Presidents' Message

June 2020

P. Gregory Frey

Hawaii State Bar Association President

Six months down. Six months to go. As I enthusiastically pen this monthly e-newsletter message, so much “stuffs” is going on, in real time, both beyond troubling and frightening and also beyond encouraging at the same time. Certainly, when I started “this job” ----- wanting so badly to honor if not echo the exceptional work and reputation of each and every HSBA President before me ----- I never thought I’d be spending practically all my time on video conferences, cheerleading and encouraging and trying my very best together with our exceptionally devoted HSBA Staff and Board to convey a message of hope, direction, encouragement and strategy. These goals are what I constantly if not daily work on, literally side-by-side, with the Chief Justice and Circuit Court Judge Paul B.K. Wong, co-chairpersons of the hardworking Committee on Operational Solutions. Alongside practically every Lead and Senior Judge in all Circuits and Districts, this “think tank” troubleshoots and proactively does everything it can to coordinate the rapid jump and restart of our once public access Courts. The details, obstacles, challenges, frustrations, ideas, strategies, thoughts and opinions on this hardworking committee are many and varied. But, in the end, everyone pushes hard to help!! It goes without saying that any ideas, suggestions and thoughts you have are welcome. Let us know!! Help us help you!!

Beyond our Island State’s pronounced and obvious concerns and challenges to both contend with and overcome the economic and related challenges of COVID-19, our State and Nation are currently facing perhaps even greater challenges if not downright frightening circumstances as peaceful and proper protests escalate in some cities and states to uncontrolled violence, brutality and criminality over the beyond unbelievable death (most say murder) of a young man who no doubt never anticipated that his actions and reasonable protests would result in his slow, agonizing death. Let all HSBA members reflect, especially on this very day when I pen this message; a day of organized peaceful protest and march by concerned, proactive and involved island folks. I have certainly reflected, listened and learned a lot, especially in my role as your HSBA President. I have received of late no less than 15 or more detailed writings from State Presidents from around our country, most writing to their Association members (as I do now to each of you, with passion, conviction and purpose), each trying to send the similar message as I do now to you.

Let each of us respect, honor, advance and learn from The Rule of Law, and never forget that the less fortunate, to include those unfairly affected by racism, bias, violence, poverty and the like, deserve our closest and most careful attention and priority. Our peace and harmony and profession and perhaps even our continued peaceful existence depends upon it.

Until we (virtually) speak again, STAY SAFE and let me genuinely say, “Mahalo Plenty for allowing me to be your 2020 HSBA President.”

- P. Gregory Frey, HSBA President