Lecturer in Law
JD, University of Oregon School of Law, 1999
BA, Davidson College, 1994
Michael Cruise has been practicing law in Hawaii since 1999. He began his career as an Americorps staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, where he represented children and victims of domestic violence. He also served as lead attorney of Legal Aid’s housing law department, in which he represented low income housing associations and individual tenants in efforts to improve the quality of housing services, and participated in drafting the state of Hawaii’s public housing statute.
Since 2001, Mr. Cruise has been in private practice, during which time he founded and lead his own firm for seven successful years, before joining his current firm in 2011. Currently, he is a shareholder/partner and trial attorney at Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner, where he represents only individuals and families in severe personal injury and wrongful death claims.
He has been honored to represent plaintiffs in multiple cases in which juries have returned successful and noteworthy verdicts, including one of the largest premises liability verdicts ever awarded by a federal jury in Hawaii, which was affirmed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals following his successful argument before that Court. Without comparison, the most satisfying and motivating aspect of his practice comes from witnessing the ways that his work concretely improves the quality of his clients’ lives and helps them continue, in spite of often devastating disabilities and injuries, to live happy, productive and full lives.
Outside of work, Mike Cruise is a father, husband and a lover of nature and outdoor and ocean sports. He has and continues to serve on multiple non-profit boards in the community, and he has been honored to provide pro bono legal work to environmental causes that are important to him. He believes strongly that these most important parts of life, in addition to a regular meditation and yoga practice, are essential to his personal ability to maintain a decades-long career as a litigator and trial attorney.