SENATE CONFIRMS SEVEN JUDICIAL NOMINEES IN FIRST SPECIAL SESSION OF 2019
HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – The Hawai‘i State Senate in their first Special Session of 2019 has confirmed the judicial appointments of Solicitor General Clyde J. Wadsworth as Associate Judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals; Judge, Family Court of the First Circuit Kevin A.K. Souza as Judge of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit; Lisa W. Cataldo as Judge of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit; Ronald G. Johnson as Judge of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit; Public Defender John M. Tonaki as Judge of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit; District Court Judge Trish K. Morikawa as Judge of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit; and Judge, District Family Court, Jeffrey A. Hawk as Judge to the District Court of the Third Circuit. The Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Senator Karl Rhoads (Dist. 13) commented, “The Senate is pleased to be able to confirm seven well-qualified judges. We appreciate these individuals’ commitment to public service in what are important and often difficult positions.”
Clyde J. Wadsworth has served as the Solicitor General for the Department of the Attorney General since 2017. Prior to that, he served Of Counsel at Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing and worked in private practice throughout California. 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. He is filling the vacancy left by the retirement of Associate Judge Lawrence M. Reifurth in Aug. 2019.
Kevin A.K. Souza most recently worked in private practice specializing in criminal and family court matters. 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). He earned a Bachelor of Arts at Brigham Young University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Hawaiʻi – William S. Richardson School of Law. Souza is filling 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.
Lisa W. Cataldo is a partnerat McCorriston Miller Mukai Mackinnon (M4) with 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. Cataldo is a graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of Law and Oregon State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science. She is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Virginia L. Crandall in November 2018.
Ronald G. Johnson is an attorney advisor for the Transportation Security Administration. In this role, he handles legal issues relating to human resources, employee and labor relations, disciplinary actions, mission support and field operations. Prior to this, he served in the United States Attorney’s Office as the co-chief of the Violent Crime and Drug Section. 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. He is filling the position that has been vacant since the retirement of Circuit Judge Rom A. Trader in December 2018.
Trish K. Morikawa has served as a District Court Judge, First Circuit since May 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. She is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Colette Y. Garibaldi in December 2018.
John M. “Jack” Tonaki has been with the State Public Defender 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. He is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Glenn J. Kim in April 2019.
Jeffrey A. Hawk is a private practive litigator specializing in criminal court matters. He is an attonry at the Law Office of Jeffrey Hawk and was a partner at Hawk Sing & Ignacio from 2003-2016. Hawk also served as a Per Diem Judge in the Family and District Court of the Third Circuit and the Family Court of the First Circuit. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkley and a law degree from the University of Hawaiʻi – William S. Richardson School of Law. He is filling the vacancy left by the retirement of Circuit Judge Harry P. Freitas.
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