Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court

No. SCWC-12-0000806, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 10 a.m.

SUSAN P. GORDON, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. IRA GORDON, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

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 Petitioner:

Peter Van Name Esser and Huilin Dong

Attorneys for Respondent:

Samuel P. King, Jr., Gregory L. Ryan, and Shannon Parrott

NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge Edward H. Kubo, Jr., due to a vacancy, filed 03/17/14.

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 04/17/14.

COURT: MER, C.J.; PAN, SSM, & RWP, JJ.; and Circuit Court Judge Kubo, due to a vacancy.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Ira Gordon filed an application for writ of certiorari to review the January 3, 2012 Judgment on Appeal of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, filed pursuant to its November 29, 2013 Memorandum Opinion.

In brief summary, Susan Gordon met Ira Gordon in Las Vegas in 1992 and married in December 1997. Susan and Ira entered the marriage with individually owned properties and other assets. On July 28, 2010, Susan filed for divorce. In its Divorce Decree, the family court determined that “valid and relevant considerations” existed to justify deviation from partnership principles based upon findings of Ira’s financial misconduct and an outstanding tax debt. Accordingly, in light of these findings, the family court divided the couple’s properties and awarded Susan, inter alia, several of Ira’s retirement accounts, alimony of $3,000 per month for ten years, and 75% of the remaining escrow funds from the marital residence.

Ira presents three questions in his application: (1) did the ICA commit grave error when it affirmed the family court’s property division in the absence of any attempt by the family court to value or categorize the assets, or otherwise show its computations; (2) did the ICA commit grave error when it affirmed the family court’s deviation from partnership principles based on “valid and relevant considerations” in basing its one-sided property division on alleged dissipation during the parties’ 20-year economic partnership; and (3) did the ICA commit grave error when it affirmed the family court’s excessive alimony award, based on dissipation during the parties’ 20-year economic partnership, without considering Ira’s age, health, ability to pay, or financial condition after the divorce.

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