May 2010 Alumni Newsletter Vol. 22, Issue 2

Pau Hana WSRSLAA Annual Meeting -- 5:00 p.m. Thursday, June 17th at the Plaza Club Downtown

All alumni—you are cordially invited to attend the Association’s 2010 annual meeting at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, June 17, 2010 at the Plaza Club on the 20th Floor of the Pioneer Plaza (900 Fort St. Mall) in downtown Honolulu. To add an item to the tentative meeting agenda (below), contact any WSRSLAA Officer, or e-mail us at

After our brief meeting (i.e. expected to be pau by 5:30 p.m.), join us for our Sixth Annual Wine Tasting & Pupu Event (see related story below).

The tentative 2010 Annual Meeting Agenda follows:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of 2009 Annual Meeting Minutes
  3. President’s Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5. Old Business
  6. New Business (By Law Amendments, etc.)
  7. Election Results
  8. Dean’s Report (to be presented during Food & Wine Event)
  9. Adjournment

At the annual meeting, members will vote on by-law amendments to make the Vice President of the Association the President Elect for the following year and make the immediate past President an ex officio member of the Board. Click here: By-Law Amendment Text

Law School Alumni and Friends Food & Wine Extravaganza VI Pau Hana at the Plaza Club; Raise Scholarship Funds for Law Students Demonstrating Commitment to Public Service.

Join the Alumni Association for its Sixth Annual Food & Wine Extravaganza beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at the Plaza Club (20th Flr. of Pioneer Plaza at 900 Fort St. Mall in downtown Honolulu). Impress your firm’s summer clerks by bringing them to Extravaganza VI. See the enclosed flyer for RSVP and ticket purchase details: Wine tasting flyer .pdf

Last year’s Extravaganza V was the culinary and fine wine hit of the summer, with over 100 law students, faculty, alumni and friends joining together to kick off the summer; this year’s event promises to be even mo’ bettah. Fine wines from some of Honolulu’s top wine purveyors and ono heavy pupus will be served. (Wine will of course be served only to those of legal drinking age.) Wine merchants also make wines available for sale in quantity at significant discounts.

Tickets are available at $75 ($25 tax deductible) in advance and $85 ($35 tax deductible) at the door. Event proceeds will fund scholarships for law students who have demonstrated a commitment to public interest law. Questions? Send us an e-mail at (reference “extravaganza” or “wine tasting” in your subject line).

Four Officers are Retiring; Join the Alumni Board for 2010-2011.

Half of our Association’s elected Board positions (3 from the classes of 1976-93 and 3 from more recent classes) and all of our Officer positions (Pres., V.P., Corresponding and Recording Secretaries and Treas.) are up for grabs in the coming election (or non-election if no positions are contested). Because four of our officers are retiring this year, we are particularly in need of volunteers this year. So, if you’d like to join the Board or nominate another alum (with his or her ok) to serve, fill out the Nomination Form below and send it in or e-mail it to us in .pdf form by Wednesday, May 19, 2010 Questions? -- Call any current officer/director or send an e-mail to We are always looking for new blood to keep our Association invigorated.

See the Officer/Director Nomination Form in the related links section at

Lawyers’ League Co-ed Slo-Pitch Softball from May – October, 2010 -- Individual players and/or full teams WANTED.

Lawyer’s League Softball games are held on Saturdays at: 1:00 p.m., 2:20 p.m. & 3:40 p.m. at the Kapiolani Park Softball Fields at the Diamond Head end of the park, near the off-street parking lots.

Join an existing team or organize your own team by contacting Michael Ragsdale:

Work: 524-7500 or Cell: 780-5426 or E-mail:

Mark Your Calendar NOW for the 2010 ALL CLASS REUNION on the Evening of Friday, September 24th at the Hale Koa Hotel, Featuring 35th Anniversary of Ulu Lehua/Pre-Admission Program and Graduating Classes of 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005.

The Alumni Association will be holding its 7th Annual All Class Reunion at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki on the evening of Friday, September 24. Special reunion classes in 2010 include the Classes of 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005. All alumni and friends are welcome, but if you are a WSRSL graduate from any of those years, we especially encourage you to join us for a fun evening with great food and good company (your classmates). If you would like to help plan the event or serve as a coordinator for your special reunion class, please send an e-mail to

We will also be celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the founding (in 1975) of the Ulu Lehua (then known as Pre-Admission) Program and encourage program alumni to get together at the reunion.

