Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Jeffrey Portnoy to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. He assumes one of the board's Honolulu seats, an interim position until confirmed by the state Senate.
"Jeff is a champion of the University of Hawaii and a respected leader in our community," Gov. Abercrombie said. "He has always been a great friend to the university community, and his leadership, insight and expertise within and beyond his field will prove a valuable asset to the UH system."
A member of State Bar of Hawaii since 1972, Portnoy has worked with Cades Schutte LLP since 1972; as a partner since 1979. A speaker, teacher and author, his practice specialties include media, insurance, employment and product liability law; personal injury defense; attorney and physician malpractice; and securities litigation and arbitration.
His prior involvement with the University of Hawaii includes serving as community representative on the UH Athletic Advisory Board for two 3-year terms (1996 to 2002) and as a UH adjunct professor in media law from 1985 to 1992.
Portnoy was president of the Hawaii State Bar Association in 2007 and director from 1989 to 1993. He was a member of the Ninth Circuit Advisory Board from 2005 to 2008, chairman of the U.S. District Court Advisory Committee from 1992 to 1996, State Chairman of the Defense Research Institute from 1989 to 1998, and president of the Hawaii Defense Lawyers Association from 1989 to 1995. In addition, he served as Lawyers Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference for two 3-year terms, is a past member of the Media Defense Resource Council, and is former editor-in-chief of The Hawaii Labor Letter.
Portnoy is an active member of the community outside the legal profession and is currently the president of Manoa Valley Theatre. He served as president of the Hawaii International Film Festival from 1994 to 2005, chairperson of the Honolulu Neighborhood Commission from 1984 to 1988, and chair of the Honolulu Community Media Council from 2001 to 2002.
His awards and honors include the Society of Professional Journalists' First Amendment Award (1995) and the SPJ Hawaii Chapter's Freedom of the Press Award (1983). He was also selected by his peers for Best Lawyers in American and listed in Chambers USA America's Leading Business Lawyers and Hawaii Super Lawyers.
Portnoy earned his bachelor's degree in political science, with a minor in journalist, from Syracuse University (Cum Laude) and juris doctor degree from Duke University School of Law.