HAWAII STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
1132 Bishop Street, Suite 906
Honolulu, HI 96813
Thursday, December 20, 2007, 11:30 a.m.
1. CALL TO ORDER
President Jeffrey Portnoy called the meeting to order at 11:40 a.m. with a quorum present. The following persons were present for all or part of the meeting:
Hugh Jones (by phone)
Roxann Bulman (by phone)
Jackie Erickson (by phone)
Steven Songstad (by phone)
Trudy Burns Stone
Jodi Kimura Yi
Board Members Absent
Rai Saint Chu
Shelton Jim On
Ralph La Fountaine
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Minutes of the November board meeting were approved by consensus.
3. TREASURER’S REPORT – Treasurer Robert Godbey reported that HSBA is on target with the budget. He also commented that he received no complaints on the increase in dues. See financial statements distributed at meeting.
4. COMMITTEE/REPRESENTATIVE REPORTS
a. Rule 17 Committee – the Committee continues to meet.
b. Strategic Planning Committee – Vice President Jeffrey Sia reported that the committee met recently and has decided to split into two working groups and come back together to report in February. Target is to have a strategic plan in September.
c. Kona Courthouse Committee – efforts continue to obtain funding through the Legislature.
d. Chief Judge Mark Recktenwald – Judge Recktenwald described changes that occurred in the Intermediate Court of Appeals system since 2006. He reported that 360 cases, 20% more than the previous year, had been resolved; 50 opinions were published last year, 20 cases/year are resolved through the Center for ADR. Oral arguments are held on the third Wednesday of each month. All cases and the oral argument calendar can be found on the Judiciary website;
e. Judicial Selection Commission – JSC Chair Rosemary Fazio and JSC members Philip Hellreich, Susan Ichinose, Shelton Jim On, and Ralph La Fountaine were present to describe the JSC procedures. Ms. Fazio shared JSC concerns over HSBA’s involvement in the judicial selection process. She referred to an earlier report by the American Judicature Society which stated that it would be more helpful if HSBA gathered comments on the list of judicial candidates which are presented to the appointing authority by the JSC, an issue which has already been addressed by the HSBA Board. Ms. Ichinose stated that JSC is doing more now in the way of trying to get more applicants, visiting neighbor islands to discuss the judicial selection process, working on an electronic application form, etc. President Portnoy welcomed the HSBA-elected representatives on the JSC to come to board meetings more often and report on its activities.
5. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT – Ms. Flanigan encouraged board members to refer to the HSBA website for all of its activities and even links to the Judiciary’s opinions/calendar. She reported that in 2007, fifty CLE programs were presented and 101 CLE hours offered. She also commented that there were many questions and much confusion on the registration forms, especially question 5 regarding pro bono reporting and question 6 regarding professional liability insurance reporting.
6. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
a. Practice of Law Definition (see agenda item 6.a. and Exhibit A) - Consumer Protection Committee Chair Joanne Ha’o and Supreme Court staff attorney James Branham were present to answer questions regarding the proposed practice-of-law definition. Mr. Branham explained that the Court’s version of the proposed rule included several exemptions to allow unlicensed law clerks and paralegals to work under supervision of an attorney, to allow federal practice in certain areas without being an HSBA member, and to allow in-house counsel to provide limited services. There was also discussion that the proposed definition would affect non-attorneys such as real estate agents, CPAs, etc. and that these people could comment on the proposed definition through the Judiciary’s website.
b. Board Procedures on Judicial Appointments – Board members who agreed to review the current board procedures on judicial/executive appointments and present recommendations to improve upon those procedures have met once and will continue to work on proposed amendments to the board procedures.
c. Proposed Amendment to Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2 (see agenda item 6.c. and Exhibit C) - Ms. Flanigan reported HSBA is awaiting specific language changes from the Disciplinary Board on this proposed rule that would allow a percentage fee assessment for not-for-profit lawyer referral services.
7. NEW BUSINESS
a. Access to Justice Report (see agenda item 7.a. and Exhibits D and E) - Delivery of Legal Services to the Public Committee Co-chair Mike Gibson presented the proposed resolution of the Access to Justice Hui and asked for HSBA’s support. He noted that results of the legal needs assessment conducted by the Hui indicate that 80% of the legal needs of the poor in Hawaii are unmet.
Action taken: After some discussion, a motion was made, seconded, and carried without opposition to support the proposed resolution of the Access to Justice Report. Ms. Flanigan commented that this is a major commitment of the Board, strategic plan, and staff.
*b. Acceptance of Board Resignation and Appointment of Oahu Director – Jackie Erickson has submitted her resignation effective 01/01/2008. Mr. Sia has asked Gregory Markham, who ran for President-Elect on the 2008 slate, if he would be willing to fill the vacancy on the HSBA Board and he has agreed.
Action taken: A motion was made, seconded, and carried without opposition to adopt the recommendation of the Executive Committee to appoint Gregory Markham to the HSBA Board to fill an unexpired term due to Jackie Erickson’s resignation.
*c. Appointment of Kauai Director – in the latest HSBA Board election, there were no candidates from Kauai. However, recently an HSBA member has indicated an interest in this position.
Action taken: A motion was made, seconded, and carried without opposition to appoint as the Director for Kauai Craig DeCosta, who has indicated a willingness to serve.
*d.Executive Director Annual Evaluation, Compensation, and Contract Renewal (in executive session)
Action taken: A motion was made, seconded, and carried without opposition to adopt the recommendation of the ad hoc committee regarding the Executive Director’s annual evaluation, compensation, and contract renewal.
The meeting adjourned at 12:50 p.m.
HSBA Executive Director
Hugh R. Jones
* Item added to the agenda.