President's Message

August 2022

Shannon Sheldon

Hawaii State Bar Association President

The Importance of ABA
This month I attended the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates' Meeting as a substitute delegate. The ABA presented the highest honor award to retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, author of more than 525 opinions as a Supreme Court justice, for his extraordinary career as a public servant, a defender of the rule of law and a promoter of judicial independence. Justice Breyer joined ABA early in his career and explained that a fellow Harvard professor told him to go to an ABA meeting because “that’s where the action takes place.”

Regretfully, I have not been an active participant in the ABA in my career because, until now, I did not appreciate or understand ABA’s functions. The ABA meeting was eye-opening -- the ABA plays a critical role in preserving democracy and the Rule of Law in our Country.

At the ABA House of Delegates, lawyers from every State and the U.S. Territories have the opportunity to vote on a myriad of resolutions to adopt formal ABA policies issues ranging from protecting civil rights and gun control laws to attorney fee sharing and law school accreditation. The ABA advocates these policies by lobbying before Congress and State Legislatures. When lawyers come together with one voice through the ABA, the voice is impactful and lawyers can better inform Congress the needs of the community.

If you want to use your law degree to help improve this country, especially during these times where democracy is threatened, please join and participate in the ABA (www.americanbar.org). The Country needs lawyers now to support and work for fair laws to promote human dignity. Thank you to Lisa Bail, Marvin Dang and retired Judge Leslie Hayashi for serving as Hawai’i’s ABA delegates and on various ABA committees for many years to further these goals.


(Hawaii ABA House of Delegates from left to right:
Shannon Sheldon, Marvin Dang, Lisa Bail,
and Christopher St. Sure)

The HUB at University of Hawai‘i Richardson School of Law
As students are returning to school, it reminds me of the life-changing experiences I had as a law student at University of Hawai‘i Richardson School of Law. Whether it was learning football plays for the Ete Bowl, rehearsing for the talent show, or studying for finals, I developed personal connections with my fellow students and professors, several of which are now judges, partners in law firms and legislators. Undoubtedly, many of Richardson’s students will be the future leaders of Hawai’i.

Thus, I want to share that with the help of Richardson’s new Director Jill Gerrard in the Professional Development and Career Services Office, there is a new job database called The Hub. The Hub is intuitive to use and mobile friendly. It makes it easy for employers to post jobs and internships for students and recent graduates, and it is much easier for students to search and find opportunities tailored to their specific desires at one central location. If you are an employer, please reach out to Jill at [email protected] with any questions.

Pau Hana
For the first time in three years, HSBA and the Hawai‘i State Board Foundation will be hosting an in-person event. The Pau Hana takes place on August 24, 2022 at the Pacific Club in Honolulu.

Thank you to the following sponsors who generously donated to make this event happen: Diane Ono, Cades Schutte LLP, Davis Levin Livingston, Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman LLP, Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel LLP, Chun Kerr LLP, Turbin Chu Heidt, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, Cronin Fried Sekiya Kekina & Fairbanks, Bank of Hawai’i, First Hawaiian Bank, Law Office of Vladimir P. Devens LLC, Dentons, Bronster Fujichaku Robbins, HELG Administrative Services, Leavitt Yamane & Soldner, Matson, Watanabe Ing LLP, Carlsmith Ball LLP, Chong Nishimoto Sia Nakamura & Goya LLLC, McKeon Sheldon Mehling LLLC, Trecker Fritz & Williams Attorneys at Law, Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson Attorneys at Law LLLC, Yamamoto Caliboso Hetherington LLLC, Hawai‘i Pacific University, Blackletter Group, Raiatea Helm and "Da Judges & Friends".