Estate fact-finder Yim also escapesBy Rick Daysog
lawyers' probe in a ruling today
Bishop Estate's court-appointed fact-finder Patrick Yim does not have to reveal the identities of hundreds of witnesses he interviewed for his critical report of the management of Kamehameha Schools, a state judge ruled today.
Probate Judge Colleen Hirai denied a request by attorneys for trustee Lokelani Lindsey seeking Yim's notes, logs and other records he used to compile his report which criticized Lindsey's management of the Kapalama Height campus.
Hirai also ruled that Yim could not be designated as an "expert witness," meaning that he could not be questioned under oath as a witness in pending litigation before the court.
Today's ruling was the latest development in ongoing efforts by trustees Oswald Stender and Gerard Jervis to remove Lindsey from the multi-billion-dollar estate's board. Stender and Jervis have argued that Lindsey breached her duties and was unfit to serve as trustee.
In his December report, Yim called on Lindsey to step down as lead trustee of the estate's educational programs, saying she managed by intimidation. The report also faulted trustees for undermining the schools' admission policies.
Ben Matsubara, Yim's attorney, argued that the identities of witnesses should be confidential because trustees had agreed to that early on. Many of the witnesses, Kamehameha Schools employees, were fearful trustees would retaliate against them for testifying.
"Our major concern going into this was that the confidentiality of the witnesses would be compromised," said Donne Dawson, spokeswoman for 2,700-member Na Pua a Ke Ali'i Pauahi, a student, parent and teacher group that has criticized trustees' management of Kamehameha Schools.
"We're grateful that the judge sees that the confidentiality of witnesses has to be protected."
Michael Green, Lindsey's lawyers, argued that witnesses should be identified so that his client could address many of the charges raised against her.
Bishop Estate Archive