Tidbits and Thoughts . . .  Legal Aid's Online  News
May 12, 2017

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Legal Aid Society of Hawaii celebrates life of service of distinguished alumnus 
Timothy John Lui-Kwan

Timothy John Lui-Kwan started his legal career as a s taff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii Hilo Office from 1978 - 1985.   Tim was very proud of the work he did as a young lawyer at the Hilo Legal Aid office.  During the 1970s and early 1980s (prior to current LSC restrictions on Legal Aid), the Hilo Legal Aid office was at the forefront of public right-to-access litigation.  Tim worked on several projects winning public access to beaches, traditional fishing spots and hunting grounds in the uplands.  Ben H. Gaddis was the head of the Hilo Legal Aid office at the time.  Ben recalled one specific project that Tim worked on in which Legal Aid sued the owner of a large ranch in Kau for access to K āwā  Bay . By the time everything was said and done, Legal Aid had won public access on three trails from mauka -makai to the beach and two trails crisscrossing the other way parallel to the coast line. 
John R. K. Clark, in his book  Beaches Of The Big Island, also credited Tim for winning public access to Kapanai'a Bay in North Kohala: 

Throughout his distinguished 38 year legal career, Tim demonstrated a deep commitment to public service and access to justice.  That commitment coincides with the core principles upon which the William S. Richardson School of Law was founded.  Tim will be remembered for his generosity, humility, and spirit of aloha that embodied everything he did. He was a selfless and loving family man, an avid waterman, and a dedicated and passionate attorney who was highly regarded by colleagues and adversaries alike.   

Academic Backgound
1969 - Kamehameha Schools Kapālama,
1974 - B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
1978 - J.D. William S. Richardson School of Law.
In 1974 and 1977, Tim worked as an archaeologist with Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto of the Bishop Museum on Huahine , French Polynesia.  In 1977, Tim was with Dr. Sinoto when they discovered the remnants of a deep-sea voyaging canoe.  In 2000, Dr. Sinoto was honored as a Tahitian Chevalier (knight) of the Order of Tahiti Nui for his archaeological contributions.
Law Career
1978 - 1985 - Staff Attorney Legal Aid Society of Hawaii Hilo Office
1985 - 1989 - Deputy Planning Director and Deputy Corporation Counsel for the County of Hawaii
1989 - 2017 - Partner Carlsmith Ball, LLP
Among numerous other projects, since 2008, Tim led the legal defense of the University of Hawaii at Hilo over the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project.  
HSBA Officer Positions
2013-2014 - Vice President, Senior Counsel Division, Hawaii State Bar Association
2014-2015 - President, Senior Counsel Division, Hawaii State Bar Association
2015-2017 - Treasurer Senior Counsel Division, Hawaii State Bar Association
As an officer of the Senior Counsel Division of the Hawaii State Bar Association, Tim organized four annual one day free legal clinics - two on Molokai and two on Hawaii Island - out of his concern for the lack of legal services in rural communities in the State of Hawaii. 
In 2015, Tim was a panelist in the Access to Justice Conference held at the William S. Richardson School of Law.  He advocated on the importance of "Delivering Pro Bono Services to Rural Communities (including providing legal assistance for natural disaster relief)."
Because of his interest in archaeology, science and Hawaiian culture, Tim led countless expeditions to the Mauna Kea adze quarries, to Lake Waiau and to the Subaru Observatory.  In 2013, he organized an all day excursion for the members of the Senior Counsel Division.

Organizational Affiliations
Native Hawaiian Bar Association, Alu Like, Pa'a Pono Miloli'i, Protect Kaho'olawe 'Ohana, Pele Defense Fund, Hui Māmalahoa   

Awards and Recognition
2013 through 2017 - Martindale-Hubbell - AV rating (Preeminent) - This is the highest rating for members of the legal profession
2012 through 2017 listed in The Best Lawyers in America
2015 Best Lawyer of the Year in Administrative and Regulatory Law by The Best Lawyers in America   

Thank you to Tim's brother, Gregory Lui-Kwan for providing the information. 
Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center invites lawful permanent residents for Naturalization Workshop

A Naturalization Workshop will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2017, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Hawai'i State Capitol. The Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii is partnering with the Office of Congresswoman Hanabusa, the Hawaii Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Office of Representative Scott K. Saiki, and Volunteer Legal Services of Hawai'i to hold the workshop. All participants must register and be pre-screened by calling Legal Aid at 808-536-4302. 
Eligible participants will receive free legal help on June 3rd to complete the naturalization application; however, participants are responsible for paying all fees and postage associated with the application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Space is limited to the first 40 qualified applicants. 

