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Kubota Sworn in as Third Circuit Court Judge

May 19, 2020, 2:02 PM HST
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Third Circuit Court Judge Peter K. Kubota proudly shares a copy of the April 17, 1974 edition of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald newspaper featuring his father, Judge Ernest H. Kubota (ret.), being sworn-in as Third Circuit Court Judge by Gov. George R. Ariyoshi. PC: Hawaii State Judiciary

Hawai‘i Island officially has a new judge.

Peter K. Kubota was sworn-in as Judge of the Third Circuit Court (Hawai‘i Island) during a special session convened by the Hawai‘i Supreme Court on May 15.

For the first time in state history, a judicial swearing-in ceremony was conducted by videoconference and broadcast live on the Judiciary’s YouTube channel where friends, family and members of the public could watch. This break from traditional proceedings is one of many changes the Judiciary has implemented since February to ensure community health and safety while maintaining court operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Judiciary press release said.

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald administered the oath of office from the Hawai‘i Supreme Court courtroom in Honolulu, while Kubota appeared before him in the Hale Kaulike Courthouse in Hilo.

Guest speakers also participated by videoconference. They were, in order of presentation:

  • Hawai‘i County Bar Association President Michelle S.K. Oishi
  • West Hawai‘i Bar Association President Rebecca H. Colvin
  • Hawai‘i State Bar Association President P. Gregory Frey
  • Hawai‘i State Trial Judges Association Vice-President Margaret K. Masunaga
  • Judicial Selection Commission Chair Ronette M. Kawakami
  • Hawai‘i State Rep. Richard H.K. Onishi
  • Hawai‘i State Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi
  • Gov. of Hawai‘i David Y. Ige
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Judge Kubota has served as a per diem District and Family Court Judge in the Third Circuit since 2019. He has practiced law for 30 years, with a solo practice in Hilo specializing in estate planning, real property advice and litigation, and business law.

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Following his graduation from the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law, he was admitted to the Hawai‘i State Bar in 1989.

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