Attorney Alyssa Segawa Selected to AAJ Leadership Role

Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman is proud to announce that firm partner Alyssa Segawa has been selected to represent trial lawyers in Hawai’i on the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

The appointment to a national leadership role within the largest association of trial lawyers reflects a career-long commitment by Segawa to promoting professionalism and the highest standards within the legal profession.

What is the American Association for Justice?

Formed in 1946 and based in Washington, D.C., the AAJ’s mission is to promote justice and fairness for injured individuals and safeguard the constitutional right to a trial by jury. Organization members in each state are represented by two members of the Board of Governors. Segawa represents Hawai’i, while Johnston represents Texas. The selection was announced at the AAJ’s winter meeting in Austin, Texas, in February.

About Alyssa Segawa

Segawa is a partner in Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman’s Honolulu office. Her practice focuses on asbestos litigation, personal injury, product liability, Roundup litigation, appellate and federal practice matters. She has a particular interest in helping victims of mesothelioma seek justice through the legal system.

She has held numerous leadership positions in the AAJ, as well as in the organization’s state chapter, the Hawaii Association for Justice. In addition, she has served on the Hawaii Association for Justice Board of Governors since 2014 and is active in the Hawaii Bar Association.

In 2022, Segawa was part of a Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman team that secured a $5.63 million settlement on behalf of a Hawai’i student who was sexually assaulted by a teacher. The settlement ranked among the Top 50 in the nation for 2022, according to an analysis of state and federal records by researchers at

Since the devastating West Maui wildfires destroyed the town of Lahaina in August 2023, Segawa and the entire Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman team have been working to help victims recover, rebuild and obtain justice.

How Do We Fight Corporate Negligence?  

Seek justice with the help of our experienced Hawaii attorneys. We’ve battled corporate giants on behalf of individuals like you for over 40 years, aggressively fighting those responsible for personal injury and wrongful death caused by corporate wrongdoing and fraud committed against the government. If you’ve suffered catastrophic injury or loss caused by corporate negligence or believe you have a government whistleblower case, we can help. Contact us for a free consultation. Contact is kept confidential.

Law Firm Earns 1 of the Top 50 Largest Injury Settlements of 2022

A multi-million dollar litigation settlement secured by Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman trial lawyers is recognized among the Top 50 in the nation for 2022. The case underscores the Hawai’i-based firm’s ability to handle some of the most challenging types of injury litigation, which include asbestos exposure and sex assault.

The case involved a $5.63 million settlement on behalf of a Hawai’i student who was sexually assaulted by a teacher, according to an analysis of state and federal records by researchers at

“Sexual assault litigation is extremely difficult. The victims often feel like the legal system is uncaring and victimizes them all over again. It’s extremely gratifying to represent these individuals and help them obtain justice,” said Galliher DeRobertis & Waxman lawyers Ilana Waxman and Chris Johnson, who played leadership roles in the case. “We were able to win a significant settlement that avoided having the victim testify in trial. Recognition like this is just another indication that our passion for clients and their causes can make a difference.”

Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman Elevates Alyssa Segawa, Allison Aoki to Partner

Growing Hawai’i-based law firm represents victims of mesothelioma, Maui fires, toxic exposure, and childhood sex abuse

HONOLULU, Hawaii — Hawai’i-based personal injury firm Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman is proud to announce the elevation of veteran lawyers Alyssa Segawa and Allison Aoki to partner.

Peter Kraus Receives ADL Larry Schoenbrun Jurisprudence Award

We are thrilled to see others recognize the leadership of Waters Kraus & Paul’s Founding Partner, Peter Kraus. He is this year’s recipient of the Larry Schoenbrun Jurisprudence Award awarded annually by the Anti-Defamation League Texoma. The award is presented to a member of the legal community for outstanding leadership, exemplary contributions to the community, and a commitment to the ideals of ADL, the leading anti-hate organization in the world.

