DALLAS--On August 15, 2013, the office of the Attorney General of the State of Hawaii issued a press release announcing that Honolulu-based Tax Appeal Court Judge Gary W.B. Chang entered a final judgment in favor of the State of Hawaii, finding that nine Online Travel Companies (OTCs) selling hotel rooms over the Internet, including Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Priceline, owe the State $246 million in unpaid taxes and penalties for the period 2000 to 2011. Earlier in the week, the Court granted the State’s motion for partial summary judgment, awarding the State an additional $25 million for statutory interest on tax penalties.
This ruling follows decisions handed down in March 2013 and in January 2013, when Judge Chang ruled that the OTCs owed the State of Hawaii significant back taxes.
The State of Hawaii is represented by McKool Smith principals Steve Wolens and Gary Cruciani, along with the Attorney General’s Office and the local firm of Price Okamoto Himeno & Lum.
With more than 175 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC, McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. Over the past seven years, the firm has secured seven nine-figure jury verdicts, as well as seven eight-figure jury verdicts. The firm has also won more National Law Journal and VerdictSearch "Top 100 Verdicts" over the last five years than any other law firm in the country. Courtroom successes like these have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” McKool Smith represents leading clients in complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense matters.