Oral Argument Before the Supreme Court

No. SCWC-10-0000188, Thursday, February 21, 2013, 11:00 a.m.

(CIVIL NO. 09-1-264K) COUNTY OF HAWAI`I, a municipal corporation of the State of Hawai`i, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. UNIDEV, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Petitioner/Defendant and Counterclaimant-Appellant, vs. COUNTY OF HAWAI`I, a municipal corporation of the State of Hawai`i, HAWAII ISLAND HOUSING TRUST, a Hawai`i corporation; and WAIKOLOA WORKFORCE HOUSING, LLC, a Hawai`i limited liability company, Respondents/Counterclaim Defendants-Appellees. (CIVIL NO. 10-1-427K) COUNTY OF HAWAI`I, a municipal corporation of the State of Hawai`i, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. UNIDEV, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, and UNIDEV HAWAII, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Petitioners/Defendants-Appellees.

The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Attorneys for Petitioners:

Paul Alston, Maren L. Calvert, and Claire Wong Black of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing

Attorneys for Respondent County of Hawaii:

Katherine A. Garson, Assistant Corporation Counsel; Laureen L. Martin and Joseph K. Kamelamela, Deputies Corporation Counsel

Attorneys for Respondent Hawaii Island Housing Trust:

John R. Lacy and Abigail M. Holden of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 01/28/13.

COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SRA, SSM, & RWP, JJ.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

On March 2, 2006, Respondent the County of Hawai`i, entered into a contract with UniDev LLC to develop affordable housing units on the island of Hawai`i. On April 19, 2009, the contract was terminated before the construction of the affordable housing units was completed. Following the termination of the contract, on July 1, 2009, Respondent filed suit against Petitioners UniDev LLC and its subsidary, UniDev Hawai`i, LLC alleging negligence and various fraudulent actions by Petitioners. Petitioners filed counterclaims, alleging that their termination constituted a breach of contract and that Respondent had failed to pay them the fees they were owed.

On December 17, 2010, the third circuit court compelled the parties to arbitrate their claims. Respondent appealed the court’s decision to the ICA. Petitioner then filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the ICA did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the appeal. The ICA rejected the motion, holding that it did have jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The ICA then reversed the court’s decision in part, holding that none of the parties’ claims were subject to arbitration other than Respondent’s negligence claim and a part of Petitioners’ breach of contract claim.

In their Application, Petitioners ask whether the ICA erred (1) by holding that it had subject matter jurisdiction over the appeal, (2) by construing the arbitration clause in the contract narrowly, and (3) by holding that the majority of the parties’ claims were not subject to arbitration.

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