Hawaii Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

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December 13, 2013

Philip R. Brown of the Law Offices of Philip R. Brown has once again been named to Honolulu Magazine’s Annual Best Lawyers in Hawaii.  This is the Fourth consecutive year that Mr. Brown has been listed among Hawaii’s best lawyers in Honolulu Magazine.

Phil (web sized)

Philip Brown is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and has the highest ethical/legal rating (AV) from Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Brown is also listed by the ...

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December 03, 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  In 2010, the Hawai`i Supreme Court determined that a 1985 Environmental Impact Statement was no longer valid for Turtle Bay’s planned expansion.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...

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November 16, 2013

As we wrote in our previous blog (found here), the procedure in U.S. District Court pro hac vice admission is different than in Hawaii State Court since, generally, the mainland attorney seeking pro hac vice admission is already admitted to a U.S. District Court in her home state.  The Local Rules of the District Court of Hawaii rule 83.1(e) control pro hac vice admission as follows:

(e) Pro hac vice. An attorney who is an active member in good standing in a bar of the highest court of any State or...

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November 08, 2013

Sometimes, a client who is involved in a Hawaii State court case would like his or her own mainland lawyer to be involved in the Hawaii case.  In such matters, with the permission of the Court, the mainland attorney can temporarily be admitted to practice in the state of Hawaii specifically to assist in the litigation of that particular case.  In this case, the attorney is referred to as being admitted pro hac vice.  The Hawaii Rules of the Supreme Court govern pro hac vice admission as follows:

1.9. Pro hac vice appearance of counsel.

Any attorney actively licensed to practice law by the...

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November 02, 2013

Hawaii trial courts, in certain circumstances, will allow a litigant to divide his trial into two parts.  This is called “bifurcating” the trial.  Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure (HRCP) Rule 42(b) governs bifurcation and provides as follows:

(b) Separate trials.  The court, in furtherance of convenience or to avoid prejudice, or when separate trials will be conducive to expedition and economy, may order a separate trial of any claim, cross-claim, counterclaim, or third-party claim, or of any separate issue or of any number of claims, cross-claims, counterclaims, third-party claims, or issues, always preserving inviolate the right...

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October 25, 2013

In Hawaii, a Notice of Pendency of Action, or Lis Pendens, is a written notice, filed in the Bureau of Conveyances, stating that there is a pending lawsuit regarding the ownership of that specific real property.  Although seemingly simple, a Notice of Pendency of Action is an enormous encumbrance on a piece of property, and should be used sparingly.  In fact, once the lis pendens is filed, the property becomes nearly impossible to transfer because a buyer will not purchase property whose title is in question.  HRS § 634–51, which authorizes a Notice of Pendency of Action provides as follows:

Recording notice of...

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October 19, 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


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October 17, 2013

Throughout a case, the parties exchange numerous documents.  Responsible attorneys take precautions to review every document that is produced to the opposing party to ensure that documents that are not supposed to be seen by the opposing party, such as attorney client communications or work product, are not produced.  However, since lawyers are human, even the most careful law office can make mistakes.  The Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct contemplate for an attorney’s inadvertent production of a privileged or confidential document, and governs the conduct of an attorney who has received the inadvertently produced...

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October 12, 2013

We have previously written about the recovery of Attorney’s Fees in Hawaii.  Under the American Rule, parties to a lawsuit are responsible for paying their own expenses of litigation.  Certain statues, such as Hawaii Revised Statutes § 607-13, however, allow the prevailing party to recover his or her attorney’s fees from the non-prevailing party.

Hawaii law also provides for an award of costs.  Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 54 states that “costs shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise...

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October 10, 2013

In Hawaii personal injury cases, an issue that is often in dispute is the existence and severity of the plaintiff’s physical injuries.  Often, the best source of evidence of the plaintiff’s injuries is the plaintiff’s own medical records.  In certain cases, a party will want to have an independent medical professional examine the plaintiff.  These examinations are called Independent Medical Examinations, or IMEs.  Rule 35 of the Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure govern IMEs.  HRCP Rule 35 provides as follows:


(a) Order for Examination. When the mental or...

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