Moses Kalei Nahonoapi`ilani Haia III is the executive director of NHLC. Before his appointment, Moses was a staff attorney at NHLC, obtaining landmark victories in native rights cases seeking to protect ancient Hawaiian burials and Native Hawaiian water rights.
Before joining NHLC in 2001, Moses was a solo practitioner. His practice involved labor and employment law, civil litigation and native Hawaiian rights. Moses also previously served as a staff attorney with a native rights law firm, the Native Hawaiian Advisory Council, where he litigated a seminal water rights case involving the distribution of water from one part of O’ahu to another through the Waiahole Ditch.
- Hawaii State Bar Association
- Native Hawaiian Bar Association
- Staff Attorney, Native Hawaiian Advisory Council (1995 to 1997)
Recognized by major Honolulu daily newspaper as one of “10 Who Made A Difference” in 2007
- Editor and Contributor,E alu like mai i ka pono = Coming together for justice. This handbook describes the legislative process, administrative agencies that deal with Hawaiian affairs, and how Hawaiians can participate in governmental decision-making.
- Eric Yamamoto, Moses Haia & Donna Kalama,Courts and the Cultural Performance : Native Hawaiians’ Uncertain Federal and State Law Rights To Sue, 16 Hawaii L. Rev. 1 (Summer 1994)
- William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D. 1994)
- University of Hawaii (B.A., Political Science, 1989)
Alan Murakami began his service here as a staff attorney in 1985. He became litigation director in 1990 and in 2014, became NHLC's Community Engagement Officer. As a staff attorney, Alan has specialized in litigating novel land and water issues affecting Native Hawaiians. In the process, Alan has created important precedent that allows Native Hawaiians to enforce their rights under two trusts established for their benefit and defined the trust obligations owed to Native Hawaiians. While defending Hawaiian families who retain legal interests in family lands against litigation challenging their ownership rights, Alan effectively persuaded the Supreme Court to articulate their due process rights.
Alan has a long and distinguished legal career serving Native Hawaiian communities. Before joining NHLC, he was the managing director of the Moloka`i and Wai`anae offices of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i from 1981 to 1983, serving disadvantaged Native Hawaiian communities.
Hustace v. Kapuni
Represented Native Hawaiian family in precedential case, articulating the due process requirements that must be met in quiet title lawsuits aimed at securing ownership of Native Hawaiian-owned land through adverse possession.
Napeahi v. Paty
Argued successfully for precedent that submerged lands are part of the public ceded lands trust and thereby subject to the land claims of Native Hawaiians.
Successfully represented a Hawaiian family in its petition before the Land Use Commission against plans by the Kahala Capital Corp. to construct a resort and golf course complex in areas that have been used by the family for nine generations. The LUC rejected the developer’s proposal and Kahala Capital appealed the decision to the circuit court. The court affirmed the LUC’s decision and the developer has not appealed.
Fishermen in Miloli‘i
Alan represented fishermen in Miloli‘i, the last traditional fishing village in the state. Their fishing grounds were threatened by a massive development in Ka‘u, initially approved by the State Land Use Commission. Alan successfully appealed that decision, which was reversed for failure to adequately consider and account for the impacts of the planned marina on these fishing grounds.
- Contributor, Native Hawaiian Rights Handbook
Awards and Recognition
- Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, “I Ulu I Ke Kumu” Award (2011)
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (“NAPBA”) Trailblazer Award (2007)
- In 1999, the state wide organization of the Hawaiian Civic Clubs honored Mr. Murakami for his legal advocacy to Native Hawaiians, especially beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust.
- Hawai`i Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights
- Japanese American Citizens League
- National board member for the Rural Community Assistance Corporation and the Community Based Economic Development
- University of California at Davis (J.D. 1978)
- University of Hawaii (M.A., Economics, 1975)
- University of Santa Clara (B.A., Economics, 1971)
Camille Kalama serves as NHLC's intake attorney, handling all inquiries for legal services. She joined NHLC as a staff attorney in 2006 after clerking for one year at the Hawaii Supreme Court. Camille views her work with NHLC—to protect and preserve native rights and resources—as her kuleana or responsibility as a Native Hawaiian. At NHLC, Camille focuses on Native Rights and Hawaiian Homes.
