HAWAII STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
1132 Bishop Street, Suite 906
Honolulu, HI 96813
Thursday, May 22, 2008, 11:30 a.m.
1. CALL TO ORDER
President Jeffrey Sia called the meeting to order at 11:44 a.m. with a quorum present. The following persons were present for all or part of the meeting:
Rai Saint Chu
P. Gregory Frey
Geraldine Hasegawa (by phone)
Board Members Absent
Associate Justice Simeon Acoba
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Minutes of the April 24th and April 28th board meeting were approved by consensus.
3. TREASURER’S REPORT – Treasurer Douglas Moore reported that HSBA is ahead of projected budget as of April 30th. See written financial statements for more detail.
4. COMMITTEE / REPRESENTATIVE REPORTS
a. Access to Justice Commission – Associate Justice Simeon Acoba, Chair of the Access to Justice Commission, stated the five basic goals of the Commission as follows: 1) develop a statewide plan to address access to justice issues; 2) take inventory of current resources and identify needs; 3) encourage collaboration among legal service providers; 4) propose initiatives; 5) make recommendations to appropriate bodies. Some ideas Justice Acoba mentioned as those that the Bar could do included establishing a model pro bono policy for law firms, for government offices, and for in-house counsel, and also to keep track of volunteers and pledges/contributions of bar members’ pro bono hours. He also noted that 17 commission members had been nominated thus far and about 3 more were yet to be nominated.
b. Rule 17 Committee (Judiciary) – President Sia reported that the Supreme Court is presently satisfied with the handling of Rule 17 functions as implemented by the HSBA. The Committee will continue to meet to discuss issues of concern.
c. HSBA-Disciplinary Board Liaison Committee – A formal announcement was made that Carole Richelieu resigned as Chief Disciplinary Counsel and that Charles Hite will serve as Interim Disciplinary Counsel. Committee will continue to meet and keep dialog open.
d. Strategic Planning Committee – Leadership Subcommittee working on developing senior lawyers division and a bar leadership institute; Membership Subcommittee working on members surveys on pro bono, improving modes of communication, HSBA services & activities.
e. Kona Courthouse Committee – Legislative CIP funds appropriated in 2008 will be used to address security issues.
f. Legislative Report – Anthony Bartholomew was confirmed as District Court Judge of the Third Circuit Court; a resolution was passed in the House only to establish a task force to study the judicial retirement age issue.
5. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT - Executive Director Lyn Flanigan reported much confusion over pro bono reporting leading to inaccurate statistics. When highs and lows were removed, the average number of pro bono hours was 35. She also reported: negotiations continue with the landlord on HSBA office space; on-line survey on CLE will be deployed soon; member benefits being considered by Committee include GEICO member program, Aloha Petroleum member program, medical insurance program for bar members.
6. YLD REPORT – YLD President Jill Hasegawa reported that volunteers ran 5 clinics on Oahu and 3 Legal Hotline days for Law Week, and gave 12 presentations to high school students for the Ready-for-the-World project.
7. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
a. Practice of Law Definition (see agenda item 7.a. and Exhibit B) -President Sia stated that he, Lyn Flanigan, and Consumer Protection Committee Chair Joanne Ha’o met with professional groups to listen to their concerns over the proposed practice of law definition. Their comments will be taken into consideration as President Sia works on further amendments to the proposed rule.
b. Proposed Amendments to Board Policies on Judicial Selection and Communication by the HSBA Spokesperson (see agenda item 7.b.) – FYI
c. Access to Justice Commission (see agenda item 7.c.) – The Executive Committee has recommended four HSBA members as its representatives on the Access to Justice Commission for approval and appointment by the Board. The Delivery of Legal Services to the Public Committee expressed its discontent over the Board’s process in not consulting with the Committee in making these appointments. The Board discussed whether to reconsider any of the recommended four people in light of the DLSP Committee’s comment.
Action taken: After discussion, a motion was made, seconded, and carried without opposition to appoint DLSP Committee Co-chair Shannon Wack, if she is willing, as one of HSBA’s representatives to the AJC, along with Jill Hasegawa, Martin Luna, and Rai Saint Chu.
d. Proposed Amendment to RSCH 17(d) regarding New Membership Category (see agenda item 7.d.) – deferred.
e. Liability Insurance Disclosure Report; ABA Liability Insurance Conference (see agenda item 7.e. and Exhibit F) – deferred until next month.
8. NEW BUSINESS
a. Proposed Amendment to Rule 7.2 (see agenda item 8.a. and Exhibit G)
Action taken: After discussion, a motion was made, seconded, and carried without opposition to approve the Executive Committee’s recommendation to send comment to the Supreme Court approving the proposed amendment to Rule 7.2 which allows not-for-profit lawyer referral services to collect a referral fee as a percentage of legal fees.
b. Appointment of Representative to Election Advisory Council (EAC) (see agenda item 8.b.) – Members were requested to contact Lyn Flanigan to recommend anyone interested in serving.
c. Electronic Board Participation and Voting (see agenda item 8.c.) - deferred until next month to allow Board more time to consider it.
d. Appointment of Former Judge to JSC (see agenda item 8.d.) – Douglas Crosier was present to express his concerns over the negative news articles on the appointment of a former judge to the JSC. He expressed his concern that this appointment circumvented the apparent intent of the Constitution to not have lawyers dominate the judicial selection process, resulting in criticism of the bar and of lawyers. He requested that HSBA take a position and make it public
Board discussion followed, noting concerns about the intent of the constitution in limiting the number of “licensed attorneys” on the JSC, whether there are Keller implications, and whether there is any positive result from making a public statement given that the Attorney General has not issued an opinion on this matter.
President Sia recommended that more information be gathered on the intent of the Constitution/formation of the JSC so that Board members may discuss this issue again at the June board meeting.
e. Conference on Self-Represented Litigants (see agenda item 8.e. and Exhibit K) - The Board decided that the Family Law Section Chair should be contacted to inquire of the Section’s interest in working with the HSBA on participating in this conference.
The meeting adjourned at 1:38 p.m.
HSBA Executive Director
Carolyn M. Yu