Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed M. Kanani Laubach to the District Family Court of Third Circuit (Island of Hawaii). Laubach will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of the Honorable Melvin H. Fujino to the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit.
Laubach has been in private practice since 2011 when she opened the Law Office of M. Kanani Laubach, L.L.L.C. in Hilo, Hawaii. Since 2012 she has been a partner at the law firm of Laubach & Frenz, A.A.I., L.L.L.C., handling criminal cases in District, Family, and Circuit Court. She also has extensive experience in family law cases involving temporary restraining orders, divorce, paternity, and child custody proceedings.
Between 2006 and 2010, Laubach served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the County of Hawaii Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, where she worked on criminal cases in District, Family, and Circuit Court. In 2007 she joined the Violent Crime Unit and was tasked with prosecuting violent crime cases ranging from child sex assault to homicide.
From 2003 to 2006, Laubach served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the City and County of Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney in the Domestic Violence Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor Jury Demand, and Felony Trials divisions.
In addition to her legal experience, Laubach has previously worked with families in both the school and home environments, including teaching parenting skills and child development as a Visitation Specialist at Parents and Children Together in Waipahu, Oahu.
Laubach currently holds the office of Vice-President of the Hawai’i County Bar Association, and has been providing pro bono services at the Hilo Self-Help Center since it opened in 2012. Laubach has served as a Director on the Waiakea High School Foundation Board since 2014, and as a volunteer arbitrator in the Court Annexed Arbitration Program since 2011.
Laubach is a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 2003. She is also a graduate of Chaminade University of Hawaii where she received a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology in 2000.
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, Laubach will serve a term of six years.