Sea Level Rise

Hawaii Sea Level Rise Group

Many coastal areas in the Hawaiian Islands are vulnerable to climate change, erosion and sea level rise. The Firm’s Sea Level Rise Practice Group is on the cutting edge of climate change issues as they impact the coastal zone in Hawaii.

We have close relationships with key State and County decision-makers and regulators. We represent resort, commercial and residential landowners before various State and County bodies that regulate activities along the shoreline, in the special management area (SMA) and in coastal waters.

The Firm advises clients regarding Hawaii’s Coastal Zone Management Act (HRS chapter 205A), new shoreline and SMA regulations that seek to address sea level rise, and the impact of those regulations on an owner’s ability to develop, use, repair and enjoy their coastal property, including the use of the Hawaii Sea Level Rise Viewer and its accompanying sea level rise exposure area (SLR-XA) and erosion hazard line (EHL). The Firm also assists clients with issues involving sea walls, beach restoration and preservation, obtaining discretionary permits and building permits, etc.

Hawaii Sea Level Rise Practice Group Attorneys:

Duane R. Fisher – Mr. Fisher leads the Firm’s Sea Level Rise Practice Group. He has more than 30 years of professional experience in real estate, land use, development and regulatory work in Hawaii. He anticipated many of the potential legal issues surrounding sea level rise and its impact on coastal development and shoreline setbacks several years ago.  Mr. Fisher works with multiple coastal landowners, on all the major Hawaiian Islands, to seek to shape changing State and County laws relating to coastal land use and development, and to assist clients in obtaining entitlements for development. Clients include owners of resort properties, commercial properties and residential properties.

Ivan M. Lui-Kwan – Mr. Lui-Kwan is highly respected and recognized in the practice areas of land use and zoning law and administrative/government law.  Mr. Lui-Kwan has over 50 years of experience and has built a substantial network of key allies in all levels of government,  in the native Hawaiian community, in the Pacific Islands countries, particularly in Polynesia and in Micronesia, in the senior management circle of major businesses, in the justice system, and in the world of nonprofit organizations.  Real estate, renewable energy, hospitality, health care, and transportation companies seeking to enter Hawaii’s business environment, find his knowledge of Hawaii’s unique environment and inner workings invaluable.

A. Bernard Bays – Mr. Bays has over 50 years of experience successfully representing clients in over 150 landmark Hawaii litigation cases. Mr. Bays has represented numerous property owners and developers in land use and zoning law and litigation matters and maintains an active real estate broker license. Mr. Bays is one of three Hawaii lawyers who is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) and the Supreme Court of Hawaii. Mr. Bays has successfully represented numerous clients regarding various shoreline issues and currently represents a substantial number of residential property owners seeking to preserve Hawaii shorelines..

Douglas S. Chin -  Mr. Chin is the former Attorney General for the State of Hawaii and former Managing Director for the City and County of Honolulu. He has more than 20 years of litigation experience in trial courts in Hawaii. He has successfully represented government and private parties before State and Federal courts in Hawaii, as well as in appeals to the Federal Circuit Courts and the U.S. and Hawaii Supreme Courts. Mr. Chin is recognized for his strategic, thoughtful, and client-focused approach in litigation.

Lindsay E. Orman – Ms. Orman is a versatile real estate and business law attorney who is skilled at analyzing complex matters and developing creative, results-oriented solutions. Ms. Orman represents diverse clients, including hotels, developers, government agencies, publicly traded companies, closely held entities, and individuals. She focuses her practice in the areas of real estate acquisitions and sales, land use and entitlements issues, business structure and operations, business transactions, and legislative and other government relations work.

Sara S.T. Strona - Ms. Strona is a highly capable real estate and business attorney and represents clients in connection with real estate acquisitions and sales, leasing, development, financing, and business transactions. Ms. Strona assists clients in tracking, reviewing, and analyzing proposed legislation, advises clients as to the potential effects of legislation, meets with key stakeholders, and prepares testimony on behalf of clients.

Eric S. Robinson - Mr. Robinson advises clients on a number of matters related to land use and development in the shoreline area and special management area. Work includes advising clients on administrative rules, entitlements and approval processes, sea walls and shore protection structures, environmental review, and governmental affairs work. Mr. Robinson is registered as a lobbyist with the State of Hawaii, the City and County of Honolulu, and the County of Maui, and regularly prepares testimony for clients and provides testimony on their behalf. Mr. Robinson represents clients in administrative proceedings, court and in arbitration. Mr. Robinson’s litigation experience includes complex commercial litigation and disputes related to entity management and control.

Kari K. Noborikawa – Ms. Noborikawa focuses her practice in the area of commercial litigation. She is admitted to the Hawaii Bar, and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.  Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Noborikawa was a litigation associate at an international law firm where she worked on a variety of complex commercial cases in federal and state courts across the country, as well as various government investigations and matters involving congressional oversight.