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Announcements

Announcements

2012 Scholarship Now Open for Applications


If you graduated from an American Samoa high school or have personal ties with American Samoa and you are currently enrolled as a post-graduate law student in good standing, then you are eligible to apply for an American Samoa Bar Association Legal Education Scholarship grant for the 2012 - 2013 academic year.  The ASBA will award a minimum of $1,000 in scholarship grants this year.

Deadline: Please note that your completed application must be post-marked or received via email no later than June 30, 2012 in order to be considered.

Please read the scholarship announcement for how to apply:

2012 Scholarship Announcement

Bar Elects New Officers


At the 2012 Annual Meeting held on April 28, the Bar Association elected new officers.

Read more: Bar Elects New Officers

2012 Arthur A. Morrow Justice Award to be Presented to Ipu Lefiti


The American Samoa Bar Association is honored to announce that it will be presenting the first ever Arthur A. Morrow Justice Award to Ipu Lefiti during the 40th Anniversary Law Conference at the American Samoa Community College Lecture Hall on April 28, 2012. Ms. Lefiti has shown true commitment to providing justice to the people of American Samoa. For years, she has been a stalwart advocate to victims of domestic and sexual violence by breaking the barriers of silence and shame through speaking out and reporting.

 

Ms. Lefiti has been instrumental in organizing family violence diversity training, cultural sensitivity awareness programs, and communications seminars. She champions the victims of child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault through editorial writings, public speaking and through Court Watch. She has been a strong activist of promoting awareness through church and community partnerships.

 

Ms. Lefiti is a strong community leader and has been very active in a number of organizations that seek to promote justice and the people in American Samoa:

 

  • Vice-Chair for the Multi-Disciplinary Task Force against family violence;
  • One of the founders of the American Samoa Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, serving as Vice Chair from 2004-2007 and as Executive Director from 2009-2010;
  • Co-founder of American Samoa’s Task Force on Faces of Abuse;
  • Secretary for the Women in New Dimension, a domestic violence transitional facility;
  • Secretary on the governing board of the Boys and Girls Club of American Samoa; and
  • Member of the First Lady’s Ta’ita’itama Executive Board on prevention of underage drinking initiative.

 

Ms. Lefiti is a graduate of Samoana High School, and served in the U.S. military until 1994. She is now retired from her job as a surgical technician at the LBJ ER, but she continues to work there part time to assist LBJ with their staff shortage. Ms. Lefiti is the third child of Vailu’u Failautusi Avegalio (Leone) and Ema Toomalatai Lauolefiso (Mataututai Apia).  She is married to Taupau Kaluse Lefiti (Tau, Manua) and has two sons, Vainu’upo Pelekina and Lui Edward, both following in her footsteps by serving in the United States Army.

 

The Arthur A. Morrow Justice Award is presented to an individual or organization that has, through their actions, made significant improvements to the justice system and the rule of law in American Samoa. This may be demonstrated through improving access to the judicial system, showing superior professional competence, demonstrating outstanding integrity, professionalism, and civility, expanding pro bono services to the territory, upholding the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession, or otherwise empowering the legal profession in the territory.

 

Arthur A. Morrow was American Samoa’s longest serving Chief Justice, sitting on the bench from 1937-1966. His term created much of the jurisprudence that is the foundation for American Samoa’s legal system. Chief Justice Morrow’s commitment to the territory and its justice system serve as the basis for the Justice Award.

 

The 40th Anniversary Law Conference will celebrate 40 years of promoting justice in American Samoa. The conference will include a presentation on the history of the Bar Association, the awarding of the first annual Arthur A. Morrow Justice Award, a panel discussion on citizenship and what it means for American Samoa, and a presentation on the High Court’s revised case management system.

 

This event is free and open to the public. This is a great opportunity to learn about key legal issues and gain valuable insights into the administration of justice in the Territory.

New Unpublished Cases Released


The Courts have released three new unpublished decisions, and two are from the District Court. These and other unpublished decisions can be found at the Unpublished Cases page from the Legal Resources section.

 

Metro Samoa v. Bianco Textiles, HCAP 10-09 (App. Div. 2012)

 

American Samoa Gov't v. McDonald, UTC 298980 (Dist. Ct. 2012)

 

American Samoa Gov't v. Miscoi, UTC 286246 (Dist. Ct. 2012)

New ASR Available


The High Court has released the eighth volume of the third series of American Samoa Reports, publishing the court decisions from January 1, 2004 to June 30, 2004. The release of 8 ASR3d has been highly anticipated by the Bar, and the Bar is very excited to have new case law to rely upon. The Court has also issued an electronic version of the sixth volume.

