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Governor Ige Appoints Two Third Circuit Court (Island of Hawaiʻi) Judges

Gov. David Ige today announced two appointments to the Third Circuit Court (Island of Hawaiʻi) as follows:

Henry Taro Nakamoto, 53, District Family Court Judge, Third Circuit, is appointed to the Third Circuit Court (Hilo) to fill the vacancy created by the December 2016 retirement of The Honorable Glenn S. Hara.

Henry Taro Nakamoto

Judge Nakamoto has served as a Family Court Judge and a District Court Judge beginning in June 2014. Prior to his service on the bench, he practiced law at Nakamoto, Okamoto & Yamamoto where he was a partner and director, and Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, where he was an associate. He was born and raised on Hawaiʻi Island and practiced law there for 23 years, focusing on family and civil law. Nakamoto completed a B.A. in economics at Cornell University before earning his J.D. at Hastings College of Law.

“I would like to thank Gov. Ige for giving me the opportunity to serve as a circuit court judge. I appreciate all the support I have gotten from friends and family and will strive to continue to serve the community,” said Nakamoto.

Attorney Robert D.S. Kim, 63, is appointed to the Third Circuit Court (Kona) to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of The Honorable Judge Ronald Ibarra in June 2017.

Robert D.S. Kim

Kim, who is in private practice, is a litigator who concentrates in the areas of criminal defense, family law, civil litigation, personal injury litigation, and administrative proceedings. Kim has served as the West Hawaii Bar President for many years. He has extensive civil, family and criminal trial experience. Kim graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi – Hilo with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and earned his law degree at the William S. Richardson School of Law.

“I am honored and humbled to be nominated to fill the position of retired Judge Ronald Ibarra. I am committed to work diligently and respectfully if I am confirmed by the Senate,” said Kim.

“Judge Nakamoto and Mr. Kim both understand the law and the role of a judge in ensuring fair and impartial decisions in our judicial system. They will serve the people of Hawaiʻi well,” said Gov. Ige.

The process used to select these appointees is the same process used in prior selections and will be used whenever Gov. Ige makes judicial appointments.

Gov. Ige personally interviewed each candidate, received input from retired Hawai‘i State Supreme Court Associate Justice James Duffy, who reviewed the qualifications of the nominees and solicited feedback on each from the law community, and reviewed testimony submitted by the public. The Senate confirmation also allows opportunities for the general public to weigh in.

Both appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

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