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Kona Attorneys Recognized for Volunteer Service to the West Hawaii CommunityPosted on Nov 9, 2015 in Press Releases
KEALAKEKUA, HI – Thirty attorneys were recognized for their volunteer service during the Self-Help Recognition Awards on November 6, at the Kona Courthouse in Kealakekua. These attorneys provided free legal information to West Hawaii residents who visited the Self-Help Desk at the Kona Courthouse.
The Kona Self-Help Desk was established in October 2013 as part of the Hawaii State Judiciary’s commitment to increasing access to justice in the courts. Since opening, the Self-Help Desk has helped more than 1,000 people, with volunteer attorneys providing approximately 400 hours of legal information on District and Family Court 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 their time at our Self-Help Desk, assisting individuals who must represent themselves in court. The generous donation of professional services 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 volunteers were recognized by Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Third Circuit Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra, Deputy Administrative Director of the Courts Iris Murayama, District Family Court Judge Aley Auna, Chief Court Administrator of the Third Circuit Lester Oshiro, and Third Circuit Deputy Chief Court Administrators Dawn West and Cheryl Salmo.
The individual attorneys who were honored are as follows: Joanna Sokolow (recognized for the most volunteer shifts), Al Lerma, Charlie McCreary, Herman Heimgartner, Dean Kauka, Kaua Jackson, Dawn Henry, Kim Taniyama, Cynthia Tai, Michael Schlueter, Jason Kwiat, Catherine Gibson, Mark Van Pernis, Rebecca Colvin, Daniel Peters, Gerald Garcia, Fred Gianinni, Ann Datta, Stephen Whittaker, Mitch Roth, Jennifer Heimgartner, John Powell, Andrew Kennedy, Shawn Nakoa, Mike Matsukawa, Bob Borns, Wendy DeWeese, Peter Olson, Carol Kitaoka, and Robert Olson.
Also acknowledged were Erin Henschel, Madeline Taomia, and Heather Basham, the AmeriCorps Advocates who, through the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, organize the Self-Help Desk at the Kona Courthouse each week.
Dawn Henry, Managing Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii in Kona said, “I am so pleased by the support the West Hawaii Bar Association and our local attorneys have given to this effort. Every week, West Hawaii residents use the Self-Help Desk to gain information on how to file court papers and be active participants in legal actions. The Kona Self-Help Desk 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, and our local bar has enthusiastically gotten behind the effort. With the donation of their time, today’s honorees are helping to make justice a living reality in our community.”
The Chief Justice also thanked the West Hawaii Bar Association, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, and the Access to Justice Commission for their support of the Self-Help Desk.
For more information on the Kona Self-Help Desk as well as the Self-Help Center at Hale Kaulike in Hilo see: http://bit.ly/1MpcAOd
From Left to Right: Dean Kauka, Judge Ibarra, Herman Heimgartner, Madeline Taomia, Jennifer Heimgartner, Joanna Sokolow, Ann Datta, Bob Borns, Rebecca Colvin, Fred Giannini, Catherine Gibson, Jason Kwiat, Al Lerma, Wendy DeWeese, Kim Taniyama, Chief Justice Recktenwald, Kauanoe Jackson, Erin Henschel, Mark Van Pernis, Carol Kitaoka, Dawn Henry, Andrew Kennedy (WHBA President), and Shawn Nakoa.