PRO BONO INITIATIVE PROGRAM
Approximately 150 people attended the Pro Bono Initiative Program on Thursday, February 21, 2013 in Ali`iolani Hale (Hawaii Supreme Court building) sponsored by the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission (“Commission”) and supported by the Hawaii State Bar Association (“HSBA”).
The Commission approved the formation of the Pro Bono Initiative Task Force, which coordinated the Program. Members of the Task Force are: Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Simeon R. Acoba, Jr., Co-Chair; Carol K. Muranaka, Co-Chair; Rex Fujichaku, Jill Hasegawa, Judge Ronald Ibarra, Regan Iwao, Dew Kaneshiro, Judge Barbara Richardson, Kristin Shigemura, Audrey Stanley, and Tracey Wiltgen.
Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Acoba welcomed everyone to the celebration. Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald acknowledged the partnerships between the Judiciary, the bar association, the Commission, and the various legal service providers in trying to make justice accessible to all, especially those who are underserved.
“This is a time of great innovation and promise for the cause of access to justice in Hawai’i. Although the challenges are great, we have amazing people who have stepped up and worked together to meet the need. It is because of that dedication that we can continue to make significant strides forward,” said Chief Justice Recktenwald.
Pro bono opportunities were succinctly described by the various legal service organizations:
- Gregory Kim, Business Law Corps
- Louis Erteschik, Hawaii Disability Rights Center
- Kanani Tamashiro, Domestic Violence Action Center
- Victor Geminiani, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice
- Nalani Fujimori Kaina, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
- Dew Kaneshiro, Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii
- Tracey Wiltgen, The Mediation Center of the Pacific
- Professor James Pietsch, U.H. Elder Law Clinic
Judge Barbara Richardson and Representative Della Au Belatti with Chief Justice Recktenwald handed Certificates of Appreciation to the representatives of the law firms and other individual volunteers who committed to staff the Access to Justice Room at the Honolulu District Court in 2013:
- January Ayabe Chong Nishimoto Sia & Nakamura
- February Cades Schutte
- March Other dedicated volunteers (Kawena Beaupre, John Duchemin, Tred Eyerly, Chris Goodin, Beverly Hiramatsu, Steven Jacobson, Cheryl Kinoshita, Andrew Odell, Caryn Okinaga, Marc Rousseau, and Benedyne Stone)
- April Carlsmith Ball
- May Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel
- June Ashford & Wriston
- July Bronster Hoshibata / Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association
- August Schlack Ito / James S. Burns Aloha Chapter, American Inns of Court IV
- September Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing
- October Office of the Public Defender, Honolulu
- November Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
- December Kobayashi Sugita & Goda
Judge Daniel R. Foley, Commission Chair, provided the closing remarks for the formal part of the program. The Hawaii Supreme Court then sat for the picture taking with each of the respective law offices and with the volunteer attorneys in a final group photo. The various legal service providers had set up tables to provide information and sign-up sheets for available pro bono opportunities.
Ayabe Chong Nishimoto Sia & Nakamura law firm