Private Attorney, Kasio "Kembo" Mida, Jr. (FSM)



Mr. Mida was raised in Pohnpei,  Chuuk, and Hawaii. He is the son of  Kasio E. Mida, from Chuuk State, and Ginger  Porter Mida, from Pohnpei  State and American Samoa. Mr. Mida received his B.A.  degree from  Humboldt State University (CA) in 1999 and conducted his senior  internship for the Honorable Chief Justice Andon L. Amaraich, FSM  Supreme  Court. Immediately after graduating, Mr. Mida returned to Chuuk  State and  worked as a teacher at Saramen Chuuk Academy and the College  of Micronesia.

Legal  Education:

Mr. Mida attended Thomas M. Cooley  Law School in Michigan, where he  earned his Juris Doctor Degree in 2005. He was  the Managing Editor of  the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review and earned the  Certificate of Merit for  Highest Academic Grade in Criminal Law, Law Practice,  and  International Human Rights. Mr. Mida clerked as a student extern for the  Honorable Richard F. Suhrheinrich, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth  Circuit  and, after graduation, clerked for the Honorable Paula J.M.  Manderfield,  Michigan, Ingham County Circuit Court, General Trial  Division. Prior to joining  the law firm, Mr. Mida was the Chief of  Litigation for the FSM Department of  Justice. Mr. Mida teaches law at  the College of Micronesia in the trial  counselor certificate program.

Bar  Membership:

Michigan State Bar

Federated States of Micronesia Bar

Legal  Practice:

Transactional Law

Mr. Mida provides legal advice regarding incorporation within the FSM  or  individual states, drafts and files incorporating documents,  provides legal  opinions on issues ranging from board compensation and  security interest to  dissolution and liquidation.


Mr. Mida has successfully obtained judgments or successfully defended  clients  in cases involving fraud, election fraud appeals, conspiracy,  and insurance  defense.


Mr. Mida has successfully lobbied for new or amended legislation and  regulations on both the state and national level ranging from farming  and  exporting of mangrove crab to corporate income tax and insurance  matters.


Micronesian Conservation Trust

FSM Scholarship


Basketball, volleyball, lifting  weights, hiking, jogging, fishing, canoeing, cooking

Personal  Accomplishments:

Founder & first elected  President of a non-profit NGO in Chuuk:  GATA (Guide and Assist Through  Awareness). Organization’s  accomplishments: implemented for the first time in  Chuuk State high  school flag football; received annual funding from FSM government  and  Australian Embassy; hosted drug abuse seminars for elementary and high  school students.


TFB = The Fourth Branch

KM = Kasio "Kembo" Mida, Jr.


by: Otis Aisek

TFB: Thank you for accepting our request for an interview. We would like to remind you that these questions were submitted by the public, via our website, our email, or they've been given to us personally.

TFB: Our first question, did you ever work for the government? What position and why did you get out?

KM: In 1999, I was a summer intern with the late Chief Justice Amaraich.  From 2008-2009, I worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the FSM  Department of Justice (DOJ). The reason I left the FSM DOJ was because I  felt that the department needed to push more investigations and  prosecutions.

TFB: What is the majority of your cases?

KM: I handle mostly litigation in court, such as breach of contract, wrongful termination, land disputes, family matters, etc.

TFB: What is a regular day as a lawyer in FSM like?

KM: I cannot speak for other lawyers. But for myself, it is pretty busy. I  respond to emails, phone conferences with clients, conduct legal  research and analysis, meet clients, appear in court, and meet with my  partner Fred Ramp to discuss issues surrounding our cases. I typically  work at home after work, responding to more emails or preparing for a  hearing. I'm also a part-time teacher at the college, and a board member  on the FSM Scholarship Board and the Micronesian Conservation Trust. So  I also work on non-business matters throughout the day.

TFB: what is the most memorable case you've had and why?

KM: I represented Redley Killion, appealing an Election Commission's  decision. The reason this case was memorable for me was because many of  the issues surrounding our election process was brought to light. And as  a result of the case, a re-election in one of the districts in Hawaii  was granted, giving voters their constitutional right to vote.

TFB: Most of our capable citizens are finding greener pastures elsewhere, such as the U.S. and other countries not their own. Why did you choose to go back home?

KM: The pastures are greener here at home, to me. I've always felt that I  could give more here in the FSM than in other countries. And that, to  me, make the pastures greener. So when I left Chuuk in 2000, for law  school, my goal was always to return to the FSM after gaining the  experience.

TFB: Would you be making more [money] if you practiced in the U.S.A.?

KM: Probably. But the work would not be as rewarding as it is in the FSM.

TFB: What do you think our government should do back home to entice capable individuals (like yourself) to go back home and support their country?

KM: I believe there is a website, maybe the president's website, that posts  jobs in the FSM. I think that's a good start for the FSM. We have to  remember that the government's resources are limited, as far as  advertising positions. But, if the government has to entice a person,  then that person may not be the best person for the job. If an  individual wants to return home, they will make the effort to find jobs  that are available in the FSM.

Before I returned to the FSM, my goal was to secure a job in Chuuk. I  applied for four different positions in Chuuk. When I applied for the  jobs, I had a Juris Doctor degree from law school, passed the Michigan  bar exam, and clerked for a judge in Michigan; however, I was not  offered any of the positions. So I ended up applying for FSM jobs and  eventually secured a job with the FSM Department of Justice in Pohnpei.  My point is that if you want to return, it may not be a situation where  the red carpet is rolled out for you but you will have to work hard to  get that job that you want.

