Law School to host summit on Access to Justice

Sponsored by the Hawai'i Access to Justice Commission

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Cynthia D Quinn, (808) 956-6545
Dir, Comm & External Rel, William S Richardson School of Law
Posted: May 24, 2010

UH Mānoa's William S. Richardson School of Law will host the second summit conference of the Hawai‘i Access to Justice Commission on Friday, June 25 from 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Law School.   The theme of the summit will be "Access to Justice: Is This A Promise We Can Keep?" This year’s summit is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Access to Justice Commission and co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Justice Foundation,  UH Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law and the Hawai‘i State Bar Association.
The morning session will include panel discussions on "Equal Access to Justice: A Priority” for pro bono services, "Challenges to Meeting the Needs" for legal service providers, “Challenges to Providing Funding” for legislators, and "Maintaining the Momentum" through the work of the various committees of the Commission. The afternoon session will consist of two sets of roundtables on a broad range of issues, including overcoming cultural and linguistic barriers, civil right to counsel, cy pres awards in class action suits, foreclosure and the disadvantaged client, ethics of pro bono programs, "domestic violence 101," and how to represent disabled clients.  
This year’s keynote speaker will be the Honorable Michael Town, First Circuit Court, state of Hawai‘i.  In 2009, over 200 people participated in the first Access to Justice summit conference, at which New Hampshire Chief Justice John Broderick, Jr. was the keynote speaker.
The Honorable Associate Justice Simeon R. Acoba, State of Hawai‘i Supreme Court and the Chair of the Hawai‘i Access to Justice Commission explained, “Equal justice under the law is a fundamental principle of our democracy to which we should all subscribe, especially those of us in the legal profession. The conference highlights our commitment to that principle.”
In response to a specific recommendation and the findings on unmet legal needs contained in the 2007 report, "Achieving Access to Justice For Hawai’i's People," the Hawai`i Supreme Court established the Access to Justice Commission in May 2008, with its purpose, among other things, to substantially increase access to justice in civil legal matters for low- and moderate-income residents. 
As part of its mandate, the Commission holds an annual summit for the presentation of Access to Justice issues. Its goal is to encourage lawyers, judges, government officials and other public and private leaders in Hawai‘i to take a leadership role in expanding access to justice; develop strategies for educating governmental leaders and the public about the importance of equal access to justice and of the problems low-income people in Hawai‘i face in gaining access to the civil justice system; and increase awareness of low-income people’s legal rights and where they can go when legal assistance is needed.
With the new mandatory continuing professional education credit hours for all attorneys licensed in Hawai‘i, effective as of January 1, 2010, this year registrants can meet their requirements and earn three MCPE credits. Seating is limited. This event is free and open to the public. There are fees for attorneys seeking MCPE credits. Deadline to register is Thursday, June 10, 2010. For more information or to download a registration form, go to