Complex Business Litigation

  • Represented Queen’s Medical Center, the largest medical provider of hospital services in the State, in a complex commercial dispute against Kaiser Permanente and multiple re-pricing entities regarding alleged fraudulent payment practices.  The case settled amicably.
  • Represented Central Pacific Bank in complex litigation and administrative proceedings arising from the bank's planned takeover of City Bank. The case was Hawaii's first takeover litigation in more than a decade.  Central Pacific Bank successfully completed the takeover of City Bank.
  • Represented Stanford Carr Development Corp. in a six-week jury trial against Unity House on loan and lender liability claims related to an Oahu housing project. The jury ruled that Stanford Carr Development was not liable for any of the $7 million in claimed loan liabilities; the jury verdict was affirmed by a Hawaii Supreme Court decision that established lender liability law in Hawaii. See Stanford Carr Development Corp. v. Unity House, Inc., 111 Haw. 286 (2006).
  • Represented the Seibu Group companies in litigation by Japanese partners challenging the ownership of several hundred million dollars worth of Hawaii properties, including the Mauna Kea and Makena resorts. The Circuit Court granted a Motion to Dismiss, dismissing all claims against the Seibu companies, and the dismissal was affirmed by the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals. See Tsutsumi v. Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki Corp. et al, 119 Haw. 321 (2008).

Real Estate Litigation

  • Represented CommonWealth REIT (formerly known as HRPT Properties Trust) in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a bill passed by the Hawaii State Legislature that would have changed the terms of CommonWealth's long-term land leases. U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway declared the law unconstitutional, as a violation of both the Contracts Clause and Equal Protection Clause. See HRPT Properties Trust v. Lingle, 715 F. Supp. 2d 1115 (D. Haw. 2010).
  • Represented Big Island owner, Bridge Aina Lea LLC in a precedent setting lawsuit overturning the State Land Use Commission’s unlawful down-zoning of a 1,000-acre Kohala Coast property planned for a major residential mixed-use development. The Circuit Court Order, finding that the LUC violated its own statute, was affirmed by the Hawaii Supreme Court in Bridge Aina Lea LLC v. State of Hawaii Land Use Commission, 134 Haw. 187 (2014).
  • Represented Waikoloa Development Co. in obtaining a federal court order requiring Hilton Resorts Corp. to build the long-planned “north intersection” at the Waikoloa Resort on the Big Island. See Waikoloa Development Co. v. Hilton Resorts Corp., 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 103612 (D. Haw. May 22, 2014).
  • Represented the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hawai’i division, in various land disputes involving their property in Lai’e, Hawai’i. The Court confirmed their land title rights and evicted the parties making claims against the property.
  • Represented Aloha Tower Associates, the developers of Aloha Tower Marketplace, in a $710M case against Mitsue Bank and Trust for its misconduct in the development of the Marketplace.

Construction Law & Litigation

  • Represented prominent Hawaii developer Gentry Homes, Ltd. in defense of a class action litigation alleging construction defects and statutory non-disclosures in the design and sale of residential subdivision units. After obtaining summary judgment on half of the claims asserted by the class, a highly favorable settlement was reached involving payment of only nominal damages and the implementation of an extended warranty program.
  • Represented general contractor Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc. in obtaining a mechanics' lien in excess of $20 million against General Growth Properties and Victoria Ward, Limited for the Ward Village Shops project. This matter was subsequently settled with the full amount of the lien being satisfied.
  • Represented Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo in the defense of claims for damages in excess of $65 million arising out of mold infestation at Kalia Tower, Hilton Hawaiian Village. Successfully negotiated a settlement pursuant to which client paid less than 3% of the claimed damages.
  • We have also been involved in the formation and negotiation of contract documents for projects including the following:
    • Hokua Condominium Project, Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Capitol Place Condominium Project, Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Trump International Hotel & Tower At Waikiki Beachwalk, Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Ke Kailani, Maunalani, Hawaii
    • Maryknoll School Community Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Kapolei Commons Shopping Center, Kapolei, Hawaii
    • Kawaiaha'o Church Multi-Purpose Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Hale Ali'i Condominium Project, Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Cole Academy, Kapolei, Hawaii
    • University of Hawaii, West Oahu Campus, Kapolei Hawaii
    • Kuhio Park Terrace renovation, Honolulu, Hawaii

