Articles Posted in Legal Ethics

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The Supreme Court held that Rule 6 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Hawai’i (RSCH) did not prohibit Dentons US LLP from practicing law in Hawai’i through its Hawai’i-licensed attorneys because the portions of RSCH Rule 6 that prohibit non-Hawai’i-licensed attorneys from serving as directors or officers of Hawai’i law firms with a multi-jurisdictional presence were repealed by implication by other rules of the Court. When the RSCH Rule 6 was first promulgated, only Hawai’i-licensed attorneys could serve as partners or shareholders in Hawai’i law corporations. The Court’s ethical rules governing the practice of law changed thereafter to eliminate the requirement that only Hawai’i-licensed attorneys could serve as partners in Hawai’i law firms and to allow law firms practicing in Hawaii to have non-Hawai’i-licensed members. The Supreme Court held that RSCH Rule 6 did not prohibit a former law firm partners’ practice of law in Hawai’i as part of Dentons US LLP because the portions of RSCH Rule 6 at issue have been superseded, by implication, by other rules of the Court that permit law firms composed of Hawai’i-licensed and non-Hawaii-licensed attorneys to practice law in Hawai’i, to mean “in this state or in any other state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.” View "Sheveland v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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Plaintiffs filed a complaint against Attorney alleging that Attorney failed properly to advertise and conduct non-judicial foreclosure sales of their properties in violation of duties under Plaintiffs’ mortgages, statutory law, common law, and the consumer protection statute. The circuit court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that dismissal was appropriate where (1) the statutory requirements of former Haw. Rev. Stat. 667-5 and 776-7 do not give rise to a private right of action against a foreclosing mortgagee’s attorney; and (2) an unfair or deceptive acts or practices acts or practices claim against Attorney as the foreclosing mortgagee’s attorney was not recognized. View "Sigwart v. Office of David B. Rosen" on Justia Law

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During the trial of State v. Deedy and on the fifth day of jury deliberations, the circuit court conducted five separate court proceedings that were not open to the public. The transcripts from the court sessions were subsequently sealed, and a mistrial was declared as a result of a deadlocked jury. Petitioners, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now, filed petitions for writs of prohibition and mandamus seeking to prohibit the circuit court from sealing any portion of the trial transcript and to prohibit the court from closing the courtroom in a similar manner in a re-trial of State v. Deedy and in any other criminal proceeding. On remand, the circuit court unsealed the transcript. The Supreme Court (1) dismissed the writ of prohibition as moot because the circuit court already unsealed the transcript of the closed proceedings; (2) denied the writ of mandamus as unnecessary in light of the directive of this opinion; and (3) adopted procedures that a court is required to follow before denying public access to a transcript of a closed proceeding. View "Oahu Publ’ns, Inc. v. Hon. Karen Ahn" on Justia Law