Both volumes will are available in pdf format for the public and the Bar. The cases are not yet searchable in legal resources section, but will be posted shortly. The pdfs of the books can be downloaded below:

 

6 ASR3d (2002)

 

8 ASR3d (2004)

Justice Award Nominations Open to the Public


For 40 years the American Samoa Bar Association has been promoting justice in American Samoa. Success has only been accomplished with champions of justice throughout the territory. To promote these champions, the ASBA is pleased to announce the first annual Arthur A. Morrow Justice Award.

The Arthur A. Morrow Justice Award is presented to an individual or organization that has, through their actions, made significant improvements to justice and the rule of law in American Samoa. This may be demonstrated through improving access to the judicial system, showing superior professional competence, professionalism, and civility, bringing justice to those who need it, upholding the highest principles and traditions of integrity, or otherwise empowering the rule of law in the territory.

Arthur A. Morrow was American Samoa’s longest serving Chief Justice, sitting on the bench from 1937-1966. His term created much of the jurisprudence that is the foundation for American Samoa’s legal system. Chief Justice Morrow’s commitment to the territory and its justice system serve as the basis for the Justice Award.

Please help the Bar by nominating a champion of justice. Nominations are open to the public.

To submit nominations, please follow the criteria below:
1. Nominations must be in writing.
2. Nominations must include:
i. Name, village, email address, and phone number of the nominator;
ii. Name, village, email address, and phone number of the nominee; and
iii. Maximum one page description of the nominee and why they should receive the award.
3. ASBA officers and staff are not eligible for the award.
4. The ASBA decision is final, and no correspondence concerning their decision will be available.
5. Nominations must be received by March 19, 2012.

Please submit nominations to asbar@asbar.org or mail to the ASBA at P.O. Box 23.

Traffic Stop CLE Materials Available On New CLE Page


The ASBA has opened a new page on its website. The CLE page will show materials and updates regarding CLE events. The premiere event is the traffic stop lecture by Judge Ward held in November 2011. The event was the first of the Brown Bag Lunch Series with Judge Ward. The link to the CLE site is below.

Call For Nominations For The Bar Justice Award


The ASBA is seeking nominations for the first annual Arthur A. Morrow Justice Award. The ASBA will only accept nominations from bar members, but the nominees may be from outside the bar. Please submit nominees to Daniel Woods at the Attorney General’s Office. The deadline for submissions if February 15, 2012. For more information, please read the full announcement.

Nominations for Justice Award (pdf)

Lunch With Judge Ward


Bar members are invited to a brown bag lunch with Judge John L. Ward in the District Court building on November 3 at 12:00 pm. Judge Ward will give a 30 minute presentation on a variety of legal issues. Please plan on bringing lunch for this event.

Scholarship Deadline Nearing


Please be reminded that the deadline for submitting the materials for the Bar Scholarship is August 1. Please ensure that all required materials are sent to Jennifer Joneson before that date. Members, please remind anyone you know that is planning on applying to meet the deadline.

For more information, please read the official announcement.

Appellate Decisions


The Appellate Court released two decisions. Pdf copies are available. A page has been added to the Legal Resources section for Unpublished Decisions. This will be an area for posting unpublished decisions between publication of the ASRs. The page can be visited here (only these two cases up so far).

O.O. Enterprises, Inc. v. Ajit Impex, HCAP 01-09 (App. Div. 2011)

American Samoa Gov’t v. Tuavale, HCAP 07-09 (App. Div. 2011)

Scholarship Applications Being Accepted


The ASBA is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the 2011 annual legal scholarship. If you graduated from an American Samoa high school or have personal ties with American Samoa and you are currently enrolled as a post-graduate law student in good standing, then you are eligible to apply for an American Samoa Bar Association Legal Education Scholarship grant for the 2011-2012 academic year.

The deadline for scholarship applications is August 1, 2011.

For more information on applying, please download our official announcement.

Annual Meeting – April 28th


The American Samoa Bar Association will be holding its annual meeting at 5:30 pm on April 28, 2011 at Hong Kong House in Nu’uuli. The meeting will include votes on amendments to the bar constitution and by-laws, resolutions, and new officers for 2011-2012. All bar members are strongly encouraged to come and have a voice in the new elections.

Amendments To The Constitution And By-Laws


At the annual meeting on April 28th, the Constitution and By-Laws Committee will present four amendments for the ASBA’s consideration. Please read over the proposals and have comments and amendments ready during the meeting.

(1)  An amendment to the By-Laws changing the number needed for quorum from 10 members, to 20% of the on-island members. Read it here.

(2) An amendment to the Constitution adding as an officer an American Bar Association Delegate. Read it here.

(3) An amendment to the By-Laws adding as an officer an American Bar Association Delegate. Read it here.

(4) An interpretation of the notice requirements found in the Constitution and By-Laws to include email and other electronic communication. Read it here.

ASBA On Facebook


The American Samoa Bar Association now has a page on Facebook. Have a look, and “like” us.

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