December 21, 2006
It isn't every day that the Liquor Control Board of Adjudication
sits through a two-day trial involving a boat charter company accused
of overserving a customer to the point that she killed a guy while
driving home and then finds said boat company—in this case, Ali`i Nui
Charters of Ma`alaea—not guilty on all counts, but it does sometimes
happen. It happened Dec. 12, though I have to admit I didn't actually
The case started a little after 12:30 in the afternoon of Dec. 7.
The board had already dispensed with seven cases—many more than their
usual agenda load—when they picked up the Ali`i Nui matter. I was there
four and a half hours, and saw two witnesses. It wasn't easy, though
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Temas and Ali`i Nui Attorney
Richard Rost made a real effort to turn the whole thing into a gritty
Law & Order episode. Read the following exchange—which took place
three hours into the trial—and decide for yourself whether they
Temas: Was there an objection?
Rost: Did you hear me make one?
Temas: You made some sort of sound.
Four and a half hours I sat through Rost and Temas arguing over the
"rules of evidence"—the normal courtroom requirements for what
witnesses can and can't say which don't apply in adjudication cases
because they're not criminal trials. In any case, I slipped out at 5
p.m., during a break. They board stayed until 9 that night, then
recessed until Tuesday.
And in doing so, they repeated a verdict they made last year, in
which Moose McGillycuddy's of Lahaina stood accused of overservice,
spent a lot of money on legal representation, fought it and came out
victorious. There's no way to tell why the board found for Ali`i Nui,
but Rost attributes the verdict to Temas failing to prove that the
customer in question was drunk at the time Ali`i Nui Charters last
Circumstantial evidence implying guilt may be perfectly admissible
in an adjudication hearing, but it's nice to see the board can reject
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