Consultation First, Litigation If Needed
At Yanagida & Associates, we view our mission as to prevent future litigation and advise our clients accordingly. We are thrilled when clients come to see us for a consultation before they proceed, whether it is regarding a purchase, contract, business venture, hiring and terminating employees, or management practices. We routinely work with federal, state and county agencies, such as the IRS and the State Department of Health, to resolve our clients' issues. We are advisers before we are litigators, and seek to proceed with quiet dispatch, offering consultation and cooperation with discretion.
When litigation is the only recourse advantageous to our client, or when we are contacted after litigation has already begun, then we will combine creative strategies with zealous representation. Our attorneys are at ease appearing before state and federal courts, and in dealing with government agencies. While some firms may have limited experience in federal court, our attorneys regularly litigate in federal courts under original jurisdiction including patent, maritime and bankruptcy cases, as well as in diversity matters when international and multi-state parties are involved. We have successfully resolved issues of venue and removal actions. Examples of the firm's ability to resolve matters involving international and multi-state parties include the following:
- U.S. and Canada
In a complex aviation case involving litigation in Hawaii and in Canada, our Hawaii-based industrial helicopter client ferried firefighters throughout the western United States on behalf of the U.S. National Park and Wildlife Service to enable them to repel forest fires. We sued the Canadian subcontractor who was also a partner in the U.S. operations, for stalling on the refurbishment of a large helicopter and thus undermining the U.S. operations and even sabotaging a helicopter before flight. We successfully closed the litigation in both countries on terms satisfactory to our client.
- Hawaii and California
Working with co-counsel in California, we successfully removed a California employment lawsuit against a local Hawaii business from state to federal court and obtained a dismissal for lack of California jurisdiction. (2008)
- Hawaii and France/Belgium
We successfully removed a state case to federal court and then obtained intervention of a local firm without destroying diversity jurisdiction.
- U.S. and New Caledonia
Royal P&O Nedlloyd N.V. vs. Braun Management Co., Ltd., Blue Lagoon Farms, in Personam; and 1183 Packages of New Caledonian Frozen Shrimp, in Rem, lawsuits in U.S. federal court and Noumea, Nouvelle Caledonie, France over the shipping company's failure to maintain refrigeration over a container of shrimp shipped from Noumea to Maui. The shipping company records ultimately revealed a 7 day gap in refrigeration records. Royal P&O Nedlloyd or its agents refroze the shrimp without disclosing the 7-day gap to the consignee. Braun's local agent smelled a problem, rejected tender, and Blue Lagoon sued in Noumea. Royal P&O Nedlloyd sued in Hawaii, claiming the re-frozen shrimp was edible and demanding compensation for storage, without disclosing that it already had been sued in Noumea. Our client, Braun Management, prevailed.
The firm represents creditors, and occasionally debtors, with complex bankruptcy cases. The following are two representative cases illustrating our ability to successfully represent clients in bankruptcy matters:
- Successfully preventing a creditor from defaulting on its financial obligations to a bank: Our client, a local bank, pursued a businessman who had transferred title in violation of a mortgage, then sought to avoid foreclosure by filing a bankruptcy petition. The state court had determined that the businessman had acted fraudulently. This firm moved to lift the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(4), newly promulgated under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), therefore avoiding the issue of whether or not the property was required for the reorganization. The bank recovered all monies owed to it including default interest and attorney fees and costs. Mill Street Management, LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawai'i Chapter 7 #07-00064
- Filing rare Involuntary Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to protect the interests of partially-secured second mortgagee: For our client, a partially secured second mortgagee, we filed an Involuntary Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Hawai'i to ensure scrutiny of first mortgagee's opaque and excessive charges. These were eventually reduced by the first mortgagee leaving our client in a better position. In Re Segundo, Myrna Acenas, U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Hawai'i Chapter 7 (involuntary) #08-00709
Representing the Commercial Interests of Local Clients
Yanagida & Associates is dedicated to representing the commercial interests of clients located in Maui and throughout Hawaii. Some of our clients have been City Bank, Hawaii National Bank, Irrigations Systems, Inc., Hawaii Meeting Builders (owners of HawaiiConventionCenter.com), and the Associations of Apartment Owners of Kihei Kai, Kalama Terrace, Waiehu Terrace, and Iao Parkside. We have successfully represented the interests of local clients in a variety of legal matters, including the following representative matters:
- Maritime Law: In a federal maritime dispute in the U.S. federal court, a local drydock company obtained an order to seize our client's vessel, a 92-ton, 85-foot steel twin-hulled work boat. The boat had entered dry dock with the plaintiff, but the boat's own crew ended up performing most of the work itself. The work that the drydock had performed was so deficient that 6 months later, sheets of paint were falling off the steel hull, exposing the hull to the salt water. Plaintiff finally agreed to make good in its omission and make whole our client. THE PHOENICIAN, L.L.C. v. Red Rhino, District of Hawai'i CV04-00742-SOM-BMK (In Admiralty)
- Employment Law: Successfully defended employer against alleged employment discrimination (Hawai'i State Civil Rights Commission). Judy M. Fernandez vs. Nail Art Hair Salon, Inc. HCRC FEP No. 14020
- Employment Law: Successfully defended employer against alleged employee discrimination to discourage membership in a labor organization. Buzz's Wharf Restaurant, TN of Braun Management Co., Ltd. Case 37-CA-7575 (National Labor Relations Board)(2008)
Please contact Yanagida & Associates by facsimile or at (808) 244-1000.