The American Bar Association, at its annual meeting in Toronto, voted to approve an amendment to their constitution to provide a seat in the House of Delegates to American Samoa. This is the first time that American Samoa will be represented in the ABA House of Delegates.
The amendment also provided seats to the Northern Marianas and Guam, who had previously shared a rotating seat. It was thanks to the hard work of our sister territories, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, that this was made possible, and the American Samoa Bar Association cannot thank them enough. This will be the beginning of a long tradition of the islands working together towards our common goals.
Mr. Charles Alailima has been selected by the ASBA as the first American Samoa ABA delegate.
Sadly, ASBA Secretary Kelly Smith has left the island to pursue a new career. At last night’s meeting, Blake Hanley was chosen to be the new ASBA secretary. Blake will be an excellent addition to the executive committee, and the ASBA is proud to have him on board.
Departing Assistant Attorney General, and ASBA member, Nick Deganhart spoke with KHJ Radio about practicing criminal law in American Samoa. Deganhart suggested that the criminal justice system should seek alternatives to jail in sentencing.
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High Court will resume in the High Court building beginning June 20, 2011. Since the tsunami in 2009, court has been held in the GHC Reid Building. All renovations will be completed by next Monday, and all scheduled hearings will be moved. Attorneys are encouraged to call the High Court to determine whether their hearings will be affected.
Update: Samoa News Story