Tidbits and Thoughts . . .Legal Aid's Bi-Weekly News
July 23, 2014
Here's something to think about the next time you brush your teeth.
Inmate takes $4K settlement in suit alleging he was denied a toothbrush 

An inmate who filed a handwritten federal lawsuit in 2009 alleging that Missouri prison employees had failed to provide him with toothbrushes and toothpaste has settled his case on the eve of trial. 


Click here to read the rest of the story. 

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Now, on to Tidbits . . . 

Team MaileShimabukuro wins Justice Games 2014


Team MaileShimabukuro is this year's Justice Games winner, beating out 11 other teams for  the honor of 1st place in our annual downtown Honolulu scavenger hunt and pau hana fundraiser. Leeward staff attorney, Maile Shimabukuro sponsored the winning team comprised of Naomi Kusachi (HNL fair housing staff attorney) , Rachel Hu (Honolulu Intake), and Hawaii Supreme Court and ICA clerks Sam King, Zach Dilonno, and Randal Wat.


Teams were sponsored by Cades Schutte, Goodsill Anderson, Ashford & Wriston, Alston Hunt, Hawaii Women Lawyers, Case Lombardi, Start O'Toole, Robyn Kobayashi, and by our own Legal Aid board and managing attorneys. The competition was intense as teams raced around downtown Honolulu solving clues, performing tasks, and overcoming technical difficulties with the game app. This year's theme of "Access" helped expose many to the difficulties that our clients often go through in accessing legal help. 


The Legal Aid AmeriCorps team (Cinthia Villalobos, Alyssa Simbahon, Ashley Kaono, and Janessa Maddox) placed in the top 5 and was a definite fan favorite. 

Team sponsor Maile Shimabukuro celebrates with her 1st Place team.

Team AmeriCorps with their World Cup themed uniforms.

Legal Aid Homeless Outreach Team featured on Hawaii News Now


Legal Aid attorney and Homeless Project Manager Janet Kelly along with Homeless Outreach Paralegals John Kaaihue and Carly Williamson were part of a story by Hawaii News Now regarding the challenges that many homeless face when they lose their identification. 


Click here to watch their exclusive interview. 


"Rethinking Access to Justice" by James Sandman


Hawaii Access to Justice Conference

June 20, 2014


I would like to begin by providing an overview of access to justice in the United States today.  I will then describe what I regard as the two greatest challenges facing the access to justice movement and conclude by offering some suggestions for addressing those challenges.

                The need for legal services for low-income Americans now stands at an all-time high.  Approximately 65 million people - 21 percent of the population - are financially eligible for assistance at legal aid programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation.  That is a 30 percent increase over 2007, the last year before the recession began.

                But funding for legal aid has remained stagnant in absolute dollars since 2007 and has declined in inflation-adjusted dollars.   The best measure of funding over time is inflation-adjusted dollars spent per eligible person, and by that measure, LSC funding is today at an all-time low.  State funding varies widely across the country, and many alternative sources of revenue, such as foundation grants, have significant limitations on their use.  


Click here to read more. 

Coming & Going


We are happy to welcome back Maggie Tran to the Honolulu office as the Grants Assistant!
The newest members of the Legal Aid family are:
Kate Stapleton  (HNL Intake Paralegal)-graduated from Saint Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio Texas and moved to Hawaii recently. 


Sarah McIlrath (Intake Volunteer)-graduated from the University of Florida (GO GATORS!) Levin College of Law in 2004 and has worked as an attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services Program in Washington D.C., & Georgia Legal Service Program. She also recently re-located to Hawaii. 


Cindy Clenney (Self-Help Center Volunteer)-also graduated from the University of Florida (GO GATORS!) Levin College of Law and has worked as a prosecutor in Virginia and Florida.


Francisco Vargas (office volunteer)-undergraduate student at the University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business. 


We want to thank the following for all of their work at Legal Aid and for the many memories they will leave with our staff:


Allison Williams, Intake Paralegal, will be leaving us on 7/28
Rachel Hoke, Windward GA-SSI Paralegal, will be leaving us on 7/30
Rachel Hu, Intake Paralegal, will be leaving us 8/14.  


Best wishes!!

AmeriCorps End of Term Celebration


Another AmeriCorps terms is coming to an end. Although we are delighted that some will stay for another term, we are grateful for the others who will continue on to law school and other endeavors. The AmeriCorps End of Term Celebration will be August 14th at 3:30 PM. More details to follow. 

Fair Housing Training held at Hawaii State Capitol


The US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii sponsored a Fair Housing Overview Training on July 15 at the Hawaii State Capitol.  Our Legal Aid Fair Housing Team (Naomi Kusachi, Sarah Casken, Madonna Perez, Chelsey Stewart, Ian Tapu, and law clerk Caitlin Axe) worked with community partners in educating the public about their rights under fair housing laws.
Over 200 attended the training with many private landlords, property managers, condo board members in attendance. "This training not only helped the public know what their rights are under fair housing laws but also helped landlords and property managers better understand their responsibilities." -Naomi K.
Legal Aid attorneys Naomi Kusachi and Sarah Casken 
answer questions from the audience.


Thank you to all those that submitted articles and pictures for Tidbits.

Thank you to everyone that provided news and stories for Tidbits.
Please send any news/information for Tidbits to Sergio at sealcub@lashaw.org
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