Governor David Ige appoints 5 judges to fill Hawaii circuit court vacancies

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October 10 — Gouv. David Ige on Friday announced five judicial appointments to fill vacancies at 1st Circuit Court in Oahu, 2nd Circuit Court in Maui and 3rd Circuit Court in Kona.

The five nominees were each selected from lists of candidates submitted to the governor on September 13 by the state’s Judicial Selection Commission. All appointments are subject to confirmation by the State Senate.

Three of the five were 1st Circuit Court appointments: —Clarissa Y. Malinao, district court per diem judge since 2019, will fill the post left vacant by the retirement of Judge Edwin C. Nacino in 2020. Malinao is a solo practitioner focusing on criminal law in state and federal courts. She was recognized in 2020 as an Outstanding Pro Bono Lawyer Honored for her work with Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii. Malinao received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Seattle University and his law degree from Whittier Law School in California. — Kevin T. Morikone, a district family court judge, will fill the vacant position created when l former Justice Todd W. Eddins was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii in 2020. He graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a certificate in ethnic studies, and graduated from his law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH. Morikone has practiced in the area of ​​civil litigation and was appointed a per diem Judge of the Family Court in 2015. — Shanlyn AS Park will take the seat previously held by Judge Karen T. Nakasone, who was appointed to the Court of intermediate appeal in 2020. Park is a lawyer in private practice specializing in insurance defense, commercial litigation, contested probate matters and criminal defense. She graduated from Chaminade University with a BA in English and received her law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.

There was only one appointment at 2nd Circuit Court: —Kirstin M. Hamman, judge of the Maui District Court, will take the seat previously occupied by Judge Rhonda I. Loo, who retired in May. She previously had her own private practice specializing in family law and special education law. She has also served as a lawyer with the Maui Municipal Services Office, the Public Defender’s Office, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. Hamman is a graduate of UH West Oahu and the William S. Richardson School of Law.

The fifth judicial appointment was to the 3rd Circuit Court: —Wendy M. DeWeese, a judge of the District Family Court, will occupy the seat previously held by Judge Melvin H. Fujino, who retired in 2020. She has served received a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in California and a law degree from Southwestern University School of Law.


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