A Message To Maui Wildfire Survivors from Kristine Keala Meredith:
The beautiful view of the island of Lanai, newborn piglets piled on their mama, the sweet crispness of fresh picked corn, the smell of my aunty pickling mango in the kitchen and lots of chicken long rice to eat when attending birthday and graduation parties for “cousins” throughout west Maui. I cherish those memories from my summer after 5th grade living on Lahainaluna campus. My sister and I stayed with my aunty and uncle who was resident vice-principal that summer in the 70s. Students from the outer islands boarded at the school for the summer and helped operate the farm.
Later, as a summer law clerk in Wailuku, I learned to surf at the Lahaina harbor. Fifteen years later I took my daughters there to learn. With surfboards in tow, we navigated the rock wall and winced as we stepped on the gnarly kiawe thorns. A trip to Lahaina wasn’t complete without a meal at the Denny’s in Old Lahaina Center. Onolicious – my dad would always say.
I love the beautiful people of Maui. I’m gutted by the loss of life and loss of the land. I have deep roots in Maui. My dad was born in Puʻunēnē and my tutuman worked at the Sugar Mill. My dad attended Kamehameha in the 50s and served in the army. That’s how he landed in California where I was raised. My ohana lives in Pukalani. I recognize that my connections with Lahaina are trivial when compared to the current residents and those with ancestral relationship to the land. My ancestral relationship is rooted in Mākena as part of the Kukahiko family. We try to carry on our cultural heritage with my daughter being fortunate enough to dance hula with Keolalaulani H´ālau ‘Ōlapa O Laka at Merrie Monarch about six years ago. We are proud Hawaiians.
I’m grateful for the hard work and sacrifices of my ancestors and I honor the Maui community for joining together to provide shelter, food and love to those displaced. The state motto says it all: “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono.” For my haole friends: “The Life of the Land is perpetuated in righteousness.”
My condolences to all those affected by the fires. Deep gratitude to the first responders and essential workers who are tirelessly serving the people and the land. Aloha ʻĀina.
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No better law firm around. Kristine represented me as the top-notch lawyer and negotiator only she can be! She’s smart, personable, detail-oriented, hard-working, awesome and I can trust her.
-Spencer K., former client
In compliance with the Hawai`i rules of professional conduct, Kristine serves as a consultant to Mālama Law Group pending admission to the Hawai`i bar pro hac vice.
Joining the Mālama Law Group is Lance D. Collins, a prominent Maui lawyer that some call a maverick. According to the Star-Advertiser, “the underdog has seldom had a better friend than attorney Lance D. Collins.” He is known for fighting hard for clients, often of Native Hawaiian ancestry, and for obtaining
favorable verdicts in complex cases despite long odds. He’s sued HECO before, taking it all the way to the Supreme Court. And he won.
Lance holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawai’i and is a graduate of William S. Richardson School of Law, Lance attended St. Anthony High School before getting his BA and MA from the University of Hawai’i. Lance has previously taught at the university and Maui College.
Lance has been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers–Rising Stars Editions 2013, 2014, and 2015. He received the Onipa’a Lifetime Achievement award from the Sierra Club of Hawai’i in 2016 and the Gintong Pamana Award in 2022 from the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce.
The underdog has seldom had a better friend than attorney Lance D. Collins. -Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Leading the Mālama Law Group team is Harrison Kiehm. He has a long history of working with Danko Meredith on Hawai`i cases. Harrison:
Mike Danko is Danko Meredith’s founding partner. He is regularly named one of Northern California’s “Top 100” Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, one of “Top 100” Trial Lawyers by the National Trial
Lawyers, and one of the Best Lawyers in America by US News and World Report. Mike brings to the Mālama Law Group extensive experience representing those seriously injured in explosions and fires and has brought cases to trial on both O’ahu and Maui.
Mike Danko earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, magna cum laude, and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
In compliance with the Hawai`i rules of professional conduct, Mike Danko serves as a consultant to Mālama Law Group pending admission to the Hawai`i bar pro hac vice.
Joining the Mālama Law Group is local Maui attorney Linda Nye. Linda brings over 35 years of legal experience to the team with a wealth of experience in estate planning, probate, employment and labor law as well as real estate and property litigation. Linda is admitted to practice law in both Washington state and Hawai`i.
To keep customers safe, utilities like MECO are supposed to shut off power in extreme winds. That became the industry standard after we sued an electrical utility for its role in a devastating California wildfire that could have been prevented. MECO failed to comply with the industry standard. Had it turned off the power, the fires would never have happened. MECO is responsible for the fire and the destruction of Lahaina.
Our team members have represented victims of the San Bruno fire, the Butte wildfire, the North Bay Fires, the Camp Fire, the Dixie Fire and the Thomas Fire. We understand exactly how to navigate the utility fire case, including utility bankruptcies and how to deal with insurance companies.
If you lost property in Lahaina due to the Maui Wildfire, contact us to speak to a lawyer. Call (808) 215-5870.
Advertisement-Harrison Kiehm is responsible for content.