U Memo 11-10

Posted on Jan 6, 2011 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 11-10
January 6, 2011
AG Opinion Issued to BLNR

Requester asked whether the Office of the Attorney General (the AG) properly denied Requester’s request under part II of the UIPA for a copy of an AG opinion issued to the Board of Land and Natural Resources concerning the transfer of ownership of a mooring permit by a commercial fishing corporation.

OIP found that the denial was proper under the UIPA. A review of the opinion makes clear that, in response to requester’s threatened lawsuit, the AG, serving as the Board’s legal adviser, was providing its advice and counsel to the Board, its client, regarding interpretation and application of the governing law concerning permit transfers. Accordingly, OIP found that the AG opinion may be withheld under HRS § 92F-13(2) as attorney work product and HRS § 92F-13(4) as a record that is protected by law under the attorney-client privilege provided under Rule 503 of the Hawaii Rules of Evidence, which is codified at HRS § 626-1.