News

  • October 11, 2018 9:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Chief Justice Appoints Summer Kupau-Odo as District Court Judge

    Posted on Oct 10, 2018 in News & Reports, Press Releases

    HONOLULU – Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald today appointed Summer Kupau-Odo to the District Court of the First Circuit.

    Kupau-Odo has been a Co-Litigation Director and staff attorney for the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation since May. Prior to that she served five years as a senior associate attorney at the Earthjustice Mid-Pacific Office, and before that was a Deputy Public Defender for eight years. Kupau-Odo previously served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Simeon R. Acoba, Jr. (ret.).

    Kupau-Odo is very active in the community and currently serves on the Task Force on Civil Justice Improvement; is a board member for Mental Health Kokua and Honua-Kai West Maui Community Fund; is a lawyer delegate to the U.S. District Court Judicial Conference; and serves as a mentor for the William S. Richardson School of Law’s Enviromentor Program.

    Kupau-Odo is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 2004.  She is originally from Maui and is a Lahainaluna High School graduate. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University.

    The Chief Justice appoints District Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission. If confirmed by the State Senate, Kupau-Odo will serve a term of six years.

     

  • October 03, 2018 4:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Gov. Jerry Brown of California and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, second from left, in his office on Sunday. Mr. Brown signed a bill that requires publicly held corporations based in the state to include women on their boards.CreditCreditRich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

    By Matt Stevens

    California became the first state to require its publicly held corporations to include women on their boards after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law on Sunday.

    The bill, which applies to companies “whose principal executive offices” are in California, requires them to have at least one woman on their boards by the end of 2019.

    In 2021, the companies must have a minimum of two or three women, depending on the size of their boards.

    Hundreds of companies will be affected by the law, according to The Los Angeles Times, and those that fail to comply can be fined $100,000 for a first violation and $300,000 for a second.

    In signing the legislation, Mr. Brown acknowledged that critics have raised “serious legal concerns” about it, which he conceded “may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation.”

    Still, he copied his letter to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, which last week narrowly voted to recommend Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court and send it to the full Senate, despite allegations of sexual assault against him.

     

    “Recent events in Washington, D.C. — and beyond — make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message,” Mr. Brown said.

    Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Democratic state senator who represents Santa Barbara and helped write the legislation, applauded its signing on Twitter.

    She has said that a quarter of California’s publicly traded companies do not have a woman on their boards, despite studies showing that companies that do are more profitable and productive. (Some research, however, has suggested that the findings are less conclusive.) For instance, Stamps.com — which has its headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., but is incorporated in Delaware — has an all-male, five-member board, and told The Los Angeles Times on Sunday that it “is reviewing the law.”

     

    Although California is the first state to enact such a mandate, others have passed resolutions about increasing the number of women on company boards, Ms. Jackson has said. Several nations, such as France, Germany and Norway, have already developed gender diversity requirements for corporate boards, she has said.

    “Yet another glass ceiling is shattered, and women will finally have a seat at the table in corporate board rooms,” Ms. Jackson said on Sunday. She added, “This is a giant step forward for women, our businesses and our economy.”

    State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, who helped write the legislation. She has said that a quarter of California’s publicly traded companies do not have a woman on their boards.CreditRich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

    Charles Elson, a professor and the director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, said that while the goal of the legislation was laudable, the law was unwise and California will “ultimately regret it.”

    Company shareholders, he said, “should be able to elect any representatives they want.” And it is in their best interest to be able to pick representatives from a broad pool “to get the best possible people regardless of their sex.”

    “When you start telling people they have to elect someone on the basis of an immutable characteristic, it’s very problematic,” he said. “This goes to the heart of democracy.”

    The bill was opposed by a coalition of business groups led by the California Chamber of Commerce, which argued that the quotas were “likely unconstitutional, a violation of California’s Civil Rights statute, and a violation of the internal affairs doctrine for publicly held corporations.

     

    In a letter, the coalition said the intent of the bill was good, but expressed concern that the legislation “potentially elevates” gender “as a priority over other aspects of diversity.”

    “If there are two qualified candidates for a director position, one male and one female,” the letter said, the bill “would require the company to choose the female candidate and deny the male candidate the position, based on gender.”

    And that has raised legal concerns.

    Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles who has written about the bill, said on Sunday that it amounts to a “blatant gender preference.” To pass legal muster, she said, a law of this kind must show that there is both an important governmental reason for it, and that there is not a better way to achieve the outcome.

    “I don’t think the courts will uphold the law,” she said, adding that legal challenges could surface as soon as next week. “I so, so strongly believe that we don’t have anything near gender equality. And I really don’t think the government mandating it is the answer. You could have incentives, tax breaks or preferential government treatment if you reach certain diversity thresholds.”

    Professor Levinson also said she believed that the move by Mr. Brown amounted to an “enormous raising of a certain finger” to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In essence, she said, it was Mr. Brown’s “MeToo moment.”

    “If ever there was a week to sign this bill, it was this week,” she said. “Governor Brown is not really in the business of liking to sign laws that are subject to serious legal challenges.”

    Mr. Brown, though, signed it anyway. And as has become his habit over decades in political office, Mr. Brown sprinkled a hint of historical whimsy into the conclusion of his signing letter.

    “As far back as 1886, and before women were even allowed to vote, corporations have been considered persons within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment,” he wrote. “Given all the special privileges that corporations have enjoyed for so long, it’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half the ‘persons’ in America.”

