Hawaii regulators have denied all requests to disqualify a Honolulu law firm from representing Castle & Cooke in the case involving a proposed 200-megawatt Lanai wind farm project.
The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, issued its final ruling on Tuesday, denying Friends of Lanai’s as well as Kaulana Kahoohalahala and Matthew Mano’s motion to disqualify the Law Firm of Yamamoto Caliboso LLC.
The commission found that Caliboso, a former PUC chairman, who voluntarily backed out of working the case, does not “appear to constitute a disqualified lawyer,” and that the firm appears qualified to represent Castle & Cooke in this specific case.
In September, the PUC dismissed the claims from Friends of Lanai as well as Kaulana Kahoohalahala and Matthew Mano, but set a deadline of Oct. 4 for any requests to be filed or re-filed to disqualify the Honolulu law firm.
Meantime, Castle & Cooke, which filed a request to dismiss the complaints, said previously that both Caliboso and his firm are in compliance with “Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct” because the current case involves a new matter that is separate and distinct from other dockets in which Caliboso took part in when he was the chairman of the PUC.
In July, the PUC decided to review Castle & Cooke’s Lanai wind farm project in a separate filing from a draft request for proposals for 200 megawatts or more of renewable energy for Oahu.
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