Circuit Judge Colleen Hirai said theBy Rick Daysog
entrance of attorney Andrew Garb
into the case was untimely
Circuit Judge Colleen Hirai today ruled that a mainland trust-law expert could not represent Bishop Estate, in a setback to the estate's three majority trustees.
Hirai said that Los Angeles attorney Andrew Garb could not represent the estate in matters before the probate court, saying his entrance into the case was untimely and that the estate is already amply represented by counsel.
The judge also criticized Garb for filing a pleading in probate court before he was admitted to practice here, said Hugh Jones, deputy attorney general.
Garb and his co-counsel Don Kitaoka could not be reached for comment.
Admissions of out-of-state attorneys are typically considered a formality and not often rejected.
Attorney General Margery Bronster had opposed Garb's hiring, saying much of the estate was already represented by lawyers.
Bronster is investigating allegations of financial mismanagment and breaches of fiduciary duties by individual trustees of the estimated $10 billion estate.
Today's ruling comes after two minority Bishop Estate trustees -- Oswald Stender and Gerard Jervis -- filed court papers opposing Garb's hiring. Stender and Jervis criticized Garb's hiring as a waste of trust assets and as an attempt to delay the state's investigation.
Garb was hired by trustees Richard Wong, Henry Peters and Lokelani Lindsey to represent the estate in court challenges by Stender and Jervis.
Bishop Estate Archive