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Ryan H. Engle

Ryan H. Engle

Honolulu, Hawaii

Ryan Engle thrives in complex cases that require determination, creativity, and aggressive representation. Eager to take on a challenge, Mr. Engle identifies his clients' core objectives, and skillfully choreographs each dispute towards its desired resolution.

Mr. Engle's practice emphasizes real estate litigation, construction contracts and disputes, complex business litigation, and the defense of professional malpractice claims in the securities, mortgage, and insurance contexts.

Mr. Engle's real estate litigation practice focuses on the representation of commercial and industrial landowners. His clients include developers, real estate investment trust (REITs), and hotels. Mr. Engle has obtained court orders terminating long-term ground leases with more than fifty-year terms, obtained summary judgment against large commercial and industrial tenants, and obtained writs of possession against dozens of lessees involving monetary, environmental, permitted use, and other lease defaults. Mr. Engle also represents landowners in the litigation of statutory, federal and state constitutional issues. Examples of Mr. Engle's work include:

  • Represented CommonWealth REIT in a highly publicized constitutional challenge of legislation affecting the methods for calculating lease rent under long-term industrial leases. Successfully obtained ruling declaring statute unconstitutional under the contracts and equal protection clauses of the United States Constitution.
  • Represented the state's largest industrial landowner in claims against the City and County of Honolulu and the State arising from decades of tidal flooding in the Mapunapuna Industrial Subdivision. Allegations included claims for nuisance, trespass, and inverse condemnation. Negotiated an agreement whereby the City performed substantial remedial construction to prevent further flooding in the subdivision. Total alleged damages exceed $100 million.
  • Represented mainland developer in litigation arising from client's purchase of affordable housing project. The claims were asserted by the resident association and national non-profit group against former owner, the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), and the client for alleged violations of federal law and the approval of a HUD-insured $16 million loan. Successfully negotiated a highly complex settlement with the Plaintiffs, HUD, and the State of Hawaii through which the project would be sold subject to certain affordable housing requirements. Total alleged damages exceeded $50 million.

Mr. Engle represents developers, homeowners, contractors, and design professionals in all aspects of project development and litigation. Notable matters include:

Represented general contractor Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc. in a mechanic's lien action against Victoria Ward and General Growth, arising from the construction of the Ward Villages project. Proceeded to a probable cause hearing and obtained a total mechanic's lien against the project for an amount in excess of $20 million.

  • Represented prominent business leader and founder of online-trading business in claims that his architect mismanaged the construction of his multi-million dollar Kauai home and falsely certified applications for payment by the project contractor. The action proceeded to arbitration and Mr. Engle successfully voided a $250,000 contractual limitation on the architect's liability, and obtained a verdict of approximately $1.4 million.
  • Represented developer of low-density luxury subdivision on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. The project consisted of both subdivided individual lots and luxury villa condominium units. Drafted six separate prime general construction and consulting contracts, and advised client on land use and environmental issues prior to and during phased construction.
  • Represented general contractor in the drafting and negotiation of a $207,000,000 prime contract for the construction of the Trump International Hotel & Tower at Waikiki Beachwalk, a 38-story mixed-use luxury condominium and hotel in the Waikiki District of Honolulu.

Mr. Engle's business litigation practice involves the defense of companies and professionals against highly complex claims involving misrepresentation, products liability, state and federal statutory violations, and professional, negligence. Examples of Mr. Engle's work include:

  • Represented national broker-dealer and its registered representative against claims arising from the sale of variable universal life insurance policies and the creation of an Employee Welfare Benefit Plan in accordance with § 419(e) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Plaintiff was the manager of a $300 million hedge fund, and asserted negligence-based claims, including violations of Rule 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Successfully negotiated a nominal settlement despite millions in alleged damages.
  • Represented one of the nation's leading generic drug manufacturers in highly-publicized multi-party case by the State of Hawaii alleging fraud and misrepresentation in the pricing and distribution of pharmaceutical products to State Medicaid recipients. Mr. Engle successfully negotiated one of the smallest settlements of the more than twenty drug manufacturers named as defendants.
  • Represented prominent Hawaii developer in a ten-year-long class action litigation alleging construction defects and statutory non-disclosure in the design and sale of units in a large-scale residential subdivision. Mr. Engle obtained summary judgment on half of the claims asserted by the class, resulting in highly favorable settlement that involved the payment of only nominal damages to a handful of individual class members and the implementation of an extended warranty program.

Mr. Engle is a frequent speaker at construction law seminars in Hawaii and is the co-author of following publications:

  • Introduction to the New AIA Contract Documents (Lorman Education Services, 2009)
  • AIA Contracts (Lorman Education Services, 2008)
  • The Fundaments of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues (Lorman Education Services, 2007)

Mr. Engle is a graduate of Kenyon College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English. He received his Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law, where he was the Articles Editor for the American Journal of Law & Medicine, one of the nation's foremost inter-disciplinary law journals. Mr. Engle interned for the Honorable Raymond Dearie, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Areas of Practice

  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Construction Litigation
  • General Business Litigation
  • Complex Business Litigation
  • Professional Malpractice Claims
  • Securities Litigation
  • Bankruptcy

Bar Admissions

  • Hawaii
  • U.S. District Court District of Hawaii


  • Boston University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
    • J.D. - 2001
    • Law Journal: American Journal of Law & Medicine, Articles Editor
  • Kenyon College
    • B.A. - 1997
    • Major: English

Published Works

  • Co-Author, Introduction to the New AIA Contract Documents, Lorman Education Services, 2009
  • Co-Author, AIA Contracts, Lorman Education Services, 2008
  • Co-Author, The Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues, Lorman Education Services, 2007

Past Employment Positions

  • Honorable Raymond Dearie, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Intern