Sherry Broder



Sherry P. Broder concentrates in complex civil litigation—trials, appeals, and class actions, personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability, international law, ocean law, environmental law, human rights, and rights of Native Hawaiians and other indigenous people. She serves as a mediator, arbitrator and hearings officer for state and federal government agencies, Hawaii Supreme Court, and private parties. She was the first woman President of the Hawaii State Bar Association and was recently elected Vice President/President Elect of the Federal Bar Association for the District of Hawaii. Ms. Broder graduated in 1970 from Wellesley College as a Wellesley Scholar and in 1975 from U.C. Berkeley Law School with highest honors, Order of the Coif.

Ms. Broder has been recognized in the Best Lawyers in America, in Hawaii's Best Lawyers and has been awarded the highest rating for legal ability and professional standards. Serving all the Hawaiian Islands, including Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the big island of Hawaii, she handles serious personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, class actions and complex litigation cases. Ms. Broder has a long history of helping people in Hawaii. She has legal experience, a record of success and a reputation for her integrity. You can count on Sherry Broder to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve.

Ms. Broder served as class liaison counsel for the 9,500 victims of torture during the dictatorship of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and with the team won a $2 billion verdict, believed to be one of the largest personal injury verdicts in U.S. history. This case has been presented as a case study and cited in many textbooks on International Law, showing the development of human rights law in U.S. federal courts. She has represented the class of human rights victims in different courts in several federal circuits and the United States Supreme Court, state courts in Hawaii, California and New York, the courts of the Republic of the Philippines, Switzerland and Singapore.

Ms. Broder litigated on behalf of the class of Hawai`i consumers including children and pregnant mothers who were exposed to excess levels of the pesticide heptachlor in milk products, derived from the pineapple debris that became cow feed, and achieved a settlement that was used for scientific and research purposes, including epidemiological studies of the exposed children of Hawai`i. The case was the topic of a law review article: L. Gara, Medical Surveillance Damages: Using Common Sense and the Common Law to Mitigate the Dangers Posed by Environmental Hazards, 12 Harv. Env. L. Rev. 265 (1988).

Her legal work has included briefs for the parties and amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in human rights, social justice and Native Hawaiian cases and assistance in oral arguments through moot courts and participating at counsel table. She has argued many times before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ms. Broder has represented Native Hawaiians in their claims for entitlements and defended the constitutionality of their programs. She has represented Native Hawaiians before the U.S. Supreme Court in two cases and had the opportunity to work closely on those cases with now U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal. She has represented Native Hawaiians in seeking adequate funding for educational programs preserving the Hawaiian Language, enjoining the demolition of ancient archaeological sites, delineating claims to lands, and recovering cultural artifacts using the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act.

Ms. Broder co-counseled with Professor Van Dyke and successfully defended the City and County of Honolulu against certain T-shirt vendors who claimed violation of their civil rights and on other cases challenging Honolulu County ordinances on First Amendment grounds. She has represented, along with Professor Van Dyke, the County Council of Maui in their efforts to resolve the matter of which governmental institution (the executive or the legislator) has the power under the Maui County Charter to hire special counsel. Along with Professor Van Dyke, she represented Orangutan Foundation International in its efforts to build a world class orangutan habitat at the Honolulu Zoo.

In the late 1970's, she was an attorney for the Hawaii State Legislature, both House and Senate. She was the Deputy Chief Attorney for the 1978 Hawaii Constitutional Convention and drafted the constitutional provisions creating the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, as well as other new constitutional sections. She was the attorney for the 1982 Charter Commission for the City & County of Honolulu and the legislative analyst for the 2011-2012 Maui Charter Commission.

She worked with Professor Van Dyke on legal issues relating to the Pacific Nations and Territories. She assisted him in drafting legislation to codify traditional and customary land rights in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, researching issues relating to the distribution of funds from foreign fishing licenses, investigating claims of Pacific Islanders exposed to nuclear radiation from atmospheric testing, reviewing and analyzing compact issues, and other matters.

She teaches Public International Law and International Ocean Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa. In recent years, with Professor Jon Van Dyke, Ms. Broder taught Public International Law, International Ocean Law and Human Rights. She has lectured in universities, law schools, and governmental forums both in the United States and in other countries on the rights of indigenous peoples, international law, human rights, environmental law and climate change, including Columbia University, School of International School of Public Affairs, Inha University, Seoul National University, Denver University Sturm School of Law, Cal Western School of Law, and other places.

