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Thursday, June 1, 2000

Court asked to expand
duties of special master

By Rick Daysog


The attorney general's office is asking the state probate court to expand the duties of special master Robert Richards, whose scathing report prompted the Kamehameha Schools to terminate several of its outside law firms.

In court papers filed today, the attorney general's office argued that Richards' review of the trust's legal billings should be expanded to include August 1997 to July 1998. The attorney general says the trust squandered considerable funds during that period.

The Richards report, which surveyed the estate's legal payments between August 1998 and May 1999, found that two of the trust's outside law firms took part in an effort to attack critics of the former trustees Henry Peters, Richard "Dickie" Wong and Lokelani Lindsey and that several firm conducted millions of dollars in legal work.

Deputy Attorney General Hugh Jones cited legal payments to the law firms of McCorriston Miho Miller Mukai and Cades Schutte Fleming & Wright. He said the McCorriston Miho firm was paid about $1.1 million from August 1997 through July 1998 while the Cades Schutte firm earned about $1.7 million.

The Richards report recommended that the former board members refund the estate for McCorriston's work between August 1998 and May 1999. Richards also urged the court to order the refund of about $800,000 of the $1.3 million that Cades Schutte billed the estate during the same time.

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