HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – The Hawai‘i State Senate today gave their consent on Brian A. Costa, Darolyn H. Lendio Heim, and Trish K. Morikawa as judges to District Court of the First Circuit (Island of O‘ahu).

Brian A. Costa is originally from New York state, but has developed strong roots in Hawai‘i over the last 20 years, beginning at Hawai‘i Pacific University and later the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 2001. After a brief stint as a prosecuting attorney, he then served as a law clerk to former Justice Simeon Acoba at the Hawai‘i Supreme Court. Since 2003, he has managed his own small practice specializing in traffic and criminal defense matters in district court, where he has represented hundreds of clients. He is also experienced in proceedings before the Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office. Costa also serves as a per diem judge of the District Family Court of the First Circuit.

“Combined with his recent experience as a per diem judge, Mr. Costa is clearly well qualified to serve as a district court judge in the First Circuit in a variety of proceedings,” said Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran (Dist. 5- Wailuku, Waihe‘e, Kahului), chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. “Testimony indicates that he has already achieved the respect of his full-time judicial peers and that he will hit the ground running in good form.”

Darolyn H. Lendio Heim graduated from Waialua High School and attended the University of Southern California where she received degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Working at the Wall Street Journal sparked her life-long interest in the law. She earned her law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt School of Law and was admitted to the Hawai‘i State Bar in 1984. Lendio Heim was most recently a partner at the law firm of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP. She previously served as Vice President of Legal Affairs at the University of Hawai‘i and was the Director of the Department of Corporation Counsel for the City and County of Honolulu.

“Her years of private litigation practice and public service give her an unusually broad perspective of legal issues that affect the people of Hawai‘i and she is eager to continue her public service at the ‘people's court,’” said Sen. Keith-Agaran. “As attested by her colleagues, Ms. Heim is very qualified for this position.”

Trish K. Morikawa is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools, the University of Pennsylvania, and the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Although for the last several years she has been in private practice, Morikawa has extensive public service experience and has served as a per diem judge of the District Family Court of the First Circuit since 2015. For a total of nearly 13 years she was a deputy prosecuting attorney for the City & County of Honolulu. She also spent 3 years as a deputy attorney general for the state. At one time she was also the County Housing Coordinator for the City & County of Honolulu, and has also served as a volunteer commissioner for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands from 2003 until 2011.

“Testimony indicated that throughout her career, Trish Morikawa has exhibited enthusiasm, compassion and common sense in approaching complicated legal issues that affect the lives of real people,” said Sen. Keith-Agaran. “Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor recognizes that those traits, along with her demeanor and work ethic, will make her an excellent full-time addition to the district court of the First Circuit.”

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald appointed the District Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission. Costa, Heim, and Morikawa fill the vacancies created by the retirements of Judges Gerald H. Kibe, David W. Lo, and Barbara P. Richardson. They each serve a term of six years.

Photos courtesy: Senate Communications

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