Presidents' Messages


May 2019

Hawaii Descends on the 2019 Equal Justice Conference and National Meeting of Access to Justice Commission Chairs

I am recently reminded of the privilege to serve as HSBA President in these exciting times for the practice of law. Just last week, an enthusiastic contingent from Hawai‘i attended the 2019 Equal Justice Conference (“2019 EJC”) co-sponsored by the American Bar Association and National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, and the National Meeting of Access to Justice Commission Chairs (“National Meeting of ATJ Chairs”) held annually; this year in Louisville, Kentucky. The twelve Hawai‘i attendees represented our HSBA – Delivery of Legal Services to the Public Committee, Judiciary of the State of Hawai‘i (“Judiciary”), Hawai‘i Access to Justice Commission (“ATJ Commission”), Hawai‘i Justice Foundation (“HJF”), Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i (“Legal Aid”), Volunteer Legal Services Hawai‘i, and Domestic Violence Action Center and were among the record attendance of approximately 1,100 attendees at the 2019 EJC from across the country.


Christine Daleiden, Grant Teichman, Melissa Goldman, Micah Smith, Jenny Silbiger, Derek Kobayashi, Sergio Alcubilla, Shannon Wack, Michelle Acosta, Hon. Michael Soong, Nanci Kriedman and Daylin-Rose Heather

Our Hawai‘i contingent participated as program panelists and energetically re connected with the ABA/NLADA leaders and conference organizers, panelists and fellow long-time attendees. As in years past, the 2019 EJC and National Meeting of ATJ Chairs were rich with information, resources and ideas for collaborative programs and initiatives that may enhance our members’ delivery of civil legal services to low-income individuals, which is vital to the mission of our HSBA – “to unite and inspire Hawaii’s lawyers to promote justice, serve the public and improve the legal profession.”

Some of the Hawai‘i attendees reported on the Community Navigator project and the Hawai‘i – Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable (“HI-LAIR”), two initiatives being implemented as a result of our Justice for All (JFA) grant activities, a collaboration by the Judiciary, the ATJ Commission and HJF. Hawai‘i was one of seven states awarded the JFA Grant in 2017 from the National Center for State Courts and funded by the Public Welfare Foundation. These projects were selected after a yearlong assessment, inventory, and strategic planning process in order to relieve unmet civil legal needs for our most vulnerable and fellow Hawai‘i residents.

As Legal Aid also recently summarized in an April press release, the Community Navigator project is a part of Hawai‘i’s Justice For All initiative to help individuals overcome barriers to accessing legal help because of their ethnicity, culture, language, income, age, or geography. Trusted community leaders will be trained to provide accurate referrals and relevant legal information to better assist those that naturally come to them for help. Legal Aid is currently conducting statewide legal training for community leaders to serve as Community Navigators.

The report on HI-LAIR included a summary of the goal of the roundtable to increase collaboration and efficiency across state departments, identify programs that would be more effective, efficient, and produce better outcomes by adding legal services to the supportive services provided, and to leverage federal funds to increase access to legal aid for Hawaii’s most vulnerable. HI-LAIR participating departments include the Department of Human Services, Department of Health, Department of Public Safety, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, and Department of Public Safety. HI-LAIR has already convened three times and is well on the way to the development of inter-departmental partnerships towards enhancing delivery of civil legal services to meet LAIR’s goal.

As we were reminded at the 2019 EJC and National Meeting of ATJ Chairs - “Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building; it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists . . . it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.” Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice (Ret.), during his tenure as president of the American Bar Association (August 1976). It is truly an honor to represent the HSBA among our members working on collaborations to make equal justice for all a reality in our Hawai‘i. Mahalo!


- Derek R. Kobayashi, HSBA President

Law Week

Attorney volunteers provided valuable legal information throughout our communities statewide from topics ranging from trust and estate planning, guardianship, landlord tenant issues, custody, and more during Law Week 2019 (May 6-12, 2019).

Thank you to Law Week Chair Kyleigh Nakasone; Committee Leader Katherine Lukela; Site Captains Marissa Agena, Addison Bonner, Michelle Ching, Laura Cushman, Christilei Hessler, Michi Momose, Jamil Newirth, Christopher St. Sure, Kelden Waltjen; KHON2 Wake Up 2Day interviewees; KHON2 Action Line Volunteers; and our law clinic volunteers throughout the state for making a difference in your communities! Please visit our website for a complete list of volunteers.

Social Events

   Pau Hana & Kanikapila, May 8, 2019

Thank you to all who attended the recent pau hana and kanikapila on May 8, 2019. Special thanks to our talented musicians Donald Kaulia, Walt Keale, Judges Chan, Amano (ret.), Yim (ret.), and Domingo for the beautiful music.

   • Brews & News, June 28, 2019

Cheers to those who passed the February bar exam! Join the YLD & SCD as we toast to the new admittees at a “Brews & News” event from 5-8 pm on June 28, 2019 at Square Barrels. Thank you to sponsors Ralph Rosenberg Court Reporters, Inc. and Westpac Wealth Partners for hosting FREE appetizers and brews. See the invitation below and stay tuned for the event sign-up.

Professional Development

   • Survive and Thrive as Young Attorneys, June 13, 2019 at the HSBA Conference Room, 12-1:30 pm

Join the YLD and Litigation Section for this FREE CLE dedicated to helping you build the framework for a fulfilling career featuring panelists Jacob Lowenthal, Joyce W.Y. Tam-Sugiyama, and Shan Wirt

   Financial Fitness for Young Attorneys, July 31, 2019 at the HSBA Conference Room, 12-1pm

Save the Date: July 31, 2019 at the HSBA Conference Room from 12-1 pm for a practical financial primer for attorneys on topics such as managing student debt, tax saving strategies, income protection, buying your first home or investment property and more. Thanks to Westpac Wealth Partners for assembling a panel of professionals to address these important topics.

   • YLD + Solo & Small Firm Practice Section, August 21, 2019 at the HSBA Conference Room, 12-1pm

Save the Date: August 21, 2019 at the HSBA Conference Room from 12-1 pm. This CLE will feature a topic of interest to solo practitioners and small firms.

Outreach Events

The YLD will visit with new admittees at the mandatory Professionalism Course on June 22, 2019 at William S. Richardson School of Law, and discuss the many benefits to being a YLD member.

Other Opportunities

Have a request, idea, or opportunity that you’d like to share? Contact me or any YLD officer/director to discuss.

Visit our webpage for more information. Don’t forget to follow @yldhawaii on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more news and updates!

- Summer H. Kaiawe, HSBA YLD President