(In alphabetical order by first name)
ANGELA LOVITT, DIRECTOR OF TRAINING & SPECIAL PROJECTS
Angela Lovitt is currently the Director of Training and Special Projects as well as the AmeriCorps Program Director. A 1997 graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law, Angela has worked with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and the Domestic Violence Clearinghouse (NKA Domestic Violence Actions Center). Angela also teaches the Lawyering Skills Workshop at the William S. Richardson School of Law and volunteers as an assistant coach for law school’s Client Counseling team. When she isn’t working or teaching Angela can usually be found playing soccer, paddling, surfing or enjoying other outdoor activities.
ANNE REYNOLDS, GA-SSI PROGRAM MANAGER
Anne provides on-site management for the GA-SSI unit, providing training and technical assistance to GA-SSI advocates statewide. Anne is the primary contact for DHS on the Social Security Advocacy Project and in charge of preparing monthly reports and statistical data while maintaining a caseload of 60-70 clients, providing representation through each stage of the Social Security disability process.
CAROLANN ROWE, PARALEGAL
Carolann has been with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii-Waianae Branch since July 1997.
CONNIE LIU, PUBLIC
BENEFITS/GA-SSI SUPERVISING ATTORNEY
Connie heads the Public Benefits Unit and GA-SSI (General Assistance/Supplemental Security Income) Units. She supervises staff working on public benefits and social security advocacy cases. Connie is responsible for a caseload that includes general assistance appeals, temporary assistance to needy families, Medicaid and Medicare cases, and other areas of public benefits.
DANIEL POLLARD, GUARDIAN
AD LITEM UNIT HEAD
Daniel supervises the Legal Aid Guardian Ad Litem Unit. A Guardian Ad Litem is a court appointed advocate for children subjected to child abuse or neglect. Legal Aid is the largest single provider of Guardian Ad Litem services in the State with at least 11 attorneys and several paraprofessionals doing work at least part time on this project. He also sits on a number of committees whose function is to improve the representation of abused or neglected children in the State of Hawaii. As a sideline, he supervises the legal work done on the Legal Aid adoption and guardianship cases.
DELIA C. L’HEUREUX, HOUSING UNIT STAFF ATTORNEY
Delia was raised in Hawai’i and graduated from Kalaheo High School. She received her law degree from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA; and graduated from Boston University with a degree in sociology and psychology. Prior to coming to LASH, she worked at Lawyers for Equal Justice (LEJ), where she assisted with several class action lawsuits involving the rights of tenants in public housing, the Fair Housing Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as helping veterans to obtain benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Through her volunteer work and internships, Delia has been very active in both the Boston and Hawai’i communities on issues surrounding homelessness and housing.
DESIREE HIKIDA, STAFF ATTORNEY - WINDWARD OAHU OFFICE
DONNA M. BARR, TITLE III PARALEGAL
Donna is a paralegal and the Senior Citizen Program Coordinator for the Hawaii County Office of Aging Title III grant in the Hilo office. Donna received a BA in English and an MA in Public Administration from the University of Houston. She has worked for various law firms in corporate and real estate law, and was Director of Real Estate for the Archdiocese of Denver, and Real Estate Asset Manager for the State of Colorado. In 2007 and 2008 she served in Samoa in the Peace Corps. Donna joined Legal Aid in 2010. She has three sons and two grandsons. In her free time she is an avid photographer and loves to travel.
DONNA CHU, CONTRACT PARALEGAL – KAUA'I OFFICE
EMIKO MEYERS, KAUA'I MANAGING ATTORNEY
Emiko Meyers graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2003. In October 2003 she moved to Kauai to be the GA-SSI Paralegal for the Kauai office. In 2004 she took on the position of Americorps Attorney which she did for 2 years. In 2006 she took over the Kauai office as the Managing Attorney. She is licensed to practice in Washington and Hawaii. Emiko is involved in the local community and is currently the YWCA Board of Directors Vice-President. She is also the Chairperson for the Kauai Community Alliance which is the local Continuum of Care organization for Kauai. She paddles outrigger canoes for Niumalu Canoe Club during her free time and is happily married, a mother of one daughter and two dogs.
GARY MURAI, MAUI OFFICE - STAFF ATTORNEY
Mr. Murai has been licensed in all courts of the State of Hawaii and the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals since 1988. His practice is concentrated in family law, consumer law and administrative law. Mr. Murai joined the Maui Office of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii in 2008, after leaving private practice in Hilo, Hawaii.
