Symposium on the Religious Exemptions to the Proposed Marriage Equity Bill

In light of the upcoming special legislative session scheduled to start on October 28, a symposium on the religious exemptions to the proposed marriage equity bill will be held on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at the Hawai‘i State Capitol Auditorium beginning at 5:30 p.m. The symposium will broadcast live on ‘Olelo channel 49.

Avi Soifer

Avi Soifer

Moderated by Avi Soifer, dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law, the panel discussion will describe the religious exemptions in the proposed marriage equity bill and will discuss possible amendments. The panel includes Andrea Freeman, assistant professor of Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law; James Hochberg, attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom and president of Hawaii Family Advocates; and Lois Perrin, legal director of ACLU of Hawaii.

The proposed marriage equity bill and other materials are available at For information about this symposium, contact Marnelli Joy Basilio at


University of Hawaii Wins 2012-2013 Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition

The International Trademark Association (INTA) has announced the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law as the winner of its 22nd Annual Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition, following the National Finals at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. on March 16.

According to the Association, eighty-seven teams from law schools around the country participated in the competition, in which law students argue a fictional trademark litigation case before a panel of distinguished trademark practitioners. This year’s case Blue Fin Surf Sports, Inc. v. Skyuler Finn Enterprises, LLC, involved the likelihood of confusion and a priority dispute between the BLUE FIN BY LULU mark as used with surfboards and the SKUYLER FINN BLU mark as used with snowboards.

Following regional competitions in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City, eight teams (two from each region) competed in the National Finals, including: Brooklyn Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, Georgia State University College of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, University of Alabama School of Law, University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Iowa College of Law and the University of Washington School of Law.

The finalists made their arguments before a panel of judges and interlocutory attorneys from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

“The fact that we have TTAB judges and interlocutory attorneys at the National Finals makes this a unique and high-caliber competition, which gives students valuable insight into trademark law and practice. It is a wonderful stepping stone for their careers,” said Katherine Basile, Partner at Novak Druce Connolly Bove & Quigg LLP and Chair of INTA’s Lefkowitz Competition Committee.

First time national competitors Shirley Lou, Andrea S. Maglasang, Avery C. Matro and Nikki Yamauchi from the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law took first place, as well as Best Oralist team and went home with $4,000 in prize money.

The winners of the 2013 National Finals are:
Moot Court Winners

The competition, organized by INTA volunteers, is named in honor of the late Saul Lefkowitz, who served on the TTAB of the USPTO for over 30 years. He is remembered as a dedicated mentor to young practitioners, fostering their understanding of trademark law and practice during his time at Finnegan Henderson in Washington, D.C.

“The Lefkowitz competition plays a significant role in shaping the next generation of trademark professionals; based on the skills and passion we have seen throughout the competition, our industry’s future looks very bright,” said Chris Foley, the National Finals Coordinator, and Partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP.

Next year’s Lefkowitz competition will begin in February 2014 and will introduce a new fifth regional competition in Dallas, Texas.

Founded in 1878, the International Trademark Association (INTA) is a worldwide association of member companies and firms that support the advancement of trademarks and intellectual property as elements of fair and effective global commerce. Members include more than 6,200 trademark owners, legal professionals and academics from more than 190 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark research, policy development, education and training, and international network. Headquartered in New York City, INTA also has offices in Shanghai, Brussels and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai.

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center Awarding Judge Nakamura and Prosecutor Iboshi “Peacemaker Awards”

On Sunday, November 11, the Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center (KMC)—in participation with the Hawai‘i County Bar Association—is hosting its Seventh Annual Recognition Dinner and Auction in Hilo to help fund the non-profit human services agency.

Judge Greg K. Nakamura (left), Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi (center), and Andrew P. Wilson, Esq. (right) are being honored at Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s Seventh Annual Recognition Dinner and Auction in Hilo. The event helps raise funds for the non-profit human services agency. Judge Nakamura and Prosecutor Iboshi will receive ‘Peacemaker Awards’ from KMC for their support of alternate dispute resolution. Mr. Wilson is being recognized by the Hawai‘i County Bar Association for 40 years of service. For fundraiser tickets, contact KMC Executive Director Julie Mitchell at 935-7844 x 116 or email

“This year we are recognizing the Honorable Greg K. Nakamura and Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi with ‘Peacemaker Awards’ for all they have done for our community,” said KMC President Andrew P. Wilson, Esq.