Ms. Broder recently completed a book, Governing Ocean Resources, A Tribute to Judge Choon-ho Park edited by Jon Van Dyke, Sherry P. Broder, Seokwoo Lee, Jin-Hyun Paik, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (2013). This book is based on papers presented at a Law of the Sea Institute conference in Honolulu in 2009. Ms. Broder also recently authored the following articles, Responsibility and Accountability for Harm Caused by Nuclear Activities, to be published by the University of Hawaii Law Review in the 2013 volume, and Straits Used For International Navigation And Emerging Norms Of Customary International Law To Protect The Environment And Human Health And To Improve Safety to be published by Ocean University, Qindao, China School of International Ocean Law. She co-authored with Professor Marcus Haward, Ocean and Antarctic Policy Program Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia, a chapter on Geoengineeering: Ocean Iron Fertilization and the Challenges for International Regulatory Action, in Regions, Institutions, and Law of the Sea: Studies in Ocean Governance, edited by Harry N. Scheiber and Jin-Hyun Paik, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (2013).

She co-authored with Professor Jon Van Dyke several articles, including a chapter on the Shipping Industry and the Imperative to Reduce Its Air Pollution and Black Carbon Emissions, The Regulation of International Shipping: International and Comparative Perspectives: Essays in Honor of Edgar Gold, edited by Aldo Chircop, Norman Letalik, Ted L. McDorman, Susan Ralston, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (2012), an article on Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas; Protecting The Marine Environment In The Territorial Seas And Exclusive Economic Zones, 40 Denv. J. Int'l Law & Pol'y 472 (2012), Regional Maritime Cooperation in the South China Sea: COBSEA and PEMSEA, to be published by Academia Sinica, Taiwan (2013), and Rights and Responsibilities of Strait States, a paper presented at the Safety, Security and Environmental Protection in Straits used in International Navigation, Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 2011 and to be published by Law of the Sea Institute, Berkeley Law School, University of California.

Ms. Broder is a member of the board of the East-West Center Foundation, director of the Sam L. Cohen Foundation with assets of over $40,000,000 in Maine and board member of the Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law at University of Denver Sturm School of Law. Ms. Broder is a board member of the Kaleleonalani Foundation, dedicated to the preservation and revival of Native Hawaiian culture. She serves on the Hawai`i State Bar Association Nominating Committee for the Hawai`i Supreme Court. She is a Hearings Officer for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Hawai`i Supreme Court.

Ms. Broder has been recognized both nationally and in her community for her achievements. She has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America for over 15 years (Woodward/White publishers). She was selected Finalist, Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, 1994, 1995, and 1997 and was recognized as Solo Practitioner of the Year in 1992 by the American Bar Association. She was awarded the Justice Award from the Temple Emanuel in 2005 and was the first recipient of the Cox Price Human Rights Award from the University of Denver Law School in 2007. She was recognized as an outstanding community leader in "10 Who Made a Difference" by the Honolulu Star Bulletin in 1995; she was appointed to the Native American and Constitutional Scholars Working Group, 106th Congress by U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye and she was awarded the Conservation Service Citation by the National Wildlife Association in 1985.

Her other publications include: S. Broder and J. Van Dyke, Ocean Boundaries in the South Pacific, 4 U. Haw. L. Rev. 1 (1982); S. Broder, The Legal View: The First Amendment and the Student's Right to Know, Intellectual Freedom Institute, Graduate School of Library Studies, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, June 14-18 (1982); G. Clay and S. Broder, Ocean Leasing for Hawaii (Hawaii State Dept. Planning and Economic Development, 1981); S. Broder and B. Wee, Hawai`i's Equal Rights Amendment: Its Impact on Athletic Opportunities and Competition for Women, 2 U. Haw. L. Rev. 97 (1979); L. Naito and S. Broder, Women in the Criminal Justice System, Hawaii International Women's Year Conference (1977); J. Van Dyke, S. Wolinsky, S. Broder, D. Elliot, and K. Reilly, Quadra v. Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco: A Challenge to the Composition of the San Francisco Grand Jury, 27 Hastings Law Journal 565 (1976).



B.A., Wellesley College, 1970 (Wellesley Scholar); J.D., Boalt Hall, University of California at Berkeley, 1975 (Order of the Coif, top 10%).

Court Admissions:

Hawaii State Bar - admitted 1976; California State Bar - admitted 1976; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Claims; U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals: District of Hawaii, Northern District of California, & Central District of California.

Honors & Awards (National):

The Cox Price Human Rights Award, The Ved Nanda Center for International Law, The University of Denver, Sturm College of Law (2007); "Best Lawyers In America" selected by Woodward & White (1996-Present); Prestigious "AV" (highest) rating of Preeminent Attorneys (the highest rating for legal ability and professional standards) selected by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory based upon the judgment of judges and attorneys within the state of Hawaii; Finalist, Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, given by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Washington, D.C. (1994, 1996, and 1997); Sole Practitioner of the Year Award, given by the American Bar Association General Practice Section (1993); Conservation Service Citation for legal work on behalf of Hawaii's consumers for heptachlor in milk supply given by the National Wildlife Federation (1985).

