Skip to Main Nav Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content

Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court — No. SCWC-16-0000666

No. SCWC-16-0000666, Friday, March 5, 2021, 2 p.m.

In the Matter of the Arbitration Between UNITED PUBLIC WORKERS, AFSCME, LOCAL 646, AFL-CIO, Respondent/Union-Appellant, and STATE OF HAWAII, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, LA-15-02 (Glenn Tanaka) (2016-0003), Petitioner/Employer-Appellee.

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

The oral argument will be held remotely and will be live streamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at

Attorney for Petitioner:

Robert T. Nakatsuji, First Deputy Solicitor General

Attorney for Respondent:

Jonathan E. Spiker of Koshiba Price & Gruebner

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 12/08/20.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Wilson, and Eddins, JJ.

Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format  ]

Brief Description:

This case arises from a dispute regarding attorney’s fees. Before the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”), the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation (“State”) sought $20,044.49 in attorney’s fees under Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) § 658A-25(c), which allows a court to award “incurred” attorney’s fees. The ICA denied the State’s request for attorney’s fees because it determined that the State failed to demonstrate that it “incurred” attorney’s fees. The State appealed the ICA’s decision to this court. This case requires the court to consider whether the State incurred attorney’s fees under HRS § 658A-25(c), and whether “incurred” attorney’s fees requires the prevailing party to demonstrate an “expense, liability, or legal obligation to pay.”