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Oral Argument Before the Intermediate Court of Appeals – CAAP-15-0000104

CAAP-15-0000104, Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 9 a.m.

In the Matter of the Trust Agreement dated June 6, 1974, as amended.

The above-captioned case was argued on the merits at:

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

Attorneys for Petitioner-Appellant Association of Apartment Owners of Discovery Bay:

Andrew V. Beaman, Danton Wong, Andrew W. Char, Adrienne S. Yoshihara, Nathaniel A. Higa (Chun Kerr)

Attorneys for Respondent-Appellee Bank of Hawaii, as Trustee:

Vincent A. Piekarski, Johnathan c. Bolton (Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel)

Attorneys for Respondents-Appellees Susan Sheetz and Patricia Sheetz Bow:

Robert Bruce Graham, Jr., Clara Park (Ashford & Wriston)

Attorneys for Respondent-Appellee Kevin I. Yokoyama, as Trustee of the Kevin I. Yokoyama Trust and the Irvine K. Yokoyama, Jr. Trust:

Douglas C. Smith, Christopher J.I. Leong (Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert)

Attorney for Respondents-Appellees Julie Henderson, Trustee of the Julie G. Henderson Irrevocable Trust, Jean K. Gowans Irrevocable Trust, and Louis L. Gowans, Jr. Irrevocable Trust; and Richard L. Gowans, Trustee of the Richard L. Gowans Irrevocable Trust:

Blake W. Bushnell (Bushnell Law Group)

COURT: Fujise and Reifurth, JJ., and Circuit Court Judge Crabtree in place of Ginoza, C.J., Leonard and Chan, JJ., recused and a current vacancy.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

This appeal involves two trust proceedings consolidated by the Probate Court, namely T. No. 14-1-0019 and T. No. 14-1-0097. On June 4, 2014, in T. No. 14-1-0097, the Petitioner-Appellant Association of Apartment Owners of Discovery Bay (AOAO) filed a petition to sell the fee simple reversionary interest in the trust estate. The Probate Court denied the petition.

AOAO contends that the Probate Court erred because: (1) the sale of the reversionary interest would further the public policy favoring fee ownership of residential leasehold condominiums; (2) the trust agreement empowers the trust beneficiaries, by majority vote, to instruct the trustee to sell the reversionary interest; (3) the non-AOAO settlors’ arguments that (a) the AOAO has a conflict of interest, (b) the trustee is required to retain the reversionary interest, and (c) the sale of the reversionary interest requires unanimous consent all fail; and (4) the AOAO has the statutory right of first refusal.