Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who is Mark Bennett?

Mark Bennett is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from Hawaii.

Age: 64 (approximate)

Current Position: Director, Starn, O’Toole, Marcus & Fisher (Honolulu, HI)

Education:

  • B.A. Union College (1976), summa cum laude
  • J.D., Cornell University School of Law (1979), magna cum laude; Editor, Cornell University Law Review

Judicial Clerkships: Judge Samuel Pailthorpe King, U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii (1979-80)

Experience:

  • 2010-Present: Director, Starn, O’Toole, Marcus & Fisher (Honolulu, HI)
  • 2003-2010: Attorney General of Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)
  • 1991-2002: Partner, McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP (Honolulu, HI)
  • 1982-1989: Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)
  • 1980-1982: Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)

Notable Matters:

  • In 2003, Governor Linda Lingle appointed Mr. Bennett Attorney General of Hawaii. Mr. Bennett was the first attorney general appointed by a Republican governor since the governorship of William F. Quinn, the first elected governor of Hawaii.
  • Mr. Bennett has argued and briefed numerous cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Hawaii Supreme Court. Mr. Bennett has also argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court in Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 556 U.S. 163 (2009), and Lingle v. Chevron, 544 U.S. 528 (2005). As an AUSA in Washington D.C. and Honolulu, Mr. Bennett litigated both criminal and civil cases.
  • In private practice, Mr. Bennett specializes in complex litigation, appellate litigation, antitrust, and government relations. He has tried numerous complex jury trials, and negotiated settlements worth $1 billion.
  • Before becoming Attorney General of Hawaii, Mr. Bennett served the state pro bono as a special deputy attorney general and a special assistant prosecuting attorney.

Awards:

  • Best Lawyers in America (Antitrust Law, Antitrust Litigation, Appellate Practice, Bet-The-Company Litigation, Government Contracts, Environmental Litigation, Insurance Litigation and Commercial Litigation); “Lawyer of the Year” in Honolulu (2015-2018); Top 25 Hawaii Super Lawyers (2011-2018)
  • Mr. Bennett is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Justice Leadership Award (2009); the Hawaii Law Enforcement Elwood J. McGuire Award for Contributions to Law Enforcement (2007); and the Attorney General’s Special Achievement Award (1986)

Professional Affiliations: Mr. Bennett is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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