2011 Distinguished Alumni Award
JD, 1977, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
MEd in educational foundations, 1971, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
BA, 1968, University of California at Los Angeles
JD, 1991, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
BA in Asian studies, 1973, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
AS in paralegal, 1982, Kapi‘olani Community College
Gary Galiher is senior partner and Diane Ono is managing partner with the firm Galiher DeRobertis Ono in Honolulu.
Both remain actively engaged in supporting the UH Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law because they feel so fortunate for all they have been able to accomplish with their education. They established The Galiher Ono Distinguished Public Lecture Series, funded numerous scholarships for law students, and generously support the Law School, Institute for Astronomy and Cancer Center. They have even hosted Law School and Cancer Center events at their home. Galiher and Ono have been members of the UH Foundation Centennial Campaign Cabinet, the UH Law School Alumni Association, UH Foundation President’s Club and the UH Founders Club. They feel a deep commitment to the community and believe wholeheartedly in the university’s role in both educating the people of Hawai'i and conducting exceptional and exciting research.
Galiher achieved national renown for his expertise in asbestos litigation. Since his first case in 1982, he has won more than 50 jury verdicts and has successfully settled thousands of claims for clients diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. He also represented the State of Hawai‘i in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry, resulting in a $1.38 billion settlement for the state in 1998. In addition, he worked on the case against five major oil companies that yielded a $20 million settlement for Hawai‘i in 2002. In 2007, Galiher was selected as the Law School Alumnus of the Year. He is active in the American Association for Justice and in several local charities.
Ono is director and past president of Hawai‘i Children’s Cancer Foundation, president of Hawai‘i Attorneys for Justice, serves on the Mid-Pacific Institute Board of Trustees, and is vice president and secretary for the Friends of the UH Cancer Center board. Ono continues to give back to the Cancer Center, which administered a clinical trial to their daughter Mari, a leukemia survivor, 12 years ago. Mari is now a freshman at UH Mānoa and spoke at the Cancer Center groundbreaking.