Hawaii Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Proudly Serving Honolulu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island

June 01, 2007

Last month we received an arbitration award and judgment in excess of Six Million Dollars, against a mainland contractor on behalf of a mainland couple victimized while building their dream home on the island of Kauai. We persuaded the Arbitrator to award our clients treble damages pursuant to H.R.S. 480-2, the Hawaii Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. In awarding treble damages, the Arbitrator found that the contractor committed several Unfair and Deceptive Acts including the following:

a. At the time of the creation of the Agreement, the Contractors represented that they were licensed contractors. They were not.


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May 30, 2007

We are frequently contacted by potential clients outside Hawaii who are curious if they can be sued in Hawaii. Whether or not you can be sued in Hawaii depends on “Personal Jurisdiction.”

The Plaintiff has the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant. Ziegler v Indian River Country, 64 F.3d 470, 473 (9th Cir., 1995) However, “the Plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of jurisdictional facts” to avoid dismissal. Schwarzenegger v Ford Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir., 2004). If Plaintiff is successful in making a prima facie showing on the motion to dismiss,...
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May 24, 2007

On May 23, 2007, I received my training in Electronic Case Filing and Public Access to Courts Electronic Records at the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. In essence, this system allows attorneys and their staff to obtain case information from the Federal Courts using the internet. With this system, counsel has 24 hour access to Federal Court files, the ability to file documents at any time, immediate notification of filing, and the ability to serve parties electronically.

Ultimately, this should mean a cost savings to clients in Federal cases. How? In the old days (and still in Hawaii State Court), to obtain...

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April 30, 2007

Over the past few weeks, I have addressed the sale of goods in Hawaii under the Uniform Commercial Code. Article Two of the Uniform Commercial Code has been adopted in every state (except Louisiana) and governs contracts for the sale of goods. Hawaii has adopted the Uniform Commercial Code. Obviously, the express terms of a contract for the sale of goods will control the manner in which the sale is to be carried out. If the seller tenders goods that are not timely rejected by the buyer, the buyer is obligated to make payment pursuant to the terms of the sales contract. What constitutes effective “rejection” by the buyer is discussed in my...

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April 23, 2007

Under the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC“), a breach of a sales contract may occur when a seller delivers non-conforming goods to the buyer. It is the buyer’s burden of proof to establish this breach once goods are accepted. H.R.S. § 490:2-601. Upon delivery and acceptance of goods, the buyer is obligated to pay the contract price to the seller. H.R.S. § 490:2-401. Specifically, tender of delivery requires that the seller place and hold conforming goods at the buyer’s disposition and give the buyer any notification reasonably necessary to enable him to take delivery. H.R.S. § 490:2-503


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April 18, 2007

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), Article 2, governs all contracts for the sale of goods in Hawaii under Title 27, Chapter 490, Article 2 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”). The purposes of the UCC are:

(1) To simplify, clarify, and modernize the law governing commercial transactions;(2) To permit the continued expansion of commercial practices through custom, usage, and agreement of the parties; and (3) To make uniform the law among the various jurisdictions. HRS § 490:1-103.

Prior to the creation of the UCC, each state had its own (and sometimes conflicting) laws concerning the sale of...

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April 10, 2007

Many of our friends and clients know that my office manager, Warren Fabro, is a top rate legal professional. Warren does his job well every day. Each week I am told how lucky I am that he works with me. I know how fortunate I am. What many of our clients do not realize is that Warren is also an accomplished actor. And although Warren may kill me for doing this, allow me to sing his praises.

Warren’s professional acting career took off in 1988 in the film, Aloha Summer. Admittedly, the film never won any Academy Awards, but it is a very entertaining movie and Warren appears on the...

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April 04, 2007

We are pleased to welcome Effie A. Steiger as an associate effective April 3, 2007. Ms. Steiger recently completed a clerkship for the Honorable Stefaney Miley. Ms. Steiger is a 2006 graduate of the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law. She graduated from the University of Hawaii in 2002 with her B.A. in Political Science.

Ms. Steiger is licensed to practice law in Nevada and will take the Hawaii Bar exam in August, 2007.

March 30, 2007

When you’ve practiced law for over twenty years, you have to become “thick skinned.” Certainly, the legal profession deserves some of the criticism that it receives from the public. However, I believe that many attorneys try to do their best each day to serve their clients and potential clients. I know that I do.

It is always nice to hear from people who are grateful for your assistance. There are two recent examples of which I am proud to share. The first involves an Army specialist with the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment. This fine young man will soon be serving our country in Iraq. He had been swindled out of several...

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January 12, 2007

It is wrong to stereotype people. Thankfully, our society is good at identifying and condemning bigotry. Nevertheless, anti-lawyer jokes and rhetoric have become an acceptable part of American culture.

Now I’m the first to admit that my profession is flawed. There certainly are attorneys who abuse the system. That does not mean that all lawyers are corrupt. Individual doctors have been convicted of Medicaid fraud. No one would ever suggest that all doctors are corrupt because of the crimes of the few. There are attorneys that I would rank among the finest people I have ever known. The legal profession is honorable when practiced...

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