February 2010 Alumni Newsletter Vol. 22, Issue 1

Join the Alumni Association for an Informative Program on Reinvigorating the Rule of Law in Iraq, followed by a Light Dinner and U.H. Men’s Volleyball Match

Please join the Alumni Association for an informative and fun-filled evening on Saturday, March 20. Professor James H. Pietsch and Brigadier General (Ret.) Coral Wong Pietsch will first share with alumni their experiences “Helping to Reinvigorate the Rule of Law in Iraq.” The presentation, which is free of charge, will describe their efforts over the past several years to help with U.S., Coalition, and International efforts to reestablish the primacy of the Rule of Law in Iraqi society. During their presentation they will also describe some of their personal experiences in the Baghdad area and in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The program will be held at Law School Classroom 2 and begin at 5:00 p.m. To RSVP, contact the Alumni Association at lawalum@hawaii.edu or Law School Development Officer Jennifer Hee at (808)956-5516.

Following the Iraq discussion, alumni may, for a mere $10, have a light dinner and saunter over as a group to the U.H. Warrior Men’s Volleyball match against Long Beach State University at the Stan Sheriff Center. The nationally ranked Warriors recently beat last year’s national champs from U.C. Irvine in two exciting 5-set matches. Since we have to order food and purchase tickets in advance, if you would like to join us for this part of the program, please RSVP by March 15 as noted above and send a check for $10 payable to “WSRSLAA” to Jennifer Hee at the Law School (2515 Dole St. Honolulu HI 96822).

Coral Wong Pietsch was the first woman general in the 230-year history of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and the first woman general of Asian ancestry in the U.S. Army. She is currently the senior civilian attorney for the U.S. Army Pacific headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. General Pietsch deployed on a year-long assignment to Iraq as part of the U.S.-led “surge.” She served as the deputy rule of law coordinator for the U.S. State Department-led Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team. As part of her duties, she went on numerous missions outside the confines of the International Zone (or “Green Zone”) to meet with military and government officials, law school deans and professors, members of the Iraqi Bar Association and non-governmental organizations, as well as with women’s groups, juveniles, detainees and prisoners, among others.

James H. Pietsch is a professor of law at the William S. Richardson School of Law and an adjunct professor of geriatric medicine and psychiatry at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. He previously served in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps and Judge Advocate General’s Corps and volunteered to serve as a special advisor to the Law and Order Task Force of the Multi-National Force-Iraq at a forward operating base during the “surge.” Prof. Pietsch later served as a rule of law advisor to the U.S. Embassy Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team and the Kurdistan Regional Reconstruction Team in Iraq. He is the faculty advisor to the Hammurabi Legal Forum through which law students at the Richardson Law School provide support to Rule of Law projects in Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region.

Law School Clean-up

Landscapers Everett Ohta ʻ09 and Steve Duck ʻ02 beautifying the Law School

We would like to thank those alumni and friends who joined the Alumni Association on the afternoon of Saturday, February 6, to help beautify the Law School in anticipation of the impending visit from the ABA Accreditation Team. Our top-notch landscaping and scrubbing crew was composed of: George Apter ‘89, Becca Dayhuff ‘07, Steve Duck ‘02, Hon. Alexa Fujise ‘80, Mars Johnson ‘08, Mari Kishimoto ‘07, Tracey Kubota ‘09, Debbie Lee ‘82, Greg Lui-Kwan ‘82, Everett Ohta ‘09, Carole Richelieu ‘78, Jim Williston ‘78, Dean Soifer, Dale Lee, Prof. Casey Jarman and Jennifer Hee. Mahalo to Everett for setting up the service project and to Dale Lee for providing the tools, gloves and refreshments.

Alumni Association Looking for Regional Liaisons

The Law School’s alumni abroad, on the mainland, and on the neighbor islands have grown in numbers sufficient for the Board to seek a formal avenue for input from alumni in those locations on a regular and on-going basis. If you would be interested in serving as an alumni liaison for alumni abroad, on the mainland, or on the neighbor islands, please contact us at lawalum@hawaii.edu. The anticipated role of the liaisons is somewhat fluid, depending on how many alums, and from what geographical regions, express interest.

