Presidents' Messages

May 2016

We are looking for a few good men and women - to be nominated for HSBA awards. Please take a few minutes to consider your friends, co-workers, and even your own - contributions to the law and our community. Then, let the HSBA’s Awards Committee know. Each year, there are many different awards given out to non-attorneys and attorneys, alike. The descriptions are available on the HSBA’s website (click on the “About Us” tab and the drop-down option which says “Awards”).

Perhaps you were inspired during the recent grand celebration - Yes, the biggest celebration of the year just occurred. Of course I’m talking about Law Week! Okay, so I’m sort of kidding; it isn’t a celebration like the end of the year holiday season, which kids young and old everywhere look forward to for months’ on end . . . Nonetheless, the first week of May is always Law Week, when the ABA, YLD, and County Bar Associations get lawyers up and out of our offices and to go forth into the community to serve.

If you haven’t yet experienced it, you should - the first Saturday in May 2017 will be the next walk-in clinics, or if you can’t wait a whole year, there’s weekly Legal Line telephone call-in services, also. The Senior Counsel Division does a fantastic job putting on an in-person legal clinic of their own that targets a neighbor island community. This year, the SCD will be traveling to the Big Island in September to conduct this annual community service project.

This year’s Law Week customers seemed to have more than the usual questions on Living Wills and Wills and Trusts. I am not an estate planning specialist, but I was able to assist them by listening to what their needs were, answering their questions, and referring them to other resources (in such cases, typically estate planning attorneys or Legal Aid). For one person, all I had to do was to explain the difference between a living will and a traditional will; which cleared things up for him immediately! Another woman, who told me that she just made 80 years old, said that she had already filled out her living will form, but her son, who had brought her to me for assistance, had no knowledge of it. I suggested that she tell him, anyone else who lived with her, and her doctors about her living will and her intentions so that her decisions would be understood. Small things like this don’t require a J.D. degree, and don’t necessarily need a specialist lawyer, yet for the customer, it provides a much needed service. She now has more information to complete the task which she had started. I also told her son that he should consider making his own living will, since our end of life decisions may spring up on us suddenly if there’s an accident, or etc. His reaction indicated that he hadn’t thought about his own mortality. He had come just for his mother’s sake, but he got more than he had ‘bargained’ for! It was an afternoon of time well-spent for me. I can’t wait until next year!


- Jodi Yi, HSBA President

The Hawaii State Bar Foundation’s grant-making cycle is underway. The HSBF is excited to announce that it is accepting grant applications through June 30, 2016. The grant application form can be obtained through the link located on HSBF’s webpage (please go to the Hawaii State Bar Association’s website and go to the HSBF webpage). In addition, the HSBF’s grant policy is accessible through a link on the same webpage. The HSBF encourages all eligible and qualified parties to consider applying for a grant. Please refer to the grant policy for eligibility requirements and other terms and conditions of grants.


- Jeff Sia, HSBF President

Aloha Everyone,

First, let me express my appreciation and thank you to all the lawyers and legal professionals that volunteered for this year’s Law Week. While, we are still totaling the reports and information we collected from KHON2 Actionline and the Law Day legal clinics just from my personal experience at both definitely seemed there was a lot of interest. We could not provide this valuable access to justice project to the public without your help. I know much of the public had a lot of thanks to the attorneys that helped. If you were unable to help this year, please consider volunteering next year, as it is definitely a good way to get pro bono hours.

I’ve talked to some of you who have families, and I know there was an interest in planning a social event that did not involve downtown Honolulu and its bars. Well, I am happy to announce that our Socials Committee has planned a YLD Beach BBQ for Saturday, June 18, 2016 at Ala Moana Beach park. This is a family friendly event and you all are welcome to bring your families. So please mark that date down and come out with your families to enjoy food and sun. Further details will be forthcoming, but if you have questions, please email us at

Our CLE Committee is hard at work on planning its next CLE, which will likely have a business focus. This CLE will be some time during the summer. We will let you know as soon as a date and panelists have been finalized. In general, we will have a number of other networking and educational opportunities coming up, so please be on the look out in your emails. Announcements will also go up on our Facebook page. Find us at “YLD Hawaii”. In other social media news, we have an Instagram account, follow us @yldhawaii the same as our Twitter account.

Looking ahead to the next year, I’d like to mention that there are positions on the 2017 Board open. If you are interested in running in the upcoming elections or have questions please send an email to Ruby Tomokiyo of the HSBA at: or Vice-President Trejur Bordernave at:


- Ryan K. Hew, HSBA YLD President