Pioneer Plaza, Suite 1400 • 900 Fort Street Mall • Honolulu, HI 96813 • 808-524-4854

Selected as Best Divorce Lawyers by the readers of both Honolulu Weekly and Honolulu Magazine, firm founder Brad Coates & managing attorney Greg Frey head Honolulu’s largest Divorce and Family Law firm. Our experienced staff of ten attorneys and over a dozen clerical & paraleagal professionals have been proudly providing affordable Divorce and Family Law services in Hawai`i for over three decades.

Divorce and Separation
Alimony – Property Division
Child Support Modification & Enforcement
Spouse Abuse
Interstate Custody
Mediation and Arbitration Interstate Custody
Divorce with Decency (TM)

I must write this letter to express my appreciation for the professionalism, determination, availability, skills and caring attitude I experienced dealing with your law firm. Having worked with military and civilian attorneys throughout my career in numerous legal situations, both for individuals and systemic issues, I have never experienced attorneys with such professional attributes who also were concerned about people and their well-being. Your offices should be emulated by other professionals and attorneys.

Individuals going through the divorce process are suffering from stress, uncertainty, fears, emotional distress and a sense of loss. Your staff helped minimize all of these affects of the process for me, and I am sure for everyone you serve.


Chaplain, US Army

Prior to contacting Coates & Frey, I talked to five other attorneys. You folks were very concerned and always to the point. I cannot begin to express my gratitude. You gave us good advice not only for the present, but for the future as well.





Divorce With Decency – The Book
The Survivors guide to the Legal, Emotional, Economic, and Social Issues

This is the title of Mr. Coates’ now famous family law reference book.  This book, which published its 4th Edition in 2012, has sold thousands of copies and received rave reviews from clients and family law professionals alike.  Upon its release, it won the Hawaii Book Publisher’s Award of Merit for   Best Guide and Reference Book.


