About the Author

keoki.wallaceI grew up in the Rocky Mountains and I started skiing the winter of my third grade year. I lived for snow. I prayed for snow. Then I learned to waterski and it no longer mattered. One season blended and even crossed over the other and even, with the help of a wetsuit, often enjoyed both sports on the same day.

My youth was filled with little league baseball, mighty-mite football, summer school (I actually rode my bicycle 5 miles each way to learn how to type on a manual typewriter one summer) and church activities.

During this time I was also introduced to the arts. My mother started me out with piano lessons. At school I started with the violin, played the cello, studied the clarinet and ended up with the double reeds, playing oboe and bassoon in the Granite Youth Symphony.

I also fell in love with theater, playing various roles in musicals and plays such as Music Man, Hello Dolly, Oliver, Hear Ye Him, Promised Valley, Arsenic and Old Lace, Annie and Papa Married a Mormon. I also experimented with making movies, mostly ski movies, using a Super 8 camera and cutting and splicing the developed reels to edit before showing.

In 4th grade, I was moved to 6th grade math. In my sophomore year of High School, I was accepted into the University of Utah. Not wanting to miss out on the fun of High School, I took Concert Choir, Madrigals and Seminary there and I spent the rest of the day at the “U”, where I studied computer science, accounting and finance.

After High School graduation, I served a volunteer, two year mission in Milan, Italy. Upon my return, I finished my degree and started my first job out of college in 1981 as a staff accountant for a major real estate developer. Two years later I became the controller for a manufacturing company. I then went to work as an accountant/work-out officer in a bank. During this same time period I joined the Army Reserves, trained as an interrogator in military intelligence, serving in the 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion.

In 1986, I was hired by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, assigned as a managing officer in the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. My job was to take over failed savings and loan associations. Here I was introduced to the field of forensic accounting and my skills in real estate, manufacturing, lending and accounting were used to discover where the money went and who made it go there.

From my earliest recollections, I had a desire to become an attorney as a result of contact with several prominent attorneys who worked with his father in local church service. While working full time, I began law school at La Salle University and finishing at William Howard Taft University’s law school. After receiving a Juris Doctor degree, I took and passed, on my first take, the February of 1990 California Bar Exam.

I left the Federal Government in 1991, joining the Houston based law firm of Lorance & Thompson as an Associate Lawyer, working out of their Newport Beach office. Shortly thereafter I became an Income Partner of the firm of Dominguez and Talamante, working out of their Phoenix office. In 1992 I formed my own firm headquartered in San Diego, which today is known as Wallace Associates Group.

I have served as General Counsel to publicly traded financial holding companies, mortgage companies and insurance companies. I’ve researched and written opinions regarding GAAP compliance, interpretation of FASB rules, interpretation of IFRS rules, and Securities and Exchange Commission compliance. I represented government and private entities with litigation in both the state and federal court systems. I’ve represented entities with multiple acquisitions as well as both up-stream and down-stream mergers. I was fortunate as well to be allowed to serve on the American Bar Association’s Committee on International Business Law in its Subcommittee on International Banking & Finance.

I currently teach at Brigham Young University Hawaii as an Adjunct Professor, I serve pro-bono as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the non-profit Ko’olauloa Educational Alliance Corporation. I also serve as Director of Legal Affairs and Public Relations for Half-Hearts Inc., Managing Partner of Wallace Associates Group, General Counsel to Isles of the Sea Productions, and as General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer for the Aloha World Sevens.