Real Estate Development

  • Represented AMX Partners, LLC in the planning and development of the Park Lane luxury condominium project located at the Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. The transaction included preparing all condominium documents to establish, register and sell the project units and working with the developer to secure its construction financing.
  • Represented Capbridge Pacific LLC, the subsidiary of a large Japanese real estate investment firm, in the joint venture financed acquisition of the Maui Lu Hotel property in Kihei, Maui. The acquisition included assignments of existing entitlements and development rights to permit the redevelopment of the property into a Hilton-flagged timeshare resort, in addition to preparing the condominium documentation to allow the developer to establish a time share project with commercial elements.
  • Represented Gentry Homes, Ltd. in the acquisition of approximately 46.7 acres of undeveloped real property located in the Maui Lani Community in 2015, which included easements, development rights, entitlements and other rights and approvals necessary to develop a planned residential community.
  • Represented Buderim Ginger Limited, an Australian publically-held corporation, in the structured asset acquisition of Mac Farms of Hawaii which included the sale of all assets, inventory and intellectual property rights, the leasing of over 4,000 acres of macadamia nut orchards together with a processing plant, the transfer of over 50 managers and employees, and the formation, structuring, licensing and permitting of a new Hawaii entity (MacFarms, LLC) to take title to this business.
  • Represented Hanwha Hawaii LLC and Hale Ka Lae, LLC in securing approximately $100 million in development financing from two separate lenders in a simultaneous closing that involved a traditional mortgage loan and mezzanine financing, in connection with the 7000 Hawaii Kai project.
  • Represented affiliates of Hunt Development Company in the acquisition and sale of 552 acres of real property in Waikele Gulch on Oahu.

Corporate Business Transactions

  • Represented hundreds of companies and individuals in structuring and forming new business entities in Hawaii.
  • Assisted existing corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships from small closely-held businesses to large corporations with, among other things, licensing, regulatory compliance, business planning, commercial contracting, corporate restructuring, changes in ownership, mergers and acquisitions, and succession planning.
  • Co-Editor-in-Chief and Co-Author of the Hawaii Business Forms Manual (HSBA) which provides Hawaii attorneys with forms, examples, explanations and recommendations regarding selecting, structuring and forming business entities in Hawaii.

Trust & Estates Litigation

  • Represented Kamehameha Schools Trustee Oswald Stender in his Petition to Remove fellow Trustee Lokelani Lindsey, to stop the harm she was causing to the Schools' students and the Schools' mission. After a highly-publicized five-month trial, the Circuit Court removed Lindsey as a trustee, and the removal was affirmed by the Hawaii Supreme Court.
  • Represented the Trustees of Kamehameha Schools in the defense of the Schools' admission policy providing a preference to Native Hawaiian children. The policy was upheld by the U.S. District Court, Doe v. Kamehameha Schools/Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, 295 F.Supp. 2d 1141 (D. Haw. 2003), and affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. See U.S. District Court, Doe v. Kamehameha Schools/Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, 470 F.3d 827 (9th Cir. 2005). The case was resolved prior to a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Schools continue their mission of educating Native Hawaiian children.
  • Represented the Trustees of the Don Ho Trust in contentious litigation challenging the estate of well-known Hawaiian singer Don Ho. An arbitrator ruled in favor of the Trustees on all issues, and awarded them all of their attorneys’ fees and costs.

Employment-Related Litigation

  • Represented Xerox Corp. and its managers in the numerous lawsuits filed after Byron Uyesugi shot and killed seven of his Xerox co-workers in 1999. After extensive discovery and motions, all claims were resolved.
  • Represented Hawaii employers on dozens of claims filed with the E.E.O.C., Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, and state and federal courts, including claims of alleged race and age discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, breach of contract, emotional distress, non-compete violations, family leave law violations, and wage law violations.