Tel: 808-244-3731 ext 225
JANET KELLY, MANAGING
ATTORNEY - HOMELESS PROGRAM
Janet manages a federal grant to provide holistic legal service to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. She advises her clients on their legal rights and responsibilities; conducts outreach to beaches, shelters and community health centers; works to build partnerships with other homeless service providers; and writes renewal grants and annual progress reports. She is also a supervising staff attorney and practices in the area of government benefits, family, housing and consumer law.
JEANILOU TORRADO, PRO BONO COORDINATOR
JOANNA SOKOLOW, MANAGING
ATTORNEY - KONA OFFICE
LARRY WEGGER, ADVOCATE GA TO SSI PROGRAM
Larry was the initial advocate in the GA to SSI Program when it started in 1996. He handles a caseload of around 100 cases advocating for welfare recipients in their quest to obtain SSI/SSDI disability benefits. He handles all levels of cases from initial to Appeals Council appeals. He has done outreach on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and conducts training segments to Department of Human Services case handlers twice a year. Prior to joining LASH, he worked for Social Security as a claims examiner for nearly 14 years handling initial, reconsideration and CDR claims. Originally from Wisconsin, he and his wife, Dawn, relocated to the islands in July of 1995. Larry is also a member of the Screens Actors Guild and has appeared in motion pictures, t.v. commercials and network t.v. including “Lost”.
LEBA KAUFMANN, FAIR HOUSING STAFF ATTORNEY
Leba Kaufmann graduated from Northwestern University and earned her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After law school, she was awarded a Skadden Fellowship and represented individuals with disabilities at The Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. in Delaware. She joined the Fair Housing Enforcement Program at The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii in 2010.
M. NALANI FUJIMORI KAINA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Nalani joined Legal Aid in 1999 as a staff attorney on the island of Moloka`i, she managed Legal Aid’s Maui County Offices from 2001 – 2004 and was appointed Deputy Director in 2004. Nalani primarily practices in the areas of family law, child protection issues, elder law, public benefits, housing and consumer law. Nalani received her law degree from New York University School of Law and graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, with a degree in Sociology. She is also graduate of the Kamehameha Schools. Prior to joining Legal Aid, Nalani did death penalty appellate work through New York University’s Death Penalty Fellowship Program, assisted in the filing of a class action law suit for the sexual harassment of women inmates, clerked for a firm specializing in non-profit housing development and clerked with the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation.
MADELEINE M.V. YOUNG, CONSUMER STAFF ATTORNEY
Madeleine earned her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1998, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law, Letters, & Society from the University of Chicago in 1995. She was born and raised in Hawai`i, and graduated from Iolani School. Prior to joining Legal Aid’s Consumer Unit in March, 2010, Madeleine worked at various private law firms in California and Hawai`i. Thanks to a gift from the Community Stabilization Initiative Fund of the Hawai`i Community Foundation, Madeleine runs the Bankruptcy Pro Se Clinic program at Legal Aid’s Honolulu office, and also advises clients on debt collection defense and other consumer issues. Madeleine is licensed to practice law in Hawaii and California.
MAIDEN E. TEMPLE, KONA OFFICE
NICOLE FORELLI, MAUI COUNTY OFFICES
MANAGING ATTORNEY (LANA'I, MAUI & MOLOKA'I)
Nicole Forelli assumed the role of Managing Attorney for Maui County (Maui, Moloka’I and Lana’i) in the summer of 2004. Besides managing the day-to-day operations of the three island’s offices, Nicole also uses her extensive experience in family law to assist in child welfare matters, and other cases. Previously, Nicole was the Managing Attorney for the Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) formerly the Domestic Violence Clearning House and Legal Hotline, Maui Office. In addition to her experience in family law with DVAC, she prosecuted domestic violence cases with the Maui Prosecutor’s Office. Before moving to Maui, Nicole was an Assistant Attorney General on the island of Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for eight years, where she prosecuted all types of misdemeanor and felony cases. She also served as a staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in its criminal motions division and was an associate at a prominent San Francisco law firm in its environmental law group. When Nicole isn’t creating greater access to justice for Maui’s community members, she is a wife, a mother and a tri-athlete. After extensive travels (include trips to Europe, Haiti, Bali, Thailand, Australia, China and more), the Midwest transplant has firmly rooted herself in Maui, along with her husband and two children. “Maui,” says Nicole, “provides [her and her family] the perfect compromise of lifestyles- not too far from family on the mainland; not as intense as the mainland; and a great place to raise kids and practice law.” She adds about her work at Legal Aid, “I look forward to furthering the reputation of Legal Aid in the Maui community and to creating more awareness of the services that Legal Aid provides.”
