Friday, June 06, 2008


Hawaii State Bar Association considering Superferry boondoggles

by Larry Geller

Superferry If your attorney screws up your divorce, you might be able to ask if they studied law on the Superferry. Because that plan is in the works. Can you imagine?

You must remember how the Legislature met in a special session to overrule Hawaii's Supreme Court. A judge decided that that laws were broken to allow the ferry to start business in Hawaii.

Lawyers should understand what was going on better than most people. So I was amazed to hear that the Hawaii State Bar Association is considering holding its continuing legal education (CLE) classes aboard the Superferry!

Book early to reserve your seat!

The ferry is not exactly a classroom, it's a passenger ship with great views of Oahu and Maui. So  HSBA is really considering an ongoing boondoggle.

Oh, let's not forget the golf on the other end. Yup, "study" on the Superferry and then golf on Maui. Tough life. This is why Mainland folks laugh at us, isn't it? "You studied law on a ferryboat to Maui?? Did you get your law degree at a surfing school?"

Superferry Views I can't imagine that it would be easy to pay attention to law books on a good day. With spectacular views and the clean ocean air, who wouldn't be distracted?

Of course, on a bad day, when the boat is bouncing around and passengers are getting sick, few students are likely to learn very much either.

There's no predicting the surf in advance. Even in the relative calmness of summer, the Superferry is still subject to the effects of wind and weather. I saw the news that high surf is expected tomorrow and wondered what effect that would have on the passengers (need to check the Barf-o-Meter).

The ferry is claiming higher ridership, so I feel some sympathy for anyone stuck on a long barf line waiting to get into a bathroom. One of them could be your attorney.

If HSBA wants to do a proper, honest, boondoggle, cruise ships are more stable. Or they could send everyone to Vegas to study.

How about this: just hold classes in a classroom, with no distracting ocean views. I rest my case.


The HSBA is a farce. It is a "club" that you must belong to if you are a lawyer. The Supreme Court makes membership mandatory. Its membership would drop if it had to compete for membership. It can only be characterized as an "unfree" association. I'm wondering if a public records request would show lobbying from the not-so-superferry company to the "leadership" of the HSBA. Someone at the HSBA is getting something [it doesn't have to be value to be corrupt, it could be future favors or paying off old obligations] out of this. It's hard enough to pay attention in a class on solid terra firma!!! Ethical nausea doesn't quite describe one's reaction.

Formby and Bennett can teach the classes- they're used to people barfing at their lawyerly prevarications already

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