As a firm, we’ve witnessed Peter’s leadership and fearless commitment to justice, tolerance and inclusivity inside and outside our firm’s walls. An active member of our community, Peter is a board member of the Dallas Holocaust Museum, the Southwestern Medical Foundation and public radio and television station KERA. He also serves on the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice and the board of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

Peter is an ardent supporter of consumer and victims’ rights, having testified before the Texas Legislature and frequently lobbied Congress on behalf of asbestos litigants. Peter also serves on several asbestos bankruptcy creditor and trustee advisory committees. In January 2020, he was appointed by Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to serve a second 5-year term on the board of the Federal Judicial Center Foundation. He also served his alma mater as a member of the Duke University Annual Fund executive committee and is a former chairman of the boards of the Greenhill School and the St. Paul Medical Foundation.

Our firm, Waters Kraus & Paul, has been a proud sponsor of the ADL’s annual Walk Against Hate since its inception in 2019. The event works to promote diversity, respect and inclusion. Peter also served on the board of the Public Interest Law firm, an organization he and the firm continue to support.

A Dallas, Texas native, Peter attended Duke University for his bachelor’s degree and received his law degree from the University of Texas. He is a member of the Dallas Bar Association and The National Trial Lawyers: Top 10 Asbestos/Mesothelioma Trial Lawyers Association, an invitation-only honor. Licensed to practice law in Texas, California, Hawaii, Missouri, and Virginia, Peter has been elected for membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates by his peers. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the latest edition of The Best Lawyers in America© magazine for his work on behalf of plaintiffs in Personal Injury Litigation and Product Liability Litigation from 2016 through 2021. He has received this recognition for four consecutive years beginning in 2016. Peter has also been recognized on the D Magazine “Best Lawyers in Dallas” list and the Thomson Reuters Texas Super Lawyers® list repeatedly over the last 20 years.

ADL is the leading anti-hate organization in the world. Founded in 1913, its timeless mission is, “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact. A global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens, ADL works to protect democracy and ensure a just and inclusive society for all.

AAJ’s Trial Masters Interviews Attorney Peter Kraus

Lawyer Peter A. Kraus is largely responsible for opening the courthouse doors for asbestos victims in Alabama.

Though he won’t take singular credit for finally getting the victims the justice they deserve there after years of neglect by the courts, he acknowledges that he was a big part in finally turning the page for people who were exposed to harmful asbestos and suffered greatly as a result.

“For the first time, when we were able to really fight through and take a verdict there – and it was a good verdict – the defendants got the message. They learned that they can win every pre-trial ruling, every objection during trial, and even get our expert thrown off of the stand in the middle of his testimony, and still lose. The victims are winning millions of dollars and these companies are finally being forced to recognize that these cases have value and that they’re going to need to compensate these folks,” Kraus told Chris Placitella in an interview for the American Association for Justice’s Trial Masters.

Kraus, founding and managing partner of Waters & Kraus, spoke with Placitella in a wide-ranging interview about his career trying multiple seven-figure verdicts in a variety of states, from asbestos to pharmaceutical to consumer fraud.

“Alabama was really tough, and they had a terrible statute of limitations for toxic injury victims, and there were just limited exceptions where you can keep them there,” Kraus said. “They had corporate-friendly judges.”

But Kraus was able to overcome those obstacles and prevailed in an important asbestos case in Alabama, winning a multimillion-dollar verdict.

“Alabamians, up to that point, fundamentally didn’t have a remedy for asbestos injury and toxic injury, and that sort of changed everything,” he said. “The appellate courts made some rulings that gave access for people to the courts there, and we were able to start getting reasonable recoveries for those victims in Alabama. There wasn’t a path before then.”

Kraus, who was born and raised in Dallas, earned his bachelor’s degree from Duke University and his law degree from the University of Texas. His first job after graduating law school was in the Washington, D.C., area at a commercial litigation law firm, but realized after a few years that he wanted to be a courtroom lawyer, which is where his strengths are. He moved back to Dallas after landing at Baron & Budd, an asbestos products firm, where he stayed until founding Waters Kraus and Paul.

For Kraus, the most important part of the trial is jury selection, or voir dire.

“You need to have a jury who is fair and empathetic, will look at the facts and follow the law, and doesn’t have an agenda when they sit down in that chair,” he said. “Structuring of voir dire to address the potential weaknesses in your case to ferret out the biases and prejudices of the venire – that’s more important than anything.”

