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Posts Tagged ‘Office News’

Keep the North Shore Country Files Suit To Halt Expansion Of Turtle Bay Resort

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

On December 2, 2013, firm client Keep the North Shore Country (“KNSC”) filed a lawsuit asking the Circuit Court to require Turtle Bay Resort, LLC (“Turtle Bay”) to properly study the environmental impacts of its proposed expansion plan.  In 2010, the Hawai`i Supreme Court determined that a 1985 Environmental Impact Statement was no longer valid for Turtle Bay’s planned expansion. KNSC and Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter were the plaintiffs in that case, known as Unite Here! vs. City & County of Honolulu.  The Hawaii Supreme Court required the creation of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (“SEIS”).

The Final SEIS was accepted by the City & County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (“DPP”) on October 3, 2013 and public notification of this decision was given on October 23, 2013. KNSC had provided extensive comments to DPP and Turtle Bay on the Draft SEIS, and raised grave concerns about the lack of proper baseline analysis: the “No Action” alternative. Unfortunately, the Final SEIS remains fatally flawed and should have been rejected by DPP.

In yesterday’s lawsuit, KNSC stressed five areas in which the SEIS fell below legal environmental standards.  KNSC requests that Turtle Bay’s SEIS be set aside for five specific reasons:

One, Turtle Bay failed to accurately describe the proposed project and therefore it is impossible to legally evaluate the project’s actual environmental impacts;

Two, Turtle Bay uses the “Full Build Out” alternative from 1985 for the purpose of environmental impact comparisons, even though Turtle Bay has no intention of pursuing the “Full Build Out,” thereby skewing the results;

Three, the SEIS does not adequately and vigorously evaluate a “No Action” alternative as specifically required under the law;

Four, the SEIS fails to adequately evaluate cumulative traffic impacts;

Five, the SEIS violates the law by failing to properly evaluate the impacts for wetlands, marine water quality and threatened and endangered species.

A copy of the complaint can be found here.  More information on Keep the North Shore Country can be found here.

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Hawaii Attorney Effie Steiger Selected As A Rising Star by Super Lawyers

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Effie Steiger, of the Law Offices of Philip R. Brown, has been selected for the 2014 Hawaii Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.  Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in each state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.  This is the second prestigious honor received by Ms. Steiger.  The National Trial Lawyers Association also selected Ms. Steiger for its “Top 40 under 40” trial lawyers in Hawaii.

Steiger Photo

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.  The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country.  Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law.  For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

Effie Steiger is a litigation attorney who focuses on commercial litigation and personal injury cases.

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Honolulu Magazine Lists Philip R. Brown Among the Best Lawyers in Hawaii

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Philip R. Brown was once again listed in Honolulu Magazine’s annual issue of The Best Lawyers in Hawaii.

Philip Brown is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America.  Mr. Brown also has the highest ethical/legal rating (AV) from Martindale Hubbell.  Mr. Brown is also listed by the National Trial Lawyers Association in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers.  Mr. Brown is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers under Civil Trial Practice, Commercial Litigation, and Personal Injury.  This is the third consecutive year that Mr. Brown has been recognized in Honolulu Magazine as one of the Best Lawyers in Hawaii.

This was also a banner year for firm attorney Effie Steiger.  In 2012, the National Trial Lawyers recognized Effie Steiger as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” trial lawyers in Hawaii.

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Hawaii Attorney Effie Steiger Named “Top 40 Under 40″

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The National Trial Lawyers Association has selected Hawaii attorney, Effie Steiger, of the Law Offices of Philip R. Brown, for inclusion in “Top 40 under 40” trial lawyers in Hawaii.

The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 is a professional organization comprised of America’s top young trial lawyers.  According to the National Trial Lawyers Association, “Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.  The result is a credible, comprehensive and impressive list of young attorneys chosen to represent their state.  Those lawyers selected have excelled in the court room, possess superior qualifications, and have displayed leadership as young trial lawyers.”

Ms. Steiger, a graduate of UNLV Law School, focuses on commercial litigation and personal injury matters.  Since her admission as a Hawaii attorney in 2007, Ms. Steiger has been involved in several trials, arbitrations and mediations.  Ms. Steiger was also recently sworn in as an arbitrator in the Hawaii Court Annexed Arbitration Program.

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Hawaii Attorney Philip R. Brown Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Hawaii Attorney Philip R. Brown is proud to announce that he has once again received an AV Preeminent rating from his peers as recognized in the 2012 edition of Martindale Hubbell.  The AV rating is the “highest possible peer review rating for legal ability and ethical standards.”  According to Martindale Hubbell, the AV rating is the “pinnacle of professional excellence earned through a strenuous Peer Review Rating process that is managed and maintained by the world’s most trusted legal resource.”

