Law Offices of Roy M. Kodani
SPECIALTY OF THE LAW OFFICE
Welcome to Law offices of Roy M. Kodani Website. I would like to explain what our specialty is.
Our Law Office concentrates in real estate, business, corporate, and business organizations, arbitration and litigation, international law, and wills, trusts, and probate. We have performed legal work on major real estate transactions, many of which involved international corporations. The Law Office represents major companies throughout the Pacific Rim, including mainland U.S.A., Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore. We have practiced before the Federal and State of Hawaii courts and County agencies and commissions. Roy Kodani has argued before the Hawaii Supreme Court and the decisions are part of the Hawaii Supreme Court Reports. He has written a book entitled "Open House - a Guide to Buying and Selling Hawaii Real Estate" published by the University of Hawaii Press.
In the area of real estate, we have been involved in the purchase and sale of hotels in Hawaii, prime urban properties, and commercial properties.
In our litigation services, we concentrate on civil, commercial and real estate disputes.
We also represent clients before the Liquor Commission, Real Estate Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission.
If the owner of any asset including real estate, stocks, and bank accounts in Hawaii dies with the ownership in the owner's sole (one) name only, the ownership can only be transferred to the beneficiaries by probate, which is a judicial process. Our law firm has 30 years probate experience of assisting the owners who are both residents of Hawaii and foreign nationals. The probate system is complex and time consuming. We would be happy to explain the system and process to you. Please see HERE for more detailed information.
In the area of real estate, we assist our clients to transfer ownership to the new owner. The transfer is either when a gift is made by the owner or in a sale of the real estate. Our law firm assists mainly in large real estate transactions. In such large real estate transactions, we prepare the Purchase and Sale Agreement after consulting with our clients as to the intent, terms and conditions of the transaction. In large transactions we work together with the CPA and the escrow company, whose function is to collect the purchase money from the buyer and record the necessary documents at the State of Hawaii Bureau of Conveyances. Such documents are called conveyance documents.
When we do estate planning work (which usually involves a trust), we will prepare conveyance documents to transfer ownership of the real estate to the trust. In fact, many people who own real estate in Hawaii prepare for the smooth transfer of ownership of their real estate at their death by doing the necessary estate planning work in consultation with our law office.
In connection with real estate, we also prepare condominium documents to establish a condominium project, prepare applications for subdivisions and the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions for the use and enjoyment of the property in a subdivision, and will prepare documents on easements and party wall agreements.
In Hawaii, there are two types of recording system: One is referred to as the Regular System and the other is the Land Court System, which is a more formal registration system. We are experienced in both recording systems.
Our legal services in the Business area are broad and deep. We are experienced in the purchase and sale of a business already in existence and in starting a new business. The sale of the business can either be a sale of the assets of the business, or the sale of the shares of stock of the corporation, if a corporation owns the business.
In assisting a client involved in business, our services are vertical. We will do whatever type of work the client requests, unless we are not familiar with the subject. Otherwise, we draft all kinds of written contracts for the client, such as franchise contracts, distribution contracts, and lease agreements. We also prepare company manuals.
Because of our Japanese language ability, we assist clients in the sale and distribution of products manufactured in Japan to other parts of the world, and at the same time, we assist U.S. companies in selling and distributing American products to Japan and Asia.
We have been hired to assist Japanese companies to act as consultants in marketing strategy and to give insight of the American business systems.
We have many years of experience in setting up a corporation in Hawaii, the governance of a corporation, and the transactions of a corporation. We prepare By-Laws. We have prepared minutes to cover all types of transactions which require the authorization of the shareholders or the Board of Directors. We have given written legal opinions on questions raised by the shareholders, directors, or officers of corporations. We attend shareholders and Board of Directors meetings in Hawaii and in Japan to act as legal advisers at such meetings.
We have been involved in corporate disputes and the resolutions of such disputes. The disputes may involve large global corporations or family corporations. The disputes may involve policy decisions, generational matters which may be between the founder and the younger generations in the family, and transitional issues when a shareholder, director or officer retires.
Because of the importance of accounting and tax requirements, we work closely with our corporate clients' CPA, since often the accounting and tax requirements must be complied with as the primary driving force.
For the past several years, the limited liability company ("LLC") as a business organization is popular, because the legal requirements are less restrictive and more flexible to operate as a business organization than a corporation.
