Medical and legal protocols are in place in Hawai`i, including Advance Health Care Directives, to address end-of-life decision-making
By William S. Hunt with input from Professor James Pietsch
“Give Me Liberty…or At Least Give Me a Good Death.” That was the title of a presentation by Professor George Smith, a recognized bioethicist from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, and featured speaker at a panel discussion on end-of-life decision-making held in Honolulu on April 9. Hosted by the University of Hawai`i Elder Law Program at the William S. Richardson School of Law, the panel included University of Hawai`i Elder Law (UHELP) Program Director Prof. James Pietsch (moderator) and Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing Stockholder/Director William S. Hunt, along with Dr. Daniel Fischberg of the Queen’s Medical Center, and attorney Scott Makuakane of Est8Planning Counsel LLLC. Continue reading
Get to the point, line up the facts, and know when to pivot
By Louise Ing and Jessica Arthur
Be organized. Be clear. Be concise. The basics of good communication are also the keys to “Effective Motions Practice,” the topic of a panel discussion hosted by the Hawai`i Chapter of the Federal Bar Association on March 21, 2013. Federal District Judge J. Michael Seabright and Federal Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren discussed the need for clarity in both written and oral arguments, but emphasized the importance of the written papers in helping the judge form an initial opinion about the case coming into oral argument. “Reference the factual basis for critical issues,” said Judge Kurren. “We’re just like you – we want to have a game plan when we walk into court, too.”
Marisco, Ltd. v. American Samoa Government: American Samoa bank account deemed within the jurisdiction of U.S. courts
By Melissa M. Uhl
In 2012, Bank of Hawaii found itself caught in a legal tug of war between the federal district court in Hawai`i and a court in American Samoa. The issue? Whether a Hawai`i court can order a Hawai`i bank to freeze an account in the bank’s American Samoa branch.
Between July 2008 and March 2010, Marisco repaired two barges and one tugboat belonging to the American Samoa Government (“ASG”), but never got paid. Marisco sued the ASG in the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i. The parties entered into binding arbitration, resulting in an $811,631.87 (plus post-judgment interest) award to Marisco.
Hawaii’s Federal Court Raises the Bar for TILA Rescission Claims
By J. Blaine Rogers
The wave of litigation precipitated by the housing crisis reached Hawaii’s shores long ago. To date, however, distressed borrowers seeking to delay foreclosure have found little refuge in decisions by the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i. The recent case of Long v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., 848 F. Supp. 2d 1166 (D. Haw. Jan. 25, 2012), continues this trend.
When should policyholders beware? U.S. District Court insurance case illustrates limitations on liability coverage claims
By Donna Marron
The decision in State Farm & Casualty Co v. Chung (2012 WL 3113150), handed down by the U.S. District Court, District of Hawai`i in 2012, contains helpful reminders of basic tenets of Hawai`i insurance law that in this instance supported a denial of coverage. The insured homeowners sold their home to buyers who then sued. The buyers claimed sellers misled them about the condition of the home. When sellers tendered buyers’ claim under sellers’ homeowners’ and umbrella policies, State Farm denied coverage.
A look at transfer and venue practice issues from the bench
By Tram Nguyen, John Rhee and Louise Ing
On November 14, 2012, the Hawai’i Chapter of the Federal Bar Association hosted a panel discussion on “Transfer and Venue Practice Issues.” Organized and moderated by Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing attorneys John Rhee and Brandon Segal, the panel featured Federal Chief District Judge Susan Mollway, Federal Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi, and Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing director Louise Ing. Those attending the session gained a valuable glimpse into judges’ thought processes in ruling on motions for change of venue and on hearing motions in general.
By William S. Hunt
Do you have an adequate Advanced Health Care Directive (“AHCD”) setting forth your wishes regarding what treatment you desire if you are unable to communicate with your care givers? If not, you should create one, and even if you do, you should review it to be sure it clearly sets forth your wishes for others to follow. In a recent case in Honolulu, our firm, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, filed a petition on behalf of a medical center pursuant to Hawaii’s version of the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act to request that the court order a patient’s family to follow the instructions set forth in her AHCD, which stated that she did not want her death artificially prolonged by nutrition through a feeding tube. She was elderly and had suffered a serious head injury and stroke. Two physicians certified she was in a vegetative-like state and had no chance for recovery. Unfortunately, although her AHCD said her wishes would control, she had also executed at the same time a durable power of attorney giving her brother complete authority to make all health care decisions. He decided to ignore the stated instructions in her AHCD.
By Carla Erskine and Louise Ing
In early 2012 the State of Hawai`i Department of Taxation issued more than $700 million in transient accommodation tax (TAT) assessments against fifteen online travel companies (OTCs) – Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity, and their subsidiaries. Led by Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing (AHFI) lawyers Paul Alston, Pamela Bunn and Tina Colman, the OTCs opposed the assessments.
By Carla Erskine
On October 31, 2012, the Hawai’i Chapter of the Federal Bar Association hosted a brownbag discussion titled “Review of Noteworthy 2012 Decisions of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawai`i. Alston Hunt Floyd and Ing attorneys Michelle Comeau and Claire W. Black organized and moderated the session. The session provided an informative overview of the wide array of cases decided by Hawaii’s district judges this year.
By John Rhee
What’s on federal judges’ minds when they rule on motions for attorneys’ fees? On September 26, 2012, attendees at a panel discussion on “Developments in Fee Awards” hosted by the Hawai`i Chapter of the Federal Bar Association garnered some practical and candid tips from Federal District Judge Leslie Kobayashi and Federal Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren. Blaine Rogers of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing moderated the discussion.