Wayne Parsons grew up in Ypsilanti, Michigan, one of the many downriver communities south of Detroit where southern whites and southern blacks clashed and the auto production lines were made famous in the 40s and 50s and 60s. In World War II, Henry J. Kaiser created the B-24 bomber factory 3 miles from his home. A product of public schools he was the captain of the high baseball team and swimming team at Ypsilanti High School and Valedictorian of his senior class. He attended the University of Michigan where he studied physics and graduated with degrees in Engineering Physics and, Engineering Mathematics with a minor in Electrical Engineering. At Michigan he was a member of the 1962 NCAA Championship baseball team.
While in graduate school at Michigan Wayne worked with a team of scientists and engineers who were designing and building the first computerized telescopes in the world atop Mt. Haleakala on Maui. In 1969, when the first Apollo astronauts stepped onto the surface of the moon, he was at the Mt. Haleakala Observatory firing the biggest ruby laser in the world that was bolted to a computer driven 60-inch telescope at a corner-cube mirror that the astronauts had set out on the moon’s surface. We had a real-time voice link through Houston to the astronauts who were looking back at Haleakala to see a red flash. That experiment is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.
Wayne discovered the warm ocean, surfing at Honolua Bay and great friends playing baseball for the Makawao Cowboys. His life decision then was whether to pick a career and follow it wherever it took him (physics equaled Chicago or Boston), or pick a place to live and figure out how to stay there. Makawao and Wailuku and Honolua Bay won. Wayne attended law school at Michigan and returned to Hawaii in 1975 as a lawyer.
As a new lawyer, Wayne was eager to enter the courtroom as quickly as possible, so he started with the Public Defenders’ Office where he developed courtroom skills and then went to work for Hyman Greenstein, Hawaii’s greatest trial lawyer. Working with Greenstien exposed Wayne to the greatest lawyers across the country including Mel Belli and F. Lee Bailey was able to serve as lead counsel in many civil and criminal jury trials as well as trials in Family Court, Military courts, and appeared before many state and federal administrative agencies. He represented Hawaiian activists who were charged with trespass on Kaho’olawe from the trial court through their 9th Circuit appeals.
Since 1983 he has worked as a plaintiff’s trial lawyer assembling a talented staff and working on some of the largest and most significant cases in the history of Hawaii. In the late 80s Wayne also created a state trial lawyers association and obtained national affiliation of the Hawaii lawyers with the 50,000 member Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA). Hawaii trial lawyers honored Wayne in 1994 with the Founder’s Award for creating the Consumer Lawyers of Hawaii (CLH). CLH has become a powerful force at the legislature and a powerful resource for hawaii trial lawyers. Wayne was the first President of CLH and his leadership in that position from 1988 to 1992 was crucial to its survival.
Since 1990 Wayne has been designated by Hawaii trial lawyers as one of two Hawaii lawyers to sit on the Board of Governors of ATLA in Washington D.C.
Wayne became involved in ATLA and CLH because he saw in the cases he handled as a trial lawyer that insurance companies and major coroporations were intent upon destroying the civil justice system. He saw that Plaintiff’s trial lawyers were an effective political force, demanding that irresponsible corporations and government be accountable in Court to the People.
Bad corporations and irresponsible elected officials don’t like the idea of the People having access to unbiased citizen juries who sit in judgment of their wrongdoing. If the Peoples’ access to the Courts and citizen juries can be destroyed then bad corporations and irresponsible elected officials will be un accountable since they can control the politicians with their unlimited lobbying budgets.
Wayne set out to educate the public, in Hawaii and across the country, about the attack on independant judges and citizen juries. For the past 8 years, he has been the national chair of the ATLA Public Education and Public Interest Committees and has chaired the same committees for the Consumer Lawyers of Hawaii. He brought the Peoples’ Law School to Hawaii in the late 80s. In 1998 Wayne was honored by the Hawaii State Bar Association with the Ikena Award, as well as being presented with a Hawaii Senate and House Legislative Commendation for his work in Public Education. Wayne prides himself in being the Peoples’ lawyer.
In 2004, in recognition of his distinguished legal career and history of leadership, Wayne was elected to the top honor for Hawaii lawyers as President-Elect of the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA). He will serve as President of the HSBA in 2006 when the American Bar Association brings their annual convention to Honolulu.
The office is most proud to be remembered by our clients. Families facing tragedy and fearing the future through no fault of their own. Many were injured in auto collisions by drunk drivers; many were injured by a careless doctor or hospital; some had suffered injury from the use of a drug or a chemical pesticide; many were injured when a product they were using malfunctioned because of a design defect and caused them serious injury; some had purchased a home only to find that hidden defects made the home worth far less than what they paid; many were being taken advantage of by a powerful insurance company. In each case, our clients were opposed by the government, large corporations or insurance companies with high priced lawyers and money to litigate. Our office is proud to have consistently won those cases against the most powerful corporations and the government. Our office delivers justice to people who have been wronged.
Courtesy Wayne Parsons Law Offices