Joy S. Omonaka
Joy S. Omonaka represents the firm's clients in the areas of commercial litigation, criminal defense, domestic relations, personal injury, and professional malpractice. Ms Omonaka's motto is "work hard, play hard." Although she is a driven litigator during the week, Ms. Omonaka finds time to be a recreational sports enthusiast on the weekend. She notes that "litigation is a lot like sports -- it involves practice and preparation for the final race -- trial."
Before becoming a partner at Edmunds Vega & Omonaka, Ms. Omonaka received her Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School in California. Upon graduation, she remained in California to handle appellate briefs for criminal law and domestic relations matters. Regarding her work in California, Ms. Vega remarks that "handling court-appointed appellate cases was a lot like baseball, you get up to bat many times but your hitting average is less than 50 percent."
Ms. Omonaka returned to Hawaii to handle insurance defense litigation and selected trademark and cable television litigation. Following her admission to the Hawaii State Bar, Ms. Omonaka began to practice in personal injury, commercial litigation, and professional malpractice under the tutelage of firm partner John S. Edmunds. She says, "business and professional malpractice litigation is a lot like golf, you need to use your woods and irons to get your ball through the rough fairway of the discovery process, only to refine your evidence with a putter as you get closer to trial."
Ms. Omonaka continues to practice in the areas of personal injury, commercial litigation, and professional malpractice. In addition, due to the increasing need for aggressive litigators in domestic relations cases, Ms. Omonaka has once again returned to practice domestic relations litigation, working in conjunction with attorneys specializing in divorce and child custody cases. She remarks that, "family court litigation is like skiing down the slopes and encountering moguls -- you must carefully negotiate each bump and turn, acting and reacting with quickness and speed to obtain the desired results for your clients. On rare occasions, you encounter a nicely groomed course covered with fresh powder."
Throughout her career, Ms. Omonaka has participated in community events and organizations, including volunteering with various charity organizations and homeless projects. She is currently the assistant manager for a select girls' soccer club catering to girls under age 14. She has participated as a children's facilitator in the Kids First Program implemented by the Family Court, assisting parents and children going through the divorce process. In addition, she was also part of the volunteer management team for the Hawaii Special Olympics Summer Games.
- Commercial Litigation
- Criminal Defense
- Domestic Relations
- Personal Injury
- Professional Malpractice
- J.D., Whittier College School of Law, 1990
- B.A., University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1987
- State Bar of Hawaii, 1992
- State Bar of California, 1990
- Hawaii Bar Association
- California Bar Association
- Keiter v. Penn Mut. Ins. Co., 900 F.Supp. 1339 (D.Haw. 1995)
- Dring v. Dring, 87 Haw. 369, 956 P.2d 1301 (Haw. App. 1998).