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Appellate Pro Bono Pilot Project Launched

Posted on Jan 6, 2016 in Press Releases

First case scheduled at the Hawaii State Supreme Court courtroom tomorrow

HONOLULU, HI- The Hawaii State Judiciary, in partnership with the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission, Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii, and the Hawaii State Bar Association’s Appellate Section, has launched the Hawaii Appellate Pro Bono Pilot Project. The project provides volunteer appellate counsel to individuals who are representing themselves on appeal.

Oral argument in the first case utilizing the Pro Bono Appellate Pilot Project is scheduled for Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 8:45 a.m. at the Hawaii State Supreme Court courtroom. All oral arguments are open to the public.

“This project is a win-win,” said Justice Simeon R. Acoba, Jr., Chairman of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission. “In addition to providing legal support to those who need it, the Hawaii Appellate Pro Bono Pilot Project will give our volunteer attorneys a valuable opportunity to participate in the handling of appellate cases. We hope it will also be a chance for our experienced appellate counsel to mentor the next generation of appellate attorneys.”

When an individual files a notice of appeal at the Hawaii State Supreme Court Clerk’s Office and is not represented by an attorney, the pro se litigant will be provided information about the Hawaii Appellate Pro Bono Pilot Project. Interested parties may also email Rebecca Copeland at chair@hawaiiappellatesection.org to learn more.

This pilot project is currently limited to civil cases involving foreclosures, summary possessions, employment discrimination, worker’s compensation, wrongful termination, denial of unemployment benefits, state tax appeals, probate matters, and paternity and non-married custody cases.

Participants in the Hawaii Appellate Pro Bono Pilot Project are required to meet certain income-need requirements and, if qualified, to pay an administration fee of $50.00 to Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii. In addition, litigants will be responsible for any costs associated with the appeal, including filing, transcript, or other costs related to the preparation of the record on appeal and presentation of arguments in the appellate courts.

For more information, contact the Communications and Community Relations Office at 808-539-4909 or via email at pao@courts.hawaii.gov.

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