Michael A. Lilly
Michael A. Lilly is an attorney licensed in Hawaii (licensed in California for 42 years before retiring his license). He specializes in commercial, wrongful termination and personal injury litigation and estate planning. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and graduated with honors from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law (’74). He earned a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz (’68).
Lilly served as Attorney General and First Deputy Attorney General of Hawaii from 1981-85. As Attorney General, he was the State's Chief Law Enforcement and Legal Officer, during which he was Chairman of the Governor's Crime Committee, President of the Hawaii Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Director of the Western States Drug Information Network and founder and member of the Vice President's National Narcotics Border Interdiction System office in Hawaii.
After returning to private practice, he won the largest wrongful termination jury verdict in State history ($2.1 Million). He also won landmark Hawaii Supreme Court cases on wrongful termination, the right to campaign for political office, land reform and open government. After protracted litigation, he obtained an exemption for guide dogs from Hawaii’s 4-month animal quarantine, for which he was awarded the national Access Partners Award from Guide Dog Users, Inc., and the Helen Kinau Wilder Friendship Award from the Hawaiian Humane Society. He also was awarded the National Society of the DAR’s 1999 Outstanding Community Service Award at an awards ceremony in Washington D.C.
For more than 20 years, Mr. Lilly has represented the Painters Union, District Council 50 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, other unions, union contractors and the Painting Industry of Hawai'i Market Recovery Fund in litigation before state and federal trial and appellate courts, before administrative and regulatory boards and hearing officers, in cases involving the Davis Bacon Act, Freedom of Information Act, violations of contractor license and procurement laws and regulations and anti-bid shopping laws, apprenticeship training programs, construction loans, and other statutory laws. He also regularly advises Taft-Hartley trustees of their legal rights and obligations, provides training in trustee duties and provides legal assistance to union employees.
Lilly is a Founding Director of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., having filed its Articles of Incorporation, serving as its initial Secretary, and assisting in the relocation of the Battleship to Pearl Harbor as a memorial and tourist attraction. He is currently a Trustee of Menlo College, Director of Diamond Head Theatre, Director of the Friends of Pearl Harbor, National Deputy Judge Advocate General and National Director of the U.S. Navy League and member of the Society of Attorneys General Emeritus Network. He is also past President of the Navy League’s Pacific Region and Honolulu Council, Chairman and President of Diamond Head Theatre, President of the Naval Reserve Association’s Pearl Harbor Chapter, and member of his law school National Alumni Board. He authored If You Die Tomorrow, a layman's book on estate planning and is a frequent speaker on legal topics at seminars and on radio and television.
Lilly is a Vietnam War veteran whose personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service and two Meritorious Service Medals. Lilly retired as a Naval Reserve Captain after over 30 years of service, including five reserve commands.
Lilly has five children and is a partner in the Honolulu law firm, Ning, Lilly & Jones.