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)