Counsel

Shawn L.M. Benton joined the CWL Honolulu Office in 2020 as Senior Counsel. Prior to joining CWL, Shawn worked at the firm of Leong Kunihiro Benton & Brooke as a partner, then of counsel. She concentrates her practice in the areas of Hawai‘i workers’ compensation defense, appellate practice, and civil litigation.

Shawn is committed to serving the legal and local community in Hawai‘i. She was selected as a 2019 Fellow for the Hawai‘i State Bar Association Leadership Institute, a program designed to foster professional growth and enhance leadership skills of future leaders across the Hawai‘i State Bar. Shawn also participated in the second cohort of the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance, a program designed for professional women leaders committed to personal growth, professional impact, and community change.

Shawn is a past president of the Japanese American Citizens League – Honolulu Chapter and continues to sit on its Board of Directors as its Treasurer. She volunteers on the Hawai‘i Access to Justice Commission’s Pro Bono Initiatives Committee. Shawn also serves as the Treasurer for the Attorneys and Judges Assistance Program’s Board of Directors. Shawn recently joined the Board of Bar Examiners of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court.

Shawn obtained her Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. During law school, she served as an intern for the Honorable Gary W.B. Chang, First Circuit Court for the State of Hawai‘i, and extern for then-Senior U.S. District Court Judge David A. Ezra, U.S. District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.

In addition to Shawn’s expertise in the law, she is experienced in human resource management, graduating at the top of her class from the Shidler College of Business, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a Master of Human Resource Management. She also obtained her SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification in 2015.

Areas of Practice

  • Hawai‘i Workers’ Compensation Defense
  • Appellate Practice
  • Civil Litigation


Memberships and Civic Activities

  • Attorneys and Judges Assistance Program, Treasurer (2018-present)
  • Board of Examiners of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, Board Member (2018-Present)
  • Hawai‘i Access to Justice Commission
    • Committee on Overcoming Barriers to Access to Justice, Member (2008-2010)
    • Committee on Initiative to Enhance Civil Justice, Member (2008-2010)
    • Pro Bono Initiative Committee (2020-present)
  • Hawai‘i People’s Fund, Grantmaking Committee (2013-2019)
  • Hawai‘i State Bar Association
    • Appellate Section, Member
    • Labor and Employment Law Section, Member
  • Hawai‘i State Bar Association Leadership Institute
    • Fellow (2019)
    • Advisory Council (2020-present)
  • Hawai‘i Task Force on Attorney Well-Being, Legal Employers Subcommittee (2019-present)
  • Japanese American Citizens League – Honolulu Chapter
    • President (2008-2010)
    • 1st Vice-President Elect (2006-2008)
    • Treasurer (2019-present)
    • Board of Directors (2005-present)
    • Legal and Advocacy Committee
  • Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance, Cohort 2 (2017-2018)
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
    • Member (2014-present)
    • SHRM-SCP (2015)



  • Shidler College of Business, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
    • MHRM, 2013
  • William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
    • J.D., 2005
  • University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu
    • B.A., Political Science, 2002
  • Kapi‘olani Community College
    • A.A., Paralegal Studies, 2000



  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, District of Hawai’i
  • State Courts of Hawai‘i