     

    Click HERE to access The New York Times article 

     

  • September 26, 2018 1:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Dennis Rendleman

    It has been a little over a year since the ABA House of Delegates adopted Model Rule 8.4(g): 

    It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

    ***

    (g) engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law. This paragraph does not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline or withdraw from a representation in accordance with Rule 1.16. This paragraph does not preclude legitimate advice or advocacy consistent with these Rules.

    Vermont is the only state that has adopted the rule; several states have either formally or informally declined to adopt or consider adoption. At the same time, more than 25 jurisdictions already had provisions in their Rules of Professional Conduct making it an ethical violation for a lawyer to discriminate or harass another.

    One can discern two general themes in opposition to Rule 8.4(g). First, are the opponents who object on the grounds of “religious liberty.” However, the evidence indicates that the primary philosophy underlying that opposition is objection to legal equality for LGBTQ. Second is the academic/libertarian opposition that appears more oriented from legal scholarship or political philosophy than from religious zealotry.  

    READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

  • September 11, 2018 5:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The list of nominees selected by the Commission to fill the vacancy for the judicial office of District Judge, District Court of the First Circuit are listed as follows in alphabetical order:

    • Tracy S. Fukui
    • Craig W. Jerome
    • Ronald G. Johnson
    • Summer M. M. Kupau-Odo
    • Alvin K. Nishimura
    • Richard W. Stacey

    The Chief Justice has 30 days from his receipt of the list today to make his appointment.

    Statistics

    • Total Applicants: 31; 12 Females; 19 Males 
  • September 05, 2018 6:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The list of nominees selected by the Commission to fill the vacancy for the judicial office in the Intermediate Court of Appeals are listed as follows in alphabetical order:

    David M. Forman
    Keith K. Hiraoka
    Geoffrey K. S. Komeya
    Karen T. Nakasone
    John M. Tonaki
    Clyde J. Wadsworth

    Total Applicants:  12; 4 Females; 8 Males

    The Governor has 30 days from his receipt of the list today to make his appointment. 

    Click HERE for a link to the JSC website with the press release of the Nominees for the Associate Judge, Intermediate Court of Appeals vacancy.   

     

     

     

     

      

  • September 01, 2018 6:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    HWL is signed up to help out at the Access to Justice Room at the Honolulu District Court in September and we need your help!

    The Access to Justice Room provides short-term, limited legal advice to unrepresented District Court litigants on civil matters.

    We need to fill 14, two-hour shifts, with one volunteer each. Please sign up here:

    http://signup.com/go/CUzesFV

    If you have already volunteered before with your law firm, organization, or as an individual, no additional training is required.

    If you have not volunteered before, you will need to view a training video online and complete some documents. To gain access to these materials, please click on the link below. Password is lash123.

    https://www.legalaidhawaii.org/401/login.php?redirect=/self-help-pro-bono-training-video.html 

    If you have any additional questions about preparation or volunteering in general, please email Sergio Alcubilla at sergio.alcubilla@legalaidhawaii.org 

    We hope you can join us in our efforts to provide assistance to the community!

    MAHALO!


  • August 30, 2018 6:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to former HWL President Kristine Yoo who was sworn in today, August 30, 2018, as a First Circuit District Court Judge.  Former Vice President/President Elect, Jacquelyn Esser, assumed the term of her Presidency and appointed Kimi Ide-Foster as her Vice President/President Elect.  A special election was held on August 16, 2018, and Michi Momose was elected as Secretary for the remaining 2018 - 2019 term.  



  • June 22, 2015 3:55 PM | Anonymous member

    On Monday, June 15, Hawaii Women Lawyers – as part of the Lady Lawyers Luncheon series – was delighted to co-host with the Hawaii State Bar Association a discussion on doing business with the State of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu, led by Julie China, Hawaii State Deputy Attorney General and Donna Leong, Corporation Counsel for the City and County of Honolulu. The speakers discussed how negotiating with the state and county might differ from negotiations with private parties, special issues that might arise, and how best to request approvals from the state or county. Julie and Donna agreed that the state and county do not have much latitude in negotiations owing to the constraints of various laws and regulations. Moreover, Julie, in discussing her work representing the Department of Land and Natural Resources, warned that transactions with the state move very slowly, so attorneys need to be aware of the length of the process. Finally, with respect to procuring agency approval, the speakers agreed that attorneys must be aware of the specific requirements of requests made to the agencies and comply meticulously with those requirements. We appreciate both speakers taking time from very busy schedules to speak and answer questions from the audience.

  • September 28, 2012 9:52 AM | Deleted user

    Thank you to everyone who has logged into our new membership website.  Based on some of the questions that we've received, here's a couple of tips:

    1)  You have complete control over your profile.  In the upper right hand corner after you log in, you'll see a link that says Profile.  Click on it and you can change and add any information that you want on your Profile.  You can also decide what you want to be public, what you want to be private and what you want to only be shared by members.

    If you choose to have your profile public, anyone can check the directory and see that you're listed as an attorney and the area of practice that you are in (if you've listed it).  This can be a great way to get more business if you would like to use it.

    If you choose to only have members access your information, the system will only show your profile information to members.

    If you choose to keep it private, no one will have access.

    The choice is up to you.

    2)  We're still working on the Membership Only section, but are open to any forums or other information that you think would be helpful.  Please let us know at hawaiiwomenlawyers@gmail.com

    Thank you again for using our new site.

  • September 03, 2012 5:00 PM | Deleted user

    We've recently created this site to make it easier for our membership to register, to find each other, and to sign-up for our events.

    We'd love to hear what you think about our site.

    Nalani Fujimori Kaina, President