Presidents' Messages

March 2015



I’m happy to report that House Bill 290, which appropriates $55M to build the Kona Judiciary Complex, unanimously cleared the State House of Representatives on March 11, 2015. On behalf of the Hawaii State Bar Association, I provided testimony regarding the sub-standard conditions of the existing Kona courthouses. Currently, West Hawaii court proceedings are held in three separate locations within buildings that were never designed to function as a place for judicial affairs. The inadequate space supplied by these repurposed buildings often leads to an intermingling of witnesses, jurors, and families, each forced to share hallways, limited waiting spaces, and restrooms with potentially adversarial parties. These issues, when coupled with the increasing caseload from the developing Kona, Ka’u, North Kohala, and South Kohala districts, underscore the necessity for the consolidated Kona Judiciary Complex.

Construction is expected to start in March 2016, with the completion of the Complex targeted sometime in 2019. The complex is to be built on a 10-acre parcel located mauka of Queen Kaahumanu Highway, and across Makala Boulevard from the Makalapua Center. After looking at the renderings of the Kona Judiciary Complex, I am thoroughly excited to litigate on the premises in the near future.

Finally, I’d like to invite all of you to watch the latest installment of the HSBA 3-D series, entitled “"Hawaii Lawyers in WWII's 442nd" featuring guests Mr. Genro Kashiwa (JD#264), Hon. Eichi Oki (JD# 370), and Mr. Harry Tanaka (JD# 456). The 442nd Regiment was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare. In total, about 14,000 men served, earning 9,486 Purple Hearts. It is quite amazing that these brave individuals were also among the first lawyers in the State after liberating the European and Pacific Theaters. Go for Broke, guys!


- Greg K. Markham, HSBA President


The HSBF continues to welcome and seek grant applications from eligible organizations as its grant-making cycle is underway. Please refer to the Grant Application and HSBF Grant Policy links.

In the last two years, the HSBF has awarded grants to help fund the Courts in the Community program involving oral arguments before the Hawaii Supreme Court at various high school locations in the State. Grants also have been awarded to Hawaii’s Legal Service Provider Consortium, which includes the Hawaii Disability Rights Center, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii, and the Domestic Violence Action Center, among other organizations, and the HSBA for its various public service programs and activities.

Fund raising activities this year will include the Annual Dinner, which will be held on August 22, 2015 at the Hawaii Convention Center, and HSBF’s on-going Fellowship program. Your support of HSBF is most appreciated.

To learn more about the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, click here.


- Jeff Sia, HSBF President

On March 7th, the YLD sponsored its annual state finals for the high school mock trial program. Moanalua High School Team Blue took first place, and will be representing Hawaii at the national competition in Raleigh, North Carolina. Farrington High School was awarded the Professionalism and Civility Award, which was voted on by all team competing. On March 20th, there will be a YLD social mixer at Fresh Cafe from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Please rsvp here, and be sure to bring business cards! We look forward to seeing you there. Finally, we are looking for volunteers to help at our annual law week clinics that will be around the State on May 2, 2015. If you are interested in volunteering, please email for more information.

- Miriah Holden, HSBA YLD President