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Oral Arugments before the Supreme Court

No. SCAP-30616 Thursday, August 18, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

In re Attorney’s Fees of DAVID BETTENCOURT, Petitioner/Court-Appointed Counsel-Appellant in STATE OF HAWAIʻI, Plaintiff, vs. JOSHUA GONDA, Defendant.

Attorney for Petitioner/Court-Appointed Counsel-Appellant: David Glenn Bettencourt

Attorneys for Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee: Diane Erickson and Robyn B. Chun, Deputies Attorney General

NOTE: Order accepting application for transfer, filed 04/15/11.


The above oral argument is set in:

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

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Petitioner-Appellant David Bettencourt (Bettencourt) filed an application for transfer seeking

review of the First Circuit Court administrative judge’s order, which reduced the amount of

attorney’s fees payable to him after the full amount of fees had previously been certified

as fair compensation by a trial judge. Bettencourt was court-appointed to represent an indigent

defendant in a case involving multiple attempted murder and firearms counts. After a jury trial,

the defendant was acquitted on all counts. Bettencourt subsequently requested court-appointed

attorney’s fees of $38,529, in excess of the $6,000 statutory maximum allowed in felony cases

under Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) section 802-5(b). The circuit judge who had presided over

the trial certified the full amount requested as fair compensation; the administrative judge

approved $26,640.


This appeal involves questions of first impression involving the applicability and/or interpretation

of HRS § 802-5(b) and Criminal Administrative Order 1.1, and the scope of an administrative judge’s

authority thereunder.