Bernie Bays, Hawaii Litigation Lawyer

A. Bernard Bays


What People Say About Us

"A very aggressive litigation group with some highly talented lawyers."

Chambers and Partners USA Leading Lawyers for Business, Comment

"A top notch law firm — highly impressive. Strategic thinkers with an uncommon ability to sift through complex issues to get to common-sense solutions."

Chambers and Partners USA Leading Lawyers for Business, Comment

"The individuals we work with come with high recommendations and take an assertive stance."

Chambers and Partners USA Leading Lawyers for Business, Comment

"Starn O'Toole clearly stands out above the rest in what they do."

Benchmark Litigation

"An impressive reputation as a go to commercial litigation law firm for regional and global corporations."

Benchmark Litigation

"We were looking for the best litigators in Hawaii, and we found them."

Benchmark Litigation

"The team is praised for comprising"excellent attorneys"who are"highly knowledgeable."

Chambers and Partners USA Leading Lawyers for Business, Comment

"thoughtful, creative problem solvers. They have the courage to challenge the client when it is their best interest."

Chambers and Partners USA Leading Lawyers for Business, Comment

"They have been an excellent representative for us. They are thoughtful in their analysis of the situation, have explored a variety of available options, offered sound advice and followed through with persistence."

Chambers and Partners USA Leading Lawyers for Business, Client Comment

"Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher has excellent lawyers. They are great advisors, and are very professional and polished."

The Best Lawyers in America©, Client Comment

"Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher is an excellent and responsive firm that understands business needs and issues."

The Best Lawyers in America©, Client Comment

"An excellent firm. Excellent service and very responsive, with well trained junior associates. They provide sound commercial advice."

Chambers and Partners USA Leading Lawyers for Business, Comment

"The thing that really makes them stand out is their business advisory capabilities — they are very insightful about the business side of real estate acquisitions."

Chambers and Partners USA Leading Lawyers for Business, Comment

"The best attorneys are in this firm. They are sensitive to the client's needs, most professional and won all of my litigation cases. I would highly recommend this law firm."

The Best Lawyers in America©, Client Comment

"Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher is the best firm I’ve had the pleasure of working with over a 38 year career. To a person, they are all professional, caring, effective and ethical."

US News & World Report-Best Lawyers®, "Best Law Firms”, Comment

"Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher has strong partners and associates in both real estate and commercial litigation. They are well respected by peers and local judges."

US News & World Report-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, Comment

"Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher is first rate. The level of professionalism is extraordinary, and the competence is off the charts. Their negotiating ability with opposing counsel was superb; professional, courteous, and firm. They were able therefore, to reach good settlements and serve us very well while maintaining fine relationships with opposing counsel. This is a confident firm, with confidence based on achievement."

US News & World Report-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, Comment

"Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher is one of the best most competent firms and attorneys I have ever used."

US News & World Report-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, Comment

"I never cease to be surprised at the skills Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher brings in solving my legal issues. They are well connected and well regarded around town."

US News & World Report-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, Comment

"When we got into a litigation matter in Hawaii, we got a reference to Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher. They not only exceed in their expertise, they understand the culture and politics of the area as well. Stephanie Thompson and the staff in particular showed impeccable integrity. I usually refrain from participating in these types of surveys, but I wanted to share how great this firm is."

US News & World Report-Best Lawyers

"The attorneys at Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher have proved to be extremely efficient and responsive and while they are a top rate firm, their efficiency in work keeps costs reasonable. I enjoy and appreciate working with them, especially Ken Marcus."

US News & World Report-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, Comment

"Doug Chin, at Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher, has been a wonderful partner in our government relations efforts. He is a consummate professional and well respected in our community, so he is able to open many doors for us. We appreciate our partnership with Doug and with Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher."

US News & World Report-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, Comment

"Stephanie and Trevor, at Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher, helped us through a very difficult case with patience, compassion and diligence. Their attentiveness and candor got us the best possible outcome. I highly recommend!"

US News & World Report-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, Comment

"The real estate team at Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher are true professionals. They are very knowledgeable on matters of Hawaiian law, and take a practical business approach to negotiations and problem-solving. They possess excellent research, drafting and negotiating skills. The presence of a government relations capability at the firm is a definite plus. I have worked with the firm for many years and look forward to many more."

US News & World Report-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, Comment

Hawaii litigation attorney, A. Bernard Bernie” Bays is a Director of the firm. Mr. Bays has over 50 years of experience and has successfully represented clients in over 150 landmark Hawaii litigation cases.

Mr. Bays focuses his practice in the areas of complex commercial litigation, business litigation, real estate litigation, trusts and estates litigation, legal malpractice law-defendant litigation, real estate law and land use and zoning law.  

Mr. Bays is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) and in Civil Trial Advocacy by the Supreme Court of Hawaii. Mr. Bays is one of only two Hawaii lawyers who are certified by the NBTA. Mr. Bays has represented clients in all state and federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and all lower courts.

Mr. Bays is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Associations, Living Legend Lawyers”.

Mr. Bays has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America©, as a "Lawyer of the Year" in Honolulu in the practice area of Legal Malpractice Law-Defendant Litigation (2015).  He is also recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice areas of Commercial Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law-Defendants and Trusts and Estates Litigation.

Mr. Bays has also been selected for inclusion to the "Top 25" Hawaii Super Lawyers® list eleven consecutive times since 2010 in the practice area of Business Litigation, and selected to the list since 2008.

Mr. Bays holds Martindale-Hubbell’s® highest AV Preeminent” rating given by his legal peers based on his work, reputation and integrity. Mr. Bays has held this distinction for 35 years.

