GOV. IGE ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT
News Release from Office of the Governor, Sep 22, 2022
HONOLULU – Gov. David Y. Ige has appointed District Judge James S. Kawashima to fill the vacancy on the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Oʻahu) created by the retirement of Judge Bert I. Ayabe in Oct. 2021.
Gov. Ige selected Kawashima from a list of five nominees provided to him by the Judicial Selection Commission, Hawai‘i State Judiciary.
“Judge Kawashima brings a depth and breadth of experience that will benefit the Circuit Court,” said Gov. Ige. “I know he’ll work efficiently, and I’m confident that he both understands the law and will continue to treat those in his courtroom with respect and fairness.”
Kawashima currently serves as a district judge of the First Circuit, State of Hawaiʻi, where he previously served as a per diem judge. As an attorney, he accrued wide-ranging experience in both criminal and civil litigation and has served as an adjunct instructor with the paralegal program at Kapiʻolani Community College.
Judge Kawashima earned his J.D. at the University of Southern California and is a graduate of Princeton University.
“I am both honored and humbled by Gov. Ige’s confidence in me,” said Kawashima. “It has been an enormous privilege to serve with the judiciary, and I look forward to expressing my appreciation for this responsibility as I meet with our esteemed senators in the weeks to come.”
Judge Kawashima’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
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Chief Justice Appoints District and District Family Court Judges
News Release from Hawaii Judiciary, Sep 23, 2022
HONOLULU – Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald today appointed two individuals to fill First Circuit judicial positions, one in the District Family Court and one in the District Court.
John Alberto Montalbano has been appointed to the District Family Court, replacing retired Judge Sheri-Ann Iha. Montalbano has been serving as a Per Diem District Court Judge since 2014. He is currently on temporary active duty as the Deputy Command Judge Advocate for the 9th MSC. Prior to that he worked in family law at Farrell & Associate, LLLC, and in civil litigation with Fukunaga Matayoshi Hershey & Ching, LLP. In 2006-2007, he deployed as Trial Counsel with the 657th ASG in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the City & County of Honolulu from 2002-2008. Montalbano is a graduate of Golden Gate University School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 2001.
Montalbano has been an active member of numerous community programs, including volunteer attorney in the Kapolei Access to Justice Room and with VLSH, volunteer arbitrator with the Court Annexed Arbitration Program, and a volunteer mentor/coach for the HSBA’s annual Mock Trial competition.
Timothy E. Ho has been appointed to the District Court, replacing Judge Kevin Morikone, who was appointed to the circuit court bench. Ho opened a solo law practice in May 2022, and has served as a Per Diem District Court Judge since 2021. From 2018-2022 he worked at Imanaka Asato, LLLC as a civil litigation attorney. From 1987-2018 he worked in various capacities with the Office of the Public Defender, handling appellate work, district and family court trials, felony trials, as a supervising attorney, and concluding as the Chief Deputy Public Defender. Ho is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law, and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1987.
Throughout his career, Ho has volunteered his time for many outside activities, including serving on the Department of Public Safety Reentry Commission and as an adjunct professor at the Richardson law school. He has also conducted training at public defender seminars, for judges from Thailand, Japan, and members of the Kauai Bar Association, among others.
The Chief Justice made his appointments from the nomination lists that were presented to him by the Judicial Selection Commission on August 24, 2022. Both appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.