TFB: What would you say to us, who are living abroad to convince or support a decision to live in our own islands?

KM: In our islands, what we do tends to have more impact in our society.  There is a sense of ownership in our islands that does not exist  outside. Off course, there is the strong family bond that we share with  our large extended family.

TFB: The President's nominee for the DOJ Secretary was recently turned down by Congress. If the President offers you the post tomorrow, would you accept the challenge?

KM: I am up to the challenge, but I would not accept it at this time. First,  I have the best partner, Fred Ramp, who is mentoring and teaching me  more than I could ever ask for. Second, I make more money as a private  attorney, which allows me to pay my law school loan, help family  members, and work toward financial security. So If I was more  experienced and was financially secured today, I would gladly take the  job.

TFB: Would you say our justice system is doing well? Do we need more lawyers?

KM: Our justice system has come a long way since the Trust Territory time.  Like everything else, there is room for improvement, and I believe our  justice system is on the path towards continued improvement.  We  definitely need more lawyers. Particularly, we need more qualified,  local attorneys.

TFB: Do you think there's too much government? Should the FSM tone down on regulations to allow the private sector some room to grow?

KM: A significant part of my work involves me dealing with state and  national regulations and regulators. I don't believe that the regulators  and regulation should be toned down. But, we need reasonable and  competent regulators to carryout the enforcement of the regulations.

TFB: Do you think that custom or culture often get[s] in the way of progress?

KM: I'm not an expert on custom or culture since I was raised here only part  of my life. So I am not able to respond to this question.

TFB: Leadership in FSM believe that there can be a peaceful marriage between our customs and a western government. Is this realistic?

KM: (same answer as above)

TFB: In most of the 4th branch interviews, education has been noted as the key to bettering our country. What is your stance on this and do you believe in the importance of a traditional education?

KM: Education is important in bettering a country, but so too is having good  leaders, strong laws, enforcement of those laws, public safety, a  strong private sector, etc.  Certainly education in culture would be  important as well.

TFB: People keep saying that Chuuk is corrupt but they don't have any evidence or proof. Is this because of culture that they [don't prove] it? Or is it just rumor and they [don't] have proof?

KM: This may sound like an excuse since I am part Chuukese, but corruption  is everywhere. As I mentioned earlier, I dealt with an election appeal  that raised many issues with our election process in Chuuk.  But there  were also issues in U.S elections. I don't think that the culture stops  us from trying to prove that there is corruption in Chuuk or any other  state in the FSM. The private sector and the government are making  reasonable efforts to combat corruption in our country.

TFB: Corruption in FSM is rampant. Most of our leaders use custom as an excuse to get out of problems. For example, giving people sacks of rice during a campaign and saying its custom to give gifts when visiting your neighbors, but it's obvious it's a bribe to win them votes. Should these types of customs be removed when they interfere with politics?

KM: I don't know if corruption is rampant in the FSM. And I also don't know  if most of our leaders bribe for votes. If there are some bribery that  violate laws then they should be prosecuted.

TFB: Should we have tougher penalties for more serious crimes? We have serious criminals who go to jail for a week for crimes that would usually see them in prison for a year or two.

KM: I think our penalties for the crimes committed are fine. The problem is  prisons. So, often prisoners are penalized by given house/Island arrest.

TFB: Do you think this is another reason why there's so much corruption and violence in Chuuk, because we are quick to forgive and the penalties are not that serious?

KM: I don't know if Chuuk has so much corruption and violence as you stated  in your question. I also don't know if Chuukese in general are quick to  forgive. So, I can't answer your question.

TFB: What are your thoughts on the immigration issue of COFA countries in Hawaii? Do you think there should be limitations to the Micronesian influx to Hawaii or do you think there are other solutions to avoid limitation on COFA immigration to Hawaii?

KM: This is a very complicated issue that has arguments, both for and  against limiting our access to the U.S or any other country. I think if a  country wants to limit our access to their country to protect their  well-being, interest, and citizens, it should have that right.  I think  our country would want that right as well.

TFB: Many people think that putting restriction on Micronesian's access to Hawaii is a civil rights issue. What's your input on this?

KM: Our constitution gives us the right to travel freely, which is a civil  right. However, the right to go into another country is another matter  all together. I don't believe this issue is a civil rights issue.

TFB:  Do you think that our government, congress, should make a public announcement or statement about the COFA issue in Hawaii. Many of the talks on this issue are coming from Hawaii's side of the issue. Why isn't our government responding?

KM: Check with FSM PIO website. I am certain that our government is doing  what it can to respond to this issue. It is a very important issue to us  all. And I am certain it is one of the top priorities for our leaders.

TFB: Would you ever consider quitting the law firm to pursue a political career?

KM: If I am financially stable and thought I could do better than the  current politician, certainly I would consider pursuing a political  career.

TFB: The old generation of leadership is slowly fading out. How does the new group of leaders look in your opinion? Is the future of FSM hopeful?

KM: I think more of the new group of leaders are educated. And with more  education combined with lessons learned from the older generations, I  think the future of the FSM is very hopeful.