What Should Maui Fire Victims Expect from Their Law Firm?

Ashes were still smoldering in Lahaina when mainland lawyers began arriving with big promises and a sense of urgency. In the months since, survivors have been inundated by advertisements from lawyers seeking to sign them on for legal services. We know firsthand because we talk with fire survivors every day as we work on the Maui fires litigation, and we see the big promises in other law firms’ advertisements and solicitations.

There’s no doubt that lawyers can play an important role in helping Lahaina residents rebuild their lives. But fire survivors should know a few things about hiring an attorney and filing a lawsuit.


Maui-born Partner Ilana Waxman on Rebuilding after Lahaina Fires

Like her longtime Maui neighbors, Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman Managing Partner Ilana Waxman was on edge on the morning of August 8. Massive fires had been spotted near her Upcountry home, and her eldest daughter’s school was canceled as a precaution. Homes had already been lost in Kula. As the destruction and devastating loss of life in Lahaina became apparent, she set to work helping with immediate needs of the survivors. As an experienced mass tort attorney who was born and raised on Maui, Waxman found herself in a position to provide legal assistance to survivors as they work to rebuild and preserve their unique community and way of life.

Since the fire, Waxman has been working closely with the Hawai’i State Bar Foundation, where she is the chair of the Grants Committee, as well as the Hawai’i State Bar Association and the Hawai’i Association for Justice to raise funds, provide a wide range of legal assistance, and identify and develop long term public policy and legal solutions. We caught up with Waxman to discuss the legal challenges and opportunities facing survivors.

Mobilizing for Maui Fire Disaster Victims, Lahaina Emergency Response

The legal team and staff at Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman are actively working with victims of the Maui Fire Disaster, as well as Hawai‘i community and aid organizations.

Firm managing partner Ilana Waxman — who was born and raised on Maui — is working closely with the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, the Hawaii Association for Justice, and the American Association for Justice to provide legal assistance to victims of the fire, which destroyed the city of Lahaina. Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman lawyers on the ground in Hawai‘i are also coordinating with the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s “Lawyers Care Maui” fund to coordinate fundraising and legal assistance.

Click here to learn more and donate to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s “Maui Strong Fund.”