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CORPORATION COUNSEL - ATTORNEYS/PRACTICE GROUPS

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Litigation Division

The Office of the Corporation Counsel provides legal representation on behalf of the County of Hawai‘i, its officers, representatives and employees in resolving disputes such as lawsuits, arbitration, mediation and claims, filed against the County of Hawai‘i and its officers, representatives and employees.

William Brilhante | Laureen Martin | Jennifer D.K. Ng | Diane Noda | Melody Parker | Noralynne Pinao | Christopher Schlueter

Counseling and Drafting Division

The Counseling and Drafting Division of the Office of the Corporation Counsel advises all departments, boards, agencies, and commissions on legal matters, which impact that particular County entity. The Division drafts appropriate legislation for consideration by the County Council or the State Legislature. The Division also provides legal representation on behalf of the County of Hawai‘i in administrative proceedings, including contested case hearings and agency appeals.

William Brilhante | Katherine Garson | Belinda Castillo Hall | Joseph Kamelamela | Craig Masuda | Danny B. Patel | Renee Schoen | Amy G. Self | Molly A. Stebbins | J Yoshimoto 

ATTORNEYS


Molly A. Stebbins - Administration/Counseling & Drafting

MOLLY A. STEBBINS was appointed Corporation Counsel for the County of Hawai‘i in June 2014. Ms. Stebbins joined the office in 2007 and served as the deputy corporation counsel assigned to the police, fire and human resources departments during that period. Ms. Stebbins received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Social Thought and Political Economy. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa where she was a member of the Jessup International Law Moot Court team and a recipient of the John S. Edmunds Award for Civility and Vigorous Advocacy. Prior to joining the Office of the Corporation Counsel she clerked for former circuit court judge, now Hawai‘i Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael D. Wilson. She is licensed to practice law in the State of Hawai‘i and is also admitted to appear before the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ms. Stebbins is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and the Hawai‘i County Bar Association. She previously served two terms as the East Hawai‘i Director for the Young Lawyers Division of the HSBA.


 

William V. Brilhante, Jr - Litigation/Counseling & Drafting

WILLIAM V. BRILHANTE, JR is a member of the Litigation Division and the Counseling and Drafting Division.

Mr. Brilhante earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Hawai‘i and his Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law, wherein he was awarded a certificate in the Land Use Regulation, Zoning and Environmental Law Program. He is licensed to practice law in Hawai‘i and California. Mr. Brilhante is admitted to appear before the United States District Courts for the District of Hawai‘i and Central District of California. Prior to attending law school, he provided over ten years of service as a member of the Hawai‘i Fire Department.

Prior to joining the Office of the Corporation Counsel, Mr. Brilhante previously served as deputy attorney general for the State of Hawai‘i, associate attorney with the firm of Crudele & DeLima, and assistant regional counsel for the Social Security Administration in San Francisco, California.

Mr. Brilhante’s current professional affiliations include membership in the Hawai‘i State Bar Association, Hawai‘i County Bar Association, and Hawai‘i Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce. During his personal time, Mr. Brilhante enjoys volunteering with the American Youth Soccer Association, Pio`Pio Bears Athletic Association and St. Joseph School Advisory Board of Directors.


Katherine A. Garson - Counseling & Drafting

KATHERINE A. GARSON is a member of the Counseling & Drafting Division.

She graduated from Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy and received her Advanced Bachelors degree at Occidental College. Ms. Garson obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Hawai‘i and California and is also admitted to appear before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.

Ms. Garson is a former associate with the Law Office of Valta A. Cook and also worked for the Law Office of David R. Sylva in Campbell, California.

Katherine Garson is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and the Hawai‘i County Bar Association and serves on the board of the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of East Hawai‘i.


Belinda Castillo Hall - Counseling & Drafting

BELINDA CASTILLO HALLis a member of the Counseling & Drafting Division.

Ms. Hall is a graduate of St. Joseph Schools in Hilo and received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s College of Business Administration (now known as the Shidler College of Business). She received her Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, where she was a member of the Moot Court Board and two time Western Regional Champion in the American Bar Association’s Client Counseling Competition.

