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Guam lawyer lists 60 witnesses in defense vs Hillbroom suit

Veteran Guam lawyer David J. Lujan has listed 60 potential witnesses in his defense against a lawsuit filed by a former client, Junior Larry Hillbroom, and in his complaint against Hillbroom’s former trustee.

Theodore W. Frank, counsel for Lujan, said the potential witnesses are based in the U.S. mainland, Hawaii, Guam, Palau, Cook Islands, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Among the potential witnesses are Hillbroom and his mother, Kaelani Kinney who is in Palau, and former FBI special agent Douglas E. Small, who is now in Washington D.C.

Also included as potential witnesses are Guam police officers involved in Hillbroom’s arrest in the past for a criminal case.

Hillbroom is the reported DNA-proven son of the late business tycoon Larry Lee Hillblom. He reportedly lives now in Idaho.

Frank disclosed the identity of Lujan’s potential witnesses in the pre-discovery disclosure statement filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the NMI.

In the disclosure statement, also listed are description of documents of 23 files and records, including those belonging to Lujan, Hillbroom’s investments, and former Hillbroom trustee Keith A. Waibel.

Hillbroom is suing his former lawyers Lujan and Barry Israel in district court for allegedly conspiring to inflate their contingency fee when Hillblom’s fortune was still undergoing probate proceedings. He also named Waibel as co-defendant.

Waibel filed a third-party complaint against Israel and Lujan so that in the event he is found liable in Hillbroom’s lawsuit, he could claim for indemnity and contribution from Israel and Lujan.

Lujan in turn, filed a third party complaint against Waibel for indemnity and contribution in case the court finds him liable in Hillbroom’s lawsuit.

Last month, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed Waibel’s lawsuit against Israel, who is now based in Vietnam.

Manglona agreed with Israel that the court lacks specific jurisdiction over the lawyer on Waibel’s cross claims because, first and foremost, Waibel was never a resident of the CNMI.

Last January, Manglona dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction Hillbroom’s lawsuit against Israel.

Manglona, however, denied Lujan’s motion to dismiss Waibel’s cross-complaint filed against him.

Manglona ruled that Lujan’s improper-venue defense is meritless.

By Ferdie de la Torre

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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