Volunteer Attorneys and Student Essay Contest Winners Honored at 2023 Pro Bono CelebrationPosted on Nov 7, 2023 in Featured News, News & Reports
HONOLULU – Attorneys who performed free legal work in support of Hawaiʻi’s non-profit legal services providers, indigent parties, and individuals who do not have a lawyer, were honored at the Hawaiʻi Access to Justice Commission’s 2023 Pro Bono Celebration on October 26.
Hawaiʻi Access to Justice Commission Chair Judge Joseph Cardoza (ret.), Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Associate Justice Todd Eddins, Intermediate Court of Appeals Chief Judge Lisa Ginoza, Hawaii State Bar Association President Rhonda Griswold, along with State Rep. Della Au Belatti and Attorney General Anne Lopez gathered with honorees and special guests in the Supreme Court courtroom for the annual ceremony.
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 recognized for their extensive community service. Since the centers opened in 2012, attorneys have provided nearly 12,000 consultations, at no charge, to people seeking legal assistance. The 2023 honorees are:
Honolulu District Court Access to Justice Room
Thomas Berger, Matthew Cohen, Mike Goodman, Lloyd Lim, and Steve Nichols.
Law Firms / Offices / Groups:
Bronster Fujichaku Robbins, Cades Schutte LLP, Carlsmith Ball LLP, Case Lombardi, Chun Kerr LLP, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association, Hawaii Women Lawyers, Marr Jones & Wang, McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP, Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Hawaii Supreme Court, Roeca Luria Shin LLP, Schlack Ito, Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, and Yamamoto Caliboso Hetherington.
Kapolei Family Court Access to Justice Room
Kevin Adaniya, Amberlynn Otara Alualu, Richard Diehl, Mari Lei Kishimoto Doi, P. Gregory Frey, Andrea Graf, Donna Davis Green, Curtis Kam, Lynnae Lee, Elsa Fay Menor McGehee, Dyan Mitsuyama, Alan Okamoto, Gemma-Rose Poland Soon, Ellen Politano, Jacqueline Thurston, and Carol Tribbey.
Hawaiʻi Appellate Pro Bono Program Volunteers
Further recognitions focused on attorneys who volunteered to represent people who had cases before the Hawaiʻi Intermediate Court of Appeals or Supreme Court, but no legal counsel. Hawaiʻi’s Appellate Pro Bono Program Volunteers are:
Eitan Arom, Daniel Gluck, Sharla Manley, and Troy Young.
2023 Pro Bono Awards
Among the evening’s highlights were awards presented to attorneys and law firms who donated time and expertise to Hawaiʻi’s civil legal service providers. The 2023 awardees (and the organizations they assisted) are:
Jim Davy (American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Hawai‘i), Gary Slovin (Hawaii Justice Foundation), Sean Hartlieb (Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi), Maile Osika, Madisson Heinze, Kristin Holland, and Paul Alston (Hawaii Disability Rights Center), Jacky Mena (Hawaii State Bar Association), Zachary McNish (Native Hawaiian Legal Corps.), Bruce McEwan (The Mediation Center of the Pacific), and Lily Ling, Marie Laderta, and Daniel Kawamoto (Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaiʻi).
Oʻahu’s Volunteer Settlement Masters
The Oʻahu 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:
Divorce Settlement Masters:
Marrionnette L.S. Andrews, Cheryl Y. Arakaki, Jennifer LiChing Chan, Bradley R. Chong, Thomas E. Crowley, Everett Cuskaden, William C. Darrah, Richard J. Diehl, Gavin Kazuo Doi, Huilin Dong, Thomas D. Farrell, Shelby Nicole Ferrer, P. Gregory Frey, Noah Hoebreckx Gibson, Donna Davis Green, Geoffrey Hamilton, Seth Raymond Harris, Denise Margaret Havicon, Stephen T. Hioki, A. Debbie Jew, Curtis M. Kam, Kevin S. Kimura, Charles T. Kleintop, Erin Michele Chou Lan Kobayashi, and Jacqueline Y.M. Kong.
