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Last updateWed, 22 Nov 2017 12am

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    Tuesday, November 21, 2017-1:31:53P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

NMI swears in 2 lawyers

A SPECIAL attorney admission ceremony was held in the CNMI Supreme Court courtroom on Friday for two successful local bar applicants — Hyun Jae Lee and Jose Silvestre P. Mafnas Jr.

The ceremony was led by CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro Castro, Justice John Manglona, Justice Perry Inos, Superior Court Judges Kenneth Govendo, Teresa Kim-Tenorio and Joseph N. Camacho.

Chief Justice Castro, in his remarks, said the bar is a special license for persons entrusted with the rights, liberty and property of people.

Micronesian Legal Services Corp. directing attorney Jane Mack, the keynote speaker, talked about fairness.

“How lucky we are to work in a profession whose primary goal is to seek fairness and to help clients get access to justice,” she said.

“Life is not fair but as lawyers we have a chance to lift the scales a little bit more…. Fairness is not about politics and money, although that certainly tends to make things a lot less fair.

“As lawyers we get to think about fairness every day…we get to talk about it — we get to make a difference.”

Hyun Jae Lee, 34, is a graduate of Handong International Law School in South Korea, and served as a law clerk of Chief Justice Castro. She was born in South Korea and raised on Saipan.

Lee graduated from high school at Grace Christian Academy and obtained a bachelor’s degree from the Georgia State University.

She also passed the bar in Tennessee.

“It has been an uphill and long journey, with a lot of setbacks,” she said in her remarks. “Over the course of five years of waiting, I realized that no time was ever wasted because for every setback and failure there was a lesson learned.”

She said she is grateful to her parents, Jong Sik Lee and Hye Sook Kim, and her sister, for their love and support.

Attorneys Hyun Jae Lee and Jose Silvestre P. Mafnas Jr. with their parents and  CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro.  Photo by Bryan Manabat

Jose Silvestre P. Mafnas Jr., 28, is a graduate of the University of California Davis School of Law, and is currently an associate in the Law Office of Steven Nutting.

A former CNMI probation officer Mafnas is also a licensed attorney on Guam and California.

He is a graduate of Grace Christian Academy and obtained his bachelor’s degree from Chaminade University in Hawaii. His parents are Customs Director Jose Mafnas Sr. and Geraldine Mafnas.

In his remarks, the lawyer thanked Nutting, his family, friends and relatives for their support.

He said the CNMI Bar is particularly special “because it’s my home bar — it’s a bar that allows me to give back to the community and the family that raised me.”

Another successful applicant for the NMI Bar was attorney Christopher A. Heeb, but he was off-island on Friday.