“I am also humbled that the Hawai‘i County Bar Association has chosen to honor me,” added Wilson, who is being recognized for practicing law in Hawai‘i for 40 years.

No-host cocktails will be served at 5:00 p.m., with dinner served at 6:00 p.m.  The buffet will feature a choice of shrimp scampi over fettuccine, Italian chicken, and Spencer roast, as well as salads, side dishes, and dessert.

Newton John Chu, Esq. will emcee the event, which features a silent auction, live auction, and door prizes.  Items up for bid include rounds of golf, adventure tours, entrance to local attractions, overnight stays, gift cards to restaurants and retail stores, bodywork, wearing apparel, artwork, gift baskets, flower arrangements, and more.

“Our Annual Dinner provides a significant portion of the funds that Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center needs to provide free and low-cost dispute resolution services to the East Hawai‘i community,” Wilson stated.  “Over half of our clients are at or below the poverty level, and many are not able to pay any fees for their mediation sessions.”

Judge Greg K. Nakamura is an avid advocate of mediation and arbitration, and believes that these alternate dispute resolution processes are integral tools to help resolve cases.  KMC is recognizing him with a 2012 ‘Peacemaker Award’ during its November 11 fundraiser.

“The Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center has been very supportive of the Judiciary’s efforts to have matters resolved out of court,” noted Judge Nakamura.  “In particular, the Center’s participation in the Foreclosure Mediation Pilot Project has been instrumental in the program’s success.  This has allowed many homeowners facing foreclosure to keep their homes.”

Judge Nakamura is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law and began his legal career in private practice in 1979.  In 1990, Judge Nakamura was appointed to the bench as a District Family Court Judge in Kona.  In 1994 he was appointed as a Circuit Court Judge in Hilo,  In addition, he also is Deputy Chief Judge for the Third Circuit Family Court, Administrative Judge for the Court-Annexed Arbitration Program, and Drug Court Judge for East Hawai‘i.

KMC is also honoring Charlene Y. Iboshi with a ‘Peacemaker Award.’  She has supported mediation throughout her career as prosecutor.  She initiated training for mediation for the Prosecutor’s staff and supported the principles embodied in victim-driven mediation in appropriate cases.  She has served on the KMC board of directors, and continues to support the efforts of alternative dispute mediation within the schools and judiciary for civil matters where access to justice and quick resolution to disputes builds respect for the justice system.

Prosecutor Iboshi was born in Hilo and graduated from Hilo High School, University of Hawai‘i, and University of Puget Sound Law School.  She worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Washington state, and then was appointed as a Hawai‘i County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in 1980 and First Deputy in 1992, and became the Prosecuting Attorney in 2011.

Tickets for the Annual Dinner are $85 per person (of which $50 is tax deductible) and are available from KMC’s board of directors and from KMC’s office in The Hilo Lagoon Centre at 101 Aupuni Street, Suite PH 1014 B-2.  For reservations, contact KMC Executive Director Julie Mitchell at 935-7844 x 116 or email

Governor Abercrombie Appoints Native Hawaiian Roll Commission

Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced his appointments for the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (NHRC).  Established in July when Governor Abercrombie signed Act 195, the NHRC starts the process that will eventually lead to federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.

