Elijah Yip


Elijah helps individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations navigate complex regulatory processes and resolve legal disputes.  He has advised numerous clients on legal issues concerning a variety of subject matters including business contracts, social media, privacy, advertising, health care, environmental protection, real property transactions.  An experienced commercial litigator, he has represented clients ranging from publicly traded companies to sole proprietors in breach of contract lawsuits, defamation actions, real property disputes, intra-company disputes, and administrative appeals.  Elijah draws from his conflict resolution experience to counsel clients on legal compliance and loss prevention in the areas of information and technology law, environmental regulation, and health care law.

Before founding Luminate Law, Elijah was a partner at the Cades Schutte law firm, where he was the chair and founder of its Digital Media, Internet and Information Technology Law practice group and its Health Care practice group.  Elijah was a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Samuel P. King prior to entering private practice.  He has taught appellate advocacy at the William S. Richardson School of Law and media law at the Communication and Journalism departments of the University of Hawai‘i.

Elijah is active in his community.  He serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and government corporations.  He frequently speaks and publishes in his areas of expertise.

Information Technology and Privacy Law

  • Advised retailers and providers of professional services on GDPR compliance
  • Developed Terms of Use for intra-company social network platform
  • Advised developer of educational software platform on compliance with FERPA and COPPA
  • Represented publicly traded company in arbitration (and later mediation) of contract dispute with vendor of CRM application
  • Draft Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policies for websites
  • Draft and update social media policies
  • Obtained injunction for removal of defamatory blog postings against small business owner
  • Defended claim of infringing use of online images
  • Advised on protection of privacy rights in connection with digital recording of individual without her knowledge or consent
  • Represented health provider in contract dispute with EHR vendor
  • Counseled various companies on legal obligations in responding to data breach incident
  • Assisted shopping center in developing social media contest rules to comply with online endorsement and sweepstakes laws
  • Advised online advertisers in compliance with advertising laws governing social media influencers
  • Assisted shopping center in developing social media contest rules to comply with online endorsement and sweepstakes laws

Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation

  • Obtained $1.1 million judgment for subcontractor after trial in a contractual dispute with national environmental remediation company
  • Successfully defended hospitality industry leader in arbitration against breach of contract claim brought by international restaurant chain. Resolved case by way of motion for summary disposition
  • Obtained million-dollar arbitration award for private real estate developer against governmental agency
  • Secured jury verdict for defendant in defamation action against magazine publisher. Successfully defended judgment on appeal to Ninth Circuit. Chapman v. Journal Concepts, Inc., No. 09-16303, 2010 WL 4269524 (9th Cir. Oct. 27, 2010)
  • Successfully challenged government agency’s interpretation of exception to open meetings requirement under State Sunshine Law. Right to Know Committee v. City Council, 117 Hawai`i 1, 175 P.3d 111 (App. 2007)
  • Helped major Honolulu newspaper to obtain access to sealed court records in whistleblower action against a municipal employer. Kamakana v. City and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172 (9th Cir. 2006)
  • Won summary judgment and Ninth Circuit affirmance on claims to enforce judgment against judgment debtor and its partners and successors-in-interest
  • Obtained reversal of County of Hawaii Planning Commission’s decision to deny Special Management Area permit to developer of proposed condominium project
  • Assisted in defense of publicly-traded company in consumer fraud class action

Environmental and Natural Resources Law

  • Represented coalition of transportation providers in lawsuit challenging EIS for public transit project
  • Helped publicly-traded retail company navigate through requirements of NEPA and HEPA in connection with development of new store; Developed strategies to pre-empt legal challenges to project under HEPA
  • Represent major Hawaii landowner in proceedings before the Commission and Water Resource Management in proceedings involving petition to amend interim instream flow standards and applications for water use permits
  • Assisted major Kauai landowner in procuring a NPDES permit
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of non-profit group that was sued for non-compliance with EIS requirements in connection with project to eradicate invasive species
  • Coordinated due diligence of permitting and other environmental regulatory issues relating to wind farm project

Healthcare Law

  • Advised managed care provider on structuring acquisition of physician practice to comply with Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute
  • Conducted investigation into major hospital organization’s compliance with federal anti-fraud regulations in connection with acquisition of physician’s practice
  • Advised medical information service provider on applicability of EHR safe harbor in connection with agreement to provide EHR software and training to major Hawaii health organization
  • Counseled physician health practice in negotiations with national medical group in transaction subject to the Anti-Markup Rule
  • The Best Lawyers in America© in Litigation-Real Estate (since 2017), Litigation-Environmental (since 2017; Lawyer of the Year in 2020),  Commercial Litigation (since 2020), Information Technology Law (since 2021)
  • Super Lawyers, since 2013 (named one of Top 25 Hawaii lawyers by Super Lawyers in 2014, 2019, 2020)
  • Rated AV (Preeminent) by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Pacific Business News “Forty Under 40” Class of 2012
  • Named a Future Star by Benchmark Litigation, Since 2015
  • Co-Editor-in-Chief, University of Hawaii Law Review
  • Member of national championship team, National Environmental Moot Court Competition (1999)


  • Practicing Law – Virtually Speaking
    Event/Audience: Kauai Bar Association

  • E-Commerce & Privacy Laws for Your Growing Business
    Event/Audience: MBDA Enterprise Women of Color Business Center at YWCA O`ahu and the Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Pacific

  • Ethics of Technology (panel presentation)
    Event/Audience: Will Weinstein Ethics Conversation Series


  • Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
    Event/Audience: Hawaii Bar Association Government Lawyers Section
  • Cybersecurity and Legal Ethics (panel presentation)
    Event/Audience: Hawaii Bar Association
  • Data Privacy
    Event/Audience: Honolulu Board of Realtors
  • Business Disruption & the Law (panel presentation)
    Event/Audience: Hawaii Employers Council


  • Internet Law (panel presentation) – online privacy
    Event/Audience: Intellectual Property and Technology Section of Hawaii Bar Association
  • Legal Ethics and Cybersecurity
    Event/Audience: Hawaii Bar Association 


  • “Social Media for Litigators”
    Event/Audience: Federal Bar Association
  • CERCLA Liability
    Event/Audience: Cades Finance, Real Estate, and Corporate Department Academy 
  • Social Media Legal Issues Affecting Jurors
    Event/Audience: U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii Conference 
  • “Social media for employers”
    Event/Audience: IIA/ISACA 
  • Panel discussion on GDPR
    Event/Audience: INTERFACE Conference 


  • “Navigating Security Issues in a Cloud Environment”
    Event/Audience: American Intellectual Property Law Association (Mid-Winter Institute) 
  • Cybersecurity
    Event/Audience: Cades Corporate Counsel Series 
  • “Social media ethics for attorneys”
    Event/Audience: Hawaii State Bar Association 
  • “Technically Legal: Managing Legal Risks in a Digital World”
    Event/Audience: Hawaii Independent Insurance Agents Association 
  • “Social Media Legal Issues”
    Event/Audience: American Judicature Society, Hawaii Chapter annual meeting 


  • “Legally Social”
    Event/Audience: Manoa Communicators Group 
  • Chair, Hawaii Water Law Seminar and presenter onSurvey of Hawaii Supreme Court Law: Public Trust Doctrine, Contested Cases, Constitutional Claims”
    Event/Audience: The Seminar Group – 2016 Hawaii Water Law Seminar 


  • “Open Government Laws”
    Event/Audience: National Federation of Paralegal Associations 
  • Cyber Insuranceco-presented with Christopher Goodin, Esq.
    Event/Audience: Hawaii Association of Adjusters 
  • Legal Ethics and Social Media: What Attorneys Need to Know”
    Event/Audience: Hawaii State Bar Association Live Webcast 
  • “Online Ethics”
    Event/Audience: NBI Seminar


