The Hawaii Access to Justice Commission honored attorneys who volunteered without compensation to nonprofit legal services providers and self-represented litigants at its 2016 Pro Bono Celebration on Thursday, October 27, 2016.  The Commission also presented awards of $500 each to the six award recipients for its high school essay contest titled, “What you’ve done as a volunteer and how do you encourage others to volunteer?”

Nearly 140 people gathered in the Hawaii Supreme Court Courtroom to celebrate the outstanding pro bono attorneys who assisted the legal services providers and the attorneys who volunteered to staff the Access to Justice Rooms at the Honolulu District Court and the Ronald T.Y. Moon Kapolei Family Court.  Since the first self-help center opened on Kauai in 2011, more than 13,700 people have been assisted by volunteer attorneys providing free legal assistance.

The outstanding pro bono attorneys who were honored were:  Kristin Holland and Nick Kacprowski selected by ACLU; Judi Morris selected by Domestic Violence Action Center; Jennifer Chin selected by Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice; Arlette Harada selected by Legal Aid Society of Hawaii; Howard Luke selected by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation; Erika Ireland selected by The Mediation Center of the Pacific, Inc.; and Dyan Mitsuyama selected by Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii.

The attorneys and law firms or offices who were recognized for their pro bono service at the Access to Justice Rooms at the Honolulu District Court and the Kapolei Family Court were:

Honolulu District Court

Individual attorneys:  Justin Bracket, Miriah Holden, Mateo Caballero, Jefferson Willard, Bruce Paige, Connie Liu, Arlette Harada, Stacey Djou, Tred Eyerly, Catherine Gutierrez, Kurt Kagawa, Sharon Lim, Cheryl Nakamura, Shannon Wack, Sam Yee, Dan O’Meara, Chrystn Eads, Alana Peacott-Ricardos, and Elton Johnson (paralegal who provided support services to the Access to Justice Room).

Law firms/offices:  Chong Nishimoto Sia Nakamura & Goya; Office of the Public Defender (Honolulu); Chun Kerr; Carlsmith Ball; Cades Schutte; Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel; Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association; Bronster Fujichaku Robbins; Schlack Ito; Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher; Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing; consortium of banks and friends; Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert; Marr Jones & Wang; Yamamoto Caliboso.

Kapolei Family Court

Ann Isobe, Carol Tribbey, Dyan Mitsuyama, Elizabeth Paek-Harris, Ellen Politano, Erin Kobayashi, Evans Smith, Gemma-Rose Poland Soon, Gregory Frey, Jackie Thurston, Jessi Hall, Jill Hasegawa, John Bryant, Jr., John Hughes, Juan Montalbano, Lynnae Lee, Marianita Lopez, Mei Nakamoto, Michelle Moorhead, Sandra Young, Seth Harris, Stephen Hioki, and Tom Tanimoto.

This year, over 120 essays were submitted by public and private high school students in grades 10 through 12.  The 2016 essay award recipients were:  Kiana Anderson, Waiakea High School; Sydnie Ito, Punahou School; Aimee Nathan, Maui High School; Chad Schuler, Trinity Christian School; Mahealani Sims-Tulba, Sacred Hearts Academy; Charlene Tan, Kauai High School.  Each of the students received a cash award of $500, donated separately by American Savings Bank, Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, Damon Key Kupchak Hastert, Chong Nishimoto Sia Nakamura & Goya, Carlsmith Ball.