Presidents' Messages

January 2018


A remarkable event occurred the morning of Saturday, January 13, 2018. A civil defense alert of an incoming ballistic missile, headed for Hawaii and destined to arrive in about 15 minutes, was broadcast throughout the state. Assuming the dicey probability whether one survived, it was one of those unforgettable “remember were you were when…” events. For those of my generation, it was similar to the announcement of statehood, the assassination of JFK, and, most recently, the terrible destruction wrought on September 11, 2001. For all who experienced the alarming news that recent Saturday morning, it was surely an event to be permanently etched in one’s memory. 

The good news is that it was a false alarm. A Chicken Little event. But while the truth of the news was still with us, it seems fair to assume that we all had our own private epiphanies as we contemplated the prospect that in a few minutes we would no longer exist. 

If we took the possibility of nuclear attack seriously, it is likely that our first thoughts and immediate concerns went out to our loved ones. In words that did not necessarily come easily to some of us, we wanted them to know how much we loved them, to thank them for all they meant to us. Perhaps to say how sorry we were for disappointments, for real or imagined slights, for perceived failures big and small. 

As the clock ran down, turning inward, we might have reflected briefly on the meaning of our own lives. Is it not possible that some of us might have asked whether we lived our professional lives to the fullest? 

The surreal prospect of being vaporized in a few minutes, of being utterly annihilated, might have raised the question: Assuming that we couldn’t take it with us, that there would be no do-over, that there would be no survivors among those who mattered the most to us, were we fully satisfied with how we lived our lives as attorneys? Were we at peace with ourselves as we reflected on this?

My guess is that none of us would feel regret for not going to the office earlier or staying later the previous week to log in a few more billable hours. Given the choice of being highly successful in the conventional sense of financial reward and the acquisition of material comforts, as opposed to a life enriched by selfless service to our fellow human beings, without consideration of maximizing profit, in facing the imminence of mortality most of us would choose the latter. Not that these considerations are mutually exclusive. But the impulse to do the greatest social good has to be a powerful incentive for all of us. It is part of the DNA for most of us who have chosen this truly noble life’s work. 

In the coming year, let us work together to make our lives as lawyers and judges as meaningful as possible for those whom we serve. For all we know, the next one might be the real thing.

We are fortunate to have a truly great HSBA board, supported by outstanding staff members. I am deeply humbled and honored to serve with them this coming year, as we promise to do our best to serve all of you to the best of our collective ability.

- Howard K.K. Luke, HSBA President

Happy New Year!

On behalf of the Young Lawyers Division, I hope that this new year allows for new beginnings and continuing success in your personal and professional lives! My name is Jamila Jarmon and I have enjoyed working with the Board for the last four (4) years as an Oahu Director and I am excited to continue my service as the 2018 YLD Board President. In this new year, I’d like to look back and acknowledge the tireless contributions our members provided to the community and their tremendous volunteerism that has created successful programing and benefits to our community. Not only does this provide benefit to the community it enhances our ability as advocates to understand why and what we advocate for in our careers. In addition, I’d like to thank Trejur Bordenave for his leadership as our 2017 YLD President.

As the first Black YLD President, I am dedicated to initiatives that create diversity and inclusion in our legal community as well as initiatives that promote those same goals. Luckily, our YLD programs are rooted deeply in our larger community, which is diverse, and help to facilitate these goals of diversity and inclusion.

The YLD Board does not stop working and building, and we have our first program underway! High School Mock Trial Competition begins January 16, 2018. Volunteer attorneys and judges commit their weeknights to coach high school students to help make our mock trial competition as close to the real thing as possible. The finals will be on March 31, 2018 at the Hawaii Supreme Court and you all are invited to watch. Put it in your calendars now, because the students are spectacular!

Next up: Law Week. In early May we partner with KHON’s Action Line to provide legal information to the community on select legal topics throughout the week. We end the week with Law Day, where we provide legal services at popular destinations throughout the state. We’ll need all of your help to continue to provide this effective and useful service to the community. 

And, every Wednesday of the year, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, we provide legal information through Legal Lines. Contact the YLD Board at any time to volunteer.

Information about the YLD Board and our programming can be found on the HSBA YLD webpage and you can follow us on Facebook (YLD Hawaii), Instagram (yldhawaii), and Twitter (YLD Hawaii). Feel free to reach out to the YLD Board at

We are always looking for volunteers for YLD programs and welcome YLD members to serve on any of our committees to coordinate and plan our programming. The YLD is only as strong as our membership, so I hope that you will all get involved, and provide us suggestions and comments on how we can continually improve our outreach to positively impact the community.

I look forward to getting to know each one of you!

- Jamila Jarmon, HSBA YLD President