Maria’s diverse legal background includes workers' compensation insurance defense, family law, personal injury, employment law, criminal defense, medical malpractice, trust and estates, and commercial and construction litigation. She has represented clients at all levels of Hawaii state court, before numerous state agencies, federal district court, and in mediation and arbitration proceedings.
Maria’s recent case successes include two recent agency appeal cases involving how assets held in trust relate to Medicaid eligibility. In two separate, lengthy appellate oral arguments, Maria successfully argued against the State of Hawaii that home properties properly placed in irrevocable trusts are not countable assets for the purpose of Medicaid eligibility, resulting in the preservation of home properties and Medicaid long-term benefits for both clients.
Maria obtained her B.A. in Music, summa cum laude, from Oregon State University. She was active in opera and musical theatre productions, and the OSU Chamber Choir, receiving numerous academic and music accolades. Maria received her law degree the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, in 2011. She graduated magna cum laude with a Certificate in Native Hawaii Law. While in law school, she received numerous awards and honors, including the Legal Practice II Best Oral Argument, Legal Practice II Highest Grade, Second Year Seminar Highest Grade, Delta Theta Phi Robert E. Cole Award for Professionalism, Delta Theta Phi Regional Outstanding Student Award, Delta Theta Phi Regional Outstanding Chapter Award, and was a Susan B. McKay Oral Advocacy Competition Co-Winner. Maria held numerous leadership positions, including serving as an Executive Editor for the University of Hawaii Law Review, Dean of the Delta Theta Phi Legal Fraternity, and member of the Native American Moot Court team. After graduating from law school, Maria spent a year clerking for Chief Judge Nakamura of the Hawai`i State Intermediate Court of Appeals.
Maria is admitted to practice before all Hawai`i courts and the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i.
- University of Hawai`i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, Certificate in Native Hawaiian Law
- Oregon State University, B.A., Music, summa cum laude