Honors & Awards (Hawaii):

2010 Hawaii Super Lawyers, Honoree for Justice Award, Temple Emanu-el, Honolulu (2005); "Best Lawyers in Hawaii" featured and selected by Honolulu Magazine (1997-Present); "10 Who Made a Difference" selected by Honolulu Star Bulletin (1995); First Woman President of Hawaii State Bar Association (1993); Outstanding Woman Lawyer Award selected by Hawaii Women Lawyers (1986); Outstanding Attorney Award selected by Child & Family Services for legal work on behalf of abused and neglected minors (1983).

Major Cases:

In re Ferdinand E. Marcos Human Rights Litigation, 25 F.3d 1467 (9th Cir. 1994); 103 F.3d 767 (9th Cir. 1996); Trajano v. Marcos, 978 F.2d 493 (9th Cir. 1992)), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 972 (1993); Hilao v. Marcos, 25 F.3d 1467 (9th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1126 (1995), and 103 F.3d 762 (9th Cir. 1996); Merrill Lynch, Pierce Fenner and Smith, Inc. v. ENC Corp., 464 F.3d 885 and 467 F.3d 1205 (9th Cir. 2006); Co-counsel in human rights class action civil suit against Ferdinand Marcos and later his estate on behalf of the victims of torture, murder, disappearances during the martial law period in the Philippines. This litigation, which began in 1986 and is still continuing, has required several appeals. In September 1992, a Honolulu jury found Ferdinand Marcos to be liable to the 10,000 victims of human rights abuses, in February 1994, this jury awarded the victims $1,200,000,000 in exemplary damages, and in January 1995, the jury awarded the class members $766,000,000 in compensatory damages. Class Counsel in a consumer class-action civil suit against milk, pineapple, and pesticide companies in 1982-84 for the contamination of Hawaii's milk supply with heptachlor, leading to a $4,000,000 settlement to fund scientific studies on the effect of heptachlor on children. Successfully defended the mission and expenditures of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs against 14th Amendment constitutional challenge.

Professional Activities:

Hawaii State Bar Association (President, 1993; Vice President, 1992; Treasurer, 1990-1991; Director, 1989-1990; Chair, Judicial Administration, 1982; Chair, Legislative Committee, 1981); Hawaii Justice Foundation (IOLTA) (Secretary, 1994, and Board Member, 1990-1996); Hawaii Lawyers Care (Board Member, 1989-1992, and Chair, Grievance Committee, 1989-1990); Hawaii Federal Judicial Conference (Delegate, 1988-1991 & 1994-1997, and Chair, 1998); Hawaii State Judicial Conference (Delegate, 1998-1993, and Co-chair, 1998); Ninth Circut Judicial Conference (Attorney Delegate, 1994-1998, Appointed by Chief Judge Alan Kay); Hawaii State Judicial Conference (Delegate 1988-1993; Co-Chair 1993); Hawaii Women Lawyers (Founding Member and Member To Present; President, 1982; Treasurer, 1981); American Bar Association (Member); Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (Member); Office of Disciplinary Counsel (Hearings officer, 1989 to present, Appointed by Disciplinary Board); Federal District Court Discipline Committee (Hearings Officer, District of Hawaii, 1996, Appointed by Chief Judge Alan Kay); Hawaii Trial Lawyers (Vice President, 1989-1992; Founding Member & Member To Present); The Hawaii Women Lawyers Foundation (Founding Member & Member To Present; President, 1984; Vice President, 1985; Secretary, 1986; Grant Distribution Committee, 1984 to present); Committee on Gender & Other Fairness, Hawaii Supreme Court (Member, 1992-1994); Native Hawaiian Bar Association (Associate Member, 1992-present); Native American and Constitution Scholars Working Group, 106th Congress, Appointed by Senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye; Mid-Pacific Institute Board of Counselors (1997-2000); Friends of Moku'ula, Inc. (Attorney, 1998-2000).

Community Activities:

Hawaii Star Bar Assn Awards Committee (Chair 2010, Chair 2005-2007)Hawaii Judiciary History Center (Board Member, 2000-2006); Hawaii Public Television (Board Member, 1989-1995, and Chair of Finance Committee, 1993); Wellesley Club of Hawaii (Treasurer, 1982-1985); Amnesty International, Hawaii Chapter (Chairperson of Subcommittee on Women Political Prisoners, 1978-1980); Waimanalo Neighborhood Board (Elected Board Member Chair, 1978-1981, and Planning & Zoning Committee).


Born, Bangor, Maine.

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