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History

Hawaii's Oldest Law Firm

Carlsmith Ball LLP, Hawaii's oldest law firm, was founded in Hilo in 1857 as the solo practice of David H. Hitchcock. Hitchcock's daughter, Almeda Eliza Hitchcock, joined the practice in 1888, becoming the first woman lawyer in Hawaii. After her death, Hitchcock took a new partner, Carl S. Carlsmith who took the helm of the practice upon Hitchcock's death in 1890. The firm's name was changed to Carlsmith in 1911.

In 1957, the firm opened a Honolulu office. In 1959, the firm was renamed Carlsmith Carlsmith Wichman & Case.

During the late 1970s, the firm focused on opportunities arising from the new economic connections of Pacific countries, representing many Asian clients doing business in Hawaii. To better position Carlsmith attorneys to serve Pacific clients, the firm opened offices in Kailua-Kona in 1977; in Maui in 1983; and in Los Angeles in 1985.

In 1990, the firm merged with Ball Hunt Hart Brown & Baerwitz of Los Angeles and Long Beach to become Carlsmith Ball LLP.

Today, with a new generation of leadership, Carlsmith Ball is not only the oldest law firm in Hawaii-it is also one of the largest, uniquely positioned to represent clients throughout the Pacific.