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Oral Argument Before the Supreme Court

No. SCWC-30573 and SCWC-11-0000345 Thursday, April 4, 2013, 9 a.m.

(Amended 02/05/13)

CAREN DIAMOND and BEAU BLAIR,Petitioners/Plaintiffs-Appellants/Appellees-Cross-Appellees, vs. CRAIG DOBBIN and WAGNER ENGINEERING SERVICES, INC., Respondents/Defendants-Appellees/Appellants-Cross-Appellees, and STATE OF HAWAI`I, BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, Respondent/Defendant-Appellee/Appellee-Cross-Appellant.

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

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

Attorney for Petitioners Diamond and Blair:

Harold Bronstein

Attorney for Respondents Dobbin and Wagner Engineering:

Walton D.Y. Hong

Attorneys for Respondent State of Hawai`i, BLNR:

Donna H. Kalama, Linda L.W. Chow, and Julie H. China, Deputy Attorneys General

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 01/15/13.

NOTE: Order granting motion for postponement of oral argument from 02/07//13 to 04/04/13, filed 02/05/13.


[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

On January 11, 2008, Respondents Craig Dobbin and Wagner Engineering Services, Inc. filed a shoreline certification application with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (the DLNR) to certify the shoreline location on property owned by Dobbin. The DLNR approved the shoreline, and Petitioners Caren Diamond and Beau Blair appealed the certification to Respondent Board of Land and Natural Resources (the BLNR). The BLNR subsequently denied Petitioners’ appeal and certified the shoreline. Petitioners appealed the certification to the circuit court of the fifth circuit. The court held in favor of Petitioners, and remanded the case to the BLNR with instructions to give due weight to Petitioner’s evidence and to consider more than only the current year’s evidence of the highest wash of the waves in making its shoreline determination.

On remand, the BLNR issued an amended decision that certified the shoreline in the same location as its previous certification. Petitioners again appealed, and the court again held in favor of Petitioners, holding that the shoreline should be certified at the location proposed by Petitioners.

Respondents Dobbin and Wagner and the BLNR appealed to the ICA. The ICA reversed the court and affirmed the BLNR’s amended decision.

In their Application, Petitioners ask whether the ICA gravely erred in (1) articulating the wrong standard for deference to the BLNR, (2) failing to properly apply this court’s interpretation of the statutory definition of “shoreline,” and (3) concluding that the first appeal was rendered moot when the BLNR filed its amended decision.