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Volunteer Attorneys and Student Essay Contest Winners Honored at 2022 Pro Bono Celebration

Posted on Nov 2, 2022 in Featured News, News & Reports
Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Hawaii State Bar Association President Shannon Sheldon, Honolulu attorney William C. Darrah, and Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael Wilson stand together in front of the Hawaii Supreme Court bench at the Pro Bono Celebration, 10/27/2022.

From left: Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Hawaii State Bar Association President Shannon Sheldon, Honolulu attorney William C. Darrah, and Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael Wilson. Darrah was selected by the Hawaii State Bar Association to receive their 2022 Pro Bono Award for his dedication to helping the public and improving court procedures.

HONOLULU – Attorneys who performed free legal work in support of Hawaii’s non-profit legal services providers, indigent parties, individuals who do not have a lawyer, and the Appellate Pro Bono Program were honored at the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission’s 2022 Pro Bono Celebration on October 27. Oahu’s Volunteer Settlement Masters and Hawaii’s Appellate Pro Bono Mediators were also honored. In addition, the five winners of the Commission’s statewide high school essay contest were recognized.

Hawaii Access to Justice Commission Chair Judge Joseph Cardoza (ret.), Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Associate Justice Michael Wilson, and Hawaii State Bar Association President Shannon Sheldon, along with state Rep. Della Au Belatti and Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Heidi Armstrong 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 2022 awardees and the organizations they supported are: Mihoko Ito (Hawaii Justice Foundation), William C. Darrah (Hawaii State Bar Association), Caroline Belsom (Legal Aid Society of Hawaii), Richard Norton (Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation), Dentons US LLP’s team (Hawaii Disability Rights Center), Clyde Namuo (The Mediation Center of the Pacific, Inc.), and Caitlin Moon (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 the centers opened in 2012, attorneys have provided nearly 8,500 consultations, at no charge, to people seeking legal assistance. This year’s honorees are:

Honolulu District Court
Individual Attorneys:
Sergio Alcubilla, Thomas Berger, Justin Brackett, Pohai Nuuhiwa Campbell, Matthew A. Cohen, Tred Eyerly, Mike Goodman, Sue Vo Hansen, Arlette Harada, Kauanoe Jackson, Eric T. Kawatani, Lloyd Lim, Andrea Lux Miyashita, Scott George Morita, Steve Nichols, Christine Nowland, Laura Ozak, Erika Strawn, Lynne T.T. Toyofuku,
Shannon Wack, and Sarah Wang.

Law Firms / Offices / Groups:
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, Hawaii Women Lawyers, Marr Jones Wang, McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP, Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Schlack Ito, Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, and Yamamoto Caliboso Heatherington.

Kapolei Family Court
Individual Attorneys:
Kevin Adaniya, Marrionnette Andrews, Cheryl Arakaki, Sara Jo Buehler, Mari Kishimoto Doi, Shelby Ferrer, Gregory Frey, Noah Gibson, Andrea Graf, Donna Green, Shannon Hackett, Seth Harris, Stephen Hioki, Ann Isobe, Curtis Kam, Lynnae Lee, Elsa McGehee, Dyan Mitsuyama, Ellen Politano, Gregory Ryan, Gemma-Rose Poland Soon, Tom Tanimoto, Jacqueline Thurston, and Carol Tribbey.

Hawaii’s Appellate Pro Bono Program Volunteers
Sean Aronson, Lance Collins, and David Harada-Stone

The Oahu Family Court Volunteer Settlement Masters were recognized by First Circuit Deputy Chief Judge and Senior Family Court Judge Matthew Viola. This year’s honorees are:

Kevin Adaniya, Marrionette Andrews, Cheryl Arakaki, Sara Jo Buehler, Jennifer Chan, Bradley Chong, Tom Crowley, Nicole Cummings, Everett Cuskaden, William Darrah, Richard Diehl, Gavin Doi, Huilin Dong, Tom Farrell, Shelby Ferrer, Greg Frey, Stacey Fukuhara-Barclay, Noah Gibson, Christian (Christy) Gray, Donna Davis Green, Geoff Hamilton, Seth Harris, Steve Hartley, Jill Hasegawa, Denise Havicon, Stephen Hioki, Ann Isobe, Debbie Jew, Judith Schevtchuck (military), Curtis Kam, Kevin Kimura, Charles Kleintop, Erin Kobayashi, Jackie Kong, Lynnae Lee, Kendal Luke, Katherine Lukela, Tim Luria, Elsa McGehee, Lynne McGivern, Dyan Mitsuyama, Naoko Miyamoto, Juan Montalbano, Blake Okimoto, Maria Penn, Anthony Perrault, Karl Phillips, Ellen Politano, Pablo Quiban, Alethea Rebman, Stephanie Rezents, Gregg Ryan, John Schmidtke, Scott Schmidtke, Isaac Smith, Gemma-Rose Poland Soon, Justin Sturdivant, Jo-Ann Takara, Tom Tanimoto, Christopher Thomas, Paul Tomar, Carol Tribbey, Molly Turpin, Sheila Vierra, Mitchell Wong, and Craig Yim.

