Deirdre Marie-Iha is a civil litigator, appellate practitioner, and appellate consultant. Her appellate experience is extensive and spans more than 18 years in both federal and state court. She has argued numerous times before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, and the Intermediate Court of Appeals. Deirdre has personally handled well over a hundred appellate proceedings, and over the years her caseload has generated more than 40 published opinions in the state and federal appellate courts. Most recently her appellate work includes corporate governance, banking, other business matters, and trust litigation. She also routinely handles complex civil matters in the trial courts, particularly business disputes and trust disputes. In her appellate consulting practice, Deirdre advises existing teams of attorneys or solo practitioners on anticipated appellate issues. She also assists trial counsel with appeals after they are filed, including proceedings on transfer or certiorari before the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court.
Before joining Goodsill, Deirdre practiced for 14 years as deputy attorney general at the Hawai‘i AG’s office, where she handled a number of high-profile, high-stakes matters, including the furloughs during the 2008-2009 financial crisis; the enactment and subsequent defense of the Marriage Equality Act in 2013-2015; and complex litigation regarding the State’s retiree health benefits. She was also instrumental in the State’s challenge to the Muslim ban, Hawaii v. Trump.
Deirdre has been practicing for 24 years. In 2003-2004, Deirdre clerked for the Honorable Corinne K. A. Watanabe, Associate Judge of the Hawaiʻi Intermediate Court of Appeals (now retired). Before that, Deirdre practiced in California. She graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1999. Her undergraduate degree is in History, from Cornell University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Deirdre has served as the HSBA Appellate Section Chair since 2021.
Deirdre is admitted to practice before all Hawai‘i state courts; the federal District Court for the District of Hawaii; the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; and the United States Supreme Court.
- University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, Colorado
- J.D. - 1999
- Cornell University
- B.A. - 1996
- Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
- Major: History
- Hawaii, 2003
- U.S. District Court District of Hawaii
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- United States Supreme Court
- Chair, HSBA Appellate Section
- Hawaii Women Lawyers
- Appellate Practice