Hawaii Attorney To Speak at Property Rights Conference

Honolulu attorney Robert Thomas will discuss recent plans by local governments to condemn “underwater” mortgages using the power of eminent domain at the upcoming 9th Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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Robert H. Thomas is the Hawaii Member of Owners' Counsel of America.

Robert H. Thomas is the Hawaii Member of Owners' Counsel of America.

When the economy turns downward, the temptation is to throw out long-standing rules, and look for new and perhaps radical solutions. My talk will focus on how property rights should not be casually tossed aside when times get tight.

Honolulu, Hawaii (PRWEB) September 28, 2012

The Owners' Counsel of America is pleased to announce that Honolulu-based property rights and appellate attorney, Robert H. Thomas, will participate in the Ninth Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, October 11-12, 2012.

The Conference is sponsored by William & Mary Law School and is renowned for its outstanding panel discussions assembling members of the bench, bar, and academia. Each year, the Conference awards the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize to an individual whose work has advanced the cause of property rights and contributed to the overall awareness of the important role property rights occupy in the broader scheme of individual liberty. The 2012 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize will be presented to James Krier, the Earl Warren DeLano Professor of Law at The University of Michigan Law School.

Both the Conference and Prize are named in recognition of property rights attorneys Toby Prince Brigham and Gideon Kanner for their lifetime contributions to defending the right of private ownership, their efforts to advance the constitutional protection of property, and their accomplishments in preserving the important role that private property plays in protecting individual and civil rights. During the 2012 Conference, Mr. Thomas will join others to speak about “Property Rights in Times of Economic Crisis.” This timely panel will explore why protecting property rights is especially important during down economic times, whether established rules of property law contribute to such crises, and will consider ways property rights might solve a crisis either independently or at the instigation of government.

“I’m honored to be included with such a distinguished group of property law scholars to speak on this important topic,” said Thomas. “When the economy turns downward, the temptation is to throw out long-standing rules, and look for new and perhaps radical solutions.” One of the proposals that Thomas will discuss is the effort to get local governments to condemn “underwater” mortgages by eminent domain, in order to lower homeowners’ debt. “I have grave doubts about both the legality and the wisdom of this proposal,” he notes. “My talk will focus on how property rights should not be casually tossed aside when times get tight.”

Robert Thomas is a Director of with Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert in Honolulu and the Hawaii member of the Owner’s Counsel of America. He received his LLM, with honors, from Columbia Law School where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and his JD from the University of Hawaii School of Law where he served as editor of the Law Review. He currently serves as the Chair of the Condemnation Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section on State & Local Government Law. He is also the Managing Attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation Hawaii Center, a non-profit legal foundation dedicated to protecting property rights and individual liberties.

Mr. Thomas frequently speaks on land use and eminent domain issues in Hawaii and nationwide, and regularly publishes scholarly and practical articles on topics relating to these legal practice areas. Additionally, he blogs about land use, takings law and property rights at inversecondemnation.com, one of the most widely read law blogs on eminent domain and land use.

ABOUT OWNERS' COUNSEL OF AMERICA:

The Owners’ Counsel of America is a nationwide network of experienced eminent domain attorneys dedicated to protecting the rights of private property owners large and small, locally and nationally, and to advancing the cause of property rights. The lawyers affiliated with Owners’ Counsel are in private practice in nearly every state and represent property owners against federal, state, and local governments, utilities, redevelopment authorities and other entities that may be armed with eminent domain power.

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