On Thursday, October 23, 2014, the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission sponsored the 2014 Pro Bono Celebration with the support of the Hawaii State Bar Association and the Hawaii State Bar Foundation at the Hawaii Supreme Court Courtroom at Ali`iolani Hale. Outstanding pro bono attorneys were recognized by legal services providers, attorneys who volunteer at the Access to Justice Rooms at the Honolulu District Court and at the Kapolei Court House, and essay award recipients (high school students) were honored. The theme for this year’s essay contest was “How to Inspire Others to Volunteer.”
Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Simeon Acoba (ret.) welcomed the attendees. Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and HSBA president Calvin Young provided brief opening remarks. Regan Iwao described the essay contest that attracted 280 entries.
The essay award recipients were:
- Joseph Kim, 10th grade, Maui High School
- Lisa Ishimoto, 12th grade, Waiakea High School
- Harley Broyles, 12th grade, Waimea High School
- Bayani Gamit, Jr., 11th grade, Leilehua High School
- Ariana Kim, 11th grade, St. Andrews Priory
- Kelsey Uyeda, 12th grade, Leilehua High School
The six law firms and legal department who generously sponsored the essay recipient awards in 2014 were:
- Cronin Fried Sekiya Kekina & Fairbanks (Bert Sakuda, representative of the firm)
- First Hawaiian Bank (Carrie Okinaga, representative)
- McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon (Kimberly Asano, representative of the firm)
- Rush Moore LLP (Nathaniel Higa, representative of the firm)
- Torkildson Katz Moore Hetherington & Harris (Ron Heller, representative of the firm)
- Watanabe Ing LLP (Michael Bird, representative of the firm)
Outstanding volunteers selected by several legal services providers were also recognized at the Pro Bono Celebration:
- Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing was honored by the Hawaii Disability Rights Center for their invaluable assistance in the past year on two large-scale class actions.
- Chris Mashiba, a partner at Cades Schutte, was honored by the Business Law Corps for his contributions since the Business Law Corps’s inception in December 2011.
- Bronster Hoshibata was honored by the Hawaii Appleseed Center of Law and Economic Justice for their work in pursuing the rights of immigrants residing in Hawaii under the Compact of Free Association agreements to receive life sustaining health care.
- Jim Bickerton was honored by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation for his work on protecting the rights of prisoners to practice Native Hawaiian religion in private prisons in Arizona.
- Katherine Bennett was honored by The Mediation Center of the Pacific for her contributions in mediating complex family law matters.
- Kevin Kimura was honored by Legal Aid Society of Hawaii for his outstanding work with the Partnership in Pro Bono Project.
- Bradley Tamm was honored by Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii for his contributions, including volunteering to provide advice and counsel to numerous individuals at their bankruptcy clinics and taking full-representation cases.
Judge Barbara Richardson recognized the following law firms/office and individual attorneys who were committed in staffing the Access to Justice Room at the Honolulu District Court in 2014:
January: Cades Schutte
February: Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher
March: Mateo Caballero; Corlis Chang; Esther Ervin; Tred Eyerly; Steven L. Goto; Arlette Harada; Beverly Hiramatsu; Kurt Kagawa; Bernice Krause; Heather Moore; Mark M. Murakami; Cheryl Nakamura; Radji Tolentino; Shannon Wack; Jefferson Willard
April: Carlsmith Ball
May: Yamamoto Caliboso / Marr Jones & Wang
June: Ashford & Wriston
July: Bronster Hoshibata / Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association
August: Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel
September: Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing
October: Office of the Public Defender
November: Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
December: Schlack Ito / James S. Burns Aloha Chapter, American Inns of Court IV
Judge Mark Browning then recognized the attorneys who volunteered to staff the Kapolei Access to Justice Room in 2014: Kevin Adaniya, Richard Diehl, Jessi Hall, Seth Harris, Stephen Hioki, John Hughes, Ann Isobe, Curtis Kam, Mari Kishimoto, Marianita Lopez, Louis Markee, Dyan Mitsuyama, Mei Nakamoto, Elizabeth Paek-Harris, Dean Soma, Tom Tanimoto, Jackie Thurston, Carol Tribbey, Sandra Young.
Closing remarks were given by Judge Daniel R. Foley, Chair of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission. Refreshments were served and allowed an opportunity for mingling and conversation at the conclusion of the program.