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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
As we wrote in our previous post regarding HRS § 607-14, “[t]he Hawaii Supreme court has defined an “assumpsit” case as a claim “for the recovery of damages for the non performance of a contract . . . as well as quasi contractual obligations.” Schulz v. Honsador, Inc., 67 Haw. 433 (1984).
Since then, the Hawaii Supreme Court and Intermediate Court of Appeals have elaborated on the types of “quasi contractual obligations” that constitute a claim in the nature of assumpsit that will result in an award of attorneys fees. Specifically, the Courts have also clarified that a claim for “unjust enrichment” may also be an “action in the nature of assumpsit.” In Hawaii, “[a] claim for unjust enrichment requires only that a plaintiff prove that he or she ‘confer[red] a benefit upon’ the opposing party and that the ‘retention [of that benefit] would be unjust.” Wagner v. World Botanical Gardens, Inc., 2011 WL 6811263, *11 (Hawai‘i App. 2011) (citations omitted).
In Porter v. Hu, 116 Hawai’i 42 (Hawai‘i App. 2007), a number if insurance agents sued their employer for unjust enrichment. The agents were fired by the insurance company, but the employer kept the agents’ insurance commissions. The Agents successfully sued to recover their commissions based on unjust enrichment and were awarded attorneys’ fees based on HRS § 607-14. The Intermediate Court of Appeals determined that the Plaintiffs’ claim for unjust enrichment was in the nature of assumpsit because the agents and their employer had a “promise implied by law, which arises to prevent one man from being inequitably enriched at another’s expense.” It thus affirmed the circuit court’s award of attorneys fees under HRS § 607-14.
In contrast, in First Hawaiian Bank v. Lau, 116 Hawai’i 71, 169 (Hawai‘i 2007), the Hawaii Supreme Court determined that the plaintiff’s successful claim for unjust enrichment was not in the nature of assumpsit and denied attorneys fees. In Lau, the defendant requested a transfer from her elderly mother’s account into a bank account that she jointly held with her mother. First Hawaiian Bank mistakenly transferred money from the wrong account into the defendant’s bank account. The defendant was unaware that the money transferred into her account was from the wrong account and used the money. Plaintiff First Hawaiian Bank successfully sued to recover the money transferred under an unjust enrichment theory. Nevertheless, First Hawaiian Bank was denied attorneys fees. In affirming the denial, the Hawaii Supreme Court stated that even though the defendant was unjustly enriched, this did not “give rise to a contract claim and FHB did not prove that any type of contract or agreement existed between the parties to create an obligation between them.”
In their recent rulings the Hawaii Supreme Court and Intermediate Court of Appeals have clarified that while unjust enrichment can be a “quasi contractual obligation,” there must still exist some agreement “between the parties to create an obligation between them” in order for the claim to be “in the nature of assumpsit.”
Recently, the collection of attorneys fees in arbitrations has been clarified by the Intermediate Court of Appeals in Kona Village Realty, Inc. v. Sunstone Realty Partners, XIV, LLC, 121 Hawai’i 110, 214 P.3d 1100 (Hawai‘i App. 2009). This will be the subject of our next blog.
Tags: Assumpsit, Attorney's Fees, Big Island Lawyer, Haw. Rev. Stat. 607-14, Hawaii commercial litigation, Hawaii Lawyer, Honolulu Lawyer, Honolulu lawyers fees, HRS 607-14, Kauai Lawyer, Maui Lawyer, Recovering Hawaii Attorneys Fees
Posted in Commercial Litigation | Comments Off on Recovery of Hawaii Attorneys Fees (Part 2)
Friday, February 24th, 2012
This is an updated version of a blog first published on September 19, 2006
Under Hawaii law, in certain commercial cases, the prevailing party may recover some or all of its attorneys fees from the losing party. HRS § 607-14, states as follows:
§ 607-14 Attorneys’ fees in actions in the nature of assumpsit, etc. In all the courts, in all actions in the nature of assumpsit . . . there shall be taxed as attorneys’ fees, to be paid by the losing party and to be included in the sum for which execution may issue, a fee that the court determines to be reasonable . . . . The court shall then tax attorneys’ fees, which the court determines to be reasonable, to be paid by the losing party; provided that this amount shall not exceed twenty-five per cent of the judgment.
* * * *
The above fees provided for by this section shall be assessed on the amount of the judgment exclusive of costs and all attorneys’ fees obtained by the plaintiff, and upon the amount sued for if the defendant obtains judgment.
Haw. Rev. Stat. § 607-14 (emphasis added).
There are certain key points regarding this statute about which each client should be made aware, including the following:
1. Plaintiff’s recovery of attorneys fees is capped at twenty five percent (25%) of the judgment awarded. Thus, for example, if the plaintiff is awarded a judgment of $100,000, the plaintiff’s recovery is capped at 25% of $100,000 or $25,000.
2. The defendant’s recovery is capped at 25% of the damages unsuccessfully sought by plaintiff. Thus, for example, if the plaintiff seeks $100,000, the defendant’s potential award is capped at $25,000.
3. If the plaintiff doesn’t specify the amount that he is seeking and it is impossible for the Court to determine the damages sought by the plaintiff, the prevailing defendant may be awarded all of its reasonable attorneys fees. Thus, the plaintiff is highly encouraged to specify early in the case the damages that plaintiff is seeking to ensure that if the plaintiff is unsuccessful, the attorneys fees award is capped.
4. The Hawaii Supreme Court has held that the attorneys fees award under HRS § 607-14 is not discretionary. The Court must award attorneys fees to the prevailing party.
5. The statute only applies to cases concerning “assumpsit” damages. The Hawaii Supreme court has defined an “assumpsit” case as a claim “for the recovery of damages for the non performance of a contract . . . as well as quasi contractual obligations.” Schulz v. Honsador, Inc. 67 Haw. 433 (1984). Although this law only applies to matters of “assumpsit,” it has been applied to various types of litigation including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and legal malpractice so long as they concern (i) an attempt to recover damages and (ii) a contractual arrangement.
Unfortunately, Hawaii does not have a similar attorneys fee provision in personal injury cases. Moreover, although HRS § 607-14 is not the only Hawaii law that allows for the recovery of attorneys fees. Therefore, when analyzing a case, a Hawaii attorney should also explore other theories that may allow the recovery of attorneys fees. Those theories will be discussed in subsequent entries of this blog.
In part two of this blog, we will discuss recent decisions by the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Hawaii Supreme Court which have clarified when HRS § 607-14 applies to quasi contractual obligations.
Part three of this blog will address the case of Kona Village Realty, Inc. v. Sunstone Realty Partners, XIV, LLC, 121 Hawai’i 110, 214 P.3d 1100 (Hawai‘i App. 2009), in which the Intermediate Court of Appeals clarified the collections of attorneys fees in arbitrations, which was affirmed by the Hawaii Supreme Court.
Tags: Assumpsit, Attorney's Fees, Best Honolulu Attorneys, Big Island Attorneys Fees, Big Island Lawyer, Haw. Rev. Stat. 607-14, Hawaii Attorney, Hawaii commercial litigation, Hawaii Lawyer, Hawaii Lawyers, Honolulu Lawyer, Honolulu Lawyer Fees, Honolulu Lawyers, HRS 607-14, Kauai Attorneys Fees, Maui Attorneys Fees, Recovering Hawaii Attorneys Fees
Posted in Civil Procedure and Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation | Comments Off on Recovery of Hawaii Attorneys Fees (Part 1)
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011
Consumers injured by deceptive marketing materials have recourse in the State of Hawaii. We have previously written concerning the Hawaii Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. H.R.S. § 480-2
H.R.S. § 480-2 is a powerful tool to protect consumers and investors from advertisers whose marketing materials have a “tendency to mislead.” Under H.R.S. § 480-2, an injured “investor or consumer” may be awarded treble damages, costs, and attorney’s fees under H.R.S. § 480-13. The Hawaii Supreme Court has upheld this statute in multiple opinions.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has also written an important opinion applying H.R.S. § 480-2 in the federal courts. Yokoyama v. Midland Nat’l Life Insurance Co., 594 F.3d 1087 (9th Cir. 2010). In Yokoyama, the Court affirmed that a person alleging a H.R.S. § 480-2 claim need not show that they were actually deceived. Rather, the § 480-2 claimant need only establish that the advertising material in question had “the capacity to deceive.” Yokoyama at 1093.
The facts of Yokoyama illustrate the power of the Act. In Yokoyama, the plaintiffs were a group of senior citizens living in Hawaii. Yokoyama v. Midland Nat’l Life Insurance Co., 243 F.R.D. 400, 401 (D. Hawaii 2007). Each purchased annuities sold by Midland National Life Insurance. Id. The plaintiffs did not purchase the annuities directly from Midland, but rather each plaintiff bought their annuities from an independent broker. Id. at 403 The independent brokers were required to give a prospective purchaser a brochure created by Midland prior to selling the annuity. Id. Additionally, the independent brokers were allowed to “discuss, promote, or disparage” the annuities, as long as they were truthful. Id. The buyers claimed that the brochures provided by Midland, but given to them by the independent brokers, were deceptive. Id.
