GOVERNOR LINGLE NOMINATES CASTAGNETTI, TO‘OTO‘O AND GARIBALDI AS CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES
HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle announced today that yesterday, July 13, she nominated three individuals to serve as Circuit Court judges. The Governor has submitted to the State Senate her nomination of Jeannette H. Castagnetti, Fa‘auuga L. To‘oto‘o and Colette Y. Garibaldi to fill judicial vacancies on the First Circuit, which covers O‘ahu.
“District Court Judges To‘oto‘o and Garibaldi and Per Diem District Court Judge Castagnetti will be outstanding additions to the Circuit Court bench, each bringing his or her own unique set of judicial experiences and legal acumen,” said Governor Lingle. “The input I received from the public on these candidates focused on their professional dedication, knowledge of the law and their integrity. I am proud to nominate these public servants to the Circuit Court.”
Jeannette H. Castagnetti
Castagnetti has served as a District Court judge on a per diem basis since December 2007, where she has presided over cases relating to civil small claims, traffic and criminal matters, including driving under the influence trials and criminal arraignments. She is also a partner with the law firm Bronster Hoshibata, with an emphasis on trust, commercial and employment litigation.
Castagnetti previously served as special counsel with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, where she represented the department’s Insurance Fraud Division as a special deputy attorney general in state criminal proceedings. She also served as deputy prosecuting attorney for the City and County of Honolulu in the Career Criminal and Domestic Violence and Juvenile Offenders Divisions. Castagnetti was a legal extern for U.S. District Court Judge Barry Kurrren.
Castagnetti is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and American Inns of Court, Aloha Chapter. She is a volunteer arbitrator with the Court Annexed Arbitration Program and a fellow with Litigation Counsel of America.
A graduate of Piztzer College in Claremont, Calif., Castagnetti earned her law degree from California Western School of Law in San Diego, Calif.
Fa‘auuga L. To‘oto‘o
To‘oto‘o has been a District Court judge of the First Circuit since 1994. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he served as deputy prosecutor for the City and County of Honolulu for ten years.
To‘oto‘o is a member of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association. He is also active in the community as a volunteer with Hawai‘i Youth Challenge Academy, Mo‘okini He‘iau Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Waimanalo Community Fairs and Wai‘anae Christmas Parade. To‘oto‘o is also chair of the Nu‘u Ministries, which sponsors the Lumana‘i Awards to recognize outstanding high school seniors of Samoan decent who have made significant contributions to their schools.
To‘oto‘o earned his law degree from St. Louis University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri and his undergraduate degree from Missouri Valley College. He graduated from Leone High School in American Samoa.
Colette Y. Garibaldi
Garibaldi has been a District Court judge of the First Circuit since 1997 and served as a per diem District Court judge for nine years prior to her appointment. She currently is the District Court lead criminal trial judge, and previously was deputy chief and administrative judge.
She was a deputy prosecutor in the City’s Department of the Prosecuting Attorney for six years. Garibaldi also served as a law clerk for the law firm Koshiba & Young, and was a law clerk in the Planning & Research Unit of the Los Angeles County Municipal Courts.
Garibaldi is the District Court representative for the Impaired Driving Assessment for Comprehensive Study of Impaired Driving in the State of Hawai‘i, National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration Report; past president of the Hawai‘i State Trial Judges Association; past co-chair of the Bench Bar Committee of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association; member of the Ignition Interlock Finance/Funding Subcommittee; former member of the American Judicature Society Hawai‘i Chapter Special Committee on the Jury, and co-chair of the 2008 District Court Judges Annual Symposium.
She is a graduate of University of Southern California and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Calif.
Governor Lingle selected the nominees from three lists of six candidates each that were submitted to her by the Judicial Selection Commission on June 21, 2010. Some of the candidates’ names were on more than one list. The Governor made the lists available to the public to solicit public comments on the candidates.
If confirmed by the State Senate, the three nominees will fill vacant seats created by the retirement of Circuit Court Judges Eden Elizabeth Hifo, Colleen K. Hirai and Michael A. Town. The Senate has 30 days to take action on the Governor’s nominations.
With these three latest nominations, Governor Lingle has appointed 17 judges to the Circuit Court since taking office in December 2002. She has also named two justices to the Hawai‘i Supreme Court and six judges to the Intermediate Court of Appeals.