Presidents' Messages

September 2019

One of the plum tasks of the HSBA President is selecting the recipient(s) of the HSBA President’s Award, “presented for extraordinary contributions and lifetime achievement that best exemplify the mission statement of the Hawaii State Bar Association: to unite and inspire Hawaii’s lawyers to promote justice, serve the public, and improve the legal profession.” I am pleased to announce the honorees receiving the President’s Award this year are Michelle Acosta, Christine Daleiden, Nalani Kaina and Erin Kobayashi and to provide a brief background of their outstanding service.

Michelle Acosta is the Special Assistant to the Administrative Director of the Courts – Chief Innovations Officer at the State of Hawaii Judiciary. Throughout her career, Michelle has inspired by example; being a stalwart champion and innovator in the provision of access to justice. From January 2013 to December 2017, Michelle was the Executive Director of Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii. She served as Chair of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission Committee on Increasing Pro Bono Legal Services and was integral to the implementation of “HOP” - Hawaii Online Pro Bono, a web based legal clinic that allows low to moderate income Hawaii residents to have their civil legal questions answered, 24/7, by volunteer HSBA attorneys.

Christine Daleiden is Senior Vice President, Director of Enterprise Fraud at American Savings Bank. She serves as Co-Chair of the HSBA Delivery of Legal Services to the Public Committee (“DLSP”) and, like co-honorees Michelle Acosta and Nalani Kaina, is a regular leader of our Hawaii contingent to the annual Equal Justice Conference (“EJC”). Christine is a unifying force; always ideating means to combine resources of the business community with the service of like-minded HSBA members towards the provision of legal services to the public via the DLSP. She inspired the marked increase in participation by HSBA members in the EJC and is relentless in her commitment to serve the public and implement improvements to our legal profession.

Nalani Kaina made her legal career the exemplification of the HSBA mission statement. She is Executive Director of Legal Society of Hawai‘i and enumerating the developments for which she is responsible in the realm of promotion of justice, service to the public, and improvements of the legal profession would require writing her biography. Nalani was a driving force of the Access to Justice Hui and principal author of the hui’s report in November 2007, “Achieving Access to Justice for Hawai‘i's People,” which called for the creation of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission. Highly regarded nationally for her work, in 2018 Nalani was selected to serve as Co Chair for the EJC. Recently, Nalani was integral to the development of the Hawaii Legal Services Portal, an online triage tool that provides legal information and referrals in a simple-to-use and efficient way.

Erin Kobayashi is an associate attorney practicing family law at Kleintop & Luria, LLP and serves as a Director on the HSBA Board of Directors. She is Chair of the Child Law Section, Secretary of the Family Law Section, and Treasurer of Hawaii Women Lawyers. As HSBA Director, Erin worked tirelessly on the Annual Dinner Committee, serves as a core member of the HSBA Working Group, and was essential to the implementation of the recent email survey of our HSBA membership. By her extraordinary contributions already, Erin has demonstrated a passionate commitment to promote justice and facilitate improvements in our legal profession relatively early on in her legal career.

Each of the honorees will present as panelists on the topic of “supporting diversity, including gender diversity, in bar leadership” at the HSBA annual luncheon meeting during the HSBA Bar Convention on October 11, 2019. Thank you and congratulations to Michelle, Christine, Nalani and Erin!

- Derek R. Kobayashi, HSBA President


? #Fit2Practice Well Being Challenge

HSBA YLD and SCD members will face-off in a month-long well-being challenge during the month of October!

To sign up, e-mail the YLD at by September 30, 2019 with your name and Hawaii Bar Number. Beginning October 1, 2019, participants must track their physical and mental health-related activities, earning points for each activity completed. Participants must submit their activity log, including a description of each activity, time spent for each activity, and the date each activity was completed.

Over the course of the month of October 2019, participants are encouraged to post at least three of their activities to social media (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) using the following hashtags “#Fit2Practice” “#HSBA” and tagging @yldhawaii and @hawaiistatebarorganization. Points will awarded for each qualifying social media post.

The participant with the most points for the month of October 2019 will win the grand prize -- a free 90 day guest membership and 55 minute massage at Island Club & Spa (valued at $660)! Amazon gift cards will be awarded for second and third place.

More information to follow.

? Finance 101 for Attorneys

Westpac Wealth Partners will host a “Finance 101” seminar open to all HSBA Members on Friday, September 27, 2019 from 12-1 pm at the HSBA Conference room. This seminar aims to promote financial literacy for all attorneys, particularly young/new attorneys, touching on real life considerations. Some of the key points will cover student loans, building savings, and purchasing real estate. The speakers at this seminar include: Aaron Domingo, Financial Advisor with Westpac Wealth Partners; Ami Koenig, CPA with ECA Advisors; Jennifer Domingo, Mortgage Broker with Guild Mortgage; and Alex Ching with Westpac Wealth Partners, as the moderator. This is a great opportunity to learn ways to improve your financial literacy and wellness. (No sales pitch either!). RSVP to


? Junior Judges

The YLD’s Junior Judges volunteer program is scheduled for the week of October 21, 2019 at elementary schools (grades 4-6) throughout the state. Volunteers will present a locally produced DVD featuring skits depicting issues such as bullying, theft, cheating, and suggested Q&A to discuss with students how to make good decisions when faced with these issues. Junior Judges Program Chair, Daniel Padilla, and the committee invite you to volunteer. Please contact for more information.

? Legal Lines

Thank you to our Legal Lines sponsor for September, Carlsmith Ball LLP! Special thanks to volunteers Onaona Thoene, Avery Matro, Leo Shimizu, Alex Chun, Maria Fagerstroem-Ryder, Tina Tsuchiyama, Toby Yamashiro, Jeremy O’Steen, Miriah Holden, and Richard J. Sakoda. We appreciate your time and dedication to this community service project.

? Mock Trial

The Mock Trial Committee, led by Chair Chris St. Sure, has selected a criminal law case for this year’s High School Mock Trial competition. Participants will enjoy this year’s exciting fact pattern. After 5-6 weeks of trial competitions in January-February 2020, the top 4 teams will compete in the semi-final competition rounds. Thereafter, the top 2 teams compete in the final round. The winning team represents the State of Hawaii in the National High School Mock Trial Competition, typically in May. Please contact if you are interested in volunteering.

Other Opportunities

Have a request, idea, or opportunity that you’d like to share? Contact me or any YLD officer/director to discuss.

Visit our webpage for more information. Don’t forget to follow @yldhawaii on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more news and updates!

- Summer H. Kaiawe, HSBA YLD President