Third Circuit Judge Fujino Confirmed by SenateNovember 7, 2015, 7:56 AM HST (Updated November 7, 2015, 7:58 AM)
Melvin H. Fujino has been confirmed by members of the Hawai’i State Senate in his permanent appointment to the Third Circuit.
Shirley M. Kawamura was also unanimously confirmed to the First Circuit Court and District Family Court. She has served as a presiding District Court judge on Oahu since she was appointed in May 2012
James C. McWhinnie was confirmed to the District Court of the First Circuit. Judge McWhinnie has been the Director and Attorney with Damon Key Long Kupchak Hastert, specializing in civil litigation. Since being first appointed in 1998 by Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon, McWhinnie has continued to serve on the Hawai‘i Supreme Court’s Special Committee on Judicial Performance.
“Each of these nominees came to us with high marks for their qualifications and character and strong testimony in support of their appointments,” said Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran, chair of the Judiciary and Labor Committee. “The experience and integrity they each bring to the bench will be a benefit to our judicial system.”
Since 2008, Judge Fujino has severed as a presiding judge with the District Family Court of the Third Circuit. In April 2015, he was assigned to sit as a temporary Circuit Court Judge in Kona. He worked as Deputy Attorney General prior to his appointment to the District Family Court bench. In that role, Judge Fujino was a team leader responsible for the Statewide Wiretap Unit and Asset Forfeiture program. He has also previously served as District Prosecuting Attorney for Hawai’i Country.
Judge Fujino is a 1981 graduate of the University of Washington and 1985 graduate of the Gonzaga University School of Law. Fujino will serve for a term of 10 years.
On Oct. 21, Governor David Ige forwarded his appointments of Judge Kawamoto and Judge Fujino to the Senate. The appointment of Judge McWhinnie was transmitted to the Senate on Oct. 22 by Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald.