Born on Oahu and raised on Kauai, Mauna Kea is a graduate of Kamehameha School and a fourth-generation attorney.
Mauna Kea obtained his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Anthropology from Oregon State University with honors. He earned his law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.
Mauna Kea began his legal career at the Office of the Public Defender, State of Hawaii and later was hired by the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, County of Kauai where he was appointed First Deputy Prosecutor. In 2009, Mauna Kea joined the Office of the County Attorney and was appointed the County Attorney from 2014 to 2018.
Mauna Kea’s practice includes Employment Law and Labor Relations, Environmental Law, Litigation, and Land Use, Zoning and Entitlements. He has years of experience working with and navigating through governmental regulatory processes and has extensive civil litigation experience in both administrative and state and federal venues.
- Represented Employer before State and Federal courts and governmental administrative review commissions including but not limited to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Hawaii Civil Rights Commission (HCRC), Hawaii Labor Relations Board (HLRB), and Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR).
- Represented Employer in binding arbitration in both individual grievance proceedings and collective bargaining proceedings.
- Advised Employer regarding internal investigations related to employer practices and employee misconduct.
- As both a Deputy County Attorney and later as the appointed County Attorney, Mauna Kea advised career regulators and political appointees on a variety of environmental, administrative, procurement, and other legal issues.
- Land use entitlements and permitting, Important Agricultural Land designations, environmental assessments and impact statements, native Hawaiian land rights and traditional and customary practices, archaeological, historic preservation and Island Burial Council matters, water rights and land use enforcement actions. Contested cases and other proceedings before state and county boards and commissions. Administrative appeals and litigation involving statutory and constitutional issues, vested rights and other land use entitlements.
- J.D. (2004), William S. Richardson School of Law. University of Hawaii.
- B.S. Anthropology (2001), Oregon State University
Awards and Honors
- Hawaii Business Magazine’s 20 for the Next 20: People to Watch 2012
- Hawaii State Bar (2005)
- United States District Court for the District of Hawaii (2005)
- Hawaii State Bar Association
- Kauai Bar Association President
- Vice Chair Kauai Niihau Island Burial Council 2012 – 2014
December 5, 2018 - Mauna Kea Trask Joins Cades Schutte LLP