James T. Estes, Jr.

Posted On July 9th, 2017 -

James T. Estes, Jr. October 31, 1945 - April 25, 2017 James Tyler Estes, Jr., born in Louisville, Kentucky, grew up in North Carolina and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 1968. He served as an Air Force captain, settling permanently in Hawaii after completing duty assignments in Hawaii and Vietnam. He graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1977, and became a successful Hawaii attorney, first as an associate at Hamilton Gibson Nickelsen Rush & Moore, and later as a director and officer of a firm headed by Edmund Burke and other former Hamilton Gibson lawyers. For thirty years, the firm occupied the 31st floor of the Pacific Guardian Center and, in 2010, moved to its current location on Merchant Street as Burke McPheeters Bordner & Estes. During his 40-year legal career, Jim focused primarily on representing defendants in civil cases arising from personal injury and professional liability claims. He had a keen interest in complex construction cases, representing contractors, architects, engineers, and materials suppliers. He represented a number of asbestos concerns, and litigated one of the first asbestos cases tried to verdict in Hawaii. "Jim was a tough, hard-nosed lawyer, but always conducted himself and treated others with respect and professionalism that served as an example for others," says his partner William A. Bordner. "Jim embodied the best qualities to which all lawyers aspire." A strong believer in community service, Jim served as a Windward United Church of Christ Trustee for many years, and as board chairman from 1996-1997. A gifted athlete, he was a valued player in local softball leagues. He married the former Brett Alexander in 1981, and has one daughter, Stefanie Estes. He is survived by Brett, Stefanie, his brother Richard, his sister Patricia, and many nieces and nephews. July 15, Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St., Honolulu. Visitation at 1 p.m. Memorial service at 2 p.m. with reception to follow service. Casual attire. Donations to the William S. Richardson School of Law, Windward United Church of Christ, the U.S. Air Force Academy, AMVETS, the Sierra Club, and the World Wildlife Fund.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran