Press Releases about Litigation

 

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Limits of Press Releases

      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.

      (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:

      (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;

      (5) a request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information necessary thereto;

      (6) a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person involved, when there is reason to believe that there exists the likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the public interest; and

      (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 ofBlack vs. Correa et. al.

Press Release: Kaneohe, Hawaii  October 26, 2009

The trial lasting six days started on October 6, 2009. Jurors started deliberating on Thursday, October 15, 2009 and reached a verdic on Friday Afternoon, October 16, 2009. The Jury found the City and County of Honolulu did various adverse employment actions against Sharon Black to include attempting to convict her in criminal court and potentionally send her to jail for up to five years for doing research on suicides at the Medical Examiner's Office, something Ms. Black has been doing since 1992. The Jury found that part of the reason that the City and County pursued such criminal charges is that Ms. Black filed a law suit in 1997 that was settled in 2001 and had three years of injunctive relief ending in 2004. The harassment Ms. Black experience started in 2004.

The Jury awarded Ms. Black $150,000 in damages. 

Press Release: Kaneohe, Hawaii  June 3, 2007ant to this paragraph shall be limited to such information as is necessary to mitigate the recent adverse publicity.

To every degree possible everything on this page should be construde in such a way as to fit within the parameters of the above ethical guidelines.

Please consider all information below as a general request for additional information from witnesses with knowledge.

 

Black vs. Correa et. al.

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 C The lawsuit filed by Sharon Black against Boisse Correa et. al. (case # CV07-299 in US District Court for the District of Hawaii) will be in settlement proceedings on October 30, 2007. On September 20, 2007, the complaint survived a motion to dismiss by the City and County of Honolulu. Causes of Action to be discussed at the settlement conference include: NegligeSusan Siu vs. De Alwis et. alSusan Siu vs. City and County of Honolulu, 07 CV 386

      Press Release October 26, 2009

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

 

David Brown vs. Melanie Chinen et. al

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 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 kapuna were �inadvertently� discovered and subsequently disturbed and/or destroyed. In other proposed projects, however, like Dowsetty 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 kapuna 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

 

 

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