Faculty & Staff




Professor of Law Emeritus
Regents' Excellence in Teaching Award
Robert W. Clopton Distinguished Community Service Award
Carlsmith Ball Faculty Scholar (2012-2014)


BS, Regis College, 1970
JD, University of Denver, 1974
LLM, University of Miami, 1975


Professor Roth served on the law faculty from 1982 until 2017, and also served as President of the Hawaiʻi State Bar Association, Hawaiʻi Justice Foundation and Hawaiʻi Institute for Continuing Legal Education, as co-director of the Hawai’i Innocence Project, as Associate Reporter for the Restatement of the Law (Third) Trusts project of the American Law Institute; Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin. While at the University of Hawaii he received Regents awards for teaching excellence and community service.

Randy co-authored and edited THE PRICE OF PARADISE: LUCKY WE LIVE HAWAII? (1992) and THE PRICE OF PARADISE, VOLUME II (1993)(a combined version was subsequently translated and published in Japan and Korea); and along with Judge Sam King he co-authored BROKEN TRUST: GREED MISMANAGEMENT & POLITICAL MANIPULATION AT AMERICA’S LARGEST CHARITABLE TRUST (2006), which the Hawaii Book Publishers Association named “Book of the Year” in 2007, and was subsequently translated and published in Japan.  The electronic version of BROKEN TRUST is available for free by clicking OPEN ACCESS.An overview of the book is HERE

Small Business Hawaii named Randy Civic Leader of the Year in 1993 and again in 1997, and Morehouse College presented him with the Gandhi, King, Ikeda award for pursuit of social justice in 2009. Examples of Randy’s civic projects include five years hosting a weekly Hawaii Public Radio talk show on local issues and creation of POP’94. A detailed description of the latter is HERE 

In 2000 the Honolulu Star-Bulletin included him on its list of “100 Who Made a Difference in Hawaiʻi During the Twentieth Century,” and in 2005 the City of Honolulu’s Centennial Celebration Committee put him on its list of “100 Who Made Lasting Contributions During the City of Honolulu’s First 100 Years.”

A fun fact about Randy is that he served as a script consultant for a movie, The Descendants, which won the Academy Award in 2012 for best screenplay. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and other publications described his involvement and commented favorably on the script’s skillful treatment of complicated legal issues. Randy’s description of the real stories that inspired The Descendants movie, and his role as script consultant, is HERE.

Other items of interest about Randy: 


  • BROKEN TRUST: GREED MISMANAGEMENT & POLITICAL MANIPULATION AT AMERICA’S LARGEST CHARITABLE TRUST (with Samuel P. King) 2017 Open Access Edition available at UH Press. See the Broken Trust Website for reviews and background information.
  • THE PRICE OF PARADISE: LUCKY WE LIVE HAWAII? (Editor and contributing author), Mutual Publishing (1992); Bestseller in the Hawaiiana category for 1992 and again for 1993. PDF(
  • THE PRICE OF PARADISE VOLUME II (Editor and contributing author), Mutual Publishing (1993); Bestseller in the Hawaiiana category for 1993; Finalist for Excellence in Non-Fiction Writing Award from Hawaii Book Publishers Association in 1994. PDF
  • A Japanese version of The Price of Paradise volumes was published in 1995 by Yushindo-Kobunsha Publishing Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan.  (ペーパーバック) より 洋書: 点の全新品/中古商品を見る  全35商品を見る
  • A Korean version of THE PRICE OF PARADISE volumes published in 2003. PDF
  • Art Imitates History, Hawaii Bar Journal (May 2017) (with John Roth). PDF
  • The Future of Rail on Oahu, Plan A, B, or C?, Social Science Association of Hawaii, May 1, 2017. PDF
  • Deconstructing the Descendants: How George Clooney Ennobled Old Hawaiian Trusts and Made the Rule Against Perpetuities Sexy, 48 Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal 291(Fall 2013). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace | PDF
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Is China’s Trust the Fairest of All?, 2010 Jotwell: The Journal of Things we Like [214] (2010). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Erosion of Trust, 93 A.B.A. Journal 48 (2007) (with Samuel P. King). HeinOnlineScholarSpace | PDF
  • Protecting Assets from Creditors Legally, Ethically, and Morally (Part 1), 8 ALI-ABA Estate Planning Course Materials Journal 43 (2002). HeinOnlineScholarSpace
  • Protecting Assets from Creditors Legally, Ethically, and Morally (Part 2), 8 ALI-ABA Estate Planning Course Materials Journal 39 (2002). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Current Ethical Problems in Estate Planning (with Checklist)6 ALI-ABA Estate Planning Course Materials Journal 33 (2000). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Renewed Trust, 21 U. Haw. L. Rev. 707 (1999) (with Gladys Brandt, Samuel P. King, & Walter Heen). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Understanding the Attorney-Client and Trustee-Beneficiary Relationships in the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate Litigation: A Reply to Professor McCall21 U. Haw. L. Rev. 511 (1999) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Current Ethical Problems in Advising Clients20 ACTEC Notes 224 (1994). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • A Report on the Results of a Survey about Everyday Ethical Concerns in the Trust and Estate Practice, 20 ACTEC Notes 201 (1994) (with Francis J. Jr. Collin & Martin A. Heckscher). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • The Tax Practitioner’s Plight after Tax Reform2 Probate & Property 19 (1988). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Income Shifting in the Light of TRA-861 Probate & Property 18 (1987). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • New Penalty Provisions and Their Effect on Aggressive Tax Planning61 Taxes 52 (1983). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Amortization of Expenditures for Child Care Facilities, 57 Taxes 133 (1979). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Installment Reporting for Income Tax Purposes5 Colo. Law. ii (1976) (with John T. Kearns). ScholarSpace

Recent Articles


In addition to the honors indicated above, Professor Roth was named International Member of the Year (1995) by Lambda Alpha International (an honorary land economics society), Communicator of the Year (1995) by the Hawai‘i Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, and he has received the Hawaiʻi Press Club’s Newsmaker Award (2004), Hawaiʻi Pacific University’s Fellow of the Pacific Award (2004), Grassroot Institute’s George Washington Award for Civic Engagement (2006); and he has given the commencement address at the University of Hawai‘i (1994) and Hawai‘i Pacific University (2004), and delivered the Amioka Endowed Lecture (2010) and keynote address at the Red Mass for the Diocese of Honolulu (2003). His work on the Broken Trust essay was included on Honolulu Magazine’s list of 50 “turning points” in Hawaiʻi’s history since Statehood (2009) and the University of Hawai‘i Malamalama list of 100 ways the University of Hawai‘i has made a difference during its first 100 years (2008). The ABA Banking Journal included Broken Trust on its list of Books Bankers Live By (2009). 

Related News

Attorney Rick Fried Joins Hawai‘i Innocence Project at UH Law School as Co-Director

After 35 years at UH’s Richardson Law School Community Activist Randy Roth Is Retiring

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