SENATE CONFIRMS THREE JUDICIAL NOMINEES IN SECOND SPECIAL SESSION OF 2019
News Release from Hawaii State Senate, Nov 13, 2019
HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – The Hawai‘i State Senate in their second Special Session of 2019 has confirmed the judicial appointments of Kelsey Kawano as Judge of the Circuit Court of the Second Circuit (encompassing Maui county), Rebecca A. Copeland as Judge of the District Family Court of the First Circuit (O‘ahu), and Alvin Nishimura as Judge of the District Family Court of the First Circuit (O‘ahu).
The Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Senator Karl Rhoads (Dist. 13) commented, “The Senate is pleased to confirm three well-qualified judges to the bench. In the interests of timely court proceedings, it is important to keep judgeships filled.”
Judge Kelsey Kawano has served as a judge of the District Court of the Second Circuit since August 29, 2008, and in 2010 he was made Deputy Chief Judge for the circuit. He had previously been in private practice and primarily handled cases involving family, business, employment and real estate law. He also had served as a part-time district court judge from2006-2008. Judge Kawano received his law degree from the University of Washington School of Law in 1984.
Judge Rebecca Copeland has served as a per diem District Court Judge of the First Circuit Court since December 2016 and also has had a career in private practice specializing in appellate litigation. She served as a Deputy Solicitor General in the Department of the Attorney General from 2008-2010. Judge Copeland received her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law, in San Antonio, Texas, in 2002.
Judge Alvin Nishimura has been in private practice since 2001 and has served as a per diem District Court Judge of the First Circuit since 2005. He also serves as a Federal Court Indigent Defendant Panel Attorney with the Federal Criminal Justice Act. His prior legal experience includes hearings officer with the Department of Hawaiian Homes and Deputy Public Defender in the Office of the Public Defender. Judge Nishimura received his law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1985.
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Clyde J. Wadsworth Sworn In as New Associate Judge of the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals
News Release from Hawaii Judiciary, Nov 13, 2019
HONOLULU – Family, friends, colleagues, and supporters gathered in the Supreme Court courtroom on November 12, 2019, as the Hawaii Supreme Court convened in special session for the formal swearing-in ceremony of Clyde J. Wadsworth as Associate Judge of the State of Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals. He was officially sworn-in on October 21 when he began his term.
The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. Guest speakers were, in order of presentation: Hawaii State Bar Association President Derek R. Kobayashi, Hawaii State Trial Judges Association President Matthew J. Viola, Judicial Selection Commission Chair Ronette M. Kawakami, and Gov. David Y. Ige.
Wadsworth most recently served as Solicitor General of the State of Hawaii where he led the Appellate Division of the Department of the Attorney General. He has 34 years of litigation and dispute resolution experience, and has briefed and argued appeals before the Hawaii Supreme Court and the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
He was appointed to the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals by Gov. David Y. Ige to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of former Associate Judge Lawrence M. Reifurth in August 2019. The Hawaii State Senate confirmed Wadsworth’s appointment on September 17, 2019.
Associate Judge Wadsworth will serve for a term of 10 years, from October 21, 2019 to October 20, 2029.