If you are an attorney and would like to volunteer, please email Sergio Alcubilla at sergio.alcubilla@legalaidhawaii.org.
In the Community and Around the Office
Legal Aid's homeless outreach team provide intake services at St. Mary's Episcopal Church
Legal Aid's Homeless Holistic Civil Legal Services program consists of four members; a supervising attorney, two paralegals, and an AmeriCorps Advocate.  Over the course of a week, the unit will travel all over Oahu, from Waianae to Waimanalo, providing outreach services to those experiencing homelessness at emergency shelters, transitional shelters, health centers, drop-in service centers, and shelters for veterans.  Members of the unit will also visit beaches, parks, and any overpass or side street to find those who are living unsheltered and in need of its services.  The homeless program focuses on helping individuals replace lost or missing vital records, apply for Social Security disability or state assistance benefits, and other issues including divorce, custody, debt collection and bankruptcy. 

Angela Hwang (AmeriCorps Advocate) and Homeless Project Outreach Specialists Emil Romolor and John Kaaihue .

Legal Aid's Kokua Outreach Team at Ohana Family Movie Night
Legal Aid's Kokua Outreach member Cinder Sonis enjoying Ohana Family Movie Night.
The Ohana Family Movie Night was a very successful collaboration between the Family Assessment Shelter, Catholic Charities Hawaii and Kapaalana Traveling Preschool. The shelter currently houses approximately 15-20 homeless families.  Nearly 100 people attended the event which included dinner, games, prizes, vendors, and the "Finding Dory" movie. 
Legal Aid's Kokua Outreach was able to be a part of this fun filled family night. Two outreach members, Cinder Sonis and Ronnette Ome were able to communicate with other community outreach partners such as HCAP Palolo, United Healthcare and We Are Oceania. They spoke with families that are in need of assistance with obtaining status on healthcare coverage and how to use their healthcare coverage. They also focused on pregnant women to be sure that they have healthcare coverage and are getting the prenatal care that they need to stay healthy.
Since the event, Legal Aid was able to collaborate with Catholic Charities Hawaii and help obtain healthcare coverage for dozens of pregnant women and children. Legal Aid's Kokua Outreach team members have helped many in the community obtain health coverage, check the status of their health coverage, and set up appointments. To help individuals and families maintain a healthy life style, outreach team members provide community education on the importance of keeping appointments and what happens after the baby is born.  The outreach team in on site weekly on Mondays from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm and Thursdays from 11:00 am - 7:00 pm.
Legal Aid's Health Connector Kokua members continue to help the community obtain health care coverage throughout the state

Health Connector Kokua members  Sereny Cholymay and  Cinder Sonis provide information about affordable health insurance at an outreach event on Kona.
Filipino Fiesta at Kapiolani Park

Legal Aid's Health Connector Kokua members Jojo Peter, Sereny Cholymay Cinder Sonis , and Aloma Nelson join AmeriCorps Advocates Jane Lee  and Angela Hwang and Fair Housing Outreach Specialist Jacklyne Moses provide legal information during the Filipino Fiesta. 

In the News

Legal Aid Society of Hawaii warns residents of phone scam using Legal Aid name
Legal Aid provided a warning to the public about recent telephone solicitations asking for money from people claiming to be part of the Legal Aid Society, Office of the Public Defender, or the state courthouse.
In some instances, people are told that a case is pending involving a friend or family member, and that a monetary payment is required to pursue the case. At other times, the caller may claim to be collecting donations on behalf of a national Legal Aid or Public Defender office and may leave a toll free 1-800 number. The caller may even claim to be representing a courthouse.

In all instances, the caller will try to collect credit card information over the phone.  Other legal services organizations have reported similar scams in other states.  Hawaii's Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs published Hawaii's Fraud Prevention & Resource Guide reminding the public:
  • Do not respond to a text or call from an unknown number that is requesting personal account numbers, social security numbers or any other personal information.
  • Do not provide any personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call and are certain of who you contacted.
  • If the caller makes you feel uncomfortable, hang up the phone.
To reduce telemarketing calls on your home and cell phone, go to donotcall.govor call 1-888-382-1222 or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY). 
Civil Beat shares information about Legal Aid's Hanahana Justice Project
Legal Aid's Hanahana Justice Project led by staff attorney  Reyna Ramolete Hayashi was mentioned in a recent Civil Beat article, "Hilton Janitors Expect To Get $1.1 Million In Unpaid Wages" by Anita Hofschneider.  The Civil Beat story highlighted the hotel workers union's efforts to get wages for workers who claimed they were underpaid by a contractor. Read the full article