The move by Katherine Kealoha’s lawyer to withdraw from the case will likely delay her two other trials, as well as cost taxpayers more money.
Cynthia Kagiwada was court appointed and a new attorney will have to take over.
Kealoha has another attorney, Earle Partington, who was hired by her family in the middle of the trial. He says he only plans to stay on for the sentencing and to appeal the verdict.
In her motion to withdraw as Kealoha’s attorney, Kagiwada cited “an irretrievable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship, which cannot be reconciled.” Partington says he went to visit Kealoha at the Federal Detention Center Tuesday and he says the motion was a surprise to both of them.
“I would have thought that I would have been given a heads up and that Katherine would have been given a heads up and that she would have asked Katherine, do you oppose this or not oppose this, so she can represent in court,” said Partington.
He says he found out that Kagiwada went to the detention center but she didn’t want to wait 10 minutes for Kealoha so Kagiwada left.
Partington says Kealoha wanted to hire him because as the trial was going on, she was not happy with Kagiwada’s performance. Kealoha’s family agreed to pay Partington’s fee.
“When Katherine’s family hired me, it was obvious that they weren’t happy with the representation and I’ve tried to work with her but it’s been very difficult,” said Partington.
Her, meaning Kagiwada, who Partington says, kept him out of the loop even though they’re supposed to be working together. So now a new attorney has to be appointed to represent Kealoha for a second trial accusing her and Louis Kealoha of bank fraud, and identity theft.
“That lawyer’s gotta learn the case, so that’s like six or eight months. So she keeps sitting and sitting and sitting until somebody’s prepared to defend her,” said attorney Michael Green.
He represents some of the alleged victims of the second trial which was scheduled for October. He points out that even if Kagiwada had not asked to leave, Kealoha would have probably fired her anyway, to appeal the case.
“To set up the appeal she has to say that her lawyer was negligent or incompetent,” said Green.
KHON2 reached out to Kagiwada and she said she cannot comment on the motion. A judge is scheduled to rule on it on July 11.