The plaintiffs then brought a § 480-2 claim against Midland and asked the Court to certify their action as a class action. Yokoyama, 243 F.R.D. at 405. The District Court denied certification. Id. It reasoned that because each plaintiff was counseled by independent brokers, the individual plaintiffs would each have a different understanding of Midland’s brochure – some plaintiffs might not have even been deceived. Id. Thus, it determined that class certification would not properly serve the plaintiffs. Id.
The Ninth Circuit disagreed. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit determined that the District Court erred when it, in essence, required the plaintiffs to show that Midland’s brochure actually deceived them in order to state an H.R.S. § 480-2 claim. Yokoyama v. Midland Nat’l Life Insurance Co., 594 F.3d 1087, 1092 (9th Cir. 2010). Relying on Hawaii authority, the Ninth Circuit determined that a H.R.S. § 480-2 claim does not require that the plaintiff to actually be deceived. Id. The question is whether the brochure had “the capacity to deceive.” Id. The Ninth Circuit reversed the District Court’s decision and remanded for further proceedings. Id. at 1093.
The Yokoyama case is a strong affirmation of Hawaii law and the Hawaii courts’ interpretation of H.R.S. § 480-2. Both the Federal and State courts are clear. A plaintiff does not need to demonstrate that they were actually deceived in order to sustain an H.R.S. § 480-2 claim – only that the marketing materials in question have the “capacity to deceive.”
Tags: 9th Circuit, Consumer rights, consumer rights Hawaii, Deceptive advertising Hawaii, Deceptive practices Hawaii, false advertising Hawaii, false advertising Honolulu, Hawaii, Hawaii civil procedure, Hawaii commercial litigation, Hawaii Lawyer, Hawaii Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Honolulu consumer law, Honolulu Lawyer, HRS 480-2, investor law Honolulu, investor rights Hawaii, Kauai Lawyer, Maui Lawyer, Oahu, Yokoyama
Posted in Civil Procedure and Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation | Comments Off on Consumer Rights in Hawaii
Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
In Hawaii, if your case is in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii (“Hawaii Federal Court’), then the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) and the Local Rules for the Hawaii Federal Court apply. These rules provide that certain steps be taken prior to commencing discovery.
According to FRCP 26(d), “a party may not seek discovery from any source before the parties have conferred as required by Rule 26(f)…” FRCP Rule 26(d). FRCP Rule 26(f)(2) explains the purpose of the conference of the parties as follows:
In conferring, the parties must consider the nature and basis of their claims and defenses and the possibilities for promptly settling or resolving the case; make or arrange for the disclosures required by Rule 26(1); discuss any issues about preserving discoverable information; and develop a proposed discovery plan. The attorneys of record and all unrepresented parties that have appeared in the case are jointly responsible for arranging the conference, for attempting in good faith to agree on the proposed discovery plan, and for submitting to the court within 14 days after the conference a written report outlining the plan. The court may order the parties or attorneys to attend the conference in person.
FRCP Rule 26(f)(2).
The Rule 26(f) conference of the parties must be completed at least 21 days before the scheduling conference. FRCP Rule 26(f)(1). Then, pursuant to Rule 26(c), “a party must make the initial disclosures at or within 14 days after the parties’ Rule 26(f) conference…” FRCP Rule 26(c).
Initial Disclosure require the following:
(a) Required Disclosures.
(1) Initial Disclosure.
(A) In General. Except as exempted by Rule 26(a)(1)(B) or as otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, a party must, without awaiting a discovery request, provide to the other parties:
(i) the name and, if known, the address and telephone number of each individual likely to have discoverable information–along with the subjects of that information–that the disclosing party may use to support its claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for impeachment;
(ii) a copy–or a description by category and location–of all documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things that the disclosing party has in its possession, custody, or control and may use to support its claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for impeachment;
(iii) a computation of each category of damages claimed by the disclosing party–who must also make available for inspection and copying as under Rule 34 the documents or other evidentiary material, unless privileged or protected from disclosure, on which each computation is based, including materials bearing on the nature and extent of injuries suffered; and
(iv) for inspection and copying as under Rule 34, any insurance agreement under which an insurance business may be liable to satisfy all or part of a possible judgment in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment.
