Presidents' Messages

August 2016


It’s almost time for the Bar’s Annual Dinner.  We have a record of over 650 guests this year for the “gentle” roast to honor Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon (ret.). I hope you have already purchased your seat to help support the well-deserving beneficiaries:  the Hawaii State Trial Judges Association; the Hawaii Girls Court; the Neighbor Island Self-Help Centers and the Oahu Access to Justice Rooms.  It’s gonna be a blast!

If fundraisers aren’t your thing, there’s another opportunity for you to reach out to the local community right around the corner.  Volunteers are needed for the next Courts in the Community project.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has scheduled oral argument on October 27, 2016 at McKinley High School.  The Project is an opportunity for students from local public, private, and charter high schools to learn about an actual case pending before the Hawaii Supreme Court, meet with volunteer attorneys in their classroom to discuss the case before the argument, and later, attend the actual oral argument conducted by attorneys before the Supreme Court Justices.  It provides a rare, hands-on opportunity for students to learn about the Judiciary and to understand the legal profession.

We do not yet have a final list of participating schools, but students will be from some of the public, private, and charter high schools within the McKinley/Roosevelt/Farrington complex.  The HSBA, through the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, will pay the costs of bus transportation and lunches for the participating students, teachers, chaperones, and volunteers. 

We are looking for attorneys willing to volunteer to go into the classrooms and teach the students about the judicial system, the case, and conduct informal arguments (time permitting).  Training and materials will be provided, and volunteers are matched with teachers who have agreed to allow their classes to participate.

Previous Courts in the Community events have been huge successes. The expertise and interaction provided by the volunteer attorneys are invaluable to the students and teachers.  We have been told that high school alumni attorney volunteers are very effective and serve a dual role as potential role models. 

If you would like more information, or are willing to volunteer, please contact the HSBA’s attorney volunteer coordinator, Rebecca Copeland at or (808) 392-7808.


- 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,

I hope your summer has been a pleasant one and as it turns to fall here in paradise we are reminded that school is starting up again, elections are on the horizon, and lots of volunteer opportunities abound. On the education front, the YLD Board is hard at work on various programs and projects. First, our CLE Committee has put together a seminar for Advising a Small Business. Our panel of corporate, IP, and tax lawyers will be moderated by Catherine Taschner, YLD Secretary. It will be held on Monday, August 29th and is from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the HSBA. This is a free CLE program open to all HSBA members and qualifies for 1 CLE credit. Register at: Space is limited. We hope to provide an additional CLE program either at the Bar Convention or in the last quarter of the year.

Turning to educating the public and providing opportunities through our community outreach program the Junior Judges committee has begun planning and will take place between October 24th – October 28th. We are looking for volunteers to go to the schools and educate our keiki on making good decisions via this program. If you are interested please contact Summer Kaiawe at:

Not leaving the high school students out, our Mock Trial Committee has received the problem and will be meeting with the coaches in the fall. If you’d like to participate in this great program and get involved it is never too early. Please contact Marissa Machida at:

Lastly, we are working on a Voter Education program, where we hope to work with high school juniors and seniors to educate them on why voting matters. This program is based on the ABA-YLD’s Voter Education and we hope to localize it and work with a couple of schools in implementing the program. If you are interested contact me at:

Speaking of voting, please consider the candidates running for various positions of the 2017 YLD Board. You can find a list of candidates here: More information and election ballots will be forthcoming and results of the election shall be announced at the Bar Convention and Annual Meeting on October 14th. Finally, if you are interested in running for the 2018 Board it is never too early to start participating, so please reach out to us and volunteer now!


- Ryan K. Hew, HSBA YLD President