Commercial and Real Estate Arbitration and Litigation

Our Commercial and Real Estate Litigation practice group provides a full range of litigation and dispute resolution services to our clients. We have extensive experience in negotiations, mediations, arbitrations, and litigation in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies.  Our group is an interdisciplinary one, drawing on its member attorneys with expertise in litigation, real estate law, administrative law, bankruptcy, tax and appellate practice. We work closely with accountants, appraisers, archeologists, historians, cultural, land use, and zoning consultants, economists, financial consultants, and valuation experts, and experts in relevant disciplines to provide quality services to the clients of the firm.

Our areas of specific expertise include:

  • Access, Right of Way and Easement Litigation
  • Arbitration
  • Bankruptcy
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Constitutional Appeals
  • Construction Litigation
  • Contract Litigation
  • Government Regulation and Eminent Domain
  • Lease Dispute Resolution and Summary Possession
  • Leasehold Condemnation
  • Quiet Title Litigation and Partition
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Rent Renegotiation and Arbitration
  • Title Insurance Claims
  • Water Rights Regulatory Proceedings and Litigation
  • Zoning and Permitting Administrative Actions and Litigation

Commercial and business disputes
We have extensive experience and competence in representing all forms of business entities and individuals in matters ranging from antitrust to zoning disputes.

Creditors Rights and Foreclosure
We represent lenders in all aspects of real property foreclosure, including defense against lender-liability claims, regulatory claims, sovereignty claims and Truth-in-Lending claims and including ejectment proceedings when necessary  We also handle debt collection and judgment execution proceedings.

Government Regulation and Eminent Domain
Our practice includes statutory condemnations, forced conversions of the leased-fee interest of single-family residential lots under Hawai`i statutes, state and local government rent control statutes and ordinances, and inverse and regulatory takings. We prevailed in litigation striking down the attempt by the City and County of Honolulu to allow zoning by initiative. We also successfully challenged two of the City and County of Honolulu’s legislative schemes seeking to impose rent controls on residential leasehold condominium and cooperative units.

Real Estate Litigation
Land in Hawai‘i forms a fundamental basis for much of the economic, cultural, and political life of the state.  As such, the lawyers in this practice group have represented clients in virtually every type of dispute that touches upon real estate.  We represented almost every conceivable category of participant in the real estate universe in Hawai‘i:  owners, purchasers, sellers, lessees, landlords, tenants, developers, property managers, U.S. and international investors,  rea; estate investment trusts, family trusts, local charitable trusts and foundations, non-profit institutions, entrepreneurs, limited liability companies, corporations and partnerships, borrowers and lenders.  We represent clients in trial and appellate courts at the state and federal level, before regulatory and administrative agencies, arbitration tribunals, and tax authorities.  The lawyers in this group are experienced in the numerous sectors of the real estate industries and have handled some of the largest and highest profile cases in their practices.

Eminent domain, rent control and zoning
Our practice includes statutory condemnations, forced conversions of the leased-fee interest of single-family residential lots under Hawai`i statutes, state and local government rent control statutes and ordinances, and inverse and regulatory takings. We prevailed in litigation striking down the attempt by the City and County of Honolulu to allow zoning by initiative. We also successfully challenged two of the City and County of Honolulu’s legislative schemes seeking to impose rent controls on residential leasehold condominium and cooperative units.

Mandatory and contractual lease rent negotiations and arbitrations
We represent clients in lease rent arbitrations. In some instances, these arbitrations present a complex range of factual and legal issues such as the arbitrability of the issues in dispute, the definition of the interest to be valued, the impact of state and local government regulations on the value of the relevant property interest, and lease interpretation. We have been engaged in arbitrations relating to single family residences, multi-family units and projects, and commercial, industrial, and resort/hotel properties.

Quiet title and partition
We have expertise in quiet title and partition practice.  We frequently resolve title breaks as far back as the 1850’s, when the Great Mahele occurred.  We work with title searchers, genealogists, translators and our own archives of historical materials.  Resolution of titles sometimes involves the complicated law of adverse possession.  We often handle partitions, whether between as few as two owners or as many as dozens of owners living in numerous jurisdictions.  We have experience both in partition in kind (physical divisions of property) and in partitions by sale (to divide the proceeds between or among owners).

Purchase contract litigation
We have extensive experience in representing buyers or sellers in disputes over property purchase contracts, whether involving nonperformance by a party or issues of nondisclosure, misrepresentation or contract termination.

Foreclosure
We represent lenders in all aspects of real property foreclosure, including defense against lender-liability claims, regulatory claims, sovereignty claims and Truth-in-Lending claims and including ejectment proceedings when necessary  We also handle debt collection and judgment execution proceedings.

Water rights and regulation
Our firm has been at the forefront of the development of water rights law in Hawai`i since before statehood.  We help landowners, water system owners, and developers of surface and groundwater sources navigate the unique regulatory regime governing water rights in Hawai`i.  Our work in the area includes representing major landowners in contested case hearings before the Commission for Water Resource Management, advising owners of irrigation systems on their rights and obligations, and litigation of disputes over appurtenant and riparian rights.

Practice Chair

Attorneys