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A Press Release from a law firm is different than one from an government organization, a corporation or a person. An attorney who makes a statement about ongoing litigation is limited by the following ethical rules:

(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.

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(1) the claim, offense or defense involved and, except when prohibited by law, the identity of the persons involved;

(2) information contained in a public record;

(3) that an investigation of a matter is in progress;

(4) the scheduling or result of any step in litigation;

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(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may make a statement that a reasonable lawyer would believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect

Sharon Black v. City and County of Honolulu: 07 CV 299

Press Release: Kaneohe, Hawaii June 3, 2007

On Friday June 1, 2007, Sharon Black filed a lawsuit against, among others, Chief of Police Boisse Correa. The essence of Sharon's allegations is that Chief Correa used his official position to retaliate against Sharon for filing a sexual harassment lawsuit in 1997. The 1997 lawsuit was settled in November 2001 and certain obligations of that settlement lasted until November 2004. In late October 2004, Chief Correa assigned Sharon to a new supervisor Major Lima. Her lawsuit alleges that Major Lima, at the direction of various supervisors, began a campaign of nitpicking and harassing Ms. Black. This unpleasant work environment turned into a living hell of administrative allegations and criminal trials after Sharon allegedly violated the Medical Examiner's Office information security policy.

Among those being sued are the Chief Correa and several other officers for retaliation and related torts; the Chief Medical Examiner Kanthi De Alwis and several of her staff for having a negligent information security policy and falsely accusing Sharon of breaking it; Human Resource Equal Opportunity Officer Denise Tsukayama for doing a pretextual investigation; and Deputy Prosecutor Chris Vanmarter for fabricating evidence during the investigative period of the prosecution.

Jury Trial, October 6, 2009

Jury trial was held starting on Tuesday, October 6, 2009. The Jury reach a verdict in favor of Ms. Black on Friday, October 17, 2009. The Jury found that the City and County of Honolulu, through its agents like Boisse Correa, decided to try Sharon Black for essentially doing her job of researching suicides at the Medical Examiner's Office. Ms. Black was accused in Septemeber 2005, endured a criminal trial in 2006 and still is under administrative charges. The Jury awarded $150,000 for emotional distress.

Susan Siu vs. De Alwis et. alSusan Siu vs. City and County of Honolulu, 07 CV 386

This case is set for trial on December 8, 2009 on the sole charge of sexual harassment under Title VII and state statute.

David Brown vs. Melanie Chinen et. al, 07 CV 556

PRESS RELEASE November 5, 2007

On or about Wednesday, November 7, 2007, David Brown, former Branch Chief Hawaii State Archaeologist, will be filing a law suit against various defendants to include Melanie Chinen, Administrator of the State Historic Preservation Division, and Robert Awana, former Chief-of-Staff to Governor Linda Lingle. Mr. Brown alleges Chinen did not renew his yearly contract in retaliation for Mr. Brown’s refusal to rubberstamp and follow directives from Chinen and from “the Governor’s Office” associated with the illegal and unethical schemes of the above defendants.

Mr. Brown alleges that "the Governor’s Office" would often call Chinen directly and tell her to expedite or purposely delay permit approvals for commercial real estate developments and other projects. Sometimes with staff assistance, Chinen would fabricate response to circumvent the preservation review process, fast-track permits, and/or distort evidence, allowing known/unknown archaeological resources in the relevant areas to be placed in jeopardy. These dealings resulted in project approvals like the Superferry, Hokulia, Wal-Mart, General Growth Properties/Ward Centers, Turtle Bay, and Kaloko Heights. During development of these projects, significant archeological features and iwi kupuna were "inadvertently" discovered and subsequently disturbed and/or destroyed. In other proposed projects, however, like Dowset Heights delay permit approvals for commercial real estate developments and other projects.

