HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today announced one appointment to the Intermediate Court of Appeals and five appointments to the First Circuit Court (Island of Oʻahu) as follows:
Intermediate Court of Appeals
Clyde J. Wadsworth – 61, Solicitor General, Department of the Attorney General, State of Hawaiʻi, is appointed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals, State of Hawai‘i, to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Associate Judge Lawrence M. Reifurth in Aug. 2019.
In his current position as Solicitor General of the State of Hawaiʻi, Wadsworth heads the Appellate Division of the Department of the Attorney General and has briefed and argued appeals before the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court and the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has 34 years of litigation and dispute resolution experience, representing clients in federal and state courts, arbitration and mediation. In recent years, his primary areas of practice have been constitutional and civil rights, public land use, unfair business practices, and other business disputes.
Wadsworth is a graduate of Princeton University. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law, where he served as an editor of the UCLA Law Review.
“I am deeply honored and humbled that Gov. Ige has nominated me to serve on the Intermediate Court of Appeals. I hope to continue to serve the people of Hawaiʻi to the best of my ability, and I look forward to the Senate confirmation process.”
First Circuit Court (Island of Oʻahu)
Lisa W. Cataldo – 56, an attorney at McCorriston Miller Mukai Mackinnon (M4), is appointed to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Island of O‘ahu) to fill the vacancy following the retirement of Circuit Judge Virginia L. Crandall in Nov. 2018.
Cataldo is currently a partner at M4 with a diverse litigation practice, primarily defending clients in commercial, employment, disability, insurance defense, constitutional/civil rights and land use matters. Prior to joining M4, she served for two years as the part-time federal magistrate judge (United States District Court, District of Hawaiʻi) located in Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands. She also clerked for senior Judge Roger D. Foley, United States District Court, District of Nevada, and held associate attorney positions with law firms in San Francisco and Honolulu.
Cataldo is a graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of Law and Oregon State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science.
“I’m grateful and humbled by Gov. Ige’s nomination and look forward to the confirmation process,” said Cataldo.
Ronald G. Johnson – 58, an attorney advisor for the Transportation Security Administration, is appointed to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Island of O‘ahu) to fill the position that has been vacant since the retirement of Circuit Judge Rom A. Trader in Dec. 2018.
As an attorney advisor, Johnson handles legal issues related to human resources, employee and labor relations, disciplinary actions, mission support and field operations. In addition, he handles civil enforcement cases and acts as the ethics advisor for the Pacific Rim airports. Prior to this, he served in the United States Attorney’s Office as the co-chief of the Violent Crime and Drug Section. He also worked for the City and County of Honolulu in the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.
Johnson graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Hawaiʻi, College of Business Administration, and he earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Hawaiʻi – William S. Richardson School of Law.
“I am humbled and honored to be nominated by Gov. Ige. I am grateful for his confidence in me and appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve my community in a very important and impactful way. I look forward to meeting with members of the Senate as they consider my nomination,” said Johnson.
Trish K. Morikawa – 48, District Court Judge, First Circuit, is appointed to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Island of O‘ahu) to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Colette Y. Garibaldi in Dec. 2018.
Morikawa was sworn in as First Circuit District Court Judge by Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald on May 3, 2017. She was previously employed as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Deputy Attorney General, and as an associate at Gallagher Kane Amai. She also served as a Per Diem Judge of the District Family Court of the First Circuit. Morikawa earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi – William S. Richardson School of Law.
“I am deeply honored and humbled that Gov. Ige has nominated me to serve as a First Circuit Court judge,” said Morikawa.
Kevin A. K. Souza – 49, Judge, Family Court of the First Circuit, is appointed to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Island of O‘ahu) to fill the vacancy created when Circuit Judge Keith K. Hiraoka was elevated to the position of associate judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals in Nov. 2018. Prior to his appointment as a District Family Court Judge of the First Circuit, Souza specialized in criminal and family court matters with The Law Offices of Kevin A. Souza. While working as a solo practitioner, he served as a per diem Family Court judge (2012 – 2013), and as Grand Jury Counsel for the First Circuit (2011 - 2012). Souza also worked as an associate litigation attorney with McCorriston Miho Miller Mukai, as a Deputy Public Defender, and as the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor from 2006 – 2010. Souza earned a Bachelor of Arts at Brigham Young University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Hawaiʻi – William S. Richardson School of Law.
“I appreciate the Governor’s careful consideration of all candidates, and I am honored to be nominated by him. I look forward to the Senate advise and consent process and am excited to continue to serve our community on the First Circuit Court,” said Souza.
John M. “Jack” Tonaki – 59, Public Defender, State of Hawaiʻi, is appointed to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Island of O‘ahu) to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Glenn J. Kim in April 2019.
Tonaki has been the State Public Defender (head of the office) since 2000. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Hawaii State Bar Association and the American Judicature Society. He has also been a member of numerous legal committees and task forces including the Judiciary's Standing Committee on the Rules of Evidence and Standing Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions.
Tonaki earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
“I am humbled by the governor's appointment and pledge to do my very best in becoming a good judge and continuing to serve the people of Hawaiʻi,” said Tonaki.
The appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.