Appellate Mediator Volunteers were recognized for their service in a segment led by the Hawaii State Judiciary Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution’s Appellate Mediation Program Admin/Trainer Anne Marie Smoke. This year’s honorees are:

Justice Simeon R. Acoba , Jr. (ret.), Judge Riki May Amano (ret.), George B. Apter, Esq., Judge Joel E. August (ret.), Robin K. Campaniano, Esq., Corlis J. Chang, Esq., Louis L.C. Chang, Esq., Charles W. Crumpton, Esq., Justice James E. Duffy (ret.), Jacqueline L.S. Earle, Esq., David H. Franzel, Esq., Judge Max W.J. Graham (ret.), Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo (ret.), Kenneth B.Hipp, Esq., Judge Douglas H. Ige (ret.), Elizabeth Kent, Esq., Judge Walter S. Kirimitsu (ret.), Judge Robert G. Klein (ret.), Ralph R. La Fountaine, Esq., Rosalyn Loomis, Esq., Stanley Majka, Esq., Judge Victoria S. Marks (ret.), Judge E. John McConnel (ret.), Georgia K. McMillen, Esq., Judge Douglas S. McNish (ret.), Judge Marie N. Milks (ret.), Richard C. Mosher, Esq., Judge Gail C. Nakatani (ret.), Judge Rhonda A. Nishimura (ret.), Judge Maura M. Okamoto (ret.), Patricia Kim Park, Esq., Judge Shackley F. Raffetto (ret.), Judge Nancy Ryan (ret.), Judge Karl K. Sakamoto (ret.), Judge Sandra A. Simms (ret.), Judge Leland H. Spencer (ret.), Thomas L. Stirling, Esq., Judge Allene K. Suemori (ret.), Owen K. Tamamoto, Esq., Judge Michael A. Town (ret.), Arne Werchick, Esq., Judge Andrew P. Wilson (ret.), Judge Patrick K.S.L. Yim (ret.).

In addition to acknowledging the volunteer attorneys and law firms, the award recipients from the Access to Justice Commission’s 2022 statewide high school essay contest were praised for their work.

Attorney Blaine Rogers of the Davis Levin Livingston law firm, Punahou School student Michael May, and Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald stand together in front of the Hawaii Supreme Court bench at the Pro Bono Celebration, 10/27/2022.

From left: Attorney Blaine Rogers of the Davis Levin Livingston law firm, Michael May of Punahou School, and Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald.

Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Heidi Armstrong, Sanghyuk Lee of Iolani School, and attorney Alen Kaneshiro of the Law Offices of Alen M. K. Kaneshiro stand together in front of the Hawaii Supreme Court bench at the Pro Bono Celebration, 10/27/2022.

From left: Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Heidi Armstrong, Sanghyuk Lee of Iolani School, and attorney Alen Kaneshiro of the Law Offices of Alen M. K. Kaneshiro.

Attorney Katherine Lukela, Hawaii State Bar Association President Shannon Sheldon, Nanakuli High & Intermediate School student Shandette Namulauti, and Erin Kobayashi stand together in front of the Hawaii Supreme Court bench at the Pro Bono Celebration, 10/27/2022.

From left: Attorney Katherine Lukela, Hawaii State Bar Association President Shannon Sheldon, Shandette Namulauti of Nanakuli High & Intermediate School, and Erin Kobayashi.

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Seabury Hall student Barbara Goldyn, and attorney Jacob K. Lowenthal stand together in front of the Hawaii Supreme Court bench at the Pro Bono Celebration, 10/27/2022.

Barbara Goldyn (center) of Seabury Hall is recognized for her winning essay in the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission’s 2022 statewide high school essay contest. Left: Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. Right: Attorney Jacob K. Lowenthal.

Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Heidi Armstrong, Waimea High School student Trislyn Calixterio-Martinez, and attorney Caitlin Moon stand together in front of the Hawaii Supreme Court bench at the Pro Bono Celebration, 10/27/2022.

Trislyn Calixterio-Martinez (center) of Waimea High School is recognized for her winning essay in the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission’s 2022 statewide high school essay contest. Left: Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Heidi Armstrong. Right: Attorney Caitlin Moon representing Cades Schutte of Lihue, Kauai.

Michael May (Punahou School), Sanghyuk Lee (Iolani School), Shandette Namulauti (Nanakuli High & Intermediate School), Barbara Goldyn (Seabury Hall), and Trislyn Calixterio-Martinez (Waimea High School) each won $500 donated by local law firms. Their essays described, “How my volunteerism has helped our recovery from the effects of the pandemic.” A teacher or adviser named by each student also received $100 for educational purposes.

The law offices of Davis Levin Livingston; Alen M. K. Kaneshiro; Lukela Kobayashi, LLC; Lowenthal & Lowenthal; and Cades Schutte of Lihue, Kauai donated the monetary awards for this ninth year of the contest.

“Our judicial system exists to provide equal justice for all,” said Hawaii Access to Justice Commission Chair Judge Joseph Cardoza (ret.). “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, the Hawaii Justice Foundation, and the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, with the support of the Hawaii State Bar Association.

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.