Hawaii Lawyers

July 20, 2016

Lawyers, Lawyers, everywhere you look it seems like there are lawyers. Or somebody's relative is a lawyer. It is true that after the creation of the Richardson School Of Law in 1973 the number of lawyers in Hawaii has risen dramatically. It was the vision of the late, greatly talented trial lawyer, Wallace Fujiyama, and the former Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, William Richardson, that Hawaii needed a local law school of national prominence in order to cultivate local talent as well as to incorporate local values.

According to the Hawaii State Bar Association, in 2011 there were 4632 actively practicing lawyers in Hawaii. Given a population approaching 1.5 million, the ratio of attorneys was 29.3 per 10,000 persons. This ratio compared to 42.4 lawyers per 10,000 persons in California and an incredible 774.9 lawyers per 10,000 persons in Washington, D.C. ( more...)

A Half - Century Of Insurance

Jan Weinberg's book, Confessions Of A Personal Injury Lawyer, should be published later this year. Chapter Sixteen of the book, "A Half Century Of Insurance" appears below for your reading pleasure.

I had appeared several times before district court judge James Shigemura in a few criminal cases. The judge was a strong-willed person who clearly was in charge of his courtroom. In a preliminary hearing on a criminal case, after Judge Shigemura had interrupted my cross-examination several times. I shrugged my shoulders at one of his rulings. He looked sternly at me and admonished me to show appropriate respect for the court. Paraphrasing a remark made in a movie by Mae West to a judge, I responded that I was attempting to show the court all the respect to which it was entitled. I came within a hair of being held in contempt. I sensed that in spite of my behavior Judge Shigemura liked my feistiness and enjoyed some drama in his courtroom.

A couple years after opening my firm, I received a call from Judge Shigemura. He wanted to refer a case to me. The client, an elderly woman, had lost her beachfront home in Kailua to a fire. Her adult son had died in the conflagration. ( more...)


April 22, 2016

During the past several decades I've been working on a book about personal injury trial practice which is nearing completion. It's a work in progress and has had a number of edits. By the time the book is published, hopefully this year, the chapters used in my blog will probably have been edited at least one more time. They say that it took the great Russian novelist, Tolstoy, six years to write War and Peace. It's taken me over twenty years to complete this simple book about cases I've handled beginning with my work at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau in the 1960's.

I hope that you enjoy the chapters. If you do, feel free to send an email to my website. If you don't, then don't buy the book.

Wishing you fulfillment in all of your endeavors,

Jan Weinberg

It was early 1983 when I received a phone call from my friend and colleague, Tom Jordan. "Tiny", as he was known to his friends, weighed over four hundred pounds. He was a kind man with a great sense of humor. Tom's Texas drawl over the phone sounded concerned. He explained that he was representing the parents of a ten year old girl who was struck and killed by an insured of Allstate as she crossed a two-lane road on her way home from school in Kailua. Kailua is a beautiful town on the windward side of Oahu with a country feeling. It's where President Obama rents a beach-front house on his annual Hawaii Christmas vacations.

Tom explained that the policy limits on the driver who struck and killed the girl were only twenty-five thousand dollars. He had submitted a settlement demand for the policy limits which Allstate had rejected. Allstate hadn't offered a dime in settlement. I was familiar with this hard-nosed attitude of Allstate, having experienced it ( more...)

Tanuvasa v. City & County of Honolulu

August 29, 2013

In 1977 I was practicing personal injury trial law in the firm of legendary trial Honolulu attorney David Schutter. He assigned me to represent a victim of a police assault. Our client, Onasai Tanuvasa, had been an outstanding public high school football player before playing for the University of Hawaii. Hawaii has no professional sports, so high school football is a hugely popular sport and also attracts a substantial amount of gambling activity. There were, unfortunately, rumors that Onasai (Sai) had thrown games for the local mob while in high school. In college, Sai worked as security in illegal gambling houses run by the mob. Sometimes, players winning heavily wanted to exit quickly while they were ahead. Sai was present to convince them to stay a while longer. He was mainly there to prevent robberies. Sai once told me with a wink that the concealed gun he carried was unloaded.

Of Samoan ancestry and amazingly strong, almost six feet in height and two hundred twenty or so in weight, Sai could run a hundred yard dash in the low tens. Most of his close friends were local Japanese. Sai married a beautiful young girl of Japanese extraction. Her father, a successful businessman, was under five feet in height. At Farrington High School, with a mix of ethnicities, Sai had a reputation for protecting ( more...)

The Case of Ichiko M.

November 20, 2012

Thanks for entering my Blog.

I hope to provide you with useful information relating to personal injury law. I also want to tell stories about my life as a personal injury lawyer.

Many trial lawyers are frustrated writers. Perhaps this is because lawyers tend to be "readers" and to love the sound of the English language, in addition to the sound of their own voices. It's fortunate for most of the trial lawyers, John Grisham being an obvious ( more...)