Constitutional and Native Hawaiian Rights

Grande Law Offices and Thomas Grande have litigated constitutional issues to ensure that individual freedoms are preserved, while protecting the right to privacy.

Grande has been active in protecting civil liberties his throughout his legal career and has been awarded the Harriet Bouslog Loio Ku Kahi Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai’i for exceptional legal contributions to civil liberties.

Grande Law Offices and Carl Varady currently represent 2,700 Native Hawaiians for breaches of trust by the State of Hawai’i.  The case was filed in 1999 and has involved three class certification orders, a six-week trial and an appeal to to the Hawai’i Supreme Court.

Grande Law Offices and Bruce Sherman are class counsel in a putative class action for 100,000 data breach victims of the University of Hawai’i.

Settlement Benefits for 100,000 Breach Victims Approved 

Honolulu, Hawai’i  April 17, 2012

First Circuit Judge Patrick Border has given final approval to a class action settlement filed on behalf of 100,000 University of Hawai’i alumni, students, faculty, staff and guests who were victims of data breaches.

Thomas Grande, who filed the case with attorney Bruce Sherman, noted that “Identity theft is an issue of intense concern.  This settlement sets the standard for providing these services to future data breach victims.”

Sherman said that while data breaches may occur, it is up to the breaching institution to protect the victims. “Data breaches will continue to occur in private companies and in government. We have to make sure that these institutions take prompt action not only to notify the victims, but also to ensure that they can minimize any potential identity theft issues by providing credit monitoring.”

The settlement will be administered by Kroll Background America, Inc., a firm specializing in providing credit monitoring and fraud restoration services. Class members were sent a membership code that allows them to sign up online at https://IDIntegrity.com or they may call 1-855-205-6935 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time with questions or for more information. Class members must sign up for benefits on or before May 1, 2012.

Visit http://www.UHDataBreachLawsuit.com for more information.

To read Honolulu Star-Advertiser news coverage, click here.

To read KITV news coverage, click here.

To read Hawai’i News Now (KGMB KHNL KFVE) news coverage, click here.

University Settles Data Breach Lawsuit

Honolulu, Hawaii  January 26, 2012

Grande Law Offices has settled a class action lawsuit on behalf of 100,000 University of Hawai’i alumni, students, faculty, staff and guests who were victims of data breaches.  The five data breaches occurred on four campuses between 2009 and 2011.

Class members will receive two years of credit monitoring and credit restoration services.

Class notice were mailed on March 1, 2012 and will explain how to enroll for class benefits.

Visit http://www.UHDataBreachLawsuit.com for more information.

To read Honolulu Star-Advertiser news coverage, click here.

To read KITV news coverage, click here.

To read Hawai’i News Now (KGMB KHNL KFVE) news coverage, click here.

To read Pacific Business News news coverage, click here.

To read Maui News news coverage, click here.

To read Chronicle of Higher Education news coverage, click here.

To reach GovInfoSecurity news coverage, click here.

To read SC magazine news coverage, click here.

To read IT News (Australia) news coverage, click here.

To read Campus Technology news coverage, click here.

University Named in Privacy Breach Lawsuit

Grande Law Offices has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of 100,000 University of Hawai’i alumni, students, faculty, staff and guests who were victims of data breaches.  The four data breaches occurred on three campuses in 2009 and 2010. The lawsuit seeks an injunction to require the University to take appropriate measures to safeguard personal information and damages for the class members to pay for credit report monitoring and other expenses associated with protecting their identity.

“The University has exhibited both a cavalier and callous attitude toward protecting privacy rights,” said Thomas Grande, one of the attorneys for the class.

“The University has clearly not taken its privacy responsibilities seriously.”  Grande said.  “And once security breaches have occurred, the University has left it to the victims of the breach to take actions to protect themselves,” he said.

Visit http://www.UHDataBreachLawsuit.com for more information.

Home Lands Case Recertified for Damages

Judge Virginia Crandall has recertified the Hawaiian Home Lands case to include the amount of damages to be awarded.  A written order has not been entered.  For updates on the case, please go to http://www.Kalima-Lawsuit.com.

State Found Liable in Home Lands Case

Thomas Grande announced a decision by Judge Eden E. Hifo, who ruled that the State of Hawai’i is liable for breaches of trust to Native Hawaiian beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust that led to delays in homestead awards.

“The Court held the State liable for failing to award homesteads to our clients between 1959 and 1988,” Grande explained. “Some of our clients waited more than thirty years or more for a homestead award and some still are waiting,” Grande said.

The case was filed in 1999 by Grande and co-counsel Carl Varady on behalf of a group of Hawaiian Home Lands Trust beneficiaries. These beneficiaries filed breach of trust claims with an administrative panel set up by the State of Hawai’i in 1991. When the State did not complete the administrative process and shut down the panel in 1999, the lawsuit was filed.

Judge Hifo found that “the primary reason for the trust was and is to award eligible beneficiaries homesteads. Failure to do so constitutes breach of the trust and applicable trust duties…” Kalima v. State, Civil No. 99-04771-12(EEH) November 3, 2009 Decision Regarding Liability and Legal Causation Following Bifurcated Trial on Aforesaid issues (“Decision”) ¶ 10 at 12.

Judge Hifo also found that “By any measure and any method the clear and convincing evidence proves the award of significantly more homesteads would have occurred during the claims period if the Defendant State had cured its own breaches and those of the predecessor trustee for which the State became equally responsible as the successor trustee…”Decision, ¶ 15 at 14.

Among the breaches of trust by the State were the following:

• DHHL could not qualify to issue bonds to fund homesteads because DHHL financial records were lost from 1962 to 1972 and DHHL did not meet general accounting standards until 1985. Decision ¶ 4 at 6-7.

• “The State took no action to identify the [DHHL] land inventory during most or all of the claims period…Failure to ascertain the property within the trust and to correct that same failure by the predecessor trustee [the United States] constitution breach of trust by the State…” Decision ¶ 5 at 8.

• It is undisputed that more than 29,000 acres of Hawaiian home lands were withdrawn from the trust by executive orders or proclamations [which]…provided no compensation to the trust” This land was valued at more than $100 million. Decision ¶ 5 at 8.

“We want to thank our clients for their support and their patience. We are committed to seeing this case through to its successful conclusion,” Grande noted.

To read Honolulu Star-Bulletin news coverage, click here.

To read KITV news coverage, click here.

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