Presidents' Messages

January 2016

Happy New Year, Akemashite Omedetoo Gozaimasu (Japanese), Bonne Année (French), Buon Anno (Italian), She Heh Bok Mahn Ee Bahd Euh Sae Yo (Korean), Ein Glückliches Neues Jahr (German), and of course, the local favorite: Hauoli Makahiki Hou (Hawaiian)! However you say it, however you celebrate it, whether you gather with friends and family to feast, get roaring drunk, burn your money up in the form of fireworks, or simply snuggle in for a deep, long-lasting nap - I hope that you enjoyed your holidays and long-weekends. 2016 is off with a BANG!

The HSBA has received and processed almost all of the 8,000 plus anticipated attorney member registrations - and boy are their fingers tired! Just kidding; as most of us know, HSBA has advanced a long way from the days of paper-based registrations, when its personnel was tasked with in-putting all of the information into the registration database by themselves. Currently, most of our membership submits their registration on-line from the comfort of our own offices. However, don’t kid yourself into thinking that the HSBA staff merely sits idly by while the computers do all of the work - there is still much work to be done. The Executive Director and staff are dedicated to providing the best customer service possible. They spend their end of the year ‘holiday’ season meeting with and helping individual members as they guide, educate, instruct, inform, cajole - figuratively push, pull - and do all within their collective powers to try to get all of us attorney members in full compliance with our CLE, IOLTA, and payment compliance by the December 31 deadline each year.

Other goings on at HSBA include the appointments and re-appointments of new committee chairs. I have been busy contacting and confirming the key persons for 2016. The various committees are instrumental to accomplish the work of the bar association.

Several sections are also in the process of change. Shortly, the HSBA board will be considering the initiation of the Solo and Small Firm section. Also in the works is a rejuvenation of the Admiralty Law Section. The Natural Resources Section has proposed a name change to the “Environment, Energy, and Resources Section.” Finally, there has been great interest in the formation of Cannabis Law, Healthcare and Military Sections. For more information on how to get involved, check out the HSBA website or the office and ask for the Executive Director. There is much to be done in 2016, so let’s get on with it.


- Jodi Yi, HSBA President

We are extremely grateful that in 2015, our second year of the Hawaii State Bar Foundation Fellows program, we have generous donations from 41 distinguished members of the HSBA, amounting to nearly $30,000. We are creating and sustaining a legacy dedicated to promoting justice and equality in our community.

In 2015, the 2014 Fellow’s funds were used to provide funding for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii; the Friends of Children’s Mental Health; the Friends of the Family Specialty Courts; the Hawaii Friends of Restorative Justice; the State Court Pro Bono Appellate Project; the Hawaii Mock Trial Competition and the list continues. We continue to support the Access to Justice Rooms on Oahu and the Self-Help Centers in Hilo and Kona and on Maui and Kauai for pro se civil litigants, and the Judiciary’s Courts in the Community Program, which brings Supreme Court oral arguments to public high schools, such as Waianae High School a few weeks ago. Both programs have made a positive impact and stirred strong interest in access to justice in our State.

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, allowing us to raise tax-deductible funds. With Hawaii State Bar Association’s meeting space and independent contractor staff, we have kept our overhead quite low, so most of our fundraising can go to support programs that further our mission.

Stay posted with the HSBA emails and the HSBA website as we continue with our Golf Tournament on May 13, 2016 as well as other thought provoking events.


- Rai Saint Chu, HSBF Vice President


On behalf of the Young Lawyers Division, Happy New Year! While, the New Year brings a lot of fresh starts and new beginnings I’d like to take this time to acknowledge the past and continuing contributions of many of our members, as their tireless dedication to volunteering is what creates great programming and benefits for our membership, as well as making sure our community outreach projects are a success. In particular, I’d like to thank Miriah Holden, our 2015 President for her strong leadership and her dedication through volunteering and community outreach.

Speaking of projects, some of them are ongoing and others will be picking up steam as we head into the first quarter of 2016. First, our High School Mock Trial program will be in full swing, as high school teams are coached by volunteer attorneys, and judges commit their weekends to hear arguments by the students. Second, Law Week planning will begin in earnest as we plan for statewide legal clinics, events, and volunteer projects throughout that first week of May.

In addition, we will likely will be offering a CLE and having a social mixer during this first quarter of the year. So it will be as usual a very exciting, but busy year. We always need volunteers for our projects, so please do not hesitate to contact me ( or the Board ( if you are interested in participating. Further, visit the HSBA website or find us on Facebook (“YLD Hawaii”) for information about the Board and our projects. Finally, as it is a New Year, if you have ideas on how the YLD can get involved or have something that benefits the membership, offer it up and come present them at our monthly meetings. So please keep in touch to get involved, network or, volunteer! I look forward to meeting with many of you this year.



- Ryan K. Hew, HSBA YLD President