Over 400 Alumni & Guests Among the 900 Attending C.J. Richardson’s 90th Birthday Celebration.

CJ at his 90th                      C.J. and Carol Mon Lee

The Coral Ballroom at the Hilton Hawaiian Village was bursting with well-wishers celebrating Chief Justice (retired) William S. (“C.J.”) Richardson’s 90th Birthday on the evening of Friday, December 4. Of the 900+ attendees, over 300 were Richardson Law alumni (including at least three who flew in from the mainland for the event) and an additional 100 were guests of alumni. A veritable “who’s who” of the Hawaiʻi legal and academic communities, as well as many of C.J.’s friends from a lifetime of achievement and his extended `ohana, were in attendance. U.H. President M.R.C. Greenwood, U.H. Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, Law School Dean Avi Soifer, and former Law School Deans Cliff Thompson, Jerry DuPont, and Dick Miller were all present to share the evening with the man without whose vision there would be no Law School at the University of Hawaiʻi. Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi ʻ96 and numerous other alumni flew in from the neighbor islands to join C.J. for the event.

C.J. and Friends

Some of the highlights of the evening included: a special `Oli by Kahikino Noa Dettweiler ʻ05; a graceful hula performance by Hilary Ka`anohi Aipa; a touching video tribute to C.J. prepared by videographer and Hawaiʻi TV personality Emme Tomimbang; a champagne toast by current Chief Justice Ronald T. Moon; remembrances by ICA Chief Judge Craig H. Nakamura of growing up as C.J.’s neighbor and a friend of C.J.’s son Billy; music of the 1950s and 1960s by the Casualettes; touching stories from the Richardson `Ohana; and a heartfelt “mahalo” from C.J.

Enough money was raised by the event to endow the Amy C. Richardson Scholarship Fund, established in memory of C.J.’s wife Amy, and to provide over $100,000 to jump-start the Law School’s Building Excellence Fund, which is being established to expand and modernize the Law School’s facilities to accommodate the School’s growing faculty, student body, and role in providing legal services to Hawaiʻi’s under-served populations and legal scholarship for the Pacific Basin.

The event would not have been possible without the hard work of the event committee co-chaired by Beadie Kanahele Dawson ʻ81 and Frank Damon and the tireless efforts of Law School Development Director Jennifer Hee. Other members of the event committee included the entire Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation as honorary co-chairs, Frank Boas, ICA Chief Judge (ret.) James S. Burns, Brenda Lei Foster, John and Hon. Helen Gillmor, Stuart Ho, Hon. Walter Kirimitsu, Prof. Melody MacKenzie ʻ76, Assoc. Dean (ret.) Carol Mon Lee (Hon.), Brig. Gen. Coral and Prof. James Pietsch, William K. “Billy” Richardson, Keoni Shultz ʻ00, Dean Soifer, Matsuo Takabuki, Donna Tanoue, and Jim Williston ʻ78.

The Richardson School of Law Class of 1981 led the way with 31 attendees, including guests of classmembers Larry Foster and James Lee. Classes with more than 20 attendees (including guests) included the Classes of 1976 (25), 1977 (20), 1978 (26), 1979 (21), and 1980 (20), and classes with more than 10 attendees (including guests) included the Classes of 1982 (11), 1983 (11), 1984 (14), 1985 (12), 1986 (14), 1987 (13), 1988 (13), 1991 (14), 1993 (13), 1994 (13), 1998 (10), 2000 (16), 2006 (13), 2008 (12), and 2009 (15). (Guests who are also alumni were counted with their own classes to prevent double-counting.)

Class of 1982

Landshark Invitational 2009, Oct. 24, 2009 at Bowls.

(We thank Lea Hong for contributing this story.)

