Presidents' Messages

March 2018

Something old... Something new

We now enter spring, the season of regeneration, with a number of past programs being resurrected in collaboration with the HSBA. Four of them will be briefly discussed here.

Living Legend Lawyers: This popular Think Tech program was the brainchild of former president Greg Markham. It will once again find new life with the assistance of Jay Fidell, the founder, president, and chief executive officer, and Carol Mon Lee, the executive vice-president and chief operating officer, respectively, of Think Tech. Several volunteer attorneys served as host/moderators, and I had the honor of interviewing two distinguished lawyers. They were my former boss and friend, retired U.S. District Judge Alfred Laureta, now in his mid-90’s, and retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Simeon Acoba, in a program titled “The Long Road to the Bench.” Justice Acoba continues to provide extraordinary service to the bar in his capacity as the Chair of the Hawai’i Access to Justice Commission, a highly successful program that includes providing the public with volunteer attorneys to assist in navigating the judicial process.

Rapid Response Committee: When judges are unfairly attacked, they are often precluded from responding due to judicial canons. Even if not specifically precluded, judges often choose to refrain from responding due to a sense of judicial restraint and personal rectitude. A prompt response to misinformed, unwarranted criticism is the responsibility of the bar. The rapid response committee, first formally created during the presidency of David Louie, has been reinstated, and will be ready to immediately respond to criticism that often misstates the facts or misconstrues the law that results in unfair criticism of a judge’s ruling.

Hawai’i Trial Academy: This biennial program was created in 2004 in conjunction with the Hawaii State Bar Association. The idea was simple in its conception: to provide local attorneys with the best possible trial skills workshop experience, as an alternative to the time and often prohibitive expense of attending a comparable program on the mainland. The faculty is always composed of the most experienced trial lawyers in Hawai’i. Their skills and enthusiasm in teaching, and their success with participating attorneys, continue to be acknowledged in the overwhelming positive reviews from participants in the programs of past years.

Immigration Law Clinic: The HSBA’s goals include the commitment “to eliminate unfair bias, prejudice and discrimination, and to create meaningful opportunities for underrepresented groups in the legal system,” and “to increase the availability of quality legal services to all who need them.” Recently, William S. Richardson School of Law has recognized the need to establish a full-time clinical program in immigration law. Professor Calvin Pang (former LASH president) and Lowell Chun Hoon (having served our immigrant community for decades with Na Lo’io and the Hawai’i Immigrant Justice Center), have given their full support to make the clinic permanent. Prof. Pang has noted that “the Immigration Law Clinic would provide WSRSL students a rich opportunity to develop a broad variety of lawyering skills while advocating for financially and socially disadvantaged individuals with immigration law problems. “ Mr. Chun Hoon has added that “the history of Hawai’i since the 19th century is in large measure the history of successive waves of immigration and a continuing source of vitality and strength for all of us. With the conflicts over immigration that beset our country and other nations, a permanent immigration clinic ought to be an indispensable component of educating Hawai’i’s lawyers in the 21st century.”

It is anticipated that student advocacy will include appearances in U.S. Immigration Court under the supervision of qualified attorneys.

These and other programs, some of which will be discussed in the future, are part of what makes all of us so important in the realization of our mission statement: “to unite and inspire Hawai’i’s lawyers to promote justice, serve the public, and improve the legal profession.” Mahalo to all of you for your continuing service to our unified bar.

- Howard K.K. Luke, HSBA President

Happy Women’s History Month!

Take some time to celebrate the women in your lives! A campaign of note fighting gender-based violence is the Hawaii Say’s NO MORE Campaign. In addition, I urge to support all the great work the Hawaii Women Lawyers’ Association continues to do within our legal community as well as our community at large!

As always, the YLD Board has been working really hard and we’ve got many opportunities to work with the community as well as opportunities for Young Lawyers to socialize. Just remember, we seek volunteers from the entire HSBA since we have been given the opportunity and talent to share with our community.

On March 23, 2018, we’ll have the first YLD Social at Bar 35 from 5:30pm -8:30pm. We’d like to thank the Law Offices of David Hayakawa for sponsoring this first social. We hope that many young lawyers and other young professionals can join us for this event.

On March 31, 2018, the High School Mock Trial Competition State finals will be held at the Hawaii Supreme Court from 9:00am – 4:00pm with teams from Moanalua, Punahou, Hawaii Baptist Academy, and Kauai. You are all invited!

We are looking for volunteers for Law Week to appear on KHON’s Wake Up 2 Day! Topics from Monday through Friday will be, in order, Consumer/Bankruptcy Law, Family Law, Elder Care and Estate Planning Law, Immigration Law, and Landlord-Tenant Law. If you are interested in volunteering to be featured on KHON’s Wake Up 2 Day please email In addition, we will be looking for individuals or groups of individuals to volunteer at various locations throughout the State on May 5, 2018, Law Day.

Legal Line is our ongoing project and if you’d like to get involved as an individual or firm to sponsor a month (or team up with another firm for the month) contact the YLD Board anytime at Legal Line is held every Wednesday, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm at HSBA.

I will keep saying this every month, 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.

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).

Until next Month!

- Jamila Jarmon, HSBA YLD President