In setting up a LLC, we prepare the Articles of Organization, the Operating Agreement, which is the basic contract among the members or managers of the LLC. The members are like the shareholders of a corporation, and the managers are like the directors and officers of a corporation. We also prepare the minutes of the first meeting of the members. Sometimes, we obtain the Federal Employer Identification Number ("FEIN") for the client. Many times, if requested, we introduce the client to a CPA and to a bank in Honolulu.
ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION
If a dispute cannot be resolved between the people in conflict, we will recommend arbitration first before a lawsuit is filed. However, to protect a client's rights, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit, because of the Statute of Limitations law. The lawsuit of certain claims must be filed within two years or six years from the date of the accident or date of contract.
Arbitration is preferable rather than litigation, because the people in a dispute can choose his or her own arbitrator. Plus, the arbitrator may be more knowledgeable about the subject in dispute than a judge. For example, if the dispute involves real estate, we will choose an arbitrator who has experience in dealing with real estate. If it is litigated in court, the judge may not have experience in real estate and may not understand some of the nuances of dealing with real estate.
In arbitration the client has the right to choose the arbitrator, and consequently the arbitration process may be concluded faster, and may sometimes be less expensive than litigation.
In arbitration, the decision of the Arbitrator is binding on the parties in dispute. It is very difficult to appeal the Arbitrator's decision. Sometimes, the client may prefer to mediate the dispute. Mediation is less formal than arbitration and the decision is not binding on the parties in dispute. It is essentially a process of resolving a dispute by a third party. If the client is not satisfied with the mediator's decision, the client can appeal the decision and it can be resolved by arbitration.
Although there are about 6,000 attorneys in active practice in Hawaii, not all attorneys have trial experience or have trial experience before a jury. We have trial experience in both civil and criminal cases and have tried cases before a jury for over 30 years. We also have appellate court experience. Roy Kodani has cases reported in the Hawaii Supreme Court Reports. (Yamane v. Piper, 51 Haw. 339, and In Re Taxes, Ulupalakua Ranch, 52 Haw. 557.) He also has trial experience in the U.S. (Federal) District Court of Hawaii.
Most of the cases we handle in court involve real estate disputes, mortgage foreclosures, business disputes, damage claims and inheritance issues. We also represent the landlord in commercial lease eviction and rent claims.
We represent Japanese nationals who are arrested in Hawaii for violating the State or the Federal statutes.
In the area of International Law, our legal work involves foreign companies or individuals, who own real properties, companies, or assets in Hawaii. The clients reside or are located in mainland U.S., Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore. We advise foreign clients on how to do business in Hawaii., and on business strategy. We work closely with a CPA and sometimes introduce the clients to attorneys who specialize in immigration law.
We advise a foreign company in the development of real estate in Hawaii and to all the government regulations for such development and sale of properties which is complex and complicated, many times because of environmental issues.
WILLS & TRUSTS
One of the main reasons for clients who own real estate in Hawaii to transfer their real estate into a trust is to avoid probate. If a person dies with ownership in one name only, the ownership can only be transferred by a judicial process called probate. As mentioned earlier, probate is costly, takes about 18 months to complete and the probate proceedings is open to the public. If a real estate, shares of stock, cash or other asset is in the trust, it is easy, less expensive and quicker to transfer the ownership when the owner dies. If the owner dies and he or she has a will, this will not avoid probate. The will would designate the beneficiaries of the asset, but it does not necessary circumvent the probate process. In Hawaii, many owners of real estate will have the attorney prepare a trust and will transfer the ownership of the real estate to the trust to avoid a lengthy and costly probate process.
Administrative law pertains to matters involving federal, state and county governments. In U.S. permits and licenses are required for many matters. We have experience in obtaining a liquor license from the county government, Public Utilities License for a public transportation carrier from the State of Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, condominium approval for the State of Hawaii Real Estate Commission, subdivision approval from the county government, and property zoning variance approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals. We also represent our clients on employment issues at the State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
HOW TO DO BUSINESS IN HAWAII AND U.S.
We can assist you, if you have the following questions:
- Do you wish to do business in Hawaii and U.S.?
- Do you wish to expand your current business to Hawaii and U.S.?
- Do you have a business idea that has growth potential in U.S.?
- Do you wish to franchise your business to U.S.?
- Do you wish to distribute your products to U.S.?
- Do you wish to sell your business or assets in U.S.?
- Is your business an opportunity for global investors?
- Can your business provide new services to world-wide consumers?
- Are you seeking solutions or new ideas for your existing business or company?
- Are you seeking an outside Director for your company for fresh ideas?