Prior to joining the Corporation Counsel team, she served as a State of Hawai‘i Deputy Public Defender in Hilo and Honolulu, a County of Hawai‘i Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, and a civil litigation Associate with the law firm of Miller, Sur and Tokuyama, LLP. She is a Barrister for the American Inns of Court – Aloha Inn; has served as a Director in the Young Lawyers Division of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association for Honolulu and East Hawai‘i; and volunteered for the American Bar Association Programs including Ready for the World Program (for high school seniors), Junior Judges Program (for elementary students) and Mock Trial Competition as a judge.


Joseph K. Kamelamela - Counseling & Drafting

JOSEPH K. KAMELAMELA is a member of the Counseling & Drafting Division.

Mr. Kamelamela is a graduate of Aiea High School on Oahu. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and his Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He is licensed to practice law in Hawai‘i and also is admitted to appear before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.

Prior to his tenure at the Office of the Corporation Counsel, he served as a deputy prosecuting attorney for the County of Hawai‘i for six years and as a law clerk/bailiff for Judge Shunichi Kimura of the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit.

Mr. Kamelamela is a member of the American Bar Association, the Hawai‘i State Bar Association, and Hawai‘i County Bar Association and served as its treasurer in the past. His current community activities include being a member of the Board of Directors for Hospice of Hilo and an arbitrator for the Court Annexed Arbitration Program for the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit.


Laureen L. Martin - Administration/Litigation

LAUREEN L. MARTIN is the Assistant Corporation Counsel/Section Chief for the Litigation Division.

Ms. Martin received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Boston in Business Administration with a minor in Economics. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University where she graduated cum laude and was the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Awards in Products Liability, Criminal Law and Real Estate Transactions.

Prior to working for the County of Hawai‘i, Ms. Martin worked for the Department of the Corporation Counsel for the County of Maui where she was assigned to litigation and handled a variety of cases, including motor vehicle accidents, roadway defects and cases alleging excessive force.  Prior to working for the government, Ms. Martin was in private practice specializing in personal injury matters.

Ms. Martin has been licensed to practice law in the State of Hawai‘i since 1993. She is also admitted to appear before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.

Ms. Martin is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and the Hawai‘i County Bar Association.


Craig T. Masuda - Counseling & Drafting

CRAIG T. MASUDA is a member of the Counseling & Drafting Division.

Craig Masuda is a counseling and drafting division member assigned to the Civil Defense, Information Technology and Finance Departments. He also handles bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax deeds and tax appeals, as well as the Pension Board.

Mr. Masuda received his Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He is licensed to practice law in Hawai‘i and admitted to appear before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.

He is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar and the Hawai‘i County Bar Associations.


Jennifer D.K. Ng - Litigation Division

JENNIFER D.K. NG is a member of the Litigation Division.

Ms. Ng graduated from Waiakea High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, where she was a member of the University of Hawai‘i Law Review. She is licensed to practice law in the State of Hawai‘i and is admitted to appear in the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.

Prior to joining the Office of the Corporation Counsel, Ms. Ng worked for the State of Hawai‘i Office of the Public Defender on Oahu and in Hilo, representing indigent persons charged with criminal offenses. Ms. Ng also served as an associate at the Honolulu law firm Kessner Duca Umebayashi Bain & Matsunaga, and as law clerk to the Honorable Riki May Amano (retired). She is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and the Hawai‘i County Bar Association


Diane A. Noda - Litigation

DIANE A. NODA is a member of the Litigation Division.

She is a graduate of Hilo High School. Ms. Noda received a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, a Master of Education degree from the University of Oregon, and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Washington. She is licensed to practice law in Hawai‘i and Washington, and is admitted to appear before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.

Prior to joining the Office of the Corporation Counsel team, her prior experiences include being a Hawai‘i County deputy prosecuting attorney and an elementary school teacher in Eugene, Oregon.

She has served as president and vice president of the Hawai‘i County Bar Association and the county representative to the Hawai‘i State Bar Association Government Lawyers Section.


