Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed Darien W.L. Ching Nagata to the District Court of Third Circuit (Island of Hawaii). She will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Barbara T. Takase.
Since 1998, Nagata has been a deputy prosecuting attorney for the County of Hawaii Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. She currently supervises the District and Family Court Domestic Units, and has previously supervised the Circuit Court Unit that handles child and adult sexual assaults, homicides and violent crime cases. From 2008 to 2014, Nagata was cross-deputized to serve as the Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, where she assisted with Project Safe Neighborhood.
Nagata has been a two time President of the Hawaii County Bar Association and served as the Association’s representative to Co-Chair the committee to establish Hilo’s Self Help Center. She is currently an active member of the Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services to the Public, where she assists in the ongoing effort to promote and provide legal services to the public, and the Diversity, Equality, & the Law (DEAL) Committee, developing programs to eliminate gender, ethnic, and other bias and discrimination in the legal profession and judicial system.
In 2013, the Hawaii State Bar Association appointed Nagata as Commissioner of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission. She has worked as a Neighbor Island Representative, furthering the Commission’s goal of substantially increasing access to justice in civil legal matters for low- and moderate-income residents.
Nagata has served the Hawaii Island community for nine years as a Volunteer Arbitrator for the Court Annexed Arbitration Program, and as a Volunteer Mediator with the Hawaii County Foreclosure Mediation Program.
Nagata is a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1997.
The Chief Justice appoints District Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission. If confirmed by the State Senate, Nagata will serve a term of six years.