Makoa Kawabata is skilled in seeing cases through to verdict, having tried more than two dozen matters before juries. His success representing both plaintiffs and defendants gives him the perspective to anticipate opposing parties’ strategies and weaknesses, as well as to recognize when resolution before trial is the best option.
Mr. Kawabata was a member of the team that represented owners of VW vehicles marketed as “clean diesel” but secretly equipped by Volkswagen with illegal software designed to cover up a massive conspiracy to deceive the EPA and the American public. Mr. Kawabata was also a member of the team that represented the EPA’s environmental remediation contractor involved in federal multi-district litigation arising from the Gold King Mine spill. Both events were covered on the front page of the New York Times.
Mr. Kawabata started representing clients in court the day he was admitted to the bar. Prior to becoming an attorney, he won several trial advocacy awards in law school and on Northwestern University’s trial advocacy competition team. While at UCLA Law, Mr. Kawabata was enrolled in the entertainment, media and intellectual property concentration and worked as an intern at Sony Pictures Entertainment and NBCUniversal. He also spent time as the co-chairman for the Public Interest Law Fund (alongside Mr. Rosenberger), an editor for the flagship UCLA Law Review, a competitor on the moot court and trial advocacy competition teams, and the 1L class president.
During and after law school, Mr. Kawabata coached college and law school mock trial for the national award-winning UCLA trial advocacy teams. He serves as co-Editor-in-Chief of the PIABA Bar Journal, a publication of the Public Investors Advocate Bar Association that publishes articles authored by highly respected arbitration practitioners, experts, and law school professors. He also serves on of the board of directors of Immersive Art Collective, an LA-based nonprofit organization that produces unique performances, events, and workshops with an emphasis on outreach and accessibility to underserved communities.
UCLA School of Law — Juris Doctor
Northwestern University — Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Legal Studies (triple major)
State Bar of California
United States District Court for the Central District of California
Southern California Rising Stars — Super Lawyers (2017-2023)
"I didn't believe a ******* thing [the witness you cross-examined] said."