Author: John S. Rhee

The class action litigation involving drivers for the ride-booking company Uber has enormous implications not just for those in the “gig economy” but for all companies that use the services of independent contractors.  In O’Connor et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., in the Northern District of California, a class of… Continue Reading
A District of Hawai`i federal judge and local practitioners weigh in on why settlement conferences aren't just by the numbers. By John S. Rhee If he could, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Kevin S. C. Chang would make it a District of Hawai`i requirement for parties to exchange good faith offers and settlement conference statements to make the settlement conference process more transparent and efficient. This was among the points raised at a recent brownbag discussion presented by the Federal Bar Association, Hawai`i Chapter, on "Settlement Conference Dos and Don'ts." Speakers included Magistrate Judge Chang along with local practitioners Richard L. Fried and John S. Nishimoto. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
By John Rhee As chronicled in our July 12 blogpost (“What Is Filed in Hawai`i May Not Stay in Hawai`i”) , the orders in GPNE Corp. v. Amazon.com Inc., transferred venue of GPNE’s patent infringement suits from Hawai`i to two other districts. GPNE’s patent-infringement suit against Research… Continue Reading
By John Rhee Practically all out-of-state defendants prefer not to have to litigate in the plaintiff's "home" court, even if the venue is Hawai`i.  It is commonly assumed that "home" courts, out of deference (many have argued excessive deference) to the plaintiff's choice of forum, are reluctant to grant motions to transfer, especially when the home court is in the middle of the Pacific like Hawai`i.  Two recent opinions in cases in which our firm was involved contradict the notion that Hawai`i judges will defer to a plaintiff's choice of Hawai`i as forum.  In WeR1 World Network v. CyberLynk Network Inc., 11-CV-00195 (DAE-RLP) (Dkt #20), and GPNE Corp. v. Amazon.com, Inc., et al., 11-CV-00426 (SOM-RLP) (Dkt #246), the federal district court granted motions to transfer the cases out of the District of Hawai`i.  Although unpublished opinions, they illustrate the fact-intensive approach often taken by courts on venue transfer motions. Continue Reading