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Thursday, June 02, 2016
New Judges Appointed for Oahu, Big Island
By News Release @ 3:39 PM :: 2874 Views :: Judiciary

Chief Justice Appoints James S. Kawashima as Oahu District Court Judge

News Release from Hawaii Judiciary June 1, 2016

HONOLULU, HI – Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed James S. Kawashima to the District Court of the First Circuit (Island of Oahu).  He will fill the vacancy created as a result of the appointment of the Honorable Shirley M. Kawamura to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit.

Since 2010, Kawashima has served as a per diem judge of the District Court of the First Circuit, presiding over civil and criminal cases.  He has also maintained a private legal practice at James S. Kawashima, Attorney at Law, the firm he established in 2002.  

Between 1992 and 1996 Kawashima served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Special Prosecution Unit of the Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.  He went on to serve as a Deputy Attorney General in the State of Hawaii Department of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit from 2004 to 2006.

Kawashima worked at private law firms in both Hawaii and California for more than 12 years, handling litigation in construction, bankruptcy, and employment cases, as well as insurance defense.

Kawashima is a graduate of the University of Southern California Law Center and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1992.  He also has federal court admissions in the Ninth Circuit Districts of Hawaii, Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern California. 

The Chief Justice appoints District Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission. If confirmed by the State Senate, Kawashima will serve a term of six years.

  *   *   *   *   *

Chief Justice Appoints M. Kanani Laubach as Hawaii Island District Family Court Judge

News Release from Hawaii Judiciary June 1, 2016

HONOLULU, HI – Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed M. Kanani Laubach to the District Family Court of Third Circuit (Island of Hawaii).  Laubach will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of the Honorable Melvin H. Fujino to the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit.

Laubach has been in private practice since 2011 when she opened the Law Office of M. Kanani Laubach, L.L.L.C. in Hilo, Hawaii.  Since 2012 she has been a partner at the law firm of Laubach & Frenz, A.A.I., L.L.L.C., handling criminal cases in District, Family, and Circuit Court.  She also has extensive experience in family law cases involving temporary restraining orders, divorce, paternity, and child custody proceedings. 

Between 2006 and 2010, Laubach served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the County of Hawaii Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, where she worked on criminal cases in District, Family, and Circuit Court.  In 2007 she joined the Violent Crime Unit and was tasked with prosecuting violent crime cases ranging from child sex assault to homicide.

From 2003 to 2006, Laubach served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the City and County of Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney in the Domestic Violence Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor Jury Demand, and Felony Trials divisions.

In addition to her legal experience, Laubach has previously worked with families in both the school and home environments, including teaching parenting skills and child development as a Visitation Specialist at Parents and Children Together in Waipahu, Oahu. 

Laubach currently holds the office of Vice-President of the Hawaii County Bar Association, and has been providing pro bono services at the Hilo Self-Help Center since it opened in 2012.  Laubach has served as a Director on the Waiakea High School Foundation Board since 2014, and as a volunteer arbitrator in the Court Annexed Arbitration Program since 2011.

Laubach is a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 2003.  She is also a graduate of Chaminade University of Hawaii where she received a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology in 2000.

The Chief Justice appoints District Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission.  If confirmed by the State Senate, Laubach will serve a term of six years.

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