Prior to joining NHLC, Camille was involved in the Polynesian Voyaging Society and was named NCAA Woman Athlete of the Year for the state of Hawaii in 2001.
Defeated a motion for preliminary injunctive relief brought by Kim Taylor Reece, a professional photographer well-known for his depiction of hula dancers, against a Native Hawaiian artist.
Successfully challenged summary possession action against Native Hawaiian family in quiet title action.
Assisted a lessee with rebuilding his lot and maintaining his Hawaiian Home Lands lease.
- Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon, Supreme Court of Hawaii (2005-2006)
The Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) selected Camille to serve as one of 15 fellows in its 2010 Leadership Institute. The Hawaii State Bar Association Leadership Institute encourages diversity among the leaders of the bar by recruiting and targeting members with a keen interest in expanding their talents and services to the bar and community at large.
- William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D. 2005)
- University of Hawaii (B.A., Geography, 2000)
David Kauila Kopper is a staff attorney at NHLC. He concentrates his practice on land title disputes with an emphasis on quiet title and partition actions, native tenant rights, burial site protection, government lease program disputes, summary possession actions and contract disputes.
Obtained humanitarian parole for a minor Tongan national so that he could be reunited with his hanai mother living in Hawai'i.
Successfully litigated a lawsuit against the Department of Land and Natural Resources to enforce two widows' rights to succeed to their deceased husbands' long term leases for property in Kahana Valley State Park.
Successfully negotiated resolutions of Department of Hawaiian Home Lands lease disputes.
- Fourth Place Overall, National Native American Law Student Association Moot Court Competition, Vermillion, South Dakota, February 2010
- CALI AWARD for Highest Grade, Jurisprudence, William S. Richardson School of Law, Fall, 2009
- CALI AWARD for Highest Grade, Real Property, William S. Richardson School of Law, Spring, 2008
- CALI AWARD for Highest Grade, Legal Practice II, William S. Richardson School of Law, Spring 2008
- Executive Editor for Publications, University of Hawai`i Law Review, 2008-2009
- Native American Moot Court Team, William S. Richardson School of Law, 2008-2009
- William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2010)
- Herberger College of Fine Arts, Arizona State University (B.M., Music Performance, magna cum laude, 2006)
Li‘ulā Nakama joined NHLC in 2011 and currently serves as a staff attorney. She previously served as NHLC's Director of Development and Marketing, and as an intake attorney, handling legal inquiries at NHLC. Throughout law school and during her Post-JD Research Fellowship at Ka Huli Ao, Li‘ulā researched the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the empowerment of Hawaiian Home Lands community associations, and the future of these lands in a post-Akaka Bill society. She graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law with a Pacific Asian Legal Studies Certificate with a Specialty in Native Hawaiian Law. She previously worked for NHLC as a summer law clerk in 2007.
- Hawai‘i State Bar Association
- Native Hawaiian Bar Association
- Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society
- CALI Award for Highest Grade, Environmental Law, William S. Richardson School of Law, Fall 2007
- CALI Award for Highest Grade, Legal Practice, William S. Richardson School of Law, Fall 2006
- Renewable Energy Project Assistant, Hawai‘i State Energy Office (2010-2011)
- Post-J.D. Research Fellow, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law (2009-2010)
- William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2009)
- University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (B.A., Ethnic Studies, 2005)
Summer Sylva joined Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation as a staff attorney earlier this year. She previously worked for NHLC as a summer law clerk in 2005; an experience that motivated her efforts to organize Cornell University’s first native water law and public policy symposium, co-sponsored by the Transboundary Indigenous Waters Program, the New York State Water Resources Institute, Cornell’s American Indian Program, and Cornell Law School's Journal of Law and Public Policy. Her published note chronicling Na Moku Aupuni O Ko‘olau Hui’s legal struggle to access traditional sources of water to sustain taro cultivation and to perpetuate their traditional way of life was inspired by NHLC’s commitment to this important work. Before returning to NHLC in 2014, Summer practiced commercial and bankruptcy litigation for four years at an international law firm in New York City, and worked for two years at a private Honolulu firm where she litigated construction, real estate, insurance, and probate matters.
Summer received her law degree from Cornell Law School with a Public Law Certificate. Prior to law school, she was a research administrator for the Hawai‘i Cancer Research Center and served on the Board of Directors for the Waimānalo Health Center.
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