Presidents' Message

August 2020

P. Gregory Frey

Hawaii State Bar Association President


No matter the task at hand, the time comes when one "hits THE wall" (particularly in athletics). It creeps up on you, and when it does, it's obvious and daunting. All momentum and effort stalls and falls flat. Perhaps many of you, particularly in our pressure-filled profession, are there right now as we continue to cope with COVID-19. Truth be told, I certainly am, and don't mind sharing the personal and professional struggles I face.

It’s tough enough that we HSBA members have to deal with how to remain profitable and "open for business" at a time when most of our clients have lost their jobs or had their pay gutted. BUT, OH NO, add to this struggle the frightening layer of medical issues caused by COVID-19, and we now ALL understand just how impassible "that wall" is for so many of us.

FOR me, it started quite dramatically when one of my adult daughters, a "health care hero" living on the mainland, contracted COVID-19. Considered a "mild case" (i.e., NO hospitalization OR ventilator required), the battle she was forced to endure was so terrible that I wouldn't wish the same on my worst enemy. Then, a coworker's family member, also on the mainland, contracted this "take no prisoners" virus, and went from a vibrant person to losing his life to COVID-19 in a matter of days. There is nothing worse, at least in my book, than watching people you love and respect and honor and work alongside having to struggle so mightily. It stops you in your tracks. It messes with your mind, your energy, your effort. It screws-up your "Everything". FOR ME, I cope best by talking with folks. I reached-out to my HSBA Board & Staff, and their supportive words made it all so much easier to deal with. My office 'Ohana has rallied around our coworker, all wanting to help.

One of the most effective membership drive slogans I have ever heard is "REACH ONE, TOUCH ONE". Certainly, amid this Global Pandemic, we can't touch anyone. But, if you want to talk it out, as NIKE says, "JUST DO IT". HSBA members are here for each other as we all try our best to get through this, not knowing for sure what "this" is or how long "this" will last. Please reach out to help a fellow HSBA member. For those of you who need professional help, NO SHAME. Get it. There are plenty sources out there, to include many within our own profession, like the Attorneys and Judges Assistance Program and the Hawaii Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being to name but a few. YOUR HSBA Staff and Board and Committee Chairs and Committee members are all here for you as well. Simply "REACH ONE, TOUCH ONE, VIRTUALLY.

Until next time, STAY SAFE, stay focused, stay informed, stay productive AND stay as happy as you can.

- P. Gregory Frey, HSBA President