Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court–No. SCPW-23-0000076
No. SCPW-23-0000076, Thursday, June 29, 2023, 10 a.m.
WOMBLE BOND DICKINSON (US) LLP; SHOOK, HARDY & BACON L.L.P.; and COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, Petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE ROBERT D.S. KIM, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit, State of Hawaiʻi, Respondent Judge, and MARVIN MANIOUS; VALERIE MANIOUS; R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY; PHILIP MORRIS USA, INC.; LIGGETT GROUP LLC; GREENSPOON MARDER LLP; FOODLAND SUPER MARKET, LIMITED; J. HARA STORE, INC.; and WALMART INC., Respondents.
The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:
Supreme Court Courtroom
Aliʻiōlani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
The oral argument will also be livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts and on ʻŌlelo Community Media.
Attorneys for Petitioner Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP:
Edmund K. Saffery, Deirdre Marie-Iha, and Thomas J. Hughes of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel
Attorneys for Petitioner Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP:
David M. Luie and Nicholas R. Monlux of Kobayashi Sugita & Goda, LLP; and Lincoln S. T. Ashida of Torkildon Katz
Attorney for Petitioner Covington & Burling, LLP:
Thomas Benedict of Farm Benedict Sugihara
Attorney for Respondent The Honorable Robert D.S. Kim:
Robyn B. Chun, Deputy Attorney General
Attorneys for Respondents Marvin Manious and Valerie Manious:
Wayne Parsons of Wayne Parsons Law Office; Sergio Rufo of Rufo Law Group, LLLC; Alejandro Alvarez and Phillip Holden of The Alvarez Law Firm
Attorneys for Respondent R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company:
Melvyn M. Miyagi, Ross T. Shinyama, Lisa M. Yang, and Rihui Yuan of Watanabe Ing LLP; Spencer M. Diamond, and Philip R. Green of King & Spalding LLP
Attorneys for Respondent Philip Morris USA Inc.:
David M. Louie and Nicholas R. Monlux of Kobayashi Sugita & Goda, LLP; Lincoln S. T. Ashida of Torkildson Katz
NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Michael D. Wilson, filed 03/01/23.
NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Paula A. Nakayama, filed 03/01/23.
NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Judge John M. Tonaki, in place of Nakayama, J., recused, and Circuit Judge Clarissa Y. Malinao, in place of Wilson, J., recused, filed 03/08/23.
COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna, and Eddins, JJ., Circuit Judge Tonaki in place of Nakayama, J., recused, and Circuit Judge Malinao, in place of Wilson, J., recused
The Circuit Court of the Third Circuit found that it had personal jurisdiction over three law firms based on “conspiracy jurisdiction.” The case originated when plaintiffs Marvin Manious and Valerie Manious sued cigarette companies, vendors, and certain law firms that represented the cigarette companies. Plaintiffs allege that the defendants were engaged in a conspiracy to misrepresent the harms of smoking cigarettes. Plaintiffs allege that the law firms “played a central role in the creation and perpetuation of the conspiracy and the implementation of its fraudulent schemes throughout the United States as well as in Hawaiʻi.”
Each law firm moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The circuit court denied the law firms’ motions to dismiss.
The law firms appealed to this court. They request a writ of prohibition enjoining the circuit court from exercising personal jurisdiction over them, or alternatively a writ of mandamus ordering dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction. The law firms argue that: (1) Hawaiʻi should not adopt conspiracy jurisdiction; and (2) even if Hawaiʻi adopts conspiracy jurisdiction, there is no personal jurisdiction over them.