Paul W. Soenksen, Senior Counsel of Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson, AAL, LLLC, is an accomplished attorney and experienced speaker. While practicing, his early work emphasized general civil litigation and transitioned to focusing on family law for at least 23 years. He works closely with divorce, complex asset division, custody, premarital agreements, post-decree enforcement, and paternity.
Paul came to Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson, AAL, LLLC in 1997 and a practicing attorney until 2012 before becoming Senior Counsel. Paul's practice has focused 100% on Family Law since 1997. Paul has, and continues to, handle some of our firms most difficult and complex cases.
Paul experienced success since the start of his career while earning his juris doctorate at Hastings College of Law. He won fourth place at Hastings Moot Court Oral. Additionally, he was the first alternate on Hastings’ National Moot Court Team. He was also a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award, Torts. Prior to all that, Paul graduated from the University of Hawaii on the Dean's List, and is also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa scholastic fraternity. He had a brief practice in commercial litigation.
Paul became a member of the Hawaii State Bar in 1987, effectively licensing him to practice before all of the State of Hawaii Courts and Federal District Court for the District of Hawaii. Upon gaining bar certification, he held the title of Associate Attorney at Kessner Duca Umebayashi Bain & Matsunaga before eventually becoming Director and Shareholder there.
He became president of the Hawaii State Alliance for the Mentally Ill between 1992 and 1994. During his time as president, he successfully lobbied Hawaii Legislature to amend State's civil commitment laws.
His success continues outside of our office. Paul was a seminar speaker on Mechanics' Lien and Miller Act claims, Drug Testing, and on Mental Health Law for Social Workers, Counselors, and other Helping Professionals in Hawaii.
Some of his career’s most popular victories include his counsel in cases resulting in published, trial-level opinions of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, including Macheras v. Center Art Galleries, et. al., and Mariner v. Hilton, et. al.
Paul is proud of his two sons, both Eagle Scouts, and now finishing college. When not in the office Paul continues as a Boy Scout Assistant Scoutmaster, and canoe paddles with local club Alapa Hoe Canoe Club. Paul recently competed in his first Molokai Hoe in 2019, which is an internationally recognized interisland canoe race going from the Molokai to Oahu.