• Hawaiʻi State Senate

SENATE CONFIRMS JUDGES, BUDGET AND FINANCE DEPUTY DIRECTOR


The Hawai‘i State Senate today confirmed the appointments of Associate Judge Lisa M. Ginoza as chief judge, Intermediate Court of Appeals, District Judge James Ashford to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, and Kevin T. Morikone to the District Court of the First Circuit.

Associate Judge Ginoza has been licensed to practice law in Hawai‘i since 1989. She earned her Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the William S. Richardson School of Law, where she was an editor for the University of Hawai‘i Law Review. Prior to her appointment to the Intermediate Court of Appeals, Judge Ginoza served as First Deputy Attorney General of the State of Hawai‘i, where she assisted the Attorney General in leading a department with over one hundred seventy attorneys. Judge Ginoza also previously served as a partner with McCorriston Miller Mukai Mackinnon. Judge Ginoza has been active in the legal community throughout her career, including as a member of the Commission on Professionalism. She will serve for a term of ten years.

“Judge Ginoza has the experience, temperament, judiciousness, and other competencies to be the Chief Judge of the Intermediate Appellate Court, and has the broad legal expertise, superb character, outstanding judicial temperament, and unwavering commitment to justice that are essential for a Chief Judge,” said Senator Brian Taniguchi (Dist. 11 - Manoa, Makiki, Punchbowl, Papakolea), Chair of the Committee on Judiciary, upon her confirmation.

Judge James H. Ashford received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Claremont McKenna College, and his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Loyola Law School. He was admitted to the Hawai‘i bar in 1988. He currently serves as a District Judge of the First Circuit, where he presides primarily over criminal cases brought in the District Court. He has also presided over civil and felony criminal trials while on temporary assignment to the Circuit Court. Prior to his appointment to the District Court of the First Circuit, Judge Ashford served as a litigation partner with Cades Schutte. In his private litigation practice, Judge Ashford represented clients in proceedings at every level of the Hawai‘i state court system, including the Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Hawai‘i Supreme Court. He is also currently president of the Hawai‘i State Trial Judges Association. He will serve for a term of ten years.

“Based on the testimony submitted on his behalf, Judge James H. Ashford has the experience, temperament, judiciousness, and other competencies to be a First Circuit Court Judge, and has the strong personal integrity, superb judicial temperament, and legal acumen that are essential for a First Circuit Court Judge,” said Sen. Taniguchi.

Kevin T. Morikone received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a certificate in Ethnic Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, and his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the William S. Richardson School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. He was admitted to the Hawai‘i Bar in 2007. Since October 2015, he has served as a per diem District Family Judge in the Family Court of the First Circuit while continuing his private practice at Hosoda and Morikone, LLC. Morikone has been a partner at Hosoda and Morikone, LLC, since 2011. As a per diem District Family Judge in the Family Court of the First Circuit, Morikone has presided over temporary restraining order proceedings, adoptions, guardianship proceedings, paternity proceedings, uncontested and contested divorces, and cases involving detention homes. He has also served as an arbitrator in the Court Annexed Arbitration Program. Morikone has been actively involved in the legal community throughout his career, including as a volunteer for Appellate Advocacy and Trial Practice courses and as pro bono legal counsel for the Oahu Interscholastic Association. In addition, he has served as the Foreclosure Commissioner since 2013, and participated in Lawyers League Softball since 2003. Morikone will serve for a term of six years.

Said Sen. Taniguchi, “The testimony submitted on his behalf commended Kevin T. Morikone with having the experience, temperament, judiciousness, and other competencies to be a District Court Judge of the First Circuit, and that he has the intellect, experience, and demeanor to fully and faithfully discharge all the duties associated with the judicial office of District Court Judge.”

The Senate also confirmed the appointment of Ken Kitamura as the deputy director of the Department of Budget and Finance.

Prior to his appointment with the Budget and Finance department, Kitamura served as the Business Management Officer of the Department of Human Services, Fiscal Management Office since January 2014. He previously served as an Administrative Services Officer, Business Manager, and a Program Budget Analyst of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. In addition, he was a Business Services Officer of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and a Legislative Aide in the Honolulu City Council. He also served as a special projects manager, budget supervisor, associate auditor and an analyst with the Hawai‘i State Legislature. Kitamura earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Chaminade University of Honolulu and a Master's in Public Administration degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Photos courtesy: Hawai‘i Senate Communications (L to R: Judges James H. Ashford, Lisa M. Ginoza, Kevin T. Morikone); Ken Kitamura

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Copyright 2019 Hawai`i Senate Majority

Hawai`i State Capitol
415 South Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96813