Hawai‘i Judiciary Employees Honored

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Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald (left) congratulates the Hawai‘i State Judiciary’s highest awardees of 2017: First Circuit Court Judge Virginia Lea Crandall, the Jurist of the Year, and Distinguished Service Award recipients Iris Murayama, Hawai‘i State Judiciary Deputy Administrative Director of the Courts; and Colin Rodrigues, Deputy Chief Court Administrator, Second Circuit (Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i). Courtesy photo.

First Circuit Court Judge Virginia Lea Crandall was presented with the 2017 Jurist of the Year award by Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, at the Hawai‘i State Judiciary’s 2017 Statewide Incentive Awards Ceremony on Sept. 22.

The Jurist of the Year is selected annually by the Chief Justice from nominations submitted by Hawai‘i attorneys and judiciary personnel.

The Jurist of the Year recognizes a full-time trial judge who exhibits exceptional judicial competence, significant extra-judicial contributions to the administration of justice and active participation in public service to the community at large.


“Judge Crandall is an exceptional jurist, and a strong leader who works tirelessly to find ways to improve the judiciary’s ability to serve the public,” said Chief Justice Recktenwald. “Her vast experience in handling both civil and criminal trials has enabled her to serve as a mentor and role model to countless judges.”

Judge Crandall joined the judiciary as a Circuit Court Judge of the First Circuit Ninth Division on April 1, 1991. She served as the Administrative Judge of the Civil Division, First Circuit Court, from June 1995 to January 1999. Judge Crandall then presided over a criminal trial calendar until 2010, when she was assigned to the civil trial calendar where she currently serves. She also currently serves as Chair of the Judicial Education Committee.

In addition to the honoring of the Jurist of the Year, the Hawai‘i State Judiciary presented individual and group awards to employees who have distinguished themselves through exceptional service and accomplishments.


Hawai‘i Island awardees are:

Group Meritorious Service Award

Third Circuit (Hawai‘i Island) Drug Court Staff
Hilo Office: Pagan Devela, Gabrielle Chow, Marlyce Correira, Keri Kimora and Dustin Cueva
Kona Office: Yvonne Keanaaina, Wendy Terada, Rodney Branco and Daralyn Kimiye Villesca


Certificate of Commendation

Traffic Violations Bureau, Third Circuit (Hawai‘i Island) Kona Office.
Kona Office: Star Haleamau

Group Certificate of Commendation

Third Circuit Judicial Clerks, Client Services Division, Juvenile Services Branch, Clerical Section
Hilo Office: JoAnn Hirako, Supervisor; Katherine-Anne Schubert, Tammi Mansinon, Tiana Akiu
Kona Office : Leah Anu Morimoto

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