East Hawaii News

2015 Jurist of the Year Recognized

October 3, 2015, 8:04 AM HST
* Updated October 3, 8:10 AM
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Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald presented the 2015 Jurist of the Year Award at the Hawai’i State Judiciary’s 2015 Statewide Incentive Awards Ceremony on Friday.

The award went to First Circuit Court Judge Richard Perkins.

Judge Perkins received the award for being an important part in shaping Hawai’i’s Rules of Penal Procedure, having served as the Chairperson on both the Permanent Committee on Rules of Penal Procedure and Circuit Court Criminal Rules and the Committee on Pattern Criminal Jury Instruction for nearly the entirety of his judicial career.

According to the Hawai’i State Judiciary, Judge Perkins was instrumental as a member of the committee that reviewed Hawaii’s Penal Code ten years ago and is again serving on the committee tasked with reviewing it this year.

“Judge Perkins is a consummate professional with keen knowledge, a strong work ethic, and a deep commitment to public service,” said Chief Justice Recktenwald.  “He is a humble and gracious person who treats all parties and counsel with respect.  He has been a valued mentor to countless judges and others in the judiciary, and has earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues and the legal community.”

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Each year, the Chief Justice selects a Jurist of the Year based on nominations submitted by attorney and Judiciary personnel. The award recognizes a full-time trial judge who exhibits exceptional judicial competence, evidenced by decisional quality, significant extra-judicial contributions to the administration of justice, and active participation in public service to the community at large.

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On Friday, the Judiciary also presented group and individual awards to those who have distinguished themselves through service and accomplishments.

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald (left) and Associate Judge Lisa Ginoza (right) congratulate Hattie Embernate, Fiscal Office, Office of the Court Administrator, Third Circuit (center), recipient of the Judiciary’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award. Hawai'i State Judiciary photo.

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald (left) and Associate Judge Lisa Ginoza (right) congratulate Hattie Embernate, Fiscal Office, Office of the Court Administrator, Third Circuit (center), recipient of the Judiciary’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award. Hawai’i State Judiciary photo.

The 2015 awards are as follows:

Distinguished Service Award (the Judiciary’s highest merit award):

  • Hattie Embernate, Fiscal Office, Office of the Court Administrator, Third Circuit
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Meritorious Service Award: 

  • Penny Shimada, Court Operations and Support, Family Court, Second Circuit.
  • Joyce Kajioka, Office on Equality and Access to the Courts, Office of the Administrative Director of the Courts.

Group Meritorious Service Award: 

  • Fiscal Services and Procurement Offices, Financial Services Department, Office of the Administrative Director of the Courts:  Jeffrey Agader, Lilia Alambatin, Tritia Cruz, Karen Donohue, Alison Higa, Kelly Kimura, Clyde Kishimoto, Grace Maeda, Wilson Mamizuka, Colleen Masaki, Patti Matsuda, Deepa Sheehan, Gary Soga, Michele Takushi, Kevin Unten, Elsie Wong, and Jonathan Wong; and Special Services Branch, Program Services Unit, Second Circuit:  David Nakama, Kelli Haaff, Michelle Tanno, Alysha Tumbaga, Jandee Ferguson, Kecia Sakugawa, Jacqueline Valoy-Munoz, Nadine Oka, Charnell Casil, SheriAnn Maxwell, and Clarice Kaawa.

Spirit of the Judiciary Award: 

  • Sharon Muranaka, Legal Documents Branch, Court Support & Operations Division, Third Circuit.
  • Richard Murakami, Telecom Services Branch, IT & Systems Department, Office of the Administrative Director of the Courts.
  • Kurt Fukuda, Juvenile Intake and Probation, Family Court, First Circuit.

Certificate of Commendation: 

  • Lani Ng of the Third Circuit’s Court Operations & Support in Kona.
  • Celedonia “Sally” Ragmat, Legal Documents Branch 2 Court Support & Operations Division, District Court, First Circuit.

Group Certificate of Commendation: 

  • Client Services, Program Services Unit, Third Circuit Court – East and West Hawaii:  Aolani Mills, Jamie Bell-Kaaihue, Wendy Opiopio, Tina Haalilio, and Jendi Saldana.

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