At the dinner we will announce our 2010 Outstanding Alum of the Year, whom we will nominate for the UHAA Distinguished Alumni Award for 2011. If you would like to nominate a worthy fellow Richardson Law alum this year, please fill out and send in the nomination form – press “Ctrl” key & click here: Outstanding Alum Nomination Form

Iraq Talk/ UH V-Ball Event

The Association thanks Prof. Jim and Brig. General (retired) Coral Pietsch for sharing their experiences in Baghdad with a group of 50+ alumni on the evening of March 20. The many pictures taken by the Pietsches during their stay in Iraq helped to illustrate the difficult and dangerous conditions for U.S. troops and U.S. Embassy personnel as well as for Iraqi judges and attorneys who have been striving to bring the rule of law back to Iraq following Operation Iraqi Freedom. Coral and Jim talked about the establishment of a legal aid clinic to provide legal representation to Iraqi detainees who have been detained in Iraqi (as opposed to U.S.) detention facilities, in many instances for years without any formal charges being filed against them. Then Jim and Law Student Melissa Farris from the Hammurabi Legal Forum described some of the projects the Law School has assisted with in the effort, including assisting with research for law schools and non-governmental organizations in Iraq.

Following the talk, the participants and Dean Soifer gathered in the Law School courtyard for some really great pupu, including kalua pork sandwiches, then sauntered over to the Stan Sheriff Center to cheer on the Rainbow Warrior V-Ballers as they narrowly defeated the Long Beach State 49ers in a five-game MPSF nail-biter 33-35, 30-25, 30-20, 30-25, 15-5. Jonas Umlauft and Josh Walker led the team with 28 kills apiece.

Soon-to-be Alumni of the Class of 2010 Celebrate Graduation with Alums of the 25th Year Class of 1985.

The soon-to-be Alumni Association members, the WSRSL Class of 2010, hosted the 2010 Alumni Association/Class of 2010 Graduation Brunch at the Oahu Country Club on the morning of Sunday, April 25, 2010. More than 150 people, dressed in their Sunday's best, attended the brunch, including alumni from the Class of 1985, members of the Class of 2010, faculty members, family and friends.

The brunch celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the graduation of the Class of 1985, as well as the upcoming graduation of the Class of 2010. Willie Domingo, Cecelia Chang, Tom Grande, Elizabeth Kent, Calvin Pang, Jan Tamura, and Livia Wang attended as members of the Class of 1985. Also in attendance were Alumni Association Board members Haunani Burns, Rebecca Dayhuff, Lori Hiraoka, Tracey Kubota, and Everett Ohta.

William "Willie" Domingo of the Class of 1985 accepted an invitation to address the graduating class and did not disappoint. He gave a keynote speech highlighted by personal and professional advice gained from his many years of practice.

The Class of 2010 selected Professor Eric Yamamoto to speak on behalf of the faculty. Professor Yamamoto spoke of the need for alumni to give back to the community, as exemplified by the social justice work of recent law school graduates. Associate Dean Laurie Tochiki also gave a heartwarming speech offering a few words of advice and congratulations.

The Alumni Association would like to thank 3L class representatives Melissa Farris, Malia Gibson, and Kristen Yamamoto for their hard work and dedication in helping to plan such a fabulous event, from creating a slideshow that was played throughout the event to presenting the now traditional Rujma (that’s “AmJur” backwards) Awards to the 3Ls. Also, a special thanks to Law School COO Dale Lee, who was the Oahu Country Club sponsor for the event at. A great time was had by all.

Faculty speaker Eric Yamamoto and friends

Members of the Class of 1985 and friends get together at brunch.


William L. King, II (1976)
Francis P. Akamine (1980)
Philip W.T. Chang (1980)
Walter Deptula, III (1985)
Amy Stern Kaneta (2001)

  • William L. King, II (1976)

