Hawaii Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

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November 28, 2006

In a lawsuit, the first document filed with the Court is usually the Complaint which contains, among other things, information on the parties involved and a concise statement of the facts of the case. The Complaint is accompanied by a Summons which is signed by a clerk of the Court. The next step involves service of the Complaint on the Defendant. According to Rule 4(1)-(8)of the Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure, service of the Complaint can be made various ways depending on the type of defendant. These methods are listed in Rule 4 of the Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure as follows:

(1) Upon an individual other than an infant or...

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November 20, 2006

This is our ninth Thanksgiving in business. It seems like yesterday that we started this office. It was only a few nights ago that I realized that our ninth anniversary had already passed. Since this is the traditional season to give thanks, I thought it would be appropriate to prepare my list of the things about my legal practice for which I am thankful.

1. I am thankful to all of my clients who have trusted me with their cases. I realize that when you select my office, usually to litigate against much larger law firms, it is because you have faith in me. I am humbled by that trust. You have many options available to you and there...

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November 13, 2006

When hiring an attorney, make sure that he is covered by malpractice insurance. It is your absolute right to ask your potential attorney about this issue. Admittedly, the lawyer may refuse to respond. If he does refuse, just don’t hire that attorney.

This is an important consumer protection issue. The Hawaii State legislature has attempted to pass a law requiring mandatory disclosure of malpractice coverage by attorneys. I have written to the Hawaii State Bar supporting this disclosure requirement. The Hawaii State Bar has consistently opposed this legislation. I am not exactly sure why. After all, I presume that all of the good...

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November 07, 2006

Since I was trained to practice law in New York City, clients often consult with me because they want their attorney to be aggressive. Admittedly, when it is necessary to protect my clients interest, I can be very aggressive. However, an experienced litigator, who is actually concerned with protecting his client, must not allow zealousness to overrule common sense.

When a client contacts my office, it is usually because they are embroiled in a dispute with an individual or company. As with any legal dispute, emotions are magnified and it is important that I remain calm and view the dispute in an objective manner. Sometimes this is...

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November 02, 2006

I frequently hear of lawyers telling potential clients that their case is a “slam dunk” in the intial interview. Personal injury victims have informed me of potential attorneys that can place a value on their injuries before the attorneys have even reviewed medical records. Prospective clients should be wary of lawyers who promise too much in the first interview. Lawyers cannot predict the future. If a lawyer has the telepathic ability to guarantee your outcome, and you are absolutely cetain that he is not lying to you, then hire that lawyer. In fact, if he has psychic power, you should also ask him to select your next investment.

...

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November 02, 2006

Sorry for the inactivity. We have been experiencing technical difficulties with our blogging capabilities. We think we have corrected the problem and our back on line.

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September 19, 2006

Under the American Rule, each litigant pays its own attorneys fees. I have been practicing civil litigation for over twenty years, and nothing seems to anger clients more about the American legal system than when they are forced to pay thousands of dollars in attorneys fees and costs simply to prove that they didn’t do anything wrong. Fortunately, 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...

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September 12, 2006

In certain cases, clients can prevail in a case by filing a Motion for Summary Judgment.

Under Rule 56(c) of the Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Summary judgment can be defeated if a party shows that a genuine and material issue of fact is in dispute, State v. Midkiff, 49 Haw. 456, 421 P.2d 550 (1966).

[S]ummary judgment is only appropriate if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show...

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September 05, 2006

Hawaii Revised Statutes § 480-2 provides a powerful tool to protect investors or consumers who have been injured by misleading or deceptive advertising. The Hawaii Supreme Court has concluded that if advertising has a “capacity to mislead” it may violate the Hawaii Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The reason this tool is so helpful to investors or consumers is two-fold. First, it is much easier to prove a violation of H.R.S. § 480-2 than it is to prove a claim of fraud. Unlike a fraud claim, to prevail in a H.R.S. § 480-2 case, the victim does not have to demonstrate that the advertiser intended to mislead the consumer....

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August 29, 2006

As most Hawaii Attorneys know, mediation has become a very effective litigation tool in Hawaii. Although mediations occur throughout the United States, the people of Hawaii with their unique cultural history, seem particularly well-equipped to effectively use mediation.

Mediation is a process in which parties to a dispute agree on an impartial third person who guides the litigants to a settlement using various negotiation and/or communication techniques. Although Mediation may serve several purposes, its overall goal is to help the parties settle their own problems.

The selection of the mediator is critical. Parties should...

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