SENATE CONFIRMS JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS TO THE INTERMEDIATE COURT OF APPEALS AND TO THE FIRST CIRCUIT'


The Hawaii State Senate in their first special session of 2020 has confirmed the judicial appointments of First Circuit Court Judge Karen Nakasone to the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA); Karin Holma, Tracy Fukui, Bryant Zane and Andrew Park to the District Court of the First Circuit; and Courtney Naso, Elizabeth Paek-Harris and Thomas Haia to the District Family Court of the First Circuit.

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Senator Karl Rhoads (Dist. 13) commented, “The Senate is pleased to confirm the judicial appointments of these eight very well-qualified individuals. This pandemic has caused a backlog in the courts and all of these appointees are very eager to hit the ground running.”

Judge Karen Nakasone has served as a judge of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit since 2011, where she presided over civil and criminal cases. She also has been assigned as a substitute Associate Justice on the Hawaii Supreme Court for 25 cases and a substitute Associate Judge on the ICA for four cases. Prior to her appointment in 2011, she was a Deputy Public Defender in the State Office of the Public Defender and earlier served as a law clerk to then-Associate Judge of the ICA Simeon R. Acoba, Jr. Judge Nakasone is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Boston University School of Law, class of 1995.

Judge Karin Holma most recently has been a partner at Bays Lung Rose & Holma. She had been with the firm for 28 years where she successfully litigated numerous cases with a focus on commercial law including construction and real estate disputes. For six years, she was the firm's managing partner. Judge Holma graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and received her law degree from Willamette University College of Law in 1989.

Judge Tracy Fukui has been the section head of the employment and civil rights division of the Office of the Corporation Council for the City and County of Honolulu. She has also worked in private practice, representing businesses and individuals in civil matters and defendants in criminal cases, and was a Deputy Public Defender in the State Office of the Public Defender for six years. She is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and received her law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School in 1998.

Judge Bryant Zane has served for seventeen years as a Deputy Public Defender in the State Office of the Public Defender. He previously worked for five years as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Kauai. Cumulatively, he has handled over 95 criminal jury trials and more than 150 criminal bench trials. Judge Zane is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and received his law degree from Howard University School of Law in 1996.

Judge Andrew Park most recently has worked in private practice at the Law Office of Andrew T. Park, LLLC, focusing on criminal defense and assisting clients with mental health issues. Since 2017, he has also served as a Per Diem Judge in the District Family Court of the First Circuit. He previously worked as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu, from 2008 to 2011. Judge Park is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the William S. Richardson School of Law in 2008.

Judge Courtney Naso has been in private practice for the past 20 years and has experience handling all aspects of family law cases including divorce, child custody and adoption. Since 2013, she also has served as a court-appointed Volunteer Settlement Master for the First Circuit Family Court. Judge Naso graduated from Michigan State University and received her law degree from Regent University School of Law in 1998.

Judge Elizabeth Paek-Harris has been in private practice for the past 16 years, focusing on family law. Since January 2019, she has also served as a Per Diem Judge in the District Family Court of the First Circuit. Judge Paek-Harris is a graduate of the Evergreen State College and received her law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 2003.

Judge Thomas Haia has been a solo practitioner with an emphasis on family law for the past 23 years and since 2014 has also served as a Per Diem District Court Judge in the First Circuit. He also briefly worked as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Kauai. Judge Haia is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and received his law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1995.


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