Walter R. Schoettle

Profile Updated: October 30, 2015
Walter R. Schoettle
Residing In: Honolulu, HI USA
Spouse/Partner: Terry
Occupation: Attorney
Children: 3 step children
Yes! Attending Reunion
Elementary School(s):

New Jersey k-2
Kirby Road 3-6
College Hill 7
Schwab Jr. High 8-9


Went to University of Michigan. Didn't know what to major in so took aptitude testing. Test results were 1) farmer; 2) lawyer; 3) engineer. Rejected farmer and thought lawyer would take too long so I got BS(Chem) and BSE(ChE) in 1966. Then, in order to avoid the draft, I got a fellowship at UC and a job at Emery Industries (Lee White was there). I got fired and decided to try law.

I got married an went back to Michigan for law school which I paid for working in a title company. Back then in-state tuition was only $500/semester. Wife was working but managed to spend twice as much as she was making so that didn't last too long. On graduation got a job at one of the largest law firms in Honolulu. That only lasted about a year as the firm brought in some new partners and needed office space.

Then I started out on my own. Met the widow of an army officer who didn't want to get married, but we have been together since 1975. For the past 30 years I have been trying to enforce a trust which was set up on 1.4 million acres of public land for the betterment of the condition of native Hawaiians, but the state and courts seem bent on destroying it. I wrote a couple of U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs on the subject which seem to have influenced the decisions in Rice v. Cayetano and OHA v. Hawaii.

Right now I'm involved in Akina v. Hawaii, where the state is trying to set up a phony Native Hawaiian Governing Entity with which to negotiate to end the trust. They want to let anybody with just one drop of Hawaiian blood vote, not just the 'not less than one-half part' Hawaiian beneficiaries. Some of the plaintiffs are not Hawaiians and want everyone to be able to vote based on Rice v. Cayetano. My clients want to limit the voting to the native Hawaiian beneficiaries and are trying to intervene.

School Story:

Very sorry to see that the old school has been torn down. I went and checked and found out that Schwab (built in 1958) and College Hill have been torn down as well and Kirby Road has been sold. My sister's school, Mt Healthy has been torn down as well. What the heck is going on?

It would be one thing if they had fewer kids and didn't need so many classrooms, but they are building new schools. They should be spending money on teachers rather than buildings.

As for our good old days, Doug Sprigg and I were positively influenced by Mr. Schreiner and went to U of Michigan. I went through the list of grads and there aren't too many that are still alive and locatable with whom I was friends in school.

Rounding this thing out, having tried engineering and law, my goal in life, before I die, is to get over to the Big Island and be a farmer, my number one aptitude.

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Oct 30, 2015 at 1:05 AM