In February, the Hawaii Supreme Court issued two published opinions, and the Intermediate Court of Appeals issued three (one of which resulted from the court granting a motion to publish a previously issued summary disposition order). Below is a brief synopsis of each:
In Greer v. Baker, SCWC-14-0000897 (Feb. 22, 2016), the HAWSCT vacated the ICA’s decision to dismiss an appeal for lack of jurisdiction because the circuit court’s order granting in part and denying in part a motion to dismiss, according to the HAWSCT, “conclusively determined the disputed question” – i.e. whether Baker was entitled to absolute legislative immunity; that the issue was “an important issue separate from the merits of the action”; and the decision would be “effectively unreviewable on appeal.”
In Anatasi v. Fidelity Nat’l Title Ins. Co., SCWC-30557 (Feb. 4, 2016), the HAWSCT held that “there is no statute or case in Hawaii that requires that the trier of fact assume in insurance claims cases that materials prepared before a final determination on the insured’s claim are not work product and that materials prepared after a final determination are work product.” The court also declined to exclude title insurance companies from bad faith claims, and concluded that Fidelity was not entitled to summary judgment on the issue of whether it acted in good faith
In State v. Williams, CAAP-13-0001285 (Feb. 29, 2016), the ICA affirmed a conviction for attempted second degree murder and rejected the defendant’s claim that the circuit court erred in limited certain evidence he claimed supported his claim of self-defense. In particular, the ICA held, in part, that it was “questionable” that the alleged “prior bad act” statements the defendant claimed had been made by the individual he’d stabbed would have supported the defendant’s claim that the other man was the “first aggressor.” The ICA also held that the State presented sufficient evidence to negate the self-defense claim.
In State v. Nilsawit, CAAP-15-0000372 (Feb. 18, 2016), the ICA, in a case involving a local new station’s application for extended coverage of a criminal case in district court, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because the news organization failed to comply with the administrative review process. Specifically, the new organization failed to file a timely appeal of the decision to the administrative judge, as required by the Rules of the Supreme Court for the State of Hawaii governing media coverage.
In U.S. Bank N.A. v. Mattos, CAAP-14-0001134 (Feb. 12, 2016), a decision previously issued as a summary disposition order, the ICA affirmed summary judgment in a foreclosure case, rejecting arguments that the bank lacked standing due to robo-signing, non-compliance with assignment under a “pooling and service agreement,” and the failure to assign the underlying note.