East Hawaii News

Ashida, Yoshimoto Among Candidates for District Court Judgeship

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Editor’s note: The original posting of this article contained an incorrect date for submittal of comments on the candidates. The deadline for such submittals is April 4.

The county’s top civil lawyer, a Big Island lawmaker and a deputy prosecuting attorney are among the nominees to fill an upcoming District Court judge vacancy.

Mark Recktenwald, chief justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, today called for public comment on the six candidates on the list assembled by the Judicial Selection Commission.

They are, in alphabetical order:

  • Lincoln S.T. Ashida, a former deputy prosecutor who serves as the county’s corporation counsel. He and his deputies advise various county departments and boards, and handle civil litigation for the county.
  • Paul K. Hamano, an attorney in private practice in Hilo.
  • Jo Kim, a Paauilo attorney who has been active in volunteer legal services. Kim ran unsuccessfully for the council’s first district seat in the 2012 election.
  • Darien W.L. Ching Nagata, currently a deputy county prosecutor.
  • Henry T. Nakamoto, a partner in the Hilo law firm Nakamoto Okamoto & Yamamoto Inc.
  • J Stanley Yoshimoto, an attorney and current chairman of the Hawaii County Council. Yoshimoto has served four two-year terms, and is prevented by term limits from running for re-election.

The press release from the Judiciary did not mention where the vacancy at the District Court level was occurring.

There are currently three district judges and four District Family Court judges on the Big Island.

Two, both family court judges, have terms ending this year. They are Judge Anthony Bartholomew, whose term expires June 5, 2014, and Judge Melvin H. Fujino, whose term ends Dec. 18, 2014.

According to the release, comments about the qualifications and character of any of the nominees may be sent in writing to Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Supreme Court of Hawaii, 417 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96813; by fax to 808-539-4703 or by email to [email protected].

Comments, which will be kept confidential, must be postmarked or delivered no later than Friday, April 4.

The appointment by Recktenwald is subject to state Senate confirmation.


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