The Hawaiian Landshark (Carcharodon lex sandwicencis lui-kwanis) in its water habitat at Bowls

The rare and elusive Hawaiian Landshark (Carcharodon lex sandwicencis lui-kwanis) made an unusual appearance at Magic Island and Bowls on Saturday, October 24, 2009 that coincided with a lawyer and law student surf contest and potluck picnic sponsored by the WSRSLAA. Known for its unusual markings resembling a suit and tie, or in even rarer phases, a tuxedo and bow-tie, its population is sadly declining. Scientists who study the Hawaiian Landshark speculate that the decline is caused by a number of factors, including habitat fragmentation (e.g., moving the family courts to Kapolei), global warming (which has increased the popularity of aloha attire and severely affected the Landshark's ability to "blend in" and camouflage its appearance), and "by-catch" (where companies trolling for talent lure lawyers away from law firms).

While the lawyers and law students buzzed excitedly about the astounding appearance of the Hawaiian Landshark in its exceedingly rare tuxedo/bow-tie phase (was it a blessing? a warning? all of the above?), the surf contest and potluck picnic safely proceeded from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and fun, sun, and surf were had by all. The surf contest was sponsored by the WSRSLAA, the law student surf club, Chris Bouslog and Surflite (gift certificates), Lexis-Nexis (food), XCEL (contest rashguards), Everpaddle (extra stand up paddle equipment and stickers), Surf & Sea (big tent), Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing (tent, tables, dolly), Defend O'ahu Coalition (stickers, wristbands, buttons), The Trust for Public Land (folding chairs, hats, books), Marcus Oshiro (Duke Kahanamoku stamps), Kupa 'Āina (stickers), and Lea Hong's mother (See's Candies gift certificates, golf balls). A costume contest in honor of the late ICA Associate Judge John Lim was held for the second time (first held in 2007). Judge Lim participated in the first Landshark Invitational, dressed in a suit and tie and carrying a briefcase.

Organizers included Lea Hong (ʻ91), Erline “Sunny” Greer (ʻ09), Doug Cole (3L), Blake McElheny (ʻ99), and Mark Fox. Volunteers included Breann Swann (WSR Ka Huli Ao fellow, tabulator), Joe Nose (registrar), Jeff Kent (ʻ07) (spotter, set-up, take-down), Carmen Rodrigues (spotter), and Asami Miyazawa (ʻ09) and Ben Williams (ʻ09)(food run). Expert water patrol and judges were provided by Ku'au Rescue (www.kuaurescue.com) and Bryan Amona.

Over 40 lawyers and law students participated with the following results:
Men's Makule Longboard - David Nakashima (ʻ77)
Men's Loio Longboard - Kent Pelt
Men's Opio Longboard - Napali Souza (ʻ09)
Women's Longboard - Lea Hong (ʻ91)
Women's Stand up - Mele Coleman (1L)
Novice - Mihoko Ito (in Stand up)
Men’s Stand up - Blake McElheny (ʻ99)
Women's Shortboard - Maile Shimabukuro (ʻ00)
Men's Shortboard Makule - John Nishimoto
Men's Shortboard Loio - Kent Pelt
Men's Shortboard Opio - Kumau Pineda (1L)
Men's Bodyboard - Makia Minerbi (ʻ08)
Women's Bodyboard - Dawnie Ichimura
Costume Contest - Greg Lui Kwan (ʻ82, aka the Landshark)
Best Wipeout - Doug Cole (3L)
Aloha Spirit Award - all day tabulator Breann Swann (WSR Ka Huli Ao fellow) and all day registrar Joe Nose.

Although the Hawaiian Landshark faces ever mounting challenges for the recovery of the species, the 2009 Landshark Invitational shows that there is hope. The promising new crop of juvenile landsharks present at the event show all the marks of a successful next generation -- adaptive, agile, smart, fun-loving, and friendly, and nurtured by the William S. Richardson School of Law -- under these conditions, populations of the Hawaiian Landshark are sure to rebound and thrive.

Rare sighting of the Hawaiian Landshark in its tuxedo/bow-tie phase on land.

Over 150 Gather for All Class Reunion

Alumni enjoying the Reunion
Over 150 alumni and guests joined honorees Rey Graulty ʻ79 (“WSRSLAA Outstanding Alum of 2009”), Jim Williston ʻ78 (Dean’s Award honoree), and Melody MacKenzie ʻ76 (Public Service Award honoree) for a festive All Class Reunion at the Hale Koa Hotel on the evening of Friday, September 25. As always, the formal program and ono buffet were less important than the opportunity for classmates and friends to reconnect and talk story.