  • “Files Are Our Friends: Strategies For Complying With Recordkeeping Laws and Avoiding Disputes”
    Event/Audience: Hawaii Employers Council 
  • “Social Media Evidence–a Primer”
    Event/Audience: Hawaii State Judiciary Judges Conference 
  • “Ethics in a Wired and Wireless World”
    Event/Audience: Hawaii State Bar Association Spring Conference 
  • “Social Media Policies: Rules of the Road”
    Event/Audience: Anthology Group 
  • “Technically Legal: What Employers Need to Know About Law and Technology”
    Event/Audience: Risk and Insurance Management Society, Hawaii Chapter 
  • “Image Sharing Apps: Or, the Perils of Picture Posting”
    Event/Audience: Anthology Group 
  • “Use of Technology and Social Media in the Practice of Law”
    Event/Audience: Senior Counsel Division, Hawaii State Bar Association 
  • “Digital Strategies For Business Growth” co-presented with Tara Coomans, Mary Fastaneau, Emi Hart, Michael Tam
    Event/Audience: Pacific Business News panel “Legal ‘Buzz’: The Law of Online Endorsements”
  • “Legal ‘Buzz’: The Law of Online Endorsements
    Event/Audience: Anthology Group


  • “Social Networking With a Purpose” co-presented with Evan Shirley, Esq.
    Event/Audience: Litigation and Appellate Sections, Hawaii State Bar Association
  • “BYOD Challenges: When Employees Bring Their Own Devices To Work”
    Event/Audience: BLR/HR Hero’s Advance Employment Issues Symposium 2013 
  • “Social Media for 2014 and Beyond: How to Reap the Benefits and Avoid the Risks”
    Event/Audience: BLR/HR Hero’s Advance Employment Issues Symposium 2013
  • “The Perks and Perils of Social Media”
    Event/Audience: Senior Counsel Division, Hawaii State Bar Association
  • “Tech@Work: How Employers Can Thrive in the Digital Workplace”
    Event/Audience: Hawaii Employers Council, Training Seminar 
  • “A Primer on Social Media and the Law”
    Event/Audience: Hawaii Social Media Summit & Expo 
  • “Social Media Hiring Practices”
    Event/Audience: Hawaii Civil Rights Commission/EEOC Honolulu Local Office Annual Training Program
  • “Ethics and Social Media: What Attorneys Need to Know”
    Event/Audience: National Business Institute CLE seminar


  • “Use and Discovery of Social Media Evidence”
    Event/Audience: Litigation Section, Hawai‘i State Bar Association
  • “What Employers Can Do Regarding Social Media Policies, Procedures, Emails and Handbooks” co-presented with Amanda M. Jones, Esq.
    Event/Audience: 2012 Conference of the Society of Human Resource Management—Hawaii  Chapter
  • “E-Discovery in Hawai‘i: Navigating the Pitfalls of Preservation and Production”
    Event/Audience: Hawai‘i State Bar Convention
  • “Social Media in E-Discovery: A New Tool and Emerging Law”
    co-presented with Don Swanson
    Event/Audience: International Legal Technology Association
  • “The 4 P’s of Social Media in the Workplace”
    Event/Audience: Society of Human Resource Management—Hawai‘i Chapter
  • Elijah Yip and Martin E. Hsia, Confidentiality in the Cloud: The Ethics of Using Cloud Services in the Practice of Law, Hawaii Bar Journal(August 2014)
  • Jeffrey S. Portnoy, Peter W. Olson, and Elijah Yip, Privilege Compendium (Hawaii chapter) (Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press: 2007)
  • Jeffrey S. Portnoy, Peter W. Olson, and Elijah Yip, Mass Communication Law in Hawaii, (New Forum Press: 2003)
  • Hawaii State Bar Association’s Federal Appellate Practice Manual(2013), Chapter on Oral Argument
  • Elijah Yip & Eric K. Yamamoto, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Jurisprudence of Process and Procedure,” 20 U. Haw. L. Rev. 647 (1998)

Practice Areas