For young lawyers just starting out, Kraus said the most important wisdom he can impart about trying cases is to do the preparation and to tell a compelling story.

“You have to have a theme for your case,” he said. “You have to sit down once you’ve done that preparation, once you marshaled your evidence, once you’ve taken the depositions and you’re rolling, and you’ve done the discovery on the defendant, you put together a liability story. You come up with a set of themes and boil those themes down to simple messages that jurors can understand and that are going to stick with them and are going to be in their head when they go back to the jury room. And don’t forget your themes, stick with your themes, and tell your story when you’re in trial.”

How Do We Fight Corporate Negligence?

Seek justice with the help of our experienced attorneys. We’ve battled corporate giants on behalf of individuals like you for 20 years, aggressively fighting those responsible for personal injury and wrongful death caused by corporate wrongdoing and fraud committed against the government. If you’ve suffered catastrophic injury or loss caused by corporate negligence or believe you have a government whistleblower case, we can help. Contact is kept confidential.

Important Notice: Check Fraud Alert

Recent reports of false checks issued by suspicious third parties using the DeRobertis & Waxman name alarmed our firm. We do not issue these types of checks or any kind of reimbursement installation checks. We are monitoring the situation and wish to strongly warn potential victims against this money scam and encourage them to report it to authorities.

Fake check scams have become increasingly common. (See this “Anatomy of a Fake Check Scam” from the FTC). In them, victims receive counterfeit checks in the mail that claim to have been issued as compensation for an offer, service, benefit, or even a settlement. Recipients are asked to deposit the check in their local bank. Scammers often pressure the unsuspecting victim to make the deposit quickly. Then the recipient must immediately spend or wire some of the newly available money and keep the rest as a prize or compensation. However, the fraudulent checks are returned to the bank as counterfeit or fake within a few days, leaving the recipient liable for funds they have already spent.

If you have received one of these fraudulent checks, contact the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, or state Attorney General or consumer protection office. Visit for a list of state Attorneys General.  If you are unsure if a check is fraudulent, call the issuing bank and your own bank to verify the account and availability of funds. Remember, if someone you don’t know sends you an unexpected check and asks you to send some of the money to another person you don’t know: It’s a scam.

Here are some common forms of the fake check scam:

  • Some ask victims to wrap their car in advertisements, but part of the payment must first be wired to the wrap installation company’s bank account.
  • Other victims receive a check for work-from-home employment and are asked to wire a portion of the money for office supplies to get set up.
  • Still, others claim victims have received a grant, prize or settlement for a lawsuit, but they must return part of it in the form of a money order to pay for fees and taxes. At Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman, fees and expenses are always deducted before ever issuing a settlement check.
  • Additional reports note some victims receive checks that must be spent purchasing gift cards while working as a “secret shopper.”
  • These aren’t the only types of fake check schemes out there but are some of the most common ones.

Scammers are involved in many different practices to try and obtain sensitive information from and take advantage of everyday people. Avoid these dangerous types of scams by adhering to common sense privacy guidelines:

  • Protect your personal information
    Be on the alert for anyone asking for your personal information — bank accounts, social security number, or otherwise. Keep in mind that email addresses and caller ID information can be misleading or even fake. If you have been contacted by a person or company you do not know, and share your personal information with them, you could become a victim of identity theft.
  • Beware of “free money” offers
    Nothing comes for free. Remember this simple saying when you are ever offered seemingly “free” or no-strings-attached money. Whether it’s in the form of a prize, shopping spree, loan, or employment, these offers are most likely a scam.
  • Never send or wire money to an unknown party
    Practice caution when wiring money—especially if you have been contacted by a suspicious or unfamiliar third party. If it is someone you know, get verbal confirmation first before completing the transaction. Promotions offering a prize or personal debt collection often request the wiring of funds. These are most likely scammers who are very skilled at stealing money from unknowing victims.

When you receive any type of request for information or action that you think might be fraudulent—whether via mail, phone, or online—remember to adhere to these guidelines, and always be extremely vigilant.

About Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman

Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman is a nationally renowned personal injury law firm. For more than 35 years, we’ve been a leading advocate for our clients in cases involving mesothelioma, asbestos-related disease, birth defects, pesticide exposure such as Roundup Weed Killer, child sex abuse, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, defective products and fraud on government contracts. To learn more about legal representation at Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman, or to have one of our lawyers provide a free consultation, complete our inquiry form or call us at 888.597.1441.

Law Firm Free to Continue Gary O. Galiher’s Legacy of Service

Galiher’s Partners Clear Legal Challenge Allowing Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman to Move Forward

HONOLULU – Richard DeRobertis and Ilana Waxman, longtime law partners of the late Gary O. Galiher, announced today that the Galiher estate has dismissed all claims regarding clients and assets and the law firm is moving forward as Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman.

As the one-year anniversary of Galiher’s death approaches next week, maintaining the firm’s legacy of service to Hawai‘i asbestos and mesothelioma clients is at the top of their mind.

Galiher, a pioneer in asbestos litigation, spent 38 years working as a leading advocate for victims of mesothelioma and other catastrophic injuries, both in Hawai‘i and nationwide. Sadly, Galiher died on November 15, 2016, in a helicopter crash on Molokai.

“Gary assisted thousands of Hawai‘i shipyard workers, construction workers, and Navy veterans who suffered from terrible asbestos diseases,” said DeRobertis, who practiced law with Galiher for 33 years. “These workers and their families initially didn’t know where to turn. Gary was a passionate advocate for his clients and helped them acquire the financial and medical assistance they needed. I am proud to have helped Gary represent asbestos clients since 1983.”

Since Galiher’s passing, DeRobertis and Waxman have faced unexpected claims by the Galiher estate, but these items were resolved on November 8 when the lawsuit was formally dismissed and all issues regarding the future of the firm were officially resolved.

“As our firm enters a new chapter, Rick and I are committed to holding corporations and insurance companies accountable and making sure the legal system in Hawai‘i continues to work on behalf of ordinary working people,” said Waxman, who has been practicing law with Galiher for 10 years. “Our entire firm remains committed to fighting for the people of Hawai‘i, representing workers, Navy veterans, and consumers who have suffered catastrophic illness through no fault of their own. Gary’s legacy of service will live on. Rick and I are very committed to that.”

The Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman law firm is located in The Mililani Building in downtown Honolulu.

820 Mililani Street, Suite 505
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone (U.S. Toll-Free): 1-888-597-1441


Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman is a Hawai‘i-based personal injury law firm with more than 30 years of experience. It specializes in mesothelioma and asbestos cases and handles a variety of personal-injury cases. The firm has represented clients on every island in the state of Hawai‘i and in 40 states on the U.S. mainland, as well as several foreign countries. It has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements and has earned an outstanding reputation among its colleagues and adversaries alike for its tenacity and dedication to its clients.

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John McNamara
(808) 218-2482

Peter Kraus Recognized with Above and Beyond Award

Peter Kraus received the Above and Beyond Award from the AAJ for his Exceptional Contributions to the Organization

Peter Kraus, a founding and managing partner of Waters & Kraus, LLP, received the Above and Beyond Award at the American Association for Justice (“AAJ”) annual summer conference. The award was presented during the Leadership Luncheon on July 23, 2017. The AAJ, founded over 70 years ago, is a national plaintiffs’ lawyer association and the world’s largest trial bar. The organization’s mission is to promote a fair and effective justice system, while also supporting attorneys who are dedicated to fighting for justice for those who have been injured by the misconduct or negligence of others.

The Above and Beyond Award recognizes members of the AAJ who have made exceptional contributions to help sustain and strengthen the organization. Mr. Kraus has been a dedicated member of the AAJ for many years, having served on the Board of Governors since 2011, and the Budget Committee since 2010. Mr. Kraus has received numerous other awards from the AAJ for his service to the organization, including the Distinguished Service Award in 2016, the David S. Shrager President’s Award in 2012, and the Heavy Lifting Award in 2010 and 2011.