Honoree Rey Graulty with his 1979 classmates
Jon Van Dyke & Sherry Broder congratulate Jim Williston
Honoree Melody MacKenzie with Kupaoa musicians

Of the special reunion classes, the Class of 1979 led the way with 24 members (including Judge Graulty) and guests in attendance. Sixteen members of the Class of 1989 and their guests attended, including June Taima who flew in from Philadelphia and Sally Ann Hughes who flew in from D.C. The Class of 1984 was represented by six alumni and guests, 1994 and 1999 by seven graduates each, and the Class of 2004 by five alumni. Other classes that were well represented were Melody MacKenzie’s Class of 1976 (10 members and guests) and Jim Williston’s Class of 1978 (19 alumni and guests).

Others flying in for the event were Le`a Kanehe ʻ01 from Nevada; Joe Kamelamela ʻ79, Pua Brown ʻ80, Lei Kihoi ʻ81, Brandon Gonzalez ʻ99, Peter Kubota ʻ89, and Dwight Takamine ʻ78 from the Big Island; and Lani Nakazawa ʻ76 from Kauai. Representing the Judiciary were: ICA Judge Alexa Fujise ʻ80, First Circuit Court Judges Rhonda Nishimura ʻ86 and Sabrina McKenna ʻ82, retired Third Circuit Judge Riki Amano ʻ79 and retired Second Circuit District Judge Harriette Holt ʻ83. In addition to Senator Takamine, Senator Brian Taniguchi ʻ79 and Representative Della Au Belatti ʻ03 were also in attendance representing the legislature. Representing the faculty (in addition to Melody) were: Dean Avi Soifer, Jon Van Dyke, David Callies, Randy Roth, Calvin Pang ʻ85, Charlie Booth, and Carole Petersen.

Mahalos to Kūpaoa (Lihau Hannahs ʻ07 and Kellen Paik) for providing their beautiful music; to Abby Dunn ʻ02 and Kirsha Durante ʻ04 for their lovely hula; to Billy Ornellas ʻ79 for the pule; to Debbie Lee ‘82 for serving as event emcee; and to Steve Okumura ʻ77 for acting as event photographer. Thanks also to our event committee: Becca Dayhuff ʻ07 (Chair), Steve Duck ʻ02 (our host for use of Hale Koa), George Apter ʻ89, Haunani Burns ʻ80, Dona Hanaike ʻ79, Jill Hasegawa ʻ04, Lori Hiraoka ʻ00, and Jim Williston ʻ78. Kudos to Jennifer Hee, Law School Development Officer, for helping us with the design and production of our handsome invitations and programs and for helping us with check-in. Finally, we say “mahalo” to our reunion class coordinators (in addition to the event committee members from the reunion classes): Andy Armitage and Gordon Arakaki – ‘84; Lisa Ginoza – ‘89; Chip Lezy, Ryan Roylo and Carolyn Oshiro – ‘94; and Mark Murakami, Sylvia Higashi, Angela Correa-Pei and Carter Siu – ‘99.

Alumni Association Holds Seminar on Campaign Spending and Lobbying

The Alumni Association held the fourth in its annual series of programs on Ethical Lobbying and Campaign Spending at the State Capitol Auditorium on the morning of Thursday, January 14, 2010. Campaign Spending Commission Executive Director Barbara Wong ʻ03 and State Ethics Commission Executive Director Daniel Mollway provided the 40+ participants an up-date on Hawaiʻi’s campaign spending and lobbyist registration and regulation laws. There followed a brief panel discussion of frequently asked questions in these fields among: Leroy Colombe (Chun Kerr law firm), who practices in the area; Matthew M. Matsunaga (Schlack Ito law firm), who has at various times run for federal, state and city office; and Mr. Mollway.

Our thanks to Melissa Pavlicek of Hawaiʻi Public Policy Advocates for putting the program together and moderating the panel and to all of the program speakers. Mahalo also to Law School Development Director Jennifer Hee for coordinating event refreshments.