    William Luther King II (1976) Passes Away in Virginia
    William Luther "Bill" King II, 67, a member of the Richardson Law School’s inaugural graduating Class of 1976 died Friday, March 26, 2010, in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
    Born in Albany, N.Y., in 1942, Bill was the second child of the late Rev. Dr. Luther W. King and Alba I. King. He was named for his paternal grandfather, the Rev. William Luther King. Bill grew up in New York City, where his father was pastor of several Methodist churches and his mother was an educator.
    In 1964 Bill earned a B.A. in Philosophy at Colgate University. Then, from 1964-1966, Bill was a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, teaching in a remote valley middle school and at a teachers' training college. His peers admired his ability to speak the Thai language like a native. Bill later became proficient in Mandarin, under a National Defense Language Fellowship, and was an instructor in the Law and Trade Program, Foundation for American Chinese Cultural Exchanges in Shanghai.
    Bill then returned to school, earning an M.A. in Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii under an East-West Center grant in 1968, and in 1976 he earned a joint J.D./ M.B.A. from U.H. After Law School graduation, Bill moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for Charles Morgan Jr. and Assoc., a civil rights law firm, then for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP as a copyright law specialist. After working for the Cushman-Pillsbury law firm focusing on intellectual property law, he retired in 2003 to Fredericksburg, Virginia where he donated many pro bono hours to various area charities.
    Bill’s interests included observing the U.S. Supreme Court, tai chi, basketball, songwriting, international travel and playing the piano. He is survived by his sister, Mary Elizabeth King, of Washington, D.C., and two brothers, John N. King and Edward W.C. King, both of Virginia. A memorial service was held on April 28 in Fredericksburg.
  • Francis P. Akamine (1980)
    Francis Paul Akamine (1980), Long-Time Hilo Public Defender, Passes Away.
    Francis Paul Akamine, 64, of Hilo, died at Hilo Medical Center on March 7, 2010. Prior to attending the Richardson Law School, from which he graduated in 1980, Francis received his B.A. from the University of Hawaii and served with the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War. His long-time co-worker with the Hilo Office of the Public Defender, Melody Parker, shared the following (with minor editing):
    “Francis served as a Deputy Public Defender for over 20 years. He never lost his ability to absorb case law, and he shared his knowledge freely with the Big Island defense bar. His medical retirement was filled with challenges to overcome, but included a nine-year period of remission from cancer. He supervised two future full-time and one per-diem judge as he led the Big Island Public Defender Office. His impact on the Big Island’s criminal justice system will be remembered and he will be missed by all who had the pleasure to work with him or call him a friend.”
    Francis is survived by his wife, Chun Yon (“Soo”) Akamine; his mother, Barbara Takata; and sisters Pat Sasaki, Sandra Arrowood, and Pianta Akamine. A memorial service was held on Saturday, March 20, at Dodo Mortuary in Hilo.
  • Philip W.T. Chang (1980)
    Philip Chang (1980), Avid Waterman and Long-time Attorney for Kamehameha Schools Passes Away.
    Philip Wai Tim Chang, age 61, avid surfer and body surfer, passed away April 10, 2010, while body surfing at Makapu‘u, the beach where he spent as much time as he could. Phil grew up in Kaimuki and, after 1957, in Kahala, surfing off of Diamond Head and graduating from Kalani High School in 1967. After several years lifeguarding at Sandy Beach, Phil left home to attend the University of San Francisco, graduating with a degree in Government in the mid 1970’s. He then returned home to join the fledgling Richardson School of Law, graduating with its fifth graduating class in 1980.
    From 1980-86 he served as Manager of the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in Waikiki. From 1986-2000 he was a Senior Division Counsel for Kamehameha Schools. He then served as Vice President and General Counsel for Pauahi Management Corp. until 2004 and, for the past five years, he practiced real estate and business law with the Honolulu law firm of Ching, Yuen & Morikawa. He also clerked for then First Circuit Court Judge (later Hawaii Chief Justice) Herman Lum.
    Phil was a versatile sportsman with an enduring love for surfing, body surfing, basketball, golf, tennis and skiing. He was also a long-time member of Waialae Country Club. Phil is survived by his wife of nearly 25 years, attorney G. Hisae Ishii-Chang; daughter, Taylour Pua Chang, a junior at Yale University; father, Dr. Thomas Y. K. Chang; sisters, Kathleen (Russell) Ching and Donna Lai Hee Carroll; aunts, Godmother Blossom Young Tyau and May Blossom (Robert) Wilkinson; and many cousins. A remembrance service was held on April 23, 2010, at Nu‘uanu Memorial Park & Mortuary.
  • Walter Deptula, III (1985)
    Walter Deptula, III (1985), dies in San Diego.
    We regret to inform you that Walter Deptula, III, age 49, of the Law School’s Class of 1985 passed away in San Diego, California, on March 27, 2008. Walter grew up in Hawaii and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Florida prior to attending the Richardson Law School. Prior to engaging in solo law practice, Walter had worked with the law firm of Bollington Roberts Hunkins & McDonald in Long Beach, California. We became aware of Walter’s untimely passing via the on-line California Bar Directory. His family did not respond to our request for additional biographical information.
  • Amy Stern Kaneta (2001)
    Amy Stern Kaneta (2001), Champion for Domestic Abuse Victims, Passes Away.
    Amy Stern Kaneta (55), born on March 5, 1954, passed away on June 15, 2009. Amy grew up in northern New Jersey, the elder daughter of the late Benjamin L. Stern and Nancy Wotiz Stern (later Fishman). Following graduation from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology Amy pursued a career as a buyer for chain stores including Zayres, May Company and Montgomery Ward, working in New York, then Chicago and eventually Hong Kong as a well-recognized leader in sourcing and merchandising.
    After a very successful merchandising career and extensive travel, Amy decided to go to law school, following in her father’s footsteps. First, Amy had to return to college, earning her B.A. from the University of Hawaii and graduating Phi Beta Kappa. In Law School she was a dedicated student with great critical thinking skills, receiving a CALI award in the class on Law & Society in China and receiving the top grade in her Second Year Seminar section.
    After graduating from the Richardson Law School in 2001, Amy worked for the Domestic Violence Clearing House in Honolulu defending the rights of abused women, at the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office, then briefly with the Starn O’Toole firm before moving to California in late 2003 to be closer to her sister.
    Amy took and passed the 2004 California Bar in order to assist abused women again, which she had determined was her passion. Unfortunately Amy’s mother became gravely ill and Amy postponed returning to work full time in order to assist her. Shortly after her mother passed away in 2005, Amy was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and was unable to return to the work she loved. Unfortunately, a bone marrow transplant in 2007 was unsuccessful and Amy passed away in 2009. Her sister remembers Amy as a beautiful, intelligent, funny, devoted and innocent-hearted person, who was her best friend and touchstone.
    Amy is survived by her sister, Priscilla (“Cissy”) Sporl and many friends. A memorial service was held on June 23, 2009 at B’nai Jeshurun Cemetery in Hillside, New Jersey.

