Thursday, December 18, 2008
Superferry arguments at Hawaii Supreme Court
by Larry Geller
Update: The “official” sound recording linked below is really pathetic. They could have done better. Anyway, I took a pass at improving it somewhat. You may prefer this version. KITV has some video here that will give you an idea of the scene at the courthouse. Right-click –> Zoom –> Full Screen if you like.
Today the Hawaii Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the ongoing Hawaii Superferry litigation. I was there, and I took notes, but you know, this will be well-covered by the press. Derrick DePledge (Advertiser) was there, Chad Blair (Bizjournals) was there, and two TV cameras (KITV and one other).
There are plenty of articles already out.
If you, too, would like to be there, download this mp3 file. Everything wrapped up by about 10:30, so the file isn’t that long. You can stick it in your mp3 player and listen while doing the laundry.
Attorney Robert Thomas was there with his laptop and wireless card. His live blog, including comments during and after the event, is here. He neatly scooped the press by doing this, have a look. It will make some of the cases you’ll read about (or hear about on the mp3 recording) more meaningful.
A key point was whether Act 2 was special legislation designed for one company or not. There was a sunset provision (the Act self-destructs after the end of the 2009 legislative session). So a question is, could any other “large capacity passenger ferry” move in to compete with Hawaii Superferry? I think, “not a chance.”
The window of opportunity snaps closed just like a camera shutter. And the only ferry in the picture is the one we have now. Can you imagine a competitor getting through the approval process before the middle of 2009? Can you imagine a competitor willing to take the losses that HSF seems to be happy with?
It doesn’t matter what I think. We obviously need to wait for the Court to make up its mind. Unless the press hires a panel of psychics, we just have to wait and see. I wonder if it will be very long. This seems like an open-and-shut case to me, but what do I know.
I didn't have a problem listening to the official audio copy of the oral arguments.
Believe it or not, their audio equipment is quite old. It actually malfunctioned during a couple of oral arguments in October 2008 (which I was quite pissed over because it was an appeal that I've been following closely, the Coupe condemnation case).
In short,I'm just happy that there is even an audio recording of this latest oral argument.
Link to blog posting about this :
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