FRCP Rule 26(a).
As such, pursuant to Rule 26(d), discovery cannot be commenced until the conference of the parties has taken place. Then, initial disclosures are required in addition to any discovery responses. These rules ensure that parties meet to discuss how discovery is going to be conducted and that certain disclosures are made in the beginning of the case to encourage an efficient discovery process.
Tags: Big Island Lawyer, Civil Procedure, Discovery, Federal Courts, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Hawaii Lawyer, Initial Disclosures, Kauai Lawyer, Maui Lawyer
Posted in Civil Procedure and Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation | Comments Off on Civil Discovery in Hawaii Federal Court
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
A person may be held liable for the acts of another if an agency relationship is established. According to the Hawaii Supreme Court, “an agency relationship may be created through actual or apparent authority.” Cho Mark Oriental Food, Ltd. v. K & K Intern., 73 Haw. 509, 515-17 (1992) (Brackets and citations omitted.). There are two types of actual authority; express actual authority and implied actual authority. Id. Express actual authority is created by an express agreement. Id. In the alternative, implied actual authority “may arise either independent of any express grant of authority or it may arise as a necessary or reasonable implication required to effectuate some other authority expressly conferred by the principal.” Id. “The focus is on the agent’s understanding of his authority inasmuch as the relevant inquiry is whether the agent reasonably believes, because of the conduct of the principal (including acquiescence) communicated directly or indirectly to him, that the principal desired him so to act.” Id.
With regard to apparent authority, the Hawaii Supreme Court held in Cho also held as follows:
Apparent authority arises when “the principal does something or permits the agent to do something which reasonably leads another to believe that the agent has the authority he was purported to have.” The critical focus is not on the principal and the agent’s intention to enter into an agency relationship, but on whether a third party relies on the principal’s conduct based on a reasonable belief in the existence of such a relationship. Apparent authority can occur under the following circumstances:
(1)The principal has manifested his consent to the exercise of such authority or has knowingly permitted the agent to assume the exercise of such authority; (2). . . the third person knew of [the principal’s actions]. . .and, acting in good faith, had reason to believe, and did actually believe, that the agent possessed such authority; and (3) . . . the third person, relying on such appearance of authority, has changed his position and will be injured or suffer loss if the act done or transaction executed by the agent does not bind the principal.
Cho Mark Oriental Food, Ltd. v. K & K Intern., 73 Haw. at 516-17. (Brackets and citations omitted.)
When an agent acts with apparent authority, “the principal can be vicariously liable to wronged third parties even when the agent acts wholly out of personal motive or with the purpose of defrauding his principal and even when the principal is innocent and deprived of any benefit.” Premium Financing Specialists, Inc. v. Hullin, 90 S.W.3d 110, 113 (Mo.App.W.D. 2002). It is important to make sure that anyone purportedly acting as your agent is acting in your best interests since you may be liable for his or her actions.
Tags: Agency, agency relationship, Big Island Lawyer, Commercial Litigation, Hawaii Real Estate Litigation, Hawaii Supreme Court, Honolulu Lawyer, Kauai Lawyer, Maui Lawyer
Posted in Civil Procedure and Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation, Hawaii Real Estate Litigation | Comments Off on Agency Relationship in Hawaii
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
If a person or entity has been deceived, Hawaii law provides for a means of redress. Under Hawaii’s doctrine of fraudulent inducement, if a person enters into a contract due to the misrepresentations of the other contracting party, the person lied to may ask the court to invalidate the terms of the contract. The Hawaii Supreme Court recognizes the elements of fraudulent inducement to be as follows:
To constitute fraudulent inducement sufficient to invalidate the terms of the contract, there must be (1) a representation of material fact, (2) made for the purpose of inducing the other party to act, (3) known to be false but reasonably believed true by the other party, and (4) upon which the other party relies and acts to [his or her] damage.
Matsuura v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., 102 Hawaii 149, 162-63, 73 P.3d 687, 700-01 (Hawaii 2003) (quoting Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union v. Keka, 94 Hawaii 213, 230, 11 P.3d 1, 18 (2000)).
However, not every representation will be actionable. The Intermediate Court of Appeals has held that only the following representations are actionable:
The false representation, to be actionable, must relate to a past or existing material fact, and not to the happening of future events[.] Generally, fraud cannot be predicated upon statements [that] are promissory in their nature at the time they are made and [that] relate to future actions or conduct. A promise relating to future action or conduct will be actionable, however, if the promise without the present intent to fulfill the promise[.]
