Harold Y. Hata

Harold Y. Hata
Santa Ana Office
Education: University of Hawaii – Western School of Law
Member: California State Bar, New York State Bar, Hawaii State Bar
Joined BM&M in 2007

Growing up in the rural area of Hilo, Hawaii, Harold Hata always had a curiosity to see more of the world. His curiosity first took him off The Big Island to the City of Honolulu where he attended University of Hawaii, Manoa, and majored in Business Management.

After graduation, Harold decided the move from Hilo to Honolulu had been exciting, but he wanted to see more.

"A lot of my friends were going to law school, and I thought I'd like to see the mainland (Hawaiian terminology for the Continental United States). I wanted to see what it was like."

He enrolled at the California Western School of Law in San Diego.

"It was a shock to my system," recalls Harold. "Everything was so different, and of course, it was colder than I imagined. It took me a couple of years to get acclimated."

After law school, his curiosity got the better of him again and instead of settling down to practice law in California or Hawaii, he decided to pursue another degree. This time it was a Masters in Taxation from New York University.

"New York was an even bigger shock than California. "The people there are not very friendly. It was a contrast from California and even more of a contrast from where I was raised."

He managed to stick it out and earned his Masters and also passed the New York State Bar. But, after a long, cold, winter in which he said he was sick all the time, he decided he did not want to live in New York. He left the Big Apple and returned to Honolulu where, after passing the Hawaii State Bar, he went to work as an assistant district attorney specializing in educational law.

After a couple of years in Honolulu, he and his wife (who he'd met at law school in California) decided the summers were too hot in Honolulu, and the winters were too cold in New York, so they opted for sunny California, where he passed his third state bar exam.

With license in hand, Harold went to work in workers comp defense representing several prominent insurance carriers, a career he has enjoyed ever since.

"I like workers comp defense because it's challenging, yet without cut throat tactics of criminal or civil defense cases. It also allows me to get out of the office a lot, and I prefer that to sitting behind a desk all day."

Away from the practice, Harold enjoys going to movies with his wife, a little racket ball now and then, and working in his garden. He has become somewhat of an amateur botanist.

"I enjoy working with roses, and cross-pollinating them to see if I can come up with a new variety. In eight years, I've only come up with one that could be marketable, but it's interesting."