Candidates for the 2022 HSBA Board

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Biographies of the candidates in the election for the 2022 HSBA Board follow. Ballots will be distributed in early-mid September, and election results will be announced at the Annual Meeting at the virtual Bar Convention on October 15, 2021. 


Jessie Souki

Dear Members of the Hawaii State Bar Association:

“The Mission of the Hawaii State Bar Association is to unite and inspire Hawaii’s lawyers to promote justice, serve the public and improve the legal profession.” I am honored to be the Hawaii State Bar Association (“HSBA”) Nominating Committee’s pick for vice-president, and with your vote, allowed the honor to help advance HSBA’s mission.

A strong candidate has a working knowledge of HSBA operations and governance. I have been active in HSBA for 17 years. I served in various leadership positions, including the Natural Resources Section (now the “Environment, Energy, and Resources Section”) as its program chair, treasurer, and then chair; the Continuing Legal Education Committee as a co-chair; and the Nominating Committee. I have also enjoyed participating in various HSBA activities that reach out to the community, such as legal clinics and legal outreach to underrepresented communities.

Leadership with experience leading an organization is an asset to HSBA. Having served as a director of agencies and programs, I have hands-on experience running an organization, from collaborating on vision and direction to strategic planning, budgeting, and deploying resources to accomplish goals and objectives. My work involved collaborating with private sector and non-profit decision-makers, government leaders, and the community.

Private and public sector experience counts. Effective leadership in any organization operating in Hawaii must navigate both the public and private sectors. I have had the opportunity to see both sides of the practice. I advised government leaders and decision-makers of county and state governments, and I advised clients in private practice.

Strengthening the communities we serve leads to an equitable and efficient judicial system. HSBA’s work with the community can have lasting impacts on building community capacity and increasing civic engagement. I still have the handwritten thank you notes from Kauluwela Elementary School students after volunteering for the Junior Judges program. HSBA’s Junior Judges program, facilitated by the Young Lawyers Division, helps students make ethical decisions in response to challenges they face. Their notes are thoughtful and well-received—it gives one hope for the future. Like when young attorneys visited my classroom at Iao Intermediate School on Maui, these interactions broaden the horizon for young minds so that they too can someday help their families and serve their communities.

I look forward to working with the leadership team you elect, HSBA’s office, and you, to advance HSBA’s mission. As a Hawaii public school and University of Hawaii graduate, and a first-generation lawyer, I particularly look forward to advancing HSBA’s goals related to increasing the availability of quality legal services to all who need them; recognizing and addressing the needs and problems of lawyers on each island; and educating the public about its legal rights and responsibilities, the legal process, and the role and responsibility of lawyers.

With your support, I will bring my desire to serve, experience, and dedication to the position. Take care and be well, Jesse K. Souki.


Lanson Kupau

Admitted to HSBA 1992. Served as Family and District Court judge and witnessed first-hand the dedication and compassion that the Judiciary staff and judges place in each matter before them. Previously worked with the most talented attorneys and staff at the Public Defender’s Office, Reinwald O’Connor & Playdon, Kobayashi Sugita & Goda, Rush Moore. Currently, board of director of Hale Kipa and Damien Memorial School; continue to volunteer at non-profit organizations. Presently, a partner of Bronster Fujichaku Robbins. If elected, I will do my very best to uphold the standards of the HSBA and the honored members who have served before me. 


Michael Cashman

As a third-generation lawyer, my family has a proud tradition of community service. My father and grandfather were state court judges, and I attended West Point and served in the military for a decade before law school. Prior bar and community service includes: two-term delegate; chair, international law committee; general counsel, consumer law section; a combined 15 years on ethics, professional responsibility and practice and procedures committees; chair of three non-profits, and officer of two alumni organizations, presently serving the WPS-HI and HIANG. I practice business law and estate planning and will work to expand HSBA active membership and networking opportunities.

Alika Piper

I am a founding member and partner of Klevansky Piper, LLP, with a practice focusing on bankruptcy and business litigation. I graduated from the University of Hawaii with a BBA in Accounting (1994) and a Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law (1997). I am listed in Chambers and Partners as a leading lawyer in Bankruptcy/Restructuring in Hawaii. I am the current Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee, and a past Director of the HSBA. I would be honored to serve again as Treasurer and would work diligently for Hawaii’s legal community in these challenging times.


Carol Kitaoka

I am the HSBA Director for West Hawaii (2006-present); West Hawaii Bar Association Member (1995- present; President 2003-2005); HSBA Civic Education Committee member (2011-present); Hawaii State Bar Foundation Director (2017-present). Currently the issue for the many solo practitioners in West Hawaii is succession planning for your practice. There are plans for CLE classes, an eviction crisis and housing stability project, and community outreach with Civic Education programs highlighting the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX. I will continue to bring these CLE classes and ethics trainings to West Hawaii attorneys, and to promote civic education. Thank you for your continued support.


