April 12, 2013


  • Judge David Ezra will be honored with the 2013 UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on May 14.
    In recognition of Judge Ezra’s considerable years of service to Hawai῾i including his 34 years as an adjunct professor at the Law School, the Judge David Alan Ezra Endowed Scholarship fund has been established to provide scholarship support for deserving law students.
    Anyone wishing to make a donation should make checks payable to “University of Hawaii Foundation” with “Ezra Endowed Scholarship (#20637803)” in the memo line and mailed to: William S. Richardson School of Law, 2515 Dole Street, Room 216, Honolulu, HI  96822. Online donations may be made here.

    Judge David Alan Ezra
  • Mark Levin will give an illustrated talk, "An Illegal Dam Still Stands: The Nibutani Dam and Nibutani Village," at 2:00 p.m. Sunday in the East-West Center Gallery. The talk will feature the environmental action by indigenous Ainu villagers in Northern Japan. A related exhibition, "Ainu Treasures: A Living Tradition in Northern Japan," is at the EWC Gallery until May 5.
  • On Tuesday, Randall Roth participated in a panel discussion about "Rail Transit" sponsored by the Associated Students of the University of Hawaiʻi (ASUH). Panelists included Panos Prevedouros, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Dan Grabauskas, Executive Director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART); and Ivan Lui-Kwan, HART Board Member.
    On the same day, Randy gave a presentation on “Interesting Legal Issues in 'The Descendants' Movie” at Kahala Nui, a home for senior living. 
    On Wednesday, Randy and Ken Lawson discussed “Professional Responsibility” at the Case Lombardi & Pettit law office.
  • On Thursday, Avi Soifer gave a paper about "Autonomy, Excommunication, and Redemption" as part of a panel about "Robert Cover and Religious Legal Theory" for a Religious Legal Theory conference held at Touro Law Center on Long Island, New York.
  • The Law School welcomes Elena Vodianenko, a Lecturer and Ph.D. at Saratov State Law Academy in Russia. Ms. Vodianenko is visiting for one month to intern and to observe classes, our legislature, and our courts. She is here on a Legislative Fellows Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, which brings scholars from the Russian Federation to the U.S. and she is one of four fellows selected to visit Hawaiʻi. Ms. Vodianenko is the Chair of European and Comparative Law at her university. She is interested in the legislative process, comparative law, and human rights issues. Please drop by the Visitors/Adjunct room #256 to say 'Aloha.'

    Elena Vodianenko


  • The following new members of staff have joined the Law School:
    Melissa Matsuura is the new Administrative Officer supporting the Associate Deans' offices. Melissa served as the Senate Journal Clerk for the past five years at the Hawaiʻi State Senate. Her home base is at the front/outside desks near the offices of Denise Antolini and Cyndi Quinn.
    Crystal Watanabe will join the Fiscal Office on April 16. Crystal has worked for UH Mānoa for the past seven years in a variety of positions including Program Administrator for the JABSOM IdEA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence; Program Administrator for CTAHR Nutritional Assessment of Populations Programs, and Administrative and Fiscal Support Specialist at the College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, as well as at the College of Education, Center for Disability Studies. Her office will be in Room 109.

    Julia Wieting will be a Special Assistant in the Deans' office, working primarily in three areas: Admissions, Professional Development, and Communications. Julia recently taught middle school math and science at Le Jardin Academy. She has edited two UH Board of Publications journals, Hawai‘i Review and Kalamakua, and her poetry has been published in national and international journals. Her office is in the Admissions suite.
  • On Monday, the Hawai`i Innocence Project hosted an event on wrongful convictions and DNA evidence. Seattle Judge Michael Heavey, who was involved in the Amanda Knox case in Italy, and Hawai`i Innocence Project student participant Sommerset Wong '13, who has researched DNA exonerations and the effects of wrongful convictions as it relates to serial killings discussed the case of Amanda Knox, the American-born college student who was convicted and exonerated, and who is now being retried for murder in Italy. Virginia E. Hench, director of the Hawai`i Innocence Project, moderated.

  • Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law will host "Kaʻukaʻulele: Leap With Joy," on April 24. The celebration of Ka Huli Ao scholarship will highlight faculty articles and book chapters and will make available Native Hawaiian Law Primers on "Water," "Traditional and Customary Rights," "Iwi Kupuna," and "Quiet Title and Partition Law."
    The event also will launch the center's new periodic publication, ʻOhia, which will feature papers on issues that have a substantial impact on Native Hawaiian law. The first four papers, written by Ka Huli Ao Research Fellows, explore Native court systems, Native Hawaiians and international law, economic development, and preservation of ancestral land.
    Kaʻukaʻulele will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Law School Courtyard. Please RSVP here by April 17 or email: nhlawctr@hawaii.edu or call: 808-956-8411.

  • The Kresge Foundation based in Detroit has awarded the Lamaku Naʻauao program $460,000. The program, which is run by the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge and the Law School, teaches participants about food security, renewable energy research, cultural practices and the effects of climate change. See "Grant Supports Hawaiian Role In Decision Making," in The Garden Island yesterday.


  • On Friday, Adair Fincher '13 participated in a panel discussion on "Seas of Discontent—Ongoing Disputes in the Asia-Pacific" at the SPAS Graduate Student Conference on "Continuity, Change, & Contestation: Multidisciplinary and Transnational Perspectives on the Asia-Pacific," held at the Center for Korean Studies from April 3-5.
    In March, Adair and Christiaan Mitchell '14 spoke about the legal issues surrounding House Bill 174 and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on Representative Mele Carroll's show, "Aniana ʻIkena" on ʻOlelo Community Television.
    On March 21, Christiaan joined a panel to discuss GMO labeling and to take calls from listeners on Hawaiʻi Public Radio's "Town Square."
  • On Tuesday, Alese Lesser '15, John Reiss '15, Ben Sill '15, Phil Tumbaga '15, Kevin White '14, and Brandon Tachko, UH Mānoa Department of History, won 1st Place in the Graduate Student Organization "Trivia Night." The team matched wits on trivia questions about the "real world," to each win $15 Amazon Gift Cards.

    From left: Phil Tumbaga '15, Brandon Tachko (Department of History), Kevin White '14, John Reiss'15, Alese Lesser '15, and Ben Sill '15

  • The Wagner Labor Moot Court Team, with the sponsorship and support of the Torkildson Katz Moore Hetherington & Harris Law Firm, successfully competed in the national competition at New York University Law School in NYC against 50 teams. Faculty Adviser Ron Brown wrote: "The team members, Lauren Tomatani Kalaukoa '13, Eve Yeung '13, and Valerie Dionne '14, rose through the first two sessions, with some high oral ratings in the 90 percent level, but were eased out of the final competition. The team members acquitted themselves well and they were informed that their arguments seemed a step above moot court competition and were more like those made in actual litigation. I wish to thank the many employment law attorneys and judges in Honolulu who judged the practice sessions and advised the team members."

    From left: Eve Yeung '13, Lauren Tomatani Kalaukoa '13, and Valerie Dionne '14


  • On Tuesday, Lisa Ayabe ’08 of the Cades Schutte law firm organized a “Speed Mentoring” session for students as part of her 2012 HSBA Leadership Project in conjunction with Piyada Nonzee and the Professional Development Office. Mentors included Richard Wallsgrove ’08, Blue Planet; Marissa H. I. Luning ’08, Deputy Solicitor General; Mitsuko Takahashi Louie ’08, Cades Schutte law firm; Sarah Moriarty ’08, Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda; and Mana Moriarty ’09, Ogomori & Yoshimoto. Students were able to meet with the attorneys and to ask specific questions about their careers, goals, and work-life balance.


  • James J. Nelson '96 delivered the Moment of Contemplation prior to commencement of session at the State Senate on April 5. James is a volunteer adviser to Senator Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran. He has served as a session attorney for the state House Committee on Judiciary for the past eight years.