Hawaii Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

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June 03, 2009

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C.A Section 26, et seq, was enacted by Congress to “effect certain changes in the settlement process for residential real estate that will result:”

(1) in more effective advance disclosures to home buyers and sellers of settlement costs;

(2) in the elimination of kickbacks or referral fees that tend to increase unnecessarily the costs of certain settlement services;

(3) in a reduction in the amounts home buyers are required to place in escrow accounts established to insure the payment of real estate taxes and insurance; and

(4) in slight reform and...

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May 15, 2009

A business associate recently asked me if I have been involved in a difficult trial recently, because I have not updated my blog since March 10, 2009.

The inactivity on my blog is not the result of being overworked from a trial. My failure to blog is the result of exhaustion caused by a far more happy occasion. I am proud to announce that on March 20, 2009 my wife Sarah and I were blessed with the birth of a daughter, Samantha Alana Brown. Samantha was six pounds ten ounces at birth. Currently her hobbies seem to be eating, sleeping and staring at a picture of hearts painted by her sister, Fiona.

...

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March 10, 2009

A contracting party who fails to give proper notice and opportunity to cure any alleged breach, default, or defect (as expressly required in the contract) is in breach of the contract. See Kalaus v Prime Care Physician, 20 A.D. 3d 452, 454 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept., 2005)(Defendants breached the contract with plaintiff for failure to give plaintiff 30 days to cure plaintiff’s breach as expressly provided in the contract. Plaintiff was awarded summary judgment on the issue of liability). The party who is held in breach for failing to give proper notice and opportunity to cure also loses any of its claims or defenses related to the other party’s...

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March 06, 2009

Hawaii Courts strongly encourage arbitration. In fact, Hawaii Courts favor arbitration to such an extent that if there are three parties to a contract (and one didn’t sign the agreement containing the arbitration clause) the Court will likely enforce the arbitration agreement (if the nonsignatory wants the agreement enforced).

That’s right, in certain circumstances nonsignatories to an agreement have standing to invoke an agreement’s arbitration clause. The Hawaii Supreme Court explained this principle in Luke v Gentry, Ltd., 105 Hawaii 241, 248 (Hawaii, 2004) as follows:

[W]e hold that a nonsignatory agent has standing to...

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March 02, 2009

Hawaii courts favor arbitration. Arbitration is a device in which the litigants agree to hire a private, independent third party to decide their case. It is generally accepted that parties will reduce litigation costs by arbitrating a matter, since the process will be streamlined. It is quite common for parties to agree to arbitrate in a contract, although any case may be resolved through arbitration (so long as all parties agree to do so).

If there is an arbitration clause in an agreement, courts are obligated to enforce it so long as the court determines that the dispute is subject to the clause in the agreement. H.R.S. section...

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February 20, 2009

In a lawsuit, Hawaii attorneys generally rely on two types of written discovery devices- interrogatories and document requests. Simply put, interrogatories are lists of questions that must be answered by the opposing party under oath. A discovery request lists categories of documents that must be produced for review by the opposing attorney. This blog will discuss each discovery device. A Hawaii party is required to timely respond to a Request for Answers to Interrogatories and to a Request for Production of Documents within thirty days after service of the request. If a party fails to respond to the discovery request within the thirty...

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February 17, 2009

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) found in 15 U.S.C.A. section 1601, et. seq. was enacted to “protect consumers and promote the ‘informed use of credit.'” Washington v Americquest Mortgage.Co., 2006 WL 1980201, *6 (N.D.Ill., 2006). As such, TILA requires creditors to conspiciously disclose certain terms and costs information prior to a credit transaction. Id. This information includes, but is not limited to, the annual percentage rate and “finance charge,” order of disclosures, and use of different terminology. 15 U.S.C.A. section 1632(a).

The Statute of Limitation on a TILA action is one year for closed ended credit cases pursuant...

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February 10, 2009

The tort of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage was examined by the Hawaii Supreme Court in Robert’s Hawaii School Bus, Inc. v Laupahoehoe Transp. Co., Inc.

The primary objective of the tort of interference with prospective business advantage or opportunity is the protection of legitimate and identifiable business expectancies… Weighing against social and individual interests in protection of business expectancies and efforts to acquire property are the interests in legitimate business competition. That is, much of the common law is premised on the theory that competitors should have an opportunity to...

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January 23, 2009

When filing a motion in Hawaii State Court, the motion and all of its supporting documents (memorandum in support of motion; affidavits or declarations; exhibits, and notice of hearing and certificate of service) are delivered to the Court. The Court sets a hearing date and time and returns it to the moving party. The party filing the motion is then responsible for conforming the motion and serving it on the opposing party. The process of obtaining a Court hearing may take a few days to a week depending on the Court’s workload.

Motions will be heard upon eighteen (18) days written notice in accordance with Rule 7 of the Hawaii...

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January 21, 2009

When a foreign corporation has subjected itself to jurisdiction in the United States, exceptions to the general rule on the location of the deposition are often made. Id. at 466-67 citing Custom Form Mfg. v Omron Corp., 196 F.R.D. 333, 336 (S.D.N.Y., 2001). In considering whether a foreign corporation should be deposed in the United States rather than their own country, Courts have looked to “whether the time, expense, inconvenience of travel, presents a special hardship on the deponent, and the ability of the court to intervene should disputes arise.” Id. citing Afram Export Corp. v Metallurgiki Halyps, 772 F.2d 1358, 1365 (7th cir.,...

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