Emiko Meyers

Admitted in 2005. I worked at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii - Kauai Office from 2003-2013 as an Americorps Attorney and then as Managing Attorney (2006-2013). In 2014 I became a solo practitioner in Family Law. I participated in the HSBA Leadership Institute in 2010-2011. I was the KBA President in 2014 and again in 2019. I served on the Delivery of Legal Services to the Public committee. I helped found the Self-Help Center on Kauai. My intent as the Kauai Director would be to ensure that Kauai’s interests are represented at the HSBA.


Tristan Andres

I am a partner at Deeley King Pang & Van Etten, where my practice focuses on insurance recovery and bad faith litigation. I am the Chair of the HSBA Insurance Coverage Litigation Section and a fellow at the 2021 HSBA Leadership Institute. Currently, I am serving on the HSBA Board after being selected to fill a vacancy earlier this year. If given the opportunity to serve you and the HSBA again, I aim to be a positive and creative contributor to the HSBA’s mission, particularly in addressing the issues of access to justice, professionalism, and community outreach programs.

Jocelyn Chong

I have been a government attorney since my 2010 admission to the bar, currently working for U.S. District Judge Jill Otake and teaching legal writing at Richardson. Since 2017, I have served on the Appellate Section board, which provides CLE programming, suggests legislative testimony, and assists with Bar Convention planning; I hope to further contribute on the HSBA Board. Previously, I was a Deputy Attorney General and clerked for Associate Justice Sabrina McKenna in addition to federal judges in Missouri and Florida. Before the law, I taught at Oʻahu public and private schools and worked at a statewide educational not-for-profit.

Jessica Domingo

I am a Deputy Public Defender with the Office of the Public Defender. I currently serve as an Oahu Director on the HSBA Board and Immediate Past President of Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association. My time on the HSBA Board has strengthened my commitment to give back to the legal profession and provide access to legal services for the community during these difficult and unprecedented times. I hope to serve another term as an Oahu Director so that I may continue to bring a government attorney’s perspective to help the HSBA and the attorneys and community it serves. 

Kristin Izumi-Nitao

I am the Executive Director of the Campaign Spending Commission. Previously, I worked at the Attorney General’s Office in the Administration Division advising the Employees’ Retirement System, and the Criminal Justice Division as the administrator for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. I was also a deputy prosecutor and a law clerk for the Supreme Court Chief Justice and a circuit court judge. I am a graduate of Punahou School, Wellesley College, and Santa Clara University School of Law. I am active in the community and would like the opportunity to serve another term on the HSBA Board.

Simeona Mariano

I’m a Deputy Attorney General in the Family Law Division, with prior experience in Criminal Justice. I first got involved with HSBA when I was a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney on Kauai and became the Kauai YLD representative. I serve on the HSBA Judicial Administration Committee, and since my bar admission in 2004, I have volunteered with Courts in the Community, Family Court’s Teen Day, and mentorship programs. I know I can help further HSBA’s commitment to improving the legal profession, fulfilling members’ needs and encouraging involvement with community projects and events. I humbly ask for your vote for Oahu Director!

Casey Miyashiro

Aloha! I look forward to serving as your Oʻahu Board member, listening to your needs and advocating on your behalf. If elected, I will come in with an open mind, keeping what works while brainstorming innovative solutions to fix things that could be improved. I will work tirelessly with our colleagues to deal with the issues that our profession must tackle, from old ones, such as whether today’s law students are prepared for practice, to novel ones, such as whether members are prepared to deal with cyberattacks and ransomware. I am presently an associate at Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert.

Mark K. Murakami

I am Mark K. Murakami, admitted to HSBA in 1987. I practice real estate at Carlsmith Ball LLP. I was elected to the Board in 2015 and am serving in my third term. The HSBA is at an important crossroads, as many of our members are retiring. I continue to work to strengthen the HSBA, and in the areas of member recruitment and retention. I would like to see these efforts through, by seeking election to a fourth term as an Oahu Director of the HSBA. Please vote in this important election, and when you do, I hope you vote for me.

Mark Valencia

I have been licensed in Hawaii since 1996 and worked with Case Lombardi & Pettit for the last sixteen years; the last fourteen as a director. I have been ranked by Chambers & Partners as one of Hawaii's top litigators since from 2014. I served six years as a Commissioner of the HCRC, two decades as a volunteer reader primarily in Waianae elementary schools, and I currently serve as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve. I was part of the inaugural HSBA Leadership Institute class, served as Vice-President of the Litigation Section, and currently serve on the Nominating Committee. 

HSBA/ABA Delegate Candidate

Leslie Hayashi

I started with the ABA in the 1980s, beginning with the ABA-YLD, then Judicial Division and now the Standing Committee on Public Education and Law Library of Congress Advisory Commission. I also serve on the National Judicial College’s Executive Committee and Treasurer. Through my involvement, I have met many ABA officers, Board of Governors and leaders of sections and divisions. Having been a judge, hearing officer, non-profit organization executive director, in-house counsel, and partner in a large law firm, I understand and will work hard to meet Hawai`i practitioners’ needs.



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