THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO INDEPENDENT LEGAL COUNSEL.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Congress through the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, set aside lands to be used for the benefit of native Hawaiians. As required by the Admission Act and as a compact with the United States, the State of Hawaii and the people of Hawaii adopted the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act as a provision of the Hawaii State Constitution and agreed to faithfully carry out the spirit of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act for the rehabilitation of the Hawaiian race. These trust responsibilities remain to this day.
The legislature further finds that given this unique and significant history, the department of Hawaiian home lands and other state agencies will, at times, have different strategic objectives and policies on issues that are culturally sensitive to the Native Hawaiian people. Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to allow the department of Hawaiian home lands to retain independent legal counsel where the opposing party to the reasonably anticipated litigation is the State or another state agency.
SECTION 2. Section 28-8.3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:
1. By amending subsection (a) to read:
"(a) No department of the State other than the attorney general may employ or retain any attorney, by contract or otherwise, for the purpose of representing the State or the department in any litigation, rendering legal counsel to the department, or drafting legal documents for the department; provided that the foregoing provision shall not apply to the employment or retention of attorneys:
(1) By the public utilities commission, the labor and industrial relations appeals board, and the Hawaii labor relations board;
(2) By any court or judicial or legislative office of the State; provided that if the attorney general is requested to provide representation to a court or judicial office by the chief justice or the chief justice's designee, or to a legislative office by the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate jointly, and the attorney general declines to provide such representation on the grounds of conflict of interest, the attorney general shall retain an attorney for the court, judicial, or legislative office, subject to approval by the court, judicial, or legislative office;
(3) By the legislative reference bureau;
(4) By any compilation commission that may be constituted from time to time;
(5) By the real estate commission for any action involving the real estate recovery fund;
(6) By the contractors license board for any action involving the contractors recovery fund;
(7) By the office of Hawaiian affairs;
(8) By the department of commerce and consumer affairs for the enforcement of violations of chapters 480 and 485A;
(9) As grand jury counsel;
(10) By the Hawaii health systems corporation, or its regional system boards, or any of their facilities;
(11) By the auditor;
(12) By the office of ombudsman;
(13) By the insurance division;
(14) By the University of Hawaii;
(15) By the Kahoolawe island reserve commission;
(16) By the division of consumer advocacy;
(17) By the office of elections;
(18) By the campaign spending commission;
(19) By the Hawaii tourism authority, as provided in section 201B-2.5;
(20) By the division of financial institutions;
(21) By the office of information practices;
(22) By the school facilities authority;
the Mauna Kea stewardship and oversight authority; [
(24) By the department of Hawaiian home lands; provided that:
(A) The opposing party to the reasonably anticipated litigation is the State or another state agency; and
(B) Legal fees owed to independent counsel shall be paid by the attorney general; or
By a department, if the attorney general, for reasons deemed by
the attorney general to be good and sufficient, declines to employ or retain an
attorney for a department; provided that the governor waives the provision of
2. By amending subsection (c) to read:
"(c) Every attorney employed by any department on a full-time basis, except an attorney employed by the public utilities commission, the labor and industrial relations appeals board, the Hawaii labor relations board, the office of Hawaiian affairs, the Hawaii health systems corporation or its regional system boards, the department of commerce and consumer affairs in prosecution of consumer complaints, insurance division, the division of consumer advocacy, the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii tourism authority as provided in section 201B-2.5, the Mauna Kea stewardship and oversight authority, the office of information practices, the department of Hawaiian home lands as provided in subsection (a), or as grand jury counsel, shall be a deputy attorney general."
SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; Legal Counsel
Allows the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to retain independent legal counsel where the opposing party to the reasonably anticipated litigation is the State or another state agency. Provides that funds owed to independent legal counsel shall be paid by the State. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.