Bruzers Bruised in Ete Bowl XXXII

After a tie game last year (actually February 2009 due to a 2008 rainout), the Bruzers had high hopes for Ete Bowl XXXII in November of 2009, but they fell short to a well coached and athletic Ete Team 12 – 8. In a defensive struggle, the Etes scored two touchdowns (one in each half, including one by Jessica Domingo, daughter of alum Willie Domingo ʻ85), while the Bruzers scored on a second half safety by defender Becca Dayhuff ʻ07 and a second half touchdown on a goal-line pass from quarterback Jill Nunokawa ʻ88 to tight end Lisa Ginoza ʻ89.

New Bruzers this year included running back/receivers Connie Chow ʻ06, Lisa Iwamoto ʻ09, and Jamie Sheu ʻ07, and tight end Malama Minn ʻ09. Returning to the team after long lay-offs were defensive end Ginger Chong ʻ91, tight end Le`a Kanehe ʻ01, and defensive back Cindy Goodness Zane ʻ95, who made a key interception to keep the Bruzers in the game. The Bruzers platooned their quarterbacks this year, leading the game off with Miriah Holden ʻ08 at the helm, and then starting the second half with veteran Nunokawa calling the signals.

Coaching the Bruzers’ offense were Seth Harris ʻ01, Mana Moriarty ʻ09, Nathan Nelson ʻ06, and Jim Williston ʻ78. Coaching the tough “D” were David Arakawa ʻ81, Mark Hakoda, James Hoapili, and Rikio Iwaishi ʻ08. The Bruzers wish to thank: their managers Haunani Burns ʻ80, Rosemary McShane ʻ81, Donna Kalama ʻ93, Colette Gomoto ʻ86, Linda Martell ʻ87, and Leah and Hope Barkai for their support during the game; their managers in absentia Linda Chow ʻ88 and Julie Padron for sharing their equipment; and Stuart Kaneko ʻ77 for his outstanding logistical support and generous donation of supplies. Finally, “mahalo” from the Bruzers to the Etes for hosting a sumptuous post-game luau and for not rubbing it in too much.

Alumni Tidbits



1978 – We are sorry to report belatedly that Martin Alan (“Alan”) Rhodey passed away on February 5, 2007, a victim of cancer. Alan came to the then “University of Hawaiʻi” Law School after graduation from Mississippi State University. At the time, his then-wife was stationed in Hawaiʻi with the military. Alan, whose family is from Mobile, Alabama, was a 25-year resident of nearby Pensacola, Florida, practicing law there for many years. An avid hunter and fisherman, Alan is survived by his brother, Joel Stephen Rhodey, his close friend Joan Gillson, and numerous other relatives and friends. We thank the Pensacola News Journal for much of the information above.

We are proud to announce that Florence T. Nakakuni was appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the first woman U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaiʻi. Flo had served in the U.S. Attorney’s Hawaiʻi Office for 24 years of her 32-year legal career, most recently heading its Drug and Organized Crime Section. Prior to joining that office, Flo had served as a law clerk to Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Justice Thomas Ogata, served two year as an attorney in the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy Appeals, and served as counsel for the Navy Office of General Counsel at Pearl Harbor. Flo will be recognized by Hawaiʻi Women Lawyers as its "Outstanding Woman Lawyer" for 2009. She will be honored at HWL’s annual awards reception to be held at the Plaza Club on April 23, 2010.

1980 – First Circuit Court Judges Karen Blondin and Eden Hifo recently retired from the court. Both had completed their initial ten-year terms and were serving their second terms. Prior to her initial appointment, Judge Blondin had served as the State of Hawaiʻi’s Ombudsman. Judge Hifo had served as a State District Court Judge before her elevation to the Circuit Court. Our best wishes to both judges for a happy and healthy retirement.

1982 - Judith Jenya (fka Jackman) reports that she is happily retired and living in the world heritage site colonial city of San Miguel de Allende, in the central highlands of Mexico. After leaving law and Hawaiʻi, Judith spent 10 years, primarily in the Balkans, directing the Global Children's Organization, a humanitarian aid organization she founded to help children who are victims of war and violence to heal and find nonviolent ways to resolve disputes. She adds that her legal skills are now being put to use as the Parliamentarian for Democrats Abroad and in working toward bringing Medicare to the one million American expats she reports are living in Mexico. She is also painting, doing photography, writing and enjoying the Mexican culture and people. Judith notes that she was surprised by the number of people from Hawaiʻi living in San Miguel and welcomes more to visit.

