Randall W. Roth

  • Professor of Law
  • Regents' Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Robert W. Clopton Distinguished Community Service Award
  • Carlsmith Ball Faculty Scholar


  • BS summa cum laude Regis College 1970
  • JD University of Denver 1974
  • LLM University of Miami 1975


Professor Roth specializes in professional responsibility, trusts and estates, federal taxation, and nonprofit organizations. He has served as President of the Hawaiʻi State Bar Association, Hawaiʻi Justice Foundation, Hawaiʻi Institute for Continuing Legal Education and Hawaiʻi Estate Planning Council, and as Associate Reporter for the Restatement of the Law (Third) Trusts project of the American Law Institute.

Roth has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin, and has made presentations at dozens of other law schools, including Harvard, NYU, Columbia, Duke, UCLA and UC-Berkeley. He has been named Professor of the Year at three different law schools and given UH-Manoa’s highest awards for teaching excellence and for community service.  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.”

Roth was named Civic Leader of the Year in 1993 and again in 1997, and in 2009 he received the Gandhi, King, Ikeda award from Morehouse College for pursuit of social justice.
A fun fact about Randy is that he served as a script consultant for the movie, The Descendants, which won the Academy Award in 2012 for best screenplay. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and other major publications described Roth’s involvement and commented favorably on the script’s skillful treatment of complicated legal issues.

See Personal Biographical Sketch of Professor Roth.


Beginning in 1977 Professor Roth authored or co-authored 13 continuing education manuals, served as editor-in-chief of the HICLE Encyclopedia of Financial and Estate Planning, and made more than 750 presentations to professional groups in 43 states.  State bar associations and state CPA societies sold more than 25,000 copies of his publications, such as “Creative Estate Planning for 2012 and Beyond,” “Timely Income Tax Planning Ideas and Developments,” “Innovative Income Tax Planning,” “Shifting Income from a High to Low Bracket,” “Advanced Corporate Taxation and Tax Planning” and “Advanced Partnership Taxation and Tax Planning.”

Recent Chapters & 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), the Amioka Endowed Lecture (2010), and keynote address at the Red Mass for the Diocese of Honolulu (2003). In the last several years he has made invited presentations at each of the following law schools: Alabama, Baltimore, Boston College, Boston University, Catholic, Chicago-Kent, Columbia, Denver, Duke, George Mason, Georgia State, Golden Gate, Harvard, Howard, Loyola-Chicago, Marquette, Maryland, McGeorge, Michigan State, New England, North Carolina, NYU, St. Louis, San Diego, Santa Clara, South Carolina, UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis, UC-Hastings, UCLA, Wake Forest, Washburn, Washington in St. Louis, and Wisconsin.  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).