Mr. Brown has been AV rated since 2000.  Below is a brief video about this achievement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU2dwear13M&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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The Legal Profession As Seen by a First Year Hawaii Lawyer

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Justin Chu recently joined our firm. I asked him to write a blog about his experiences thus far. Here it is:

As written in a previous blog, I joined this office in July of 2010. Having graduated from law school in May of 2009 and passed the bar in November, this is my first associate attorney position. My blog entries, therefore, will be about the practice of law as seen by someone just out of law school.

Being a law student and being a law practice professional are, surprisingly, two very different experiences. In law school, there are no clients, no judges, and no opposing counsel – only other students and professors. Unless she takes it upon herself to participate in extracurricular activity, all of a law student’s legal writing takes place once a semester during exams. A law student’s finest legal thinking often takes place while wearing sweat pants and an old t-shirt.

To me, the greatest difference between the two experiences is the client. A lawyer’s work is driven by clients. This may seem obvious, but is something that I’m learning in my first year. The lawyer’s job is to best to accomplish his client’s goals. The one common question I always hear asked to potential new clients is “What is it that you want us to help you with?”

That question is not asked in law school. There are no clients, just final exams. A law student does not ask a client about what happened, or what the client would like accomplished. There are no facts to be discovered. The law student is given an objective prompt – the facts often describe a scenario involving multiple people that eventually lead to a conflict. The student is not to assume any facts not written in the question. The exam then directs the test taker to “Determine Person X’s liability.” After this, the law student applies his knowledge of the relevant law to the facts, makes an argument both for and against Person X, and finally gives an opinion of Person X’s probable liability/non-liability. This ends the question. There is no lawyer asking the client “What do you want us to help you with?” In law school, we never consider whether the client should settle his claim or pursue arbitration/mediation. In law school, the client always has unlimited funds, time, and determination to get his dispute all the way to a judge.

I have already found that this is not true in the real practice of law. Clients have limited funds and time. The facts of a client’s problem are not presented in a few well written, grammatically correct paragraphs. A lawyer must uncover those facts from his client, from the opposing party, from witnesses, and documents. An important question I have learned I must always ask myself while doing my work is “Is what I am doing cost efficient for the client?”

While going from school to practice is an adjustment, it is a welcome one. Meeting a client whose case I am working on gives me extra motivation to do my best, as it lets me know that I’m helping out real people with an important dispute in their lives. And, contributing to a successful motion or trial is a much more exciting experience than getting an A.

I am eager to continue to learn the ins and outs of practice and to share these experiences.

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Welcome Courtney Henderson

Friday, August 27th, 2010

The Law Offices of Philip R. Brown is happy to welcome Courtney Henderson. Ms. Henderson has her M.A in English Literature from the University of Toledo (2009) and her B.S. in Magazine Production Journalism from Florida A&M; University (2008). Courtney is currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Hawaii, in Linguistics, Language Documentation and Conservation.

Courtney will serve as a paralegal on many of our civil litigation matters and will use her journalism background to assist us with our blog. Obviously, we are delighted to have Courtney join our firm.

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Hawaii Attorney Justin M. Chu joins the Law Offices of Philip R. Brown

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Hawaii attorney Justin M. Chu has joined our firm as an associate. Justin is a 2009 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law. At the University of Memphis, Justin was on the Law Review where he also served on the Editorial Board as Business Editor. In addition, Justin received Cali Awards in Civil Rights and Fair Employment Practices.

Justin is a 2004 graduate of Vanderbilt University where he majored in Mathematics and minored in Computer Science. After graduation from Vanderbilt, Justin worked as a Consultant/Pharmacy Technician for Priority Healthcare Corp. While at Vanderbilt, Justin was a teaching assistant in Calculus. In short, Justin has an impressive, varied background and skill set that will only enhance his legal practice.

Justin Chu’s practice with this office will focus on Civil Rights, Commercial Litigation and Civil Trial Practice cases.

Welcome Justin.

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Hawaii Attorney Philip Brown selected to the Best Lawyers in America

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.

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"Costs" In An Attorney Fee Contract

Friday, June 26th, 2009

What does it mean when the attorney says I must pay “costs”?

Costs are typically any expense the attorney incurs while representing you. These expenses vary depending on the type of the case and the location of the witnesses. However, examples of these costs are as follows: photocopying, travel expenses, court reporter expenses, expert witness fees, postage, long distance telephone charges, legal research charges, parking, costs billed by medical provider, insurance company or other entity for copies of medical reports and/or billing statements.

In most contingency fee cases, the attorney agrees to advance payment for these costs, and the client remains responsible for reimbursement of said costs out of client’s share of the proceed of any recovery obtained, whether by settlement or jury verdict. Any balance due and owing by client for costs advanced by attorney shall be deducted by attorney out of client’s share of the proceeds of said recovery.

In cases where an attorney is retained on an hourly basis, attorneys advance payment of these costs. The client then reimburses attorneys by payment of a monthly billing statement which includes attorneys fees and costs for the monthly billing period.

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