1987 - Rick Kersenbrock and his wife Kitty welcomed their second daughter, Amelia Sien Yee Kersenbrock on November 12, 2009. Rick was also just appointed to the Governing Board of LA’s Best, which operates the after school enrichment program in the LA Unified School District. Rick, Kitty, Grace (Age 2), and Amelia live in Pasadena, California. Congrats, Rick.

1989 & 2004 - The Maui News recognized alumni Lance Collins ʻ04 and David Gierlach ʻ89 in their feature on “People Who Made a Difference” in 2009. Lance and David successfully represented a group of Central Maui residents whose residential neighborhood was threatened with a housing project that the Second Circuit eventually ruled exceeded the county’s residential zoning height limits.

1990 – Our “mahalo” to Douglas Smith of the Damon Key law firm for his dedicated public service with Goodwill Industries of Hawaiʻi. Doug, who has served on the Goodwill board since 1995, was recognized by Goodwill Industries International as the 2009 Elsine Katz Volunteer Leader of the Year.

1991 -Congratulations to Keith Amemiya upon his recognition as one of the “Ten Who Made a Difference in 2009” by the Honolulu Star Bulletin. He also received an Innovation Award from Hawaiʻi’s Governor. Keith, as Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi High School Athletic Association, was instrumental in the establishment of “Save our Sports” (“SOS”), a program raising funds to preserve opportunities for children in Hawaiʻi’s public schools to participate in interscholastic sports despite the State Department of Education’s severe cut-backs in athletic funding. Best wishes to Keith upon his announced retirement from the HHSAA, where he also played a key role in creating opportunities for kids from smaller schools to participate in post-season play by setting up a playoff system incorporating more than a single division. Keith was recently appointed by the U.H. Board of Regents to serve as its Interim Executive Administrator and Board Secretary.

Hazel Beh has been selected to serve as the inaugural director of the Law School’s new, federally-funded, Health Law Policy Center. She takes the helm at a challenging time.

1998 – Clay Adler tells us that he recently took a new State Department posting as consular chief in Kathmandu, Nepal. Keep warm, Clay.

1999 – Mark M. Murakami of the Damon Key law firm will be moderating a national ABA teleseminar entitled: “Beyond Gun Control: McDonald vs. City of Chicago and the Incorporation of the Bill of Rights” on February 25. The case examines the question of whether the right to bear arms, protected to some extent against federal interference by the Second Amendment, is incorporated within the “due process” clause or “privileges and immunities” clause of the 14th amendment, thus protected to some extent against state interference. The distinguished panel that will be discussing the issue is scheduled to include law professors from Wake Forest University’s and Chapman University’s Schools of Law and the editor-in-chief of the Cato Institute’s Cato Supreme Court Review.

Sean Kekoa Clark has rejoined the Goodsill law firm after serving as Associate General Counsel for Hoku Scientific, Inc., and as General Counsel for Malulani Investments, Ltd. The firm tells us Sean will continue his practice in the fields of corporate law, securities, and mergers and acquisitions.

According to a recent Honolulu Star Bulletin article, immigration attorney Clare Hanusz and her classmate Melissa Vincenty are representing 22 of the 24 Thai agricultural workers alleged to have been kept against their wills and paid below-minimum wages at Aloun Farms in Ewa. Farm owners have reportedly pled guilty to charges of conspiring to commit forced labor.

2000 & 2009 – John Robert Egan (2000), former two-term President of the Richardson Law School Alumni Association, proudly announces the opening of his new law offices at 1833 Kalakaua Ave., Ste. 812, Honolulu HI 96815. John will continue to concentrate his practice in the field of Immigration and Nationality Law. John will be assisted by Asami Miayazawa (2009). Contact John by phone at (808)695- 3560 or by e-mail at jegan@migrationcounsel.com.