The Commission is composed of five members, one from each county and one at-large seat.  They are: former Governor John D. Waihe’e (At-Large), Lei Kihoi (Hawai’i), Mahealani Perez-Wendt (Maui), Na’alehu Anthony (O’ahu), and Robin Puanani Danner (Kaua’i).
“These individuals represent various sectors of the Hawaiian community.  Each brings experience, talent, knowledge, and skills that collectively create a broad-based team,” Governor Abercrombie said.  “This team will put together the roll of qualified and interested Native Hawaiians who want to help determine the course of Hawai’i’s indigenous people.”
The Commission will be responsible for preparing and maintaining a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians as defined by the Act. Once its work is completed, the Governor will dissolve the Commission.  The roll is to be used as the basis for participation in the organization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity.
“Now is the time to unify as a people,” said At-Large Commissioner Waihe’e.  “The belief in our nation building process is being realized.  It has been a long time coming but today we have a renewed sense of confidence for our people and our future.”
About the Native Hawaiian Roll Commissioners:
John D. Waihe’e III is the appointed At-Large commissioner. After serving as Lt. Governor under Governor George Ariyoshi, Waihe’e became the first Native Hawaiian Governor and served two terms from 1986 to 1994.  His administration created the A-plus after-school-care program, restored more than 16,000 acres of public lands to the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust, and created a committee to help define sovereignty.  In 1993, he created the Hawaiian Sovereignty Advisory Commission.  Waihe’e, 65, became active in politics after serving as a delegate on the 1978 Hawai’i State Constitutional Convention where he was instrumental in the creation of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  He earned his undergraduate degree at Andrews University in Michigan and was a member of the first graduating class of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai’i.  Waihe’e lives in Honolulu.
Na’alehu Anthony is the appointed O’ahu County commissioner.  Anthony is the Chief Executive Director of ‘Oiwi TV and the Principal of Paliku Documentary Films.  He is the Director and Executive Producer of ‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola, Hawaiian Language news.  Anthony has produced and directed a number of films including the award winning PBS Documentary of Mau Piailug: The Wayfinder. Anthony, 36, is a member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a captain for interisland and coastal sails. He has documented all the major voyages made by Hokule’a.  Anthony holds an MBA and a BA in Hawaiian Studies from UH-Manoa.  He is a 1993 graduate of Kamehameha Schools and lives in Kailua.
Lei Kihoi is the appointed Hawai’i County commissioner.  Kihoi has served the Native Hawaiian community in various aspects for over 25 years.  As a former staff attorney for Judge Walter Heen, she wrote and promoted legislation regarding Hawaiian matters.  Kihoi, 66, is a trained counselor in ho’oponopono, mediation and facilitation. She served on a number of boards and organizations including Hui Hanai (Queen Liliuokalani Trust), Polynesian Voyaging Society, and the Native Hawaiian Bar Association.  Kihoi is a graduate of Castle High School.  She earned her BS in Education from UH-Manoa, a MSSW from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; and her law degree from the UH Richardson School of Law.  A beneficiary of the Queen Lili’uokalani Trust, Kihoi is a resident of Kailua-Kona.
Mahealani Perez-Wendt is the appointed Maui County commissioner.  Perez-Wendt was the Executive Director of Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC) for 32 years before retiring in December 2009.  During her tenure the NHLC litigated landmark cases including Public Access Shoreline Hawai’i v. State, and Waiahole Community Association v. State.  Perez-Wendt, 64, was the first Native Hawaiian board member of the Native American Rights Fund.  She has been recognized with a number of awards including Outstanding Hawaiian Woman for Community Service, in 1983; Liberty Bell Award from the Hawai’i State Bar Association in 1990; Kalanianaole Award in 2003 from the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs; Native Hawaiian Advocate Award in 2009 from the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement; and Hawai’i Women Lawyers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. Perez-Wendt has published poetry and stories in more than a dozen literary journals and anthologies.  A graduate of the Kamehameha School for Girls, Perez-Wendt lives in Wailuanui, East Maui.
Robin Puanani Danner is the appointed Kaua’i Commissioner.  She is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA).  Danner has over 20 years of experience working in the field of Native to federal trust responsibilities and government relationships to empower Native peoples.  She has extensive management experience in the nonprofit, for-profit business and government sectors.  She was the Vice-President and Branch Manager of that National Bank of Alaska and is the former North Slope Borough and Tagiugmiullu Nunamiullu Housing Authority County Housing Director and Indian Housing Authority Executive Director. Danner, 48, founded CNHA in 2001 and developed each of its programs including the first statewide Native Loan Fund, the Hawai’i Family Finance Project, which is certified by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and funded by the U.S. Treasury to promote financial literacy; the Homestead Self Help Program; and the Hawaiian Way Fund, to advance philanthropy in support of culture, knowledge, and language.
Danner resides on her homestead in Anahola.