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Hilo lawyers honored for service at Self-Help Center

At the Hawaii County Bar Association’s virtual Hilo Self-Help Center Recognition Awards in July, 31 attorneys were recognized for providing more than 470 free consultations to people who sought legal assistance in 2020. The volunteer attorneys were recognized by Hawaii Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Third Circuit Chief Judge Robert D.S. Kim, Hawaii State Bar Association President Levi K. Hookano, HSBA Executive Director Pat Mai Shimizu, and Hawaii County Bar Association President Michelle Oishi.

The attorneys honored for their service in 2020 are: Kimberly Angay, Belinda Castillo-Hughes, Paul Hamano, Jill Hasegawa, Raymond Hasegawa, Bill Heflin, Charles Hite, Haaheo Kahoohalahala, Jo Kim, Nelson Kinoshita, Laura Knudsen, Al Konishi, Demetri Lametti, Shaunda Liu, Craig Masuda, Kai McGuire, Jacky Mena, Jeffrey Ng, Michelle Oishi, Melody Parker, Jill Raznov, Joy San Buenaventura, Scott Shishido, Evans Smith, Andrew Son, Roland Talon, Jessica “Jaycee” Uchida, Sylvia Wan, Jennifer Wharton, J Yoshimoto, and Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter.

“I am deeply grateful to the attorneys who volunteer at our Self-Help Centers, assisting individuals who are representing themselves in court,” said Recktenwald. “The dedication and commitment of these attorneys remains an essential part of our state’s ability to advance the goal of ensuring that everyone has equal access to justice in our civil courts. I thank the Hawaii County Bar Association, Hawaii State Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, and all the volunteer attorneys for making this resource available to the community.”

“Despite the temporary closures of the Self-Help Centers statewide in the beginning of the pandemic, we were able to reopen in Hilo to resume service to the community on a new and remote platform,” added Oishi. “Thanks to the strong commitment of our attorneys, the Hilo Self-Help Center continues to provide the much needed legal assistance to our community, and remains one of the most active Self-Help Centers, per capita, in Hawaii.”

In 2020, the Hilo Self-Help Center was managed by volunteer attorney Bill Heflin with the assistance of Christy Peace, an AmeriCorps Advocate through the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii.

To date, this center has served more people than any other courthouse self-help center in the state.

These services have been provided at almost no cost to taxpayers.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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