Presidents' Messages

August 2018

An Enchanted Evening

On Saturday evening, August 11, the Hawaii State Bar Association held its Annual Dinner Fundraiser at the Hawaii Convention Center.

The next morning, a flood of congratulatory emails, text messages, and phone calls were sent to staff members of HSBA and the many volunteers who gave so much of their time, talent, and uncompensated hard work to make the evening an overwhelming success. It was truly a night to be remembered. The common theme of reviews by our bar members is that the evening was not only entertaining, it was very moving

The Judges Kanikapila was made up of the Just Us Band: Circuit Court Judge Keith Hiraoka on bass guitar, District Court Judge William Domingo and Family Court District Judge Kevin Morikone on acoustic guitar, and, as the de facto spokesperson for the entertainment portion of the program, Circuit Judge Riki May Amano (ret.), who played the Kamaka ukulele given to her when she graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1976 by her beloved husband Don (whom she married when she was 17 and he was 18). At the end of the evening, Don Amano sort of renewed his vows with his silent auction winning bid for a concert KoAloha ukulele which he gave to Riki. HSBA Vice President Greg Frey's winning bid obtained a beautifully handcrafted Kamaka ukulele. Both ukulele were signed by our featured entertainer, Jake Shimabukuro.

Before Jake came on, we were entertained by the Just Us Band, complemented by backup singers Marissa Machida and Ryan Markham. Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and Associate Justice Sabrina McKenna showcased their considerable vocal talents in a medley of songs, including oldies from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Circuit Judge Gary Chang and I did our part with our game version of the Drifters’ Under the Boardwalk, with the audience joining in. 

And then Jake came on, and with Just Us and the singers, performed the Ka’au Crater Boys’ Are You Missing Me? Jake then did an impressive repertoire with his old music partner Judge Hiraoka. And then, after the stage was cleared, Jake played solo magnificently for almost an hour. Always the nicest, most humble and considerate performer, Jake dedicated a very touching medley of Akaka Falls, Schubert’s Ave Maria, What a Wonderful World, and Over the Rainbowto all the neighbor island residents who suffered, and to the attorneys who helped, in Kokua Kauai and Kokua Puna. He finished by asking the audience to get in touch with their inner Freddie Mercury as he led us through a sing-along to Bohemian Rhapsody. While younger bar members happily sang as Jake played, some of us older folks lip-synced along, trying not to reveal our inner cluelessness.

Jake received a prolonged standing ovation. 

Throughout the evening, David Hayakawa did an outstanding job as our master of ceremonies. Hawaii State Bar Foundation President Curtis Saiki thanked the members of the Bar for their support in serving the underprivileged, and announced this year's selected grantees.

The musical evening began with a moment of silence for our brothers and sisters of the HSBA who passed away during the year, followed by a moving performance of The Queen’s Prayer, beautifully sung by Dianne Brookins. It concluded with everyone joining hands and filling the ballroom with our stirring rendition of Hawai’i Aloha.

My deepest thanks to all who were present, as well as to those who could not make it, for your heartfelt support and contributions of good will, as we continue to demonstrate—as more than one person put it—that we are truly family.

Aloha and Mahalo Nui Loa.

- Howard K.K. Luke, HSBA President

Happy August! This year is truly moving with a quickness.

I want to first take the time to congratulate Howard, the HSBA Board, and HSBA Staff for a wonderful Annual Bar Fundraiser and Dinner. It was a really great event, well organized and executed! If you didn’t have the chance to go this year, I hope you think about attending next year. The dinner is great time to catch up with people you may not have seen in a while, but it’s also a great way to contribute to the HSBA and HSBF. The monies raised are used to fulfill the HSBA’s mission to “unite and inspire Hawaii's lawyers to promote justice, serve the public and improve the legal profession.” These funds specifically allow the YLD to provide services to the community and we are grateful for that opportunity!

My new August tradition is to celebrate Black August. Black August was started by Black activists in the late 1970s to commemorate fallen political prisoners and to educate the community about conditions in US prisons, Black August is a month-long observance organized around building community, healing, renewing connections to the land, strategizing, and promoting discipline and physical well-being. If you’re looking for ways to learn more or participate in events this month for Black August, check out The Pōpolo Project’s website.

You should have received the YLD request for volunteers for Junior Judges. If you didn’t, heads up another one will be sent out this month with a link to sign-up for particular schools. Remember, you can sign up for one or more classes! Junior Judges is designed to teach 3rd through 5th grade students facing tough choices to make good decisions. It addresses issues like cheating, destroying property, bullying, teasing, stealing, drugs and alcohol, and gangs and weapons. Volunteer attorneys first show video-skits presenting real-life situations and then facilitate discussion in the classroom. Students become the “junior judges” who must make decisions on these simulated “real-life” situations. The duration of each presentation is approximately one hour.

A big shout out and thank you goes to Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert for sponsoring Legal Line in August. We really appreciate your support and commitment to providing pro bono legal information to the community. 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. 

We are always looking for volunteers for YLD programs and 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