ROB PALIN, MANAGING ATTORNEY - INTAKE
HOTLINE & HONOLULU LIMITED SERVICES UNITS
Rob manages a staff of 22 intake attorneys and paralegals that screen applicants and provide counsel and advice on the state-wide toll-free Hotline. He also manages the limited legal services done by 6 AmeriCorps paralegals in the Center for Equal Justice in the Honolulu office. These limited services consist of teaching the client how to fill out and file their own legal papers, interpretation of legal documents, writing a letter or making a phone for the client or any other services that would help a client negotiate the legal system without full representation.
RUSS AWAKUNI, MANAGING ATTORNEY- LEEWARD OAHU OFFICE
Russ joined the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii in June 2008 as a staff attorney in the Housing Unit. He now manages Legal Aid’s Leeward branch office. Russ received his law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California; and graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, with a degree in Finance. Prior to joining Legal Aid, Russ clerked for both the Hon. Simeon R. Acoba and the Hon. Michael A. Town, prosecuted criminals as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu, and practiced privately with Honolulu law firms and independently. He is a past President of the Young Lawyers Division of the Hawaii State Bar Association and a past Vice-Chair for the Nuuanu/Punchbowl Neighborhood Board. He was also the Senior Advisor to former City Councilman Jon Yoshimura and the Staff Attorney for State Senator Jill Tokuda.
RUTH "JONESY" JONES,
FAIR HOUSING ENFORCEMENT COORDINATOR
Originally from Philadelphia, Jonesy found herself in Hawaii due to the navy. She is a graduate of Kaplan University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. She is currently in graduate school pursuing a Masters degree in the same area. She is also a VGAL volunteer Guardian Ad Liten with Hawaii's Family Court.
RYKER C, CONSUMER LAW UNIT HEAD &
STAFF ATTORNEY- FAIR HOUSING
Ryker evaluates cases and counsels individuals regarding predatory lending, housing discrimination and potential foreclosures. When necessary, he drafts testimony regarding predatory lending for the Hawaii State Legislature. Ryker provides counseling and advice to home-seekers and housing providers regarding their rights and responsibilities under Fair Housing laws. He supervises attorneys and paralegals in Consumer Unit and represents clients in the areas of chapter 7 bankruptcy, debt collection defense, credit reporting violations, auto sales and other consumer issues. He also conducts education and outreach related to predatory lending, Section 8 Homeownership Voucher Program and the Fair Housing Enforcement Program.
HOUSING UNIT HEAD
Sheila Lippolt was raised in Hawaii and graduated from Radford High School. She received a Bachelor of Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa and graduated from Richardson School of Law. She was admitted to the Hawaii Bar in 1988. She is a former public defender. She has previously been a docent at the Honolulu Academy of Arts and continues to be a volunteer mediator with the Mediation Center of the Pacific. She has one daughter, and three grandchildren. Her hobbies are Feldenkrais, traveling and art.
STACIA SILVA, MANAGING ATTORNEY (WINDWARD OAHU)
Stacia has been with the Legal Aid Society
of Hawai`i since 1997. Starting out as a staff attorney specializing
in Social Security advocacy, she managed Legal Aid’s popular Social
Security Advocacy Project for eight years before moving to the Windward
branch office as its new managing attorney in late 2006.
STEPHEN DUCK, SUPERVISING ATTORNEY – FAMILY LAW UNIT
Stephen supervises our family law unit. He is responsible for assisting low-income clients with a wide range of family legal issues, including divorce, child custody, child support, paternity, adoption, guardianship, and restraining orders. He provides services that range from counsel and advice through full representation at trial. Stephen also provides outreach services to potential clients in the local courts and community and gives family law training to Legal Aid staff.
TARA E. SHIBUYA, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
WAYNE KEAWE, COMPTROLLER
Originally from Honolulu, Wayne grew up in Venice, California where he graduated from Venice High School and went on to study engineering at the University of Southern California (USC). Wayne later transferred to the University of Hawai`i accounting department where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, Accounting. Formerly employed at Consumer Tire and Controller for Big Way Department Stores, Wayne joined the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i in 1992.