Greg Kugle concentrates his practice in the area of litigation. He works in the areas of commercial disputes and business litigation, construction, land use and real estate, antitrust, product liability and personal injury, aviation, bankruptcy, admiralty and insurance coverage. He has litigated cases before the Hawaii District and Circuit Courts, the Hawaii Bankruptcy Court and United States District Court, and has handled appeals before the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals, the Hawaii Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Some examples of his work include:
Land Use Litigation:
Successfully litigated inverse condemnation and vested rights claims of property owners against State and local governments. Obtained summary judgment establishing the right of the property owners in East Honolulu to receive just compensation from the City following the illegal down zoning of the property. Obtained summary judgment dismissing challenges to the use of agricultural land on Molokai for open area recreational uses. Obtained dismissal of a suit to enforce transient vacation rental restrictions against property owners. Represented property owners in eminent domain proceedings initiated by the State and by the counties. Represented oceanfront landowners on Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Molokai with respect to shoreline certification, shoreline setback, seawall and fish pond issues. Defended property owners in enforcement actions by State and local zoning enforcement authorities concerning clean water, grubbing, grading, and building and zoning code violations. Represented clients before numerous governmental agencies including the Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Land Use Commission, Zoning Boards of Appeal, Planning Commissions, Department of Planning and Permitting, State Historic Preservation Division, and other land use agencies.
Represented owners, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and design professionals in all manner of construction litigation and arbitration, from mechanics’ liens, to construction defects, to delay claims, to construction site injury claims. Successfully defended the original designer of the Koror Bridge in Palau, which after more than 20 years of service collapsed into the ocean just months after a new design team completed an extensive retrofit. Litigated and arbitrated construction disputes on such projects as the First Hawaiian Tower, Lowe’s at Kona, Discovery Bay, One Archer Lane, and the Waikiki Duty Free Shop.
Represented buyers and sellers in litigation and arbitration arising out of purchase and sale transactions, and handled boundary, easement, covenant and restriction, and adverse possession cases. Represented landlords and tenants in both commercial and residential landlord-tenant disputes. Advised and represented property owners and industry organizations regarding short-term and transient vacation rentals, and defended property owners from claims of transient vacation rental violations by private parties and county enforcement agencies.
Commercial and Business Disputes:
Successfully prosecuted and defended litigation and arbitration, as well as mediation, of all manner of commercial and business disputes, representing clients as large Fortune 500 companies and as small as sole proprietors, and involving issues from complex accounting and tax issues, non-competition clauses, unfair competition and trade practices, intellectual property disputes (trademark, tradename, copyright and patent litigation), to simple failure to pay or perform.
Defended aircraft (both helicopter and airplane) owners and operators, as well as maintenance providers, in fatal aviation crash cases arising on all major Hawaiian Islands, including those involving pilot error and mechanical failure. Litigated cases involving operations under FAR parts 91 and 135. Prosecuted claims against equipment manufacturers and maintenance providers. Litigated claims involving aviation fuel suppliers, airport access, cargo damage and aviation-related employment.
Represented defendants in product liability, premises liability, aviation, industrial and other personal injury claims. Represented plaintiffs in dram shop, motor vehicle accident, and intentional tort cases.
Successfully defended large software company in state court class action monopoly and tying claims, including on appeal to the Hawaii Supreme Court. Litigated and counseled clients concerning monopoly, unfair competition, restraint of trade and unfair and deceptive practices issues.
Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights:
Represented large aircraft lessor in the Hawaiian Airlines and Aloha Airlines bankruptcies. Represented creditors, trustees and professionals in many of the larger Chapter 11 and 7 cases in Hawaii. Counseled and defended Hawaii-based clients in preference actions filed in the American Classic Voyages and IT Group bankruptcies in Delaware.
Admiralty and Maritime:
Successfully litigated ocean freight claims for major ocean carriers serving Hawaii in the domestic and international trade. Obtained summary judgment in excess of $1.5 million for unpaid ocean freight against a nationwide food distributor. Defended cargo damage claims against ocean and air carriers. Litigated maritime lien claims for the provision of necessaries to vessels.
Represented employers in discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination claims, including EEOC and Hawaii Civil Rights Commission claims. Conducted anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training. Investigated claims by employees.
Prosecuted and defended insurance coverage claims, representing both insurers and insured’s, involving Fidelity, E&O, CGL, Homeowners, and Excess policies. Conducted coverage investigations for insurance carriers.
Native Hawaiian Rights:
Represented property owners in cases concerning claims of access, burial, hunting, gathering and cultural practices, and involving sites listed on the State and Federal Registers of Historic Places.