  • BRADLEY A. COATES Firm founder, now Of Counsel; Selected as “Best Divorce Lawyer” by both Honolulu Magazine and Honolulu Weekly; Repeated selected as one of Hawaii’s “SUPER LAWYERS” ; Author of awarding winning Family Law Treatise “Divorce with Decency”; Graduate of University of Southern California and of University of California at Los Angeles School of Law (Juris Doctor); Member of Hawaii and California State Bars; Member of the Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Sections of the Hawaii State Bar; Member of the Micronesian Constitutional Convention legal staff (1975); Staff Attorney to the Congress of Micronesia (1976-1978); Co-chairman of successful “Rohlfing in 1980” and “Rohlfing in 1982” legislative campaigns Member of Neighborhood Board 2/6; Popular monthly columnist on current legal issues for Oahu Island News, Windward Oahu News and the East Honolulu News for over a decade; Frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars and as radio and T.V. panelist on family law and law office management topics; Experienced mediator and arbitrator; Member of the American Arbitration Association’s Panel of Arbitrators; Founder and administrator of “Divorce with Decency”, a low cost divorce mediation clinic; Founder and president of United States Arbitration and Mediation of Hawaii and the Pacific, Inc.; Chief Justice’s appointee to Family Court Rules Committee; Treasurer, Family Law Section, Hawaii State Bar; Popular author and international lecturer on human and romantic relationships and the “Dynamics of Divorce” for Princess Cruises; Winner of Honolulu Magazine’s “People’s Choice” Award for Best Divorce Lawyer; Selected as “Best Divorce Lawyer” by the readers of Honolulu Weekly Newspaper repeatedly selected as one Of Hawaii’s Super Lawyers (i.e., top 5% of all Hawaii attorneys); Author of the comprehensive book on family law entitled Divorce with Decency: The Complete How-To Handbook and Survivor’s Guide to the Legal, Emotional, Economic, and Social Issues, which won the Hawaii Book Publisher’s Annual Ka Palapala Po’okela Award of Merit for Excellence in Guide and Reference Books and is now on its 4th edition.
  • P. GREGORY FREY Firm’s Managing Attorney and Litigation Supervisor; third generation attorney who handles complex Family Law cases (divorce, custody, Pre-marital Agreements and paternity) with emphasis in alternate dispute resolution; honor graduate of Saint Louis High School, Honolulu; graduate of Santa Clara University (B.A., History); Willamette University College of Law (Juris Doctor) and Honolulu University (M.A., Psychology); 2002 Family Law Section Chairperson, Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA); former HSBA O’ahu Director; formally trained Mediator at the Mediation Center of the Pacific (fka Neighborhood Justice Center); appointed to First Circuit Family Court Volunteer Settlement Master Program and by C.J. Moon to Committee on Divorce Proceedings, by Order filed 9/9/05, and by Senior Family Court Judge Browning as Special Master, by Order filed 9/23/11; Biographee/Selectee to: Hawaii Super Lawyers, 2010 – Present (Family Law and ADR) (Top 5% of all Hawaii attorneys), Martindale-Hubbell (BV Distinguished rated), Who’s Who Among American Law Students, Who’s Who in American Law, International Youth in Achievement, Who’s Who Among Rising Young Americans, 2000 Notable American Men; Recipient of Commendation, Hawaii Lawyer’s Care, and the 2007 Kahiau Award Recipient, Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii; Access to Justice Family Court room volunteer; Legal Consultant (2012 – Present) and Partner (2014 – Present), The PIAE Group; Saint Louis School Board of Trustees (2009 – Present); Saint Louis Alumni Association Board (2002 – Present) and President (2009 – Present); Sacred Hearts Academy Board (2004 – 2010).
  • JESSI L. K. HALL 1992 graduate of the Kamehameha Schools; graduate of the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 1996; Juris Doctor degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1999; Member of the Hawaii State Bar (2005, 2010 – 2011 Secretary of the Family Law Section [FLS], 2012 FLS Vice-Chair/Chair Elect, 2013 Chair); American Inn of Court IV – Barrister (2002 – 2004); Family Court Civil Unions Task Force (2011); Child Support Enforcement Agency Oversight Committee (2013); Child Support Guidelines Committee (2013); Delivery of Legal Services to the Public Committee (2013); Currently serves as Volunteer Settlement Master; Practices in Family Law litigation including divorce, custody, post-decree enforcement, paternity, pre-marital agreements, guardianships and adoptions; head of Coates & Frey’s Paternity Practice Group; Co-authored Section 8 of the of the Hawaii Divorce Manual entitled “Paternity and Divorce” (2005 – Present); SuperLawyers 2013 Rising Star; Recipient of 2014 Top 10 Attorney Award, under the age of 40 from the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys”.
  • JOHN D. HUGHES 1966 graduate of Punahou High School; graduate of Texas Christian University in 1971 (Bachelor of Arts, English); graduate of Baylor University in 1977 (Juris Doctor); member of Baylor Order of Barristers; licensed to practice law before all State Courts in Texas (1977 – Present), the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (1980), Western District of Texas (1990) and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (1990); member of the Hawaii State Bar Association (2007 – Present); member of the State Bar of Texas (1977 – Present); Board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (1992 – 2004) (inactive status); attended University of Texas School of Law: Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution Basic Mediation Training, 2004; practice concentrating in Family Law litigation including divorce, paternity, child custody and support, post-decree enforcement and mediation.