About Peter Kraus

Peter Kraus, a native of Dallas, Texas, is a founding and managing partner of Waters & Kraus. Mr. Kraus earned his bachelor’s degree from Duke University, and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law. His career began in Washington, D.C. as a commercial litigator, but his focus has since shifted to toxic torts, qui tam whistleblower cases, and pharmaceutical injury litigation. Mr. Kraus is licensed to practice law in Texas, California, Virginia, and Missouri.

Besides his dedicated service to the AAJ, Mr. Kraus also serves on the board of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, is involved in steering committees for both U.S. and Texas asbestos multidistrict litigation, and has served on the ABA Commission on Asbestos litigation. He has also been elected for membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates by his peers.

Over the last 15 years, Mr. Kraus has been repeatedly recognized on the D Magazine “Best Lawyers in Dallas” list, Thompson Reuters Texas Super Lawyers® list, and the “Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers” list produced by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® and published by ALM Media Properties.

Honolulu Star Advertiser Reports On Galiher Law Firm Win

The Tuesday, May 9 edition of the Honolulu Star Advertiser included a front-page business section article on a judgment in favor of the Galiher Law firm awarding $1.12 million. The judgment against the San Francisco-based Hugo Parker LLP law firm found that Hugo Parker attorneys violated their legal and professional responsibilities under the Hawai‘i Rules of Professional Conduct and state rules for civil proceedings by intentionally withholding documents. See the full story here (access to required).

Gary Galiher, We Will Miss You Dearly

Above: Gary addressed an audience at the unveiling of a new mural at the Gary Galiher Law Building in 2016.

By Cynthia Davis, RN, Medical Legal Assistant at Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman

Those of us who knew and loved and appreciated Gary know that there will never be another Gary Galiher. He was a uniquely gifted man who gave the full measure of himself to his many endeavors. He lived for this firm and the clients it serves.

When I started work on June 1, 1983, I was not prepared for the journey I would take with Gary over the next almost 34 years. Together, we created the medical-legal department, and Gary was very proud of this creation. At the time, I knew of only one other RN working for a law firm, and it was a defense firm. She told me that it was probably much easier to come to work when you worked for the plaintiff, as nurses always want to care for people. And that is true.

Our clients, though plaintiffs in lawsuits, are also patients suffering with devastating illnesses and injuries. As a former nurse, I am always acutely aware of this, and I become well acquainted with their pain and suffering as we prepare their cases. Gary’s motto for his firm is “On Your Behalf,” and he was committed to making his clients as whole as possible again.

Gary was a man with eclectic tastes. He collected art objects and appreciated beauty. He created beautiful things with his hands. He was a carpenter who became a woodworker, a cabinet maker, and at one time he made pottery.

He loved classical music. He was a patron and a subscriber to the LA Philharmonic, a major U.S. orchestra. By his second season as a subscriber, he had become a folk hero: the “LA boy” who graduated from UCLA, moved to Hawai‘i, founded a law firm, commuted to his home on Molokai by helicopter, traveled all over the mainland, and attended their concerts! I asked his ticket concierge if they had other subscribers like him, and she said, “None.” He was, in the words of his concierge, “a cherished member of the LA Phil family.”

Gary loved the piano and he was my piano student. He wanted to play Pachelbel’s Canon, the Brahms’ “Lullaby,” and he loved Bach and Beethoven, and was discovering the other composers. Gary was eagerly learning the basics of the keyboard and notes. My last conversations with him were about music and his plans to seriously study the piano.

Gary seemed to be very happy. New horizons were opening for him. He had accomplished so much, but I can’t help thinking of the broken column, the symbol of someone who is cut off in the vigor of life. I will miss him always. I will never again hear the roar of his Ferrari or motorcycle under my window or the heavy tread of his footsteps in the hall outside my office when he came to visit, always calling me by my full name, “Cynthia Star Davis.”

His family and loved ones, especially his daughters and son, have my deepest sympathy. On the day Gary died, I had worked for him for exactly 33 years, 5 months, and 15 days. For all of us, the pain will eventually fade, to be replaced by memories that will light our days, and surely the days of those who are privileged to carry his work forward.


Inset: Cynthia and Gary at his admission to the New York Bar in Albany, NY, 2014.