Mr. Bays was a founding partner at a large Hawaii law firm concentrating his practice in complex litigation. 

Some examples of Mr. Bays' legal work include:

Represented the Parker Ranch Foundation Trust in defeating a will contest over the $450M estate of Richard Smart filed by his two sons.  The estate included the 225,000 acre Parker Ranch located at Waimea on the Island of Hawaii.

Represented Aloha Tower Associates, the developers of Aloha Tower Marketplace, in a $710M case against Mitsue Bank and Trust for its misconduct in the development of the Marketplace.

Represented the Makena Beach Partnership of local Maui investors in negotiating and obtaining the appropriations for a $12.0M sale of their Makena Beach property to the State of Hawaii.  Subsequently represented them in obtaining a Judgment against the State of Hawaii for an additional $5.5M because of fraud by the State.

Represented the Newton family before the State Land Use Commission in reclassifying more than 400 acres of land above Hilo on the Island of Hawaii from Conservation to Agriculture.

Represented Budget Rent A Car in an antitrust case against Hawaiian Airlines.

Represented Oahu Gas Services in an antitrust case against Gasco.

Represented the St. Louis Heights Community in a test case appealing and reducing the real property taxes for hundreds of homeowners.

Represented Hidenori Ito in blocking the $11M sale of the Gerbode Estate property; which enabled Ito to buy the property for $10.3M.

Represented homeowner groups before the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark case upholding the constitutionality of the Hawaii Land Reform Act.

Represented a homeowner group in a test case before the Hawaii Supreme Court upholding the Hawaii Lease Rent Renegotiation Relief Act.

Represented Michael Fuchs, the former Vice Chairman of Time Warner, in a lawsuit regarding the $18M purchase of an oceanfront development property from Mauna Lani Resort that enabled Fuchs to purchase the property for $16.5M.

Represented Seibu in defending a case to block the sale of the Makena Resort and Prince Hotel on Maui.  The case was dismissed and affirmed on appeal allowing the $500M sale to proceed.

Represented Forest City as co counsel before the Land Use Commission to obtain approval for a 2,600 unit affordable housing planned community at Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii and in litigation challenging the Land Use Commission approval.

Represented Forest City in land use approval litigation in opposition to the Forest City planned community brought by the adjoining landowner.

Represented the Aina Lea project in proceedings before the Land Use Commission to have the affordable housing requirement reduced from 60% down to 20% for its 1,900 unit planned community adjacent to the Mauna Lani Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Represented the Aina Lea project in defending land use approval litigation brought by a nearby community.

Represented developer Jack Myers in a suit against Kaiser Hospital which enabled Myers to purchase the Waikiki Prince Hotel site.  Also represented Myers in litigation involving development of the hotel, including the first appellate decision in Hawaii upholding the issuance of a Special Management Area Use Permit.

Represented developer Pankow Associates in a case against Crocker National Bank regarding $135M in loans secured by 3 large condominium projects which resulted in a reduction of the loan balances to a fraction of the face value.

Represented the St. Louis/Chaminade Community in successfully opposing certain undesirable aspects of a proposed condominium development.

Represented a coalition of North Shore Community groups in successfully blocking a $1B Ameron rock quarry operation that had been planned for the North Shore.

Represented tens of thousands of single family lessees in purchasing the fee interest in their homes.

Represented thousands of condominium lessees in buying the fee interest in their condos.

Represented the developer of the Kaluakoi Resort Community on Molokai in a test case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to obtain a water supply for the resort.

Published Works:

"Business & Economic Reactions to Climate Change – Renewable Energy", TSG 2015

"Insurance Company Reactions to Climate Change", TSG 2015

"Title risks and title Insurance Coverage", NBI 2009

"Constitutional Limitations on Land Use Regulations", NBI 2009

"Challenging a Rezoning Decision", NBI 2009

"Co-Author, Practical Guide to Zoning and Land Use Law", 2009

“How to Avoid and Handle Real Estate Disputes”, The Real Book of Real Estate, By Robert Kiyosaki, 2009 Vanguard Press

"The Scramble to Protect the American Dream in Paradise: Is Affordable Housing Possible in Hawaii?", 2007

'Hawaii Boundary Law: Critical Issues and Solutions Every Practitioner Needs to Know", 2005

"Advanced Real Estate Purchases & Sales, Agency Duties and Liabilities", 1993, 1994

"Agency Duties & Liabilities: Advanced Conference on Real Estate Purchase and Sales", 1993-1996, 1999

"Boundary Law in Hawaii", 1991,1994,1995

"Risk Management III: Misrepresentation and Non-Disclosure", 1991

"Risk Reduction", 1990

"When You Can’t Settle, Try Mediation", 1990

"Hazardous Waste, The Purchasers Point of View", 1989

"Real Estate Broker Liability", 1989

"How Agency Relationships and Disclosure Affect Managing Agents", 1989

"What You Need to Disclose About Leases", 1988

"Current Legal Aspects of Real Estate Law", 1986

"Misrepresentation and Disclosure in Real Estate", 1986

"Real Estate Brokers: Selected Legal Issues", 1985

"Errors and Omissions, Casualty, Liability, and Other Insurance for the Attorney", 1984

"Avoid Agency/Sub-Agency Liability", 1984

"Hawaii Land Reform Act: A New Approach", 1984

"Real Estate Litigation: Condemnation", 1984

"Handling the Lawyer’s Professional Liability Claim", 1984