  • ANN S. ISOBE 1974 Honor Graduate of Kaimuki High School; 1979 Graduate of The George Washington University, with Distinction, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Speech Communications; 1982 Graduate of the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law; Honors in Moot Court Competition, Member of the McGeorge Moot Court Executive Committee; President of the Asian Bar Association; member of the California State Bar, 1984; member of the Hawaii State Bar, 1983; admitted to practice before all Courts of the State of Hawaii including: The Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii (1983), The Federal District Court for the District of Hawaii (1983) and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1986); 1983 – 1984 Law Clerk to the Honorable Edwin H. Honda; 1984 – 1988 Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the City and County of Honolulu; 1988 – 1990 Turk and Agena (Associate); 1998 – 2000 Crabtree and Hoshibata (Associate); 1990 – 1998 (Associate) and 2000 – 2008 (Partner) with Devens, Nakano, Saito, Lee, Wong and Ching; member of the Family Law Section; trained in Mediation and Collaborative Divorce; facilitator for the Kid’s First Program First Circuit Court; Voluntary Settlement Master for the First Circuit Court; past Member and Director of the Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce; member of Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce; head of Coates & Frey’s Asian Languages Practice Group; NBI speaker on Family Law; contributing author “Hawaii Ni Sumu” magazine about divorces in Japan (Hague).
  • R. BARRIE MICHELSEN University of Maine (B.A. Political Science, 1971); University of Maine School of Law (J.D., 1976); Maine Bar (1976), Guam Bar (1980), Federated States of Micronesia Bar (1982), Hawaii State Bar (1986), Republic of Palau Bar (1986), Republic of the Marshall Islands Bar (1987); licensed to practice before the Federal District Courts of Maine, Guam, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Associate Justice, Palau Supreme Court (1996 – 2004) Roster of Neutrals, American Arbitration Association; principal revisior, Rules of Civil Procedure (2002), and the Rules of Evidence (2004) for the Palau Supreme Court; contributor, 1997 Supplement for Palau section of: The Law of United States and Affiliated Jurisdictions; Associate Justice Supreme Court, Republic of Palau (1996 – 2004); Adjunct Professor, “Pacific Islands Legal Systems”, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii (2008 – Present).
  • PAUL W. SOENKSEN graduate of Kaiser High School (1976); graduate of University of Hawaii (Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies Pre-Law, with distinction) (1983); graduate of University of California, Hastings College of the Law (Juris Doctor) (1987); member of Hawaii State Bar Association (1987 – Present); licensed to practice before the Federal District Court for the District of Hawaii; Associate Attorney at Kessner Duca Umebayashi Bain and Matsunaga (“KDUBM”) (1987 – 1993); Director and Shareholder at KDUBM from (1993 – 1996); 1997 – 2014 Coates and Frey, now Senior Counsel; member of the Family Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association; law school honors including selection as first alternate to Hastings’ national moot court team, Hastings Moot Court oral award, 4th Place, American Jurisprudence Award, Torts; seminar speaker on Mechanics’ Lien and Miller Act claims, and, Drug Testing (federally regulated employers) and on Mental Health Law for Social Workers, Counselors and other Helping Professionals in Hawaii, Divorce Law Guide from A to Z (2012); President, Hawaii State Alliance for the Mentally Ill (1992 – 1994) (successfully lobbied Hawaii Legislature to amend State’s civil commitment laws); past practice emphasized general civil litigation, now specialization in Family Law for 19 years (divorce, complex asset division, custody, premarital agreements, post-decree enforcement and paternity).
  • DEAN A. SOMA graduate of Roosevelt High School (1982); Head of Same Sex Specialty Practice Group Juris Doctorate degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law (1991); Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional from the FINRA/Wharton School of Business in 2004; member of the Hawaii State Bar, 1991; served as Staff Attorney for the Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs (1996 – 2009); member of the Family Law Section; member of Hawaii LGBT Section; licensed to practice before the Federal District Court for the District of Hawaii and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; authored “civil Unions in Hawaii – A One Year Retrospective”, Hawaii Bar Journal (July 2013); was appointee to both the Family Court’s Civil Unions Task Force and the Governor’s Civil Union’s Strategic Implementation Group; practice in Family Law including divorce, post-decree enforcement and modification and paternity.
  • TOM S. TANIMOTO graduate of Iolani Schools; attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts and the University of Hawaii; graduate of St. Thomas University School of Law (2004); Law Clerk to the Honorable Colleen K. Hirai assisting the Court with review of cases concerning estates, trusts, guardianships and conservatorships (2004 – 2005); frequent appearances on Olelo Community Television; Rotary Club member; recipient of 2014 Top 10 Attorney Award from the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys; practice with Coates & Frey concentrates on Family Law litigation including divorce, child custody and support, post-decree enforcement, adoptions, guardianships and paternity matters.
  • ROBERT S. N. YOUNG Executive intern, Office of the Governor, 1973 (Governor John A Burns); graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law (Juris Doctor in 1978); member of the Hawaii State Bar Association, 1978; Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu handling misdemeanor, family, and felony prosecution (1979 – 1981); Insurance defense, commercial, and tort litigation with Shigemura & Ching and Kidani-Crudele (1986 – 1991); State of Hawaii (1991 – 2006); Lions Club member; practice with Coates and Frey concentrates on Family Law litigation including divorce, child custody and support, post-decree enforcement, domestic violence/TRO.