Volunteer Attorneys and Student Essay Contest Winners Honored at 2019 Pro Bono CelebrationPosted on Oct 30, 2019 in Featured News, News & Reports
HONOLULU – Attorneys who volunteered their time to assist people going to court without a lawyer; non-profit legal services providers; and indigent parties in Hawaii’s Appellate Pro Bono Program, were honored at the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission’s 2019 Pro Bono Celebration on October 24. Seven winners of the Commission’s statewide high school essay contest were also recognized.
Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Hawaii Access to Justice Commission Chair Justice Simeon Acoba (ret.), and Commissioner Judge Ronald Ibarra (ret.), along with Associate Justice Michael Wilson, state Rep. Della Au Belatti, and Hawaii State Bar Association President and Commission Vice-Chair Derek Kobayashi took part in the annual ceremony.
Awards were presented to law firms and attorneys who donated time and expertise to Oahu’s legal services providers. The 2019 awardees and the organizations they supported are: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (American Civil Liberties Union); Meredith Miller (Disabilities Rights Center); Christine Daleiden (Legal Aid Society of Hawaii); Denise C. George (The Mediation Center of the Pacific, Inc.); Barbara Ritchie (University of Hawaii Elder Law Program) and Gary Singh (Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii).
Volunteer attorneys who staffed the Access to Justice Rooms at the Honolulu District Court and the Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in Kapolei were also honored for their community service. Since 2012, attorneys have provided more than 8,000 consultations, at no charge, to people seeking legal assistance. This year’s honorees are:
Honolulu District Court
Sergio Alcubilla, Cassie Bagay, William Bagasol, Justin Brackett, Stacey Djou, Joni Dominuges, Arlette Harada, Walter Hebblethwaite, Nathaniel Higa, Miriah Holden, Daniel Kim, Jae Park, Shannon Wack, Bryant Zane, Eileen Zorc.
Law Firms / Offices / Groups:
Ashford & Wriston, LLP, Bronster Fujichaku Robbins, Cades Schutte, Carlsmith Ball, Case Lombardi & Pettit, Chun Kerr, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, Dentons US LLP, Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, Hawaii Association for Justice, Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association, Marr Jones Wang, Schlack Ito, Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, Yamamoto Caliboso.
Kapolei Family Court
Kevin Adaniya, Leslie Ching Allen, Dick Diehl, Mari Kishimoto Doi, Greg Frey, Noah Gibson, Seth Harris, Elizabeth Paek-Harris, Jill Hasegawa, Steve Hioki, Erin Kobayashi, Lynnae Lee, Elsa McGehee, Dyan Mitsuyama, Juan Montalbano, Mei Nakamoto, Gemma Poland-Soon, Ellen Politano, Tom Tanimoto, Jackie Thurston, Carol Tribbey, Cheryl Yamaki.
Hawaii’s Appellate Pro Bono Program Volunteers
Daniel M. Gluck and David M. Raatz, Jr.
In addition to acknowledging the volunteer attorneys and law firms, the award recipients from the Access to Justice Commission’s 2019 statewide high school essay contest were praised for their work.
Kyler Arruda-Sukehira (Kapaa High School); Tyra Bailey (Konawaena High School); Grace Chinen (Waipahu High School); Natalie Dzubian (King Kekaulike High School); Maia Motta (Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama); Michelle Phan (Roosevelt High School); and Cameron Wells (Christian Liberty Academy) each won $500. Their essays described “How We Can Create and Inspire Change with Fifty Hours of Community Service Work.” A teacher or adviser named by each student also received $100 for educational purposes.
The Commission received 173 entries from public and private high school students in grades 10 to 12. This is the seventh year of the contest.
“Our judicial system exists to provide equal justice for all,” said Justice Simeon Acoba (ret.), who serves as the Chair of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission. “Hawaii continues to rank high in the nation for our efforts to increase access to the courts, and we continue to pursue improvements in this area. The annual Pro Bono Celebration is a recognition of Hawaii’s ongoing efforts to realize justice for all in our state.
“In our statewide essay contest, we encourage students to share their views on the importance of assisting others and on the positive impact volunteerism has on themselves and on their communities. We are impressed by the depth and quality of the essays which reflect well on the students, their families, and their teachers.”
The Pro Bono Celebration, held annually during National Pro Bono Week, was sponsored by the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission with the support of the Hawaii Justice Foundation, the Hawaii State Bar Association, and the Hawaii State Bar Foundation.
The Hawaii Access to Justice Commission was created in May 2008. The Commission’s primary purpose is to substantially increase access to justice in civil legal matters for low- and moderate-income residents of Hawaii.
The Hawaii Justice Foundation is an independent, tax-exempt grantmaking organization whose sole purpose is to achieve justice for Hawaii’s people. The Foundation was established in 1969 as a vehicle for philanthropic law-related projects in the State of Hawaii.
The Hawaii State Bar Association is the unified bar association for all persons admitted to the practice of law in Hawaii, and serves to unite and inspire Hawaii lawyers to promote justice, serve the public, and improve the legal profession.
The Hawaii State Bar Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to promote justice through programs such as Access to Justice for persons in need of legal services, civics education, and other public service programs and projects, including programs and projects of the Hawaii State Bar Association.