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Governor Nominates two Hawaiʻi Island Judges

September 4, 2017, 10:00 AM HST (Updated September 4, 2017, 9:20 AM) · 6 Comments
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Robert Kim (L) and Henry Nakamoto (R) have been nominated by Gov. David Ige to fill vacancies in the Third Circuit Court. Photo courtesy of the Governor’s office.

Gov. David Ige has nominated two new judges to fill vacancies left in the Hawaiʻi Island Third Circuit Court.

Henry Taro Nakamoto, 53, District Family Court Judge, Third Circuit, has been appointed to the Third Circuit Court in Hilo to fill a vacancy left by The Honorable Glenn S. Hara who retired in December 2016.

Judge Nakamoto has served as a Family Court Judge and a District Court Judge beginning in June 2014. Prior to his service on the bench, he practiced law at Nakamoto, Okamoto & Yamamoto where he was a partner and director, and Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, where he was an associate. The Hawaiʻi Island native has practiced law on his home island for more than two decades, focusing on family and civil law. Nakamoto completed a B.A. in economics at Cornell University before earning his J.D. at Hastings College of Law.

“I would like to thank Gov. Ige for giving me the opportunity to serve as a circuit court judge,” said Nakamoto. “I appreciate all the support I have gotten from friends and family and will strive to continue to serve the community.”

Ige also nominated Attorney Robert D.S. Kim, 63, to the Third Circuit Court in Kona to fill a vacancy left by the retirement of The Honorable Judge Ronald Ibarra in June 2017.

Kim is a private practice litigator in the areas of criminal defense, family law, civil litigation, personal injury litigation and administrative proceedings. Kim has served as the West Hawaiʻi Bar President for many years, and has extensive civil, family and criminal trial experience. He graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and earned his law degree at the William S. Richardson School of Law.

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“I am honored and humbled to be nominated to fill the position of retired Judge Ronald Ibarra,” said Kim. “I am committed to work diligently and respectfully if I am confirmed by the Senate.”

“Judge Nakamoto and Mr. Kim both understand the law and the role of a judge in ensuring fair and impartial decisions in our judicial system,” Gov. Ige said. “They will serve the people of Hawaiʻi well.”

To decide on his nominees, Gov. Ige personally interviewed each candidate and received input from retired Hawai‘i State Supreme Court Associate Justice James Duffy, who reviewed the qualifications of the nominees and gathered feedback from the law community and the public.

Kim and Nakamoto’s official appointments are subject to Senate confirmation. The Senate confirmation hearings will provide the general public with an opportunity to voice their viewpoints on the nominees.

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