Sometimes with staff assistance, Chinen would fabricate response to circumvent the preservation review process, fast-track permits, and/or distort evidence, allowing known/unknown archaeological resources in the relevant areas to be placed in jeopardy. These dealings resulted in project approvals like the Superferry, Hokulia, Wal-Mart, General Growth Properties/Ward Centers, Turtle Bay, and Kaloko Heights. During development of these projects, significant archeological features and iwi kupuna were "inadvertently" discovered and subsequently disturbed and/or destroyed. In other proposed projects, however, like Dowsett Heights where no significant historical archeological features would be impacted, the permit approval was stalled at the requests of political insiders. Mr. Brown further alleges that his refusal to join with defendants in violating state laws, ethics, and professional standards cost him his job, caused significant damage to the archeological treasures unique to Hawaii , resulted in financial ruin for some investors, and allowed the desecration of over 300 Hawaiian gravesites.

At 1:30 p.m, Wednesday, November 7, 2007, on the front steps of the Federal Court house at 300 Ala Moana Boulevard , David Brown and his attorney Mark Beatty will be available to answer questions to the press or concerned citizens. Those with information about the above or wanting to keep informed should go to www.tbadk.com.

Click here for copy of David Brown's Complaint.

Press Release October 26, 2009

The non jury trial for this case was started on October 20, 2009. Closing arguments are set for October 27, 2009 before Judge Alan C. Kay. Plaintiff claims that the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) has been in violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) since 1990. During this time, SHPD as violated the rights of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Native Hawaiians by reburying their ancestors without proper notice to give said Native Hawaiians the opportunity for a voice in where and how their ancestors were reburied. Mr. Brown was former chief archeologist at SHPD and lost his job because he spoke out about these illegal practices. The Court, however, dismissed Mr. Brown's First Amendment claim for retaliatory firing because the Court ruled that Mr. Brown was speaking as an employee when he spoke out about the illegal practices at SHPD. Part of the illegal practices was fast tracking development projects such as the Super Ferry.

Click here for copy of Order Dismissing First Amendment Claim.

Press Release November 16, 2009

On Friday, November 13, 2009, Judge Kay ruled on David Brown's lawsuit concerning the the violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) by the State of Hawaii, State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD). In his Order, Judge Kay commended Mr. Brown for bringing the lawsuit that pointed out noncompliance by the State of Hawaii. One could interpret this ORDER (click to see a copy) as a win of declarative relief for Mr. Brown. Judge Kay, however, characterized the judgment as a win for the State of Hawaii.

Judge Kay based his ruling on Mr. Brown not having "standing" because Mr. Brown was not faced with an immediate harm. Judge Kay based his decision on Reno v. McCord 452 F.3d 1126 (Ninth Circuit, 2006) that relied on the United State Supreme Court case Ebay Inc. v. Mercexchange LLC. (click to see a copy) In the Ebay case, the Supreme Court ruled that Plaintiff must qualify under the "zone-of-interests" in order to have standing for injunctive relief when bringing a patent lawsuit to enforce intellectual property rights.

Mr. Brown and his attorney Mark Beatty are perplexed at this ruling because Mr. Brown did not bring a patent lawsuit or an intellectual property lawsuit. Mr. Brown sued the State of Hawaii under 25 U.S.C. 3013 which provides standing by statute. (click to see a copy) Mr. Brown, through his attorney, argued that according to the Supreme Court Case Bennett v. Spear, (click to see a copy) if one has standing by statute, one does not need standing by the "zone-of-interests."

The Brown v. Chinen case is important because NAGPRA, passed into law on November 16, 1990, was largely written, influenced, and/or sponsored by Senators Daniel Inouye and John McCain. NAGPRA places Native Hawaiians at the same status with other Native Americans. NAGPRA is often referred to by the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement and is an essential precedent for the Akaka Bill.

Despite the importance of this law, NAGPRA has never been implemented by the State of Hawaii; Senator Inouye never did anything to make sure NAGPRA was implemented in his home state; now, after some 20 years of noncompliance by SHPD, the Court appears to have ruled that NAGPRA is unenforceable.

In the First Amendment part of his case, Mr. Brown argued that he was fired because he objected to the State intentionally violating NAGPRA and other federal and state laws so that the State could fast track development projects like the Superferry and the proposed developments at Turtle Bay. The Court previously ruled that as the Branch Chief Archaeologist of SHPD, Mr. Brown was the legal advisor for SHPD and thus, any opinions he voiced are not protected by the First Amendment.

David Brown, by and through his attorney Mark Beatty, remain perplexed at the Court's ruling. Please send any comments or questions to pressrelease@tbadk.com.

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