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Kauai Attorneys Recognized for Assisting 450 Island Residents

Posted on Nov 29, 2017 in Featured News


Photograph of Hawaii Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald congratulating volunteer attorneys in Kauai.

Kauai attorneys were recognized for their volunteer service to the community at the November 29 Kauai County Bar Association meeting. They provided free legal information to more than 450 people in 2017. First row from left: Mai Shiraishi, Sonia Song (AmeriCorps Advocate), Sherman Shiraishi, Katherine Caswell, Nancy Budd, Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. Second row from left: Kai Lawrence, Allison Lee, Judge Kathleen Watanabe. Third row: Brandon Kimura, Deputy Administrative Director of the Courts.

LIHUE, HI – Nine attorneys were recognized for their volunteer service to the residents of Kauai during the Kauai County Bar Association meeting in Lihue on November 29. These attorneys provided free legal information to more than 450 people who visited the Self-Help Center at the Kauai Courthouse in 2017.

The courthouse Self-Help Center was established in October 2011 as part of the Hawaii State Judiciary’s commitment to help people who must represent themselves in civil cases because they cannot afford an attorney. Since opening, more than 2,600 people have received assistance, with volunteer attorneys providing legal information on civil matters, such as landlord-tenant cases, temporary restraining orders and divorce.

“I am grateful to the attorneys who volunteer their time at our Self-Help Center, assisting individuals who are representing themselves in court. The generous donation of legal expertise by these attorneys has been essential to advancing our goal of ensuring that all Hawaii residents have equal access to justice,” said Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald.

The attorneys who were honored are: Nancy Budd, Katherine Caswell, Kai Lawrence, Allison Lee, Shoshana O’Brien, Adam Roversi, Mia Shiraishi, Sherman Shiraishi, and Aaron Kakinami, who passed away earlier this year.

AmeriCorps Advocate Sonia Song who, through the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, runs the Kauai Courthouse Self-Help Center, was also acknowledged.

“I am so pleased by the support the Kauai County Bar Association and our local attorneys have given to this effort,” said Linda Vass, Managing Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii on Kauai. “Every week, island residents use the Self-Help Center to gain information on how to file court papers and be active participants in legal actions. The Kauai Courthouse Self-Help Center is the result of a statewide collaboration of the Hawaii State Judiciary, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. We appreciate our local bar association members who have gotten behind the effort with the donation of their time. Today’s honorees are helping to make justice accessible to those in our community who cannot afford a lawyer. We look forward to a greater number of attorneys from the Kauai Bar volunteering at the Center in the coming year.”

At the Kauai Courthouse Self-Help Center, volunteer Attorneys and an Americorps Advocate provide limited legal information on District and Family Court civil matters, including landlord-tenant cases, collection cases, District and Family Court temporary restraining orders, divorces, custody and other matters. Assistance may be given in the form of providing court forms, reviewing court documents for interpretation or to insure that the forms have been completed correctly. Additionally, volunteers try to answer as many procedural questions as possible.

For more information on the Kauai Courthouse Self-Help Center see: