Tidbits and Thoughts . . .
Legal Aid's Online News
October 30, 2015
Did you know . . .
No Priests in Alabama
Alabama passed a law that no one can dress up as a member of the clergy for Halloween. The penalty for doing so is jail time and a fine.
Hollywood California Bans Silly String
Residents who live in Hollywood, California can no longer use silly string at any time on October 31st up until noon on November 1st. Silly string is extremely messy and difficult to clean up so the ordinance was passed to prevent its use.
No Mask Laws
Residents of Dublin, Georgia cannot wear masks, hoods, sunglasses or anything else that could hide their identity. If caught, they could face a night in jail and a hefty fine.
Walnut Creek, California has a similar law concerning the use of masks. In order to comply with the law, anyone who wants to wear a mask must obtain a permit from the Sheriff or face fines and possible jail time.
Too Old to Trick-or-Treat
The Mayor of Belleville, Missouri claimed that Trick-or-Treating is for children and banned any person who has passed the age of 8th grade from participating.
Legal Aid honors HSBA's Young Lawyers Division at Pro Bono Celebration
Legal Aid Executive Director M. Nalani Fujimori Kaina joins Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Judge Daniel Foley, and Governor David Ige in thanking YLD President Miriah Holden and YLD Board Members Marissa Machida and Ryan Loeffers for their assistance in disaster relief preparation.
As part of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission's 2015 Pro Bono Celebration, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii was able to recognize and thank the
HSBA Young Lawyers Division for its assistance in updating the Disaster Relief Assistance Manual.
Last year's natural disasters on the Big Island were a call to action for us to be better prepared to help those needing legal assistance after a natural disaster. Legal Aid supported the Hawaii State Bar Association's free legal hotline and legal clinics where volunteer attorneys provided services to help in the initial recovery efforts. With new legal issues arising, the Disaster Legal Assistance Manual needed major updates to better train volunteer attorneys.
In partnership with the Young Lawyers Division of the HSBA, updating the manual was a top priority this year. YLD President Miriah Holden recruited members of the YLD to assist in updating sections of the manual. With her leadership, the following YLD volunteers assisted in completing updates to the manual: Marissa Machida, Heather Moore, Seth Corpuz-Lahne, Heather Uekawa, Courtney M. Crawford, Juliette B. McCullough, and Normand R. "Chip" Lezy.
The updated manual was the focus of this year's Disaster Assistance Recovery Center training at HSBA. The training was well-attended and more volunteer attorneys are now prepared to assist in the recovery efforts following a natural disaster.
Thank you for your support of Access to Justice volunteers
Glenn Ching, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Central Pacific Bank presents a check to Legal Aid in support of access to justice.
During the 2015 Pro Bono Celebration,
the HSBA's Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services to the Public recognized all those who volunteered in the Access to Justice Rooms at the Kapolei Family Court and Honolulu District Court with a special lapel pin to help raise awareness about access to justice issues in the community and encourage others to volunteer.
A special thank you to those who donated towards these pins.
Central Pacific Bank
Barbara P. Richardson
Criminal Justice Reform Will Fall Short If We Fail to Invest in Civil Legal Aid
In recent weeks, both the House and the Senate have introduced bipartisan legislation that would begin to overhaul our nation's broken criminal justice system. These bills are nothing short of historic. But unless policymakers also invest in civil legal aid to support formerly incarcerated people who are re-entering their communities, efforts to dismantle mass incarceration are doomed to fail.
For most returning citizens, release from a correctional facility doesn't mark the end of their punishment. Individuals are commonly sent back into a community with only a few dollars, a bus ticket, and a few days' worth of any needed medications. Many have no housing to return to-and living with relatives could put their families at risk of eviction due to draconian "one strike and you're out" public housing policies.
Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation visits Legal Aid office
Alan Murakami from Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation speaks to Legal Aid staff.
Alan Murakami and Kamili Ishiki-Kalahele from the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC) visited the Honolulu Legal Aid office for a brown bag presentation about their work. Madonna Castro Perez from Legal Aid's Fair Housing Enforcement Program invited NHLC to help Legal Aid staff better understand the work that NHLC does in the community. Alan serves as NHLC's litigation director and shared with staff some of the different cases they've been involved in.
Before joining NHLC, Alan was the managing attorney of the Moloka`i and Wai`anae offices of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i from 1981 to 1983, serving disadvantaged Native Hawaiian communities.
Legal Aid AmeriCorps and Staff recognized for work in Maui Court Self-Help Center
Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo (left)and Chief Judge Joseph Cardoza (right) surround Wailuku attorney Benjamin Acob and Magdalena Bajon who received special recognition for their volunteer work at the Self Help Center on the first floor of the Wailuku courthouse. The Maui News/LILA FUJIMOTO photo
Attorneys honored for volunteer work at Maui Self Help Center
WAILUKU - Wailuku attorney Benjamin Acob and Magdalena Bajon received special recognition, as attorneys were recognized Tuesday for their volunteer work providing legal information at the Self Help Center at the Wailuku courthouse.
Acob volunteered for the most shifts and hours, while Bajon continues to be "the backbone of the Self Help Center" and is there most Thursdays mornings when it's open, said 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo.
Legal Aid welcomes new staff members to Honolulu office
Legal Aid welcomes Dan O'Meara as the new Managing Attorney for the Honolulu Asset Protection Unit (housing, fair housing, consumer & foreclosure). Dan has a rich and diverse history in foreclosure defense, general civil practice, real estate, and even once owned a chocolate company.
Legal Aid also welcomes two new Outreach Specialists for the Heath Connector Kokua, Serene Cholymay and Faith Loeak. They will be mostly in the field helping people in the COFA community secure health care insurance. Serene and Faith are bi-lingual and bring strong connections to their pacific islander communities.
Legal Aid provides community education at
Learning Disabilities Association of Hawaii
Franklyn Lau, Honolulu Family Unit paralegal, spoke to parents of the Honolulu Families Embracing Autism Support Group about the differences between guardianship and power of attorney. The community meeting was facilitated by the Learning Disabilities Association of Hawaii.
Legal Aid provides resources to Windward District Department of Education Staff
Windward staff attorney Desiree Hikida shared with staff and counselors from the Windward DOE about Legal Aid's services and how to help parents and students needing legal assistance.