Skip to Main Nav Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content

JIMS/JEFS/eCourt Kokua System Down May 18-19, 2024. Learn more here.

Hilo Attorneys Recognized for Assisting 1,000 People in 2017

Posted on Jan 9, 2018 in Featured News


Photograph of Hawaii Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and 25 attorneys honored at the Jan. 08, 2018 Hilo Self-Help Center Awards.

Hilo Self-Help Center volunteer attorneys were recognized for assisting more than 1,100 people in 2017, an increase of over 30 percent from 2016. Those recognized at the January 8 Hawaii County Bar Association (HCBA) meeting include, from the left: Michelle Oishi, Paul Hamano, Ryan Caday (obscured). First Row (seated): Sheri Tavares (HCBA Vice-President & President-Elect), Peter Kubota, William Heflin, Peter Steinberg, Jennifer Zelko, Christopher Schluter. Second row: Shaunda Liu, Alfred Lerma, Jo Anne Goya, Jackie Mena, Jill Hasegawa, Per Diem Judge Mahi Hiatt, Third Circuit Chief Judge Greg K. Nakamoto, Molly Ward, Lincoln Ashida, Per Diem Judge Bruce Larson, Jeffrey Ng (HCBA President). Third row: Ray Hasegawa, Per Diem Judge Robert Crudele, Andy Son, Zachary Wingert, Justin Lee, and Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald.

HILO, HI – Forty-seven attorneys were recognized during the Hilo Self-Help Center Recognition Awards on January 8 for providing free legal information to more than 1,000 people on Hawaii Island who sought assistance at the Hilo Courthouse Self-Help Center in 2017. This is the most the Hilo Self-Help Center has ever served in a single year.

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, more than 4,900 people have been assisted by volunteer attorneys providing legal information on civil matters, such as temporary restraining orders and divorce. These services have been provided at almost no cost to the state.

“I am grateful to the attorneys who volunteer at our Self-Help Centers, assisting individuals who are representing themselves in court. The dedication and commitment of these attorneys has been essential to advancing our goal of ensuring that everyone has equal access to justice in our civil courts,” said Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald.

Volunteers were recognized for their service by Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Third Circuit Chief Judge Greg Nakamura, Chief Court Administrator Lester Oshiro, and Deputy Chief Court Administrators Cheryl Salmo and Dawn West.

The individual attorneys who were honored are: Francis Alcain, Lincoln Ashida, Chris Bridges, Michael Garbarino, Kenneth Goodenow, Jo Anne Goya, Belinda Hall, Doug Halsted, Paul Hamano, Jill Hasegawa, Ray Hasegawa, Charles Heaukulani, William Heflin, Mahilani Hiatt, Ted Hong, Austin Hsu, Michael Kagami, Haaheo Kahoohalahala, Edith Kawai, Jo Kim, Nelson Kinoshita, Al Konishi, Peter Kubota, Breann Larios, Bruce Larson, Justin Lee, Dwayne Lerma, Shaunda Liu, Jacky Mena, Jeff Ng, Jennifer Ng, Michelle Oishi, Danny Patel, Melody Parker, Christopher Rothfus, Jill Razov, Joy San Buenaventura, Chris Schlueter, Steven Strauss, Andrew Son, Albert Thompson, Sylvia Wan, Molly Ward, Jennifer Wharton, Zachary Wingert, Jay Yoshimoto, and Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter.

Also acknowledged was AmeriCorps Advocate Katie Kamelamela, who, through the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, organizes the Self-Help Center at the Hilo Courthouse each week.

“I am pleased by the support the Hawaii County Bar Association and our local attorneys have given to this effort,” said Laura Knudsen, Managing Attorney of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii’s Hilo Office. “Every week, Hawaii Island residents use the Hilo Self-Help Center to gain information and receive procedural support in navigating the court system so that they may represent themselves in their legal affairs. With the donation of their time and expertise, today’s honorees are helping to make access to justice a reality for our Hawaii Island community.”

The Chief Justice and Knudsen also thanked the Hawaii County Bar Association, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, and the Access to Justice Commission for their support of the Judiciary’s efforts to bring self-help services to Hawaii residents statewide.

Attorneys who would like to become involved with the Hilo or Kona Self-Help Centers are invited to contact the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii about the next volunteer attorney training. Information is available online at:

For more information on the Self-Help Centers, visit the Hawaii State Judiciary website and click on the “Self-Help” tab near the top of the page.