Melody Parker - Litigation

MELODY PARKER is a member of the Litigation division.

Ms. Parker prior to joining the Corporation Counsel served as a senior litigator for the Office of the Public Defender. Ms. Parker received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, a Minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her Juris Doctor degree from The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She is licensed to practice law in the State of Hawai‘i and the Federal Courts for the District of Hawai‘i.   


Danny B. Patel - Counseling & Drafting

DANNY B. PATEL is a member of the Counseling and Drafting Division.

Mr. Patel received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, where he was a member of the University of Hawai‘i Law Review and the National Environmental Law Moot Court Team. Prior to joining the Office of the Corporation Counsel, he worked in private practice as an associate attorney, primarily handling trust, probate, and commercial litigation cases. Mr. Patel is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and is admitted to practice before all Hawai‘i courts and the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.    


Noralynne K. Pinao - Litigation

NORALYNNE K. PINAO is a member of the Litigation Division.

Ms. Pinao graduated from the Kamehameha Schools, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii  at  Manoa and her law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.  She is licensed to practice in Hawaii and admitted to appear before the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.

Prior to working for the County of Hawaii, she was a director and officer in private practice specializing in workers’ compensation defense for nearly 30 years.  Ms. Pinao also served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Hawaii in the Labor Section and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu.  She is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and the Hawai‘i County Bar Association.


Christopher P. Schlueter - Litigation

CHRISTOPHER P. SCHLUETER is a member of the Litigation Division

Mr. Schlueter graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Xavier University and his Juris Doctor degree from Gonzaga University.  Mr. Schlueter is licensed to practice law in Hawai`i, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and also admitted to appear before the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i.  Prior to joining the Office of the Corporation Counsel team, he was in private practice as an associate with the Law Offices of Steven D. Strauss.  Mr. Schlueter’s current professional affiliations include membership in the Hawai`i County Bar Association (President, 2013) and the Hawai`i State Bar Association. 


Renee N.C. Schoen - Counseling & Drafting

RENEE N.C. SCHOEN is a member of the Counseling and Drafting Division.

Schoen graduated from the Kamehameha Schools, received her Bachelors of Science degree from Santa Clara University, and her Juris Doctorate degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Hawaii and admitted to appear before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.

Prior to her tenure at the Office of the Corporation Counsel, Ms. Schoen worked at the Hilo office of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i. Ms. Schoen also served as a Deputy Attorney General, a Deputy Public Defender, and as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Daniel Heely of the First Circuit Court. Ms. Schoen is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and the Hawai‘i County Bar Association.


Amy G. Self - Counseling & Drafting

AMY G. SELF is the Section Chief for the Counseling and Drafting Division and is presently assigned to the Department of Environmental Management and the Office of Housing and Community Development.

Ms. Self received a Bachelor of Science degree from Appalachian State University, a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and a Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Ms. Self is licensed to practice in Hawai‘i and admitted to appear before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i.

Prior to joining the Office of the Corporation Counsel team, Ms Self was in private practice with the law firm of Carlsmith Ball LLP in the Honolulu office and later in the Hilo office where she practiced primarily in the areas of labor/employment and land use. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Self worked as a paralegal at the firm of Carlsmith Ball LLP in Honolulu, at the Maui County Office of the Corporation Counsel and at the Legal Aid Office on Maui.

Ms. Self is a member of the Hawai`i State Bar Association and the Hawai`i County Bar Association and is currently serving as the treasurer for the Hilo Bayfront Trails Inc., a Hawai`i nonprofit corporation created to build a multi-use trail through Downtown Hilo through private donations and grants.


J Yoshimoto - Counseling & Drafting

J YOSHIMOTO is a member of the Counseling and Drafting Division.

Mr. Yoshimoto graduated from Hilo High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law and has been licensed to practice law in Hawai‘i since 1992.

Prior to joining the Office of the Corporation Counsel, Mr. Yoshimoto worked for the State of Hawai‘i as a Deputy Attorney General in Hilo. He serves as an Arbitrator for the Court Annexed Arbitration Program and is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and Hawai‘i County Bar Association.