Pancakes of Hawaii, Inc. v. Pomare Properties Co., 85 Hawaii 300, 312 944 P.2d 97, 109 (Haw.Ct.App. 1997) (quoting Honolulu Federal Savings and Loan Ass’oc v. Murphy, 7 Haw.App. 196, 200 753 P.2d 807, 811 (Haw.Ct.App. 1988)).
Additionally, the party seeking to have the contract invalidated must prove that his or her reliance on the false representation was a reasonable one. Exotics Hawaii-Kona, Inc. v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co., 116 Hawai’i 277, 172 P.3d 1021 (2007). Finally, in addition to the above mentioned elements, the party seeking to invalidate the contract will have to prove that he or she suffered some sort of injury or damage as a result of the other party’s misrepresentations. Matsuura, 102 Hawaii at 163, 73 P.3d at 701.
Moreover, the Hawaii Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (H.R.S. § 480-2) provides a remedy to consumers and investors injured through marketing materials that had a “capacity to mislead.” A Plaintiff prevailing in a claim under H.R.S. § 480-2 may be awarded treble damages, attorneys fees and costs (H.R.S. § 480-13).
Tags: Big Island Lawyer, Civil Procedure and Trial Practice, fraud in Hawaii, Hawaii Real Estate Litigation, Honolulu Lawyer, Kauai Lawyer, Maui Lawyer, misrepresentation in Hawaii, misrepresentation of a person, misrepresentation of an entity
Posted in Civil Procedure and Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation, Hawaii Real Estate Litigation | Comments Off on Misrepresentation and Fraud in Hawaii
Friday, August 5th, 2011
There are several theories under which an employer may be held liable for the acts of an employee. The most straightforward is called respondeat superior liability. The elements of respondeat superior liability are (1) employee negligence (2) within the scope of the employee’s employment. Id. (citations omitted). In defining the scope of an employee’s employment, the Hawaii Supreme Court reiterated its approval of Restatement (Second) of Agency §228 (1958) which states as follows:
(1) Conduct of a servant is within the scope of employment if, but only if:
(a) it is of the kind he is employed to perform;
(b) it occurs substantially within the authorized time and space limits;
(c) it is actuated, at least in part, by a purpose to serve the master, and
(d) if force is intentionally used by the servant against another, the use of force is not unexpectable by the master.
Restatement (Second) of Agency §228 (1958)
“An employer may be liable for the intentional torts of its employees as the law now imposes liability whether the employee’s purpose, however misguided, is wholly or in part to further the master’s business.” State v Hoshijo ex rel. White, 102 Hawaii 307, 318, FN 27 (Hawaii, 2003). In Wong-Leong v Hawaiian Independent Refinery, Inc., 76 Hawaii 433, 438 (1994).
“In instances where an employer cannot be held vicariously liable for its employee’s torts, the employer can still be held liable under theories of negligent hiring, negligent retention, and negligent supervision. However, a necessary element of such causes of action is that the employer knew or should have known of the employee’s propensity for the conduct which cause the injury.” Kenneth R. v Roman catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, 229 A.D.2d 159, 161 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept, 1997)
Indeed, Hawaii recognizes an action for negligent supervision. See Costa v Able Distributors, Inc., 3 Haw.App. 486, 490 (Hawaii App., 1982). In Dairy Road Partners v Island Insurance, 92 Hawaii 398, 426-27 (Hawaii, 2000), the Hawaii Supreme Court looked to the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 317 for the standards for a claim of negligent supervision by an employer. According to Restatement (Second) of Torts § 317, an employer may be liable for negligent supervision if its employee intentionally harms another when the employee (i) commits the harm on the employer’s property or with the use of the employer’s chattels, (ii) the employer knows or should have known that the employer has the ability to control its employee and (iii) the employer knows or should have known that the employee needed to be controlled.
Under the theory of negligent supervision, “an employer’s duty to control the conduct of his employee may arise when the acts complained of are so connected in time and place with the employment as to give the employer a special opportunity to control the employee.” Costa v Able Distributors, Inc., 3 Haw.App. at 490. As previously mentioned, “in order for the plaintiff to recover, he must show that the employer knew or should have known of the necessity and opportunity for exercising control over the employee.” Id. For example in Costa, the Hawaii Court of Appeals stated that the employer’s duty would arise only if the employer knew or should have known that the employee had a “propensity for causing automobile collisions while driving under the influence of alcohol, and thus, [the employer] should have prevented [the employee] from consuming beer on its premises.”
