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Kauaʻi Self-Help Center Attorney Training

Posted on May 14, 2024 in Featured News, News & Reports, Press Releases

Participants concluded the Kaua‘i Self Help Center Attorney Training with a group photo, at the Puʻuhonua Kaulike Kauaʻi Judiciary Complex. First row: John Calma, Emiko Meyers, U.S. District Judge Micah Smith, Judge Trudy Senda (ret.), Laura Barzilai, and Kimberly Torigoe. Second row: Judge Greg Meyers, Casey Hutnick, and Judge Michael Soong. Third row: Matthew Mannisto, Allison Mizuo Lee, Lawrence McCreery, Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Randal Valenciano, and Judge Stephanie Char. Fourth row: Gennady Bronshteyn, Nancy Ruiz, Keola Siu, Sherman Shiraishi, Sarah Santos, Jay Mason, and Daryl Dobashi. Top row: Matthew Arakawa, and Tyler Saito.

LĪHUʻE, Hawaiʻi – More than 20 attorneys attended the Kauaʻi Self-Help Center Attorney Training consisting of continuing legal education that prepared them to help in the statewide effort to increase access to justice for Hawaiʻi residents who need assistance with civil legal matters.

The April 5 event, which was sponsored by the Hawaii State Bar Association, the State Judiciary, the Kauai Bar Association, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i, convened at the Puʻuhonua Kaulike Kauaʻi Judiciary Complex and included sessions on:

•  Self-Help Center Basics and Legal Information v. Legal Advice in Practice by attorney Jay Mason

•  Consumer/Collections; Small Claims by attorney Sherman Shiraishi

•  Family Law and Family Court TROs by attorney Emiko Meyers, and

•  Landlord/Tenant and District Court TROs by attorney Michael Scarbo.

Special guests included Judge Trudy K. Senda (ret.) and U.S. District Judge Micah W.J. Smith. Senda was instrumental in opening the Kauaʻi Self Help Center – Hawai‘i’s first courthouse self-help center, and Smith, a Kauaʻi High School graduate, was confirmed in November by the U.S. Senate as Hawai‘i’s newest federal judge.

Judge Smith talked about his early experiences working with Kauaʻi Legal Aid, and shared his perspectives on volunteering, and the importance of the Self-Help Center to the community.

Thereafter, Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Randal G.B. Valenciano and Judge Senda thanked the Self-Help Center’s 2023 volunteer attorneys for their service, and presented each with a certificate of appreciation from Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald.

Reporter Dennis Fujimoto was on hand to take photos for The Garden Island newspaper.

Since the Kauaʻi Self-Help Center opened in 2011, volunteer attorneys have provided more than 4,600 free legal consultations on a variety of civil legal matters in district and family courts. Following the success on Kauaʻi, self-help centers were opened in courthouses across the state.

For those needing assistance, Volunteer attorneys are available remotely every Monday and Thursday (except holidays) from 10 a.m. to noon. Please call 808-909-2836 to speak with an AmeriCorps Advocate who will connect you with a volunteer attorney. The attorneys provide limited legal information on civil matters related to landlord-tenant cases, family cases, collections, temporary restraining orders, and other district court matters.

Attorneys interested in volunteering at a self-help center, or seeking other pro bono opportunities, are invited to visit the Hawaiʻi Access to Justice Commission website, and click the menu item “How to Help.”

For more information on the courthouse self-help centers, visit the Self-Help Centers page on the Judiciary’s website, under the “Self-Help” tab.

For more information, contact the Communications and Community Relations Office at 808-539-4909 or via email at

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