Professional and Community Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- Litigation Section
- Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Committee
- Construction Industry Forum
- Antitrust Law Section
- Labor and Employment Section
- Certified Commercial Investment Member, Hawaii Chapter
- Board of Directors (2007-2009)
- Co-Chair Sponsorship Committee (2007-2009)
- Chair Membership Committee (2008)
- Hawaii State Bar Association
- Real Property and Financial Services Section
- Director (2005-2009)
- Secretary (2006)
- Treasurer (2007)
- Vice Chair (2008)
- Chair (2009)
- Natural Resources Section
- Admiralty Section
- Bankruptcy Section
- Labor and Employment Section
- Real Property and Financial Services Section
- Honolulu Theater for Youth
- Board of Trustees (1997-2000)
- Nominating Committee (1998-1999)
- Secretary and Executive Committee (1999-2000)
- Kailua United Methodist Church
- Chairman, Council of Ministries (1997-2000)
- Administrative Board (1997-2000)
- Board of Trustees (2000-2008)
- Chairman, Board of Trustees (2007)
- Meritas Law Firms Worldwide (Leadership Institute 2006-2007; Business Development Committee 2008-2009; Board of Directors 2012-2014, Finance Committee)
- Urban Land Institute, Hawaii District (2002-2009)
- United States District Court Conference – Lawyer delegate (2009 – 2012)
- HSBA Bench/Bar Conference 2012
Representative Reported Cases
- Hawaii Appellate Courts
- Hindman v. Microsoft Corporation, 2004 Haw. LEXIS 311 (Haw. 2004)
- Pono v. Molokai Ranch, Ltd., 119 Hawai’i 164 (Haw. App. 2008), cert. den. 2008 Haw. LEXIS 304 (Haw. 2008)
- Unite Here! Local 5 v. City and County of Honolulu, 123 Hawai’i 150 (Haw.2010)
- Pavsek v. Sandvold, 127 Hawai’i 390 (App 2012)
- Federal And Bankruptcy Courts
- Employers Ins. of Wausau v. Price Aircraft Co., LLC, 283 F.Supp.2d 1144 (D. Haw. 2003)
- Field v. Levin, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87745 (D. Haw. Aug. 8, 2011)
- Lindsey v. CUNA Mutual Ins. Soc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116250 (D. Haw. Oct. 29, 2010)
- Lum v. Go Wireless, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146565 (D. Haw. Dec. 20, 2011)
- Shultz & Tamm v. Brown, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 380
- Simms v. University Health Alliance, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41307 (D. Haw. April 27, 2010)
- Advanced Zoning And Land Use In Hawaii, January 17, 2007, Lorman Educational Services
- Advanced Zoning And Land Use In Hawaii, January 24, 2006, Lorman Educational Services
- Advanced Zoning And Land Use In Hawaii, January 27, 2005, Lorman Educational Services
- Advanced Zoning And Land Use In Hawaii, January 29, 2004, Lorman Educational Services
- Arrow of Time: Vested Rights, Zoning Estoppel, and Development Agreements in Hawaii, 27 University of Hawaii Law Review, 1 (2004)
- Construction Claims In Hawaii, October 6, 2006, Lorman Educational Services
- Construction Claims In Hawaii, August 12, 2005, Lorman Educational Services
- Construction Claims In Hawaii, October 7, 2004, Lorman Educational Services
- Construction Claims In Hawaii, October 10, 2003, Lorman Educational Services
- Construction Claims In Hawaii, October 9, 2002, Lorman Educational Services
- Construction Claims In Hawaii, October 19, 2001, Lorman Educational Services
- Creative Strategies For Construction Risk Allocation, July 30, 2003, Lorman Educational Services
- Creative Strategies For Construction Risk Allocation, July 16, 2002, Lorman Educational Services
- Creative Strategies For Construction Risk Allocation, May 30, 2001, Lorman Educational Services
- Debate, Mitigate or Wait: Addressing Unexpected Archeological Features On The Construction Site, April 25, 2008, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry (speaker and author)
- Hawaii Water Law, January 11, 2012, The Seminar Group
- Labor And Employment Seminar: Reducing Risks Of Employment Lawsuits, June 20, 2002
- Land Use Law Update, September 25, 2002, National Business Institute
- Lien and Bond Claims in the 50 States, American Subcontractors Association, Hawaii Chapter 2012
- Major Land Use Laws In Hawaii, March 11, 2003, National Business Institute
- Preventing Website Legal Problems, August 21, 2001, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
- Preventing e-Commerce Legal Problems, September 26, 2000, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
- Zoning and Land Use In Hawaii, May 20, 2005, Lorman Educational Services
- Zoning and Land Use In Hawaii, May 20, 2004, Lorman Educational Services
- Zoning And Land Use In Hawaii, May 20, 2003, Lorman Educational Services
- Zoning, Subdivision and Land Development Law in Hawaii, February 20, 2009, Lorman Educational Services