Unlike the theory of respondeat superior where the employer is vicariously liable for the acts of its employees “that occur within the scope of employment,” a claim for negligent supervision, requires that the employee acted “outside of his or her employment.” See Dairy Road Partners v Island Insurance, 92 Hawaii 398, 426-27 (Hawaii, 2000). Therefore, a complaint fails to state a claim for negligent supervision if the complaint fails to assert that the employee acted outside the scope of his employment. Dairy Road Partners at 427.
Tags: Hawaii, Negligent Hiring, Negligent Retention, neglignt supervision, Respondeat Superior Liability, Torts
Posted in Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury | Comments Off on An Employer May be Held Liable for an Employee in Hawaii
Thursday, October 14th, 2010
Hawaii attorney Philip R. Brown was recently included in Honolulu Magazine’s 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in Hawaii.
Philip Brown is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America under Commercial Litigation. Mr. Brown also has the highest ethical/legal rating (AV) from Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Brown is also listed by the American Trial Lawyers Association in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers. Finally, Philip Brown is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers under Civil Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation, and Personal Injury.
Tags: Bar Register of Preemenient Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, Hawaii Attorney Phlip Brown, Honolulu Magazine, Martindale Hubbell, Philip Brown is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Philip Brown is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Posted in Civil Procedure and Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation, Office News, The Legal Profession | Comments Off on Philip R. Brown selected to Honolulu Magazine's Best Lawyers in Hawaii
Saturday, October 2nd, 2010
We successfully represented property owners damaged by the Ka Loko Dam breach that occurred on Kauai on March 14, 2006. See our previous blogs dated November 3, 2009 (http://legalblog.hawaii-attorney.net/2009/11/) and September 26, 2007 (http://legalblog.hawaii-attorney.net/2007/09/26/the-kaloko-dam-case/). The Ka Loko Dam breach killed seven people. The Dam Safety Act (HRS § 179D-1, et. al.) was revised in 2007 as a result of the Ka Loko Dam breach. According to an article by KHON2, the State of Hawaii is planning to hold statewide hearings about proposed new dam regulation. Ideally, these proposals will provide more effective regulations and oversight for existing dams and for the construction of new dams in Hawaii. Please find below a link to this KHON2 article for more details.
These hearings are long overdo.
The Dam Safety Act provides that “the Legislature finds and declares that the inspection and regulation of all dams or reservoirs are properly a matter of regulation under the police powers of the State.” HRS § 179D-2 (as amended in 2007).
The Legislative History of the Dam Safety Act succinctly states as follows:
This Bill provides for the inspection and regulation of construction, operation and removal of certain dams in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the State by reducing the risk of failure of such dams.
S.C. Rep. 325 Haw. House. Stand. Comm. Rpt. 365, Reg. Sess. (1987).
To fulfill this purpose, the Hawaii Legislature created certain procedures and duties to the board to affirmatively regulate dams in this State which are contained in HRS § 179D-6 (amended in 2007).
Hopefully, the hearing will produce dam regulations and oversight far superior than those that existed prior to March 14, 2006 and those amended in 2007.
Monday, August 24th, 2009
Hawaii attorney Philip R. Brown has been selected by his peers to be included in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Obviously, he is delighted to have received this great honor.
“For over a quarter of a century, Best Lawyers has been regarded- by both the profession and the public-as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States. Selection to Best Lawyers is based on exhaustive and rigorous peer-review survey … by the top attorneys in the country.”
Admittedly, legal professionals may disagree as to the “definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States”. Best Lawyers, Martindale Hubbell , The Bar Register of Preemenient Lawyers and the American Trial Lawyers Association can all make solid claims to be the definitive guide to legal excellence. Philip Brown has now received the highest rating from each of those legal guides.
Philip Brown is listed in The Best Lawyers in America under Commercial Litigation. Mr. Brown has the highest ethical/legal rating (AV) from Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Brown is also listed by the American Trial Lawyers Association in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers. Finally, Philip Brown is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers under Civil Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation, and Personal Injury.
Tags: Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, Civil Procedure and Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation, Hawaii Attorney Phlip Brown, Office News, Philip Brown is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Philip Brown is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, The Legal Profession, Top 100 Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Posted in Civil Procedure and Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation, Office News, The Legal Profession | Comments Off on Hawaii Attorney Philip Brown selected to the Best Lawyers in America