Mr. Simons moved to Hawaii in 1977, right after graduating from Harvard Law School. He began a civil litigation practice in Honolulu in 1978, and has had an active civil litigation practice since then. He did his undergraduate work at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he received a B.A. degree in Psychology in 1973.
In addition to his litigation background, Mr. Simons has owned and operated a retail store, an art gallery and a restaurant, as well as his law firm. He brings to cases in which he is a mediator, arbitrator or investigator, the perspective both of a business owner and operator, as well as that of an experienced litigator.
Mr. Simons is well known for his recent work as a lawyer who has successfully represented employees in employment litigation. He was named as “Lawyer of the Year” in this field by Honolulu Magazine in both 2010 and 2012. During his legal career he has also had extensive experience in real estate and partnership litigation, and arbitration, as well as personal injury litigation.
While Mr. Simons has achieved successful results for clients in adversarial litigation, obtaining million dollar verdicts and judgments in court, in arbitration and before the HCRC, he has found that the most successful results for his clients, and the most efficient form of justice for all parties, is achieved through a successful mediation, shortly after litigation is filed, or, even better, before a lawsuit is filed. It has been his office policy to counsel clients to try mediation before litigation, and to offer that option to the opposing side. He was able to implement that policy so effectively that for 10 years from 1998 until 2008, his clients did not once have to go to court to achieve an acceptable resolution of their case.
Although Mr. Simons' primary training in dispute resolution has come from 36 years of successfully negotiating settlements to approximately 2000 cases, he has also had formal mediation and arbitration training from Institute For Dispute Resolution – Pepperdine University, The Mediation Center of the Pacific, and the American Arbitration Association. He has been an arbitrator on the AAA arbitration panel, was Chair of the HSBA Labor and Employment Section in 2013.