Divorce and Paternity Settlement Masters:
Judge John C. Bryant (ret.), Sara Jo Buehler, Christian Paige Gray, Steven L. Hartley, Ann S. lsobe, Lynnae Lai Lan Lee, Kendal A. Luke, Katherine Mie Mele Lukela, Timothy Luria, Elsa Fay Menor McGehee, Lynne Jenkins McGivern, Dyan K. Mitsuyama, Naoko Cordeiro Miyamoto, Blake T. Okimoto, Anthony Allan Perrault, Gemma-Rose Poland Soon, Alethea Kyoko Rebman, Stephanie A. Rezents, Gregory Lawrence Ryan, Judith A. Schmidtke Schevtchuck, John W. Schmidtke, Justin Lee Sturdivant, Scott Sullivan, Jo-Ann Kaoru Takara, Tom Sadao Tanimoto, Christopher Dale Thomas, Paul A. Tomar, Carol Akemi Tribbey, Molly Sarah Turpin, Sheila Vierra, Mitchell S. Wong, and Craig G.H. Yim.
Settlement Masters for Paternity Only:
Kevin S. Adaniya, Nicole K. Cummings, Stacey Fukuhara-Barclay, Karl Eric Phillips, Pablo P. Quiban, Isaac K. Smith.
Appellate Pro Bono Mediators
Hawaiʻi’s Appellate Mediator Volunteers were recognized for their service in a segment led by the State Judiciary’s Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution 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, Judge Joel E. August (ret.), William “Ned” Busch, Robin K. Campaniano, Thomas W. Cestare, Corlis J. Chang, Louis L.C. Chang, Charles W. Crumpton, Justice James E. Duffy (ret.), Jacqueline L.S. Earle, David H. Franzel, Judge Max W.J. Graham (ret.), Jerry M. Hiatt, Mahilani E.K. Hiatt, Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo (ret.), Judge Douglas H. Ige (ret.), Elizabeth Kent, Judge Walter S. Kirimitsu (ret.), Justice Robert G. Klein (ret.), Ralph R. La Fountaine, Rosalyn Loomis, Stanley Majka, Georgia K. McMillen, Judge Douglas S. McNish (ret.), Judge Marie N. Milks (ret.), Richard C. Mosher, Judge Gail C. Nakatani (ret.), Judge Rhonda A. Nishimura (ret.), Judge Maura M. Okamoto (ret.), Patricia Kim Park, Justice Richard W. Pollack (ret.), Judge Shackley F. Raffetto (ret.), Judge Karl K. Sakamoto (ret.), Judge Sandra A. Simms (ret.), Judge Leland H. Spencer (ret.), Thomas L. Stirling, Judge Allene K. Suemori (ret.), Owen K. Tamamoto, Judge Michael A. Town (ret.), Arne Werchick, and Judge Andrew P. Wilson (ret.).
Grades 10 – 12 Statewide Essay Contest Winners
In addition to recognizing the volunteer attorneys and law firms, the five winners of the Access to Justice Commission’s 2023 statewide high school essay contest received awards for their work.
Rafael Firme (Campbell High School), Satomi Lakin (ʻIolani School), and Esther Lim (Leilehua High School), Maiyah Panis-Vuong (Waiākea High School), Arianna Rector (Haleakalā Waldorf School) each won $500 donated by local law firms. Their essays addressed the theme, “A day in my life as a volunteer: A lifetime of lessons learned.” A teacher or adviser named by each student also received $100 for educational purposes.
The law offices of Gilbert C. Doles; Alen M.K. Kaneshiro; Lukela & Kobayashi, LLP; Schleueter Kwiatt & Kennedy; and Sogi Tamashiro & Bonner donated the monetary awards for this 10th year of the contest.
“Judging the essays was not easy,” said Trisha Y. Nakamura, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law Interim Associate Dean of Student Services. “Preliminary judges discussed entries and essays over e-mails. Sometimes there needed to be tiebreakers. Perhaps this is an indication that we, as a state, are in good hands of our ʻōpio [young] servants and volunteers.”
The Pro Bono Celebration, held annually during National Pro Bono Week, was sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Access to Justice Commission, the Hawaii Justice Foundation, and the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, with the support of the Hawaii State Bar Association.
The Hawaiʻi 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 Hawaiʻi.
The Hawaii Justice Foundation is an independent, tax-exempt grantmaking organization whose sole purpose is to achieve justice for Hawaiʻi’s people. The Foundation was established in 1969 as a vehicle for philanthropic law-related projects in the state of Hawaiʻi.
The Hawaii State Bar Association is the unified bar association for all persons admitted to the practice of law in Hawaiʻi, and serves to unite and inspire Hawaiʻi 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.