Articles Posted in Business Law

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This appeal was the most recent development in litigation concerning the ownership and control of the Marn family business. Alexander Marn sought a declaratory judgment and specific performance regarding his rights to the business. Despite a jury demand, the circuit court held a bench trial. Thereafter, the circuit court entered partial final judgment against Alexander. The Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) affirmed, concluding that the circuit court did not err in conducting a bench trial instead of a jury trial. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA’s judgment on appeal, holding that the ICA gravely erred in affirming the circuit court’s decision to conduct a bench trial, as Alexander was entitled to a jury trial on his declaratory judgment action, and a jury trial was properly demanded and preserved. Remanded. View "In re Marn Family Litigation" on Justia Law

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In 1994, Investors Equity Life Insurance Company of Hawaii, Ltd. (IEL) was liquidated. The State Insurance Commission was appointed as IEL’s liquidator (Liquidator). In 1996, Investors Equity Life Holding Company (IELHC), the former parent company and sole shareholder of IEL, surrendered all of its shares in IEL to the Commissioner as part of a settlement agreement to resolve claims relating to IEL’s insolvency. The Liquidator proceeded to administer IEL’s estate. In 2008, IELHC wrote to the Liquidator claiming that it held legal or equitable title to all of IEL’s stock and demanding that the Liquidator turn over to IELHC all shares and assets remaining in IEL’s estate. The Liquidator denied the claim. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court did not err in concluding that IELHC asserted a claim against IEL’s estate and that the claim was time barred; (2) the circuit court had subject matter jurisdiction over IELHC’s claim and personal jurisdiction over IELHC; (3) there were no grounds for abating the adjudication of IELHC’s claim; and (4) the circuit court’s procedures met due process requirements. View "Ito v. Investors Equity Life Holding Co." on Justia Law

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Ralph Mitchell, a condominium owner in the Association of Apartment Owners of Discovery Bay (“AOAO”), submitted a petition to the AOAO to conduct a special meeting of the AOAO to remove one or more of the AOAO Board members. The AOAO filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief alleging that the petition did not contain at least twenty-five percent of the owners’ signatures, and therefore, there was no basis for conducting a special meeting. The circuit court granted summary judgment for the AOAO. The AOAO subsequently sought fees and costs under Haw. Rev. Stat. 514B-157(a) and (b). The circuit court granted the motion. Mitchell appealed, arguing that the AOAO’s refusal to mediate the dispute precluded it from an entitlement of any fees and costs under Haw. Rev. Stat. 514B-161(a). The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) affirmed. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA’s judgment and remanded for a determination of whether section 514B-161(a) applies in this case and, if so, directed the circuit court to take into consideration such refusal in determining whether to award attorneys’ fees and costs. View "Ass’n of Apartment Owners of Discovery Bay v. Mitchell" on Justia Law

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This case concerned the Marn Family Litigation, which had been ongoing for nearly fifteen years and concerned the ownership and control of the Marn family business. Petitioner Alexander Marn filed the instant appeal before the Supreme Court pro se before the intermediate court of appeals (ICA). The ICA dismissed Alexander’s appeal for failure to comply with the Hawaii Rules of Appellate Procedure in his opening brief. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA’s judgment, holding that the ICA’s dismissal of Alexander’s appeal without notice or a meaningful opportunity to respond was a violation of Haw. R. App. P. 30. Remanded. View "In re Marn Family Litig." on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law