Alumni Tidbits

(Win an award? Get a new job, new spouse, new baby? Share the news with your classmates; e-mail your announcement to

  Class of 1985
  Class of 1989
  Class of 1990
  Class of 2003

  • 1985 – Our hats off to Elizabeth Kent who was recently confirmed by the Hawaii State Senate to serve on the Commission to Promote Uniform Legislation. Elizabeth, who heads the Judiciary’s Center for ADR, was recently featured in Honolulu Magazine for her work in textile art.
  • 1989 - Lisa M. Ginoza’s appointment to the Intermediate Court of Appeals has been confirmed by the Hawaii State Senate, and she was sworn in on May 6th. After graduation from the Richardson Law School in 1989, Lisa clerked for U.S. District Court Senior Judge Samuel P. King. After over 15 years with McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon, Lisa served as the First Deputy Attorney General under Hawaii’s Attorney General, Mark Bennett, for the past four years. Lisa served on our Alumni Association Board from 1991-97 and joins fellow alumnae Alexa Fujise (1980) and Katherine Leonard (1991) on the court. Congratulations Lisa.

Michael F. Nauyokas has been named Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) Liaison of the Federal Bar Association. He is the first attorney in Hawaii to hold this distinction and has been a member of The Federal Bar Association since 1994. The Federal Bar Association is the professional organization for private and government lawyers and judges involved in federal practice and has offered an unmatched array of leadership opportunities and services for more than 80 years.

  • 1990 – Best wishes to Hon. Edwin C. Nacino upon his confirmation last November to the Circuit Court bench. Ed had been serving as a District Court Judge prior to his elevation. Prior to law school, Ed had served as an Officer with the Honolulu Police Department. Since graduation, he has been a Honolulu deputy prosecutor and Deputy Corporation Counsel and a civil litigation attorney with Roeca Louie & Hiraoka.
  • 2003 - Our best wishes to Christopher Chun, who takes the helm of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association following the departure of fellow alumnus Keith Amemiya (1991). For the past six years Chris has been an associate attorney with the firm of Lyle S. Hosoda (1985) & Associates, and for five of those years he served as general counsel for the Oahu Interscholastic Association (“OIA”). Chris has a B.A. from the University of Hawaii and an M.S. from Chaminade University.