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Hilo Attorneys Honored for Providing Free Legal Consultations During the Pandemic

Posted on Aug 19, 2021 in Featured News, News & Reports
A square collage of smaller headshot photos of, from top left to bottom right, Paul Hamano, Jill Hasegawa, Demetri Lametti, Shaunda Liu, Jacky Mena, Jill Raznov, Joy San Buenaventura, Jessica "Jaycee" Uchida, Jennifer Wharton, J Yoshimoto, Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter.

From top left: Paul Hamano, Jill Hasegawa, Demetri Lametti, Shaunda Liu, Jacky Mena, Jill Raznov, Joy San Buenaventura, Jessica “Jaycee” Uchida, Jennifer Wharton, J Yoshimoto, Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter.

HILO, HI – At the Hawaii County Bar Association’s virtual Hilo Self-Help Center Recognition Awards in July, thirty-one attorneys were honored for providing more than 470 free consultations to people who sought legal assistance in 2020. The volunteer attorneys were recognized by Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Third Circuit Chief Judge Robert D.S. Kim, Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) President Levi K. Hookano, HSBA Executive Director Pat Mai Shimizu, and Hawaii County Bar Association President Michelle Oishi.

The Hilo Self-Help Center was established in July 2012 as part of the Hawaii State Judiciary’s commitment to increasing access to justice in the courts. Since opening, volunteer attorneys have provided more than 7,100 legal consultations on a variety of civil matters, including divorce, child custody, restraining orders, and landlord/tenant issues.

To date, this center has served more people than any other courthouse self-help center in the state. These services have been provided at almost no cost to taxpayers.

“I am deeply grateful to the attorneys who volunteer at our Self-Help Centers, assisting individuals who are representing themselves in court,” said Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “The dedication and commitment of these attorneys remains an essential part of our state’s ability to advance the goal of ensuring that everyone has equal access to justice in our civil courts. I thank the Hawaii County Bar Association, Hawaii State Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, and all the volunteer attorneys for making this resource available to the community.”

“Despite the temporary closures of the Self-Help Centers statewide in the beginning of the pandemic, we were able to reopen in Hilo to resume service to the community on a new and remote platform,” said Hawaii County Bar Association President Michelle Oishi. “Thanks to the strong commitment of our attorneys, the Hilo Self-Help Center continues to provide the much needed legal assistance to our community, and remains one of the most active Self-Help Centers, per capita, in Hawaii.”

The attorneys honored for their service in 2020 are: Kimberly Angay, Belinda Castillo-Hughes, Paul Hamano, Jill Hasegawa, Raymond Hasegawa, William Heflin, Charles Hite, Ha’aheo Kaho’ohalahala, Jo Kim, Nelson Kinoshita, Laura Knudsen, Al Konishi, Demetri Lametti, Shaunda Liu, Craig Masuda, Kai McGuire, Jacky Mena, Jeffrey Ng, Michelle Oishi, Melody Parker, Jill Raznov, Joy San Buenaventura, Scott Shishido, Evans Smith, Andrew Son, Roland Talon, Jessica “Jaycee” Uchida, Sylvia Wan, Jennifer Wharton, J Yoshimoto, and Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter.

In 2020, the Hilo Self-Help Center was managed by volunteer attorney Bill Heflin with the assistance of Christy Peace, an AmeriCorps Advocate through the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii.

Attorneys who are interested in volunteering at the Hilo Self-Help Center may contact Jacky Mena at jacky@oliveroslawlllc.com.

Attorneys who would like to become involved with the Kona Self-Help Center may contact Maya Scimeca, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii’s Engagement Specialist, at maya.scimeca@legalaidhawaii.org.

Visit the Hawaii State Judiciary website for more information on the courthouse Self-Help Centers.