The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted to recommend that the Senate consent to the judicial appointments of Christopher Dunn to the District Court of the Second Circuit and James Rouse to the District Family Court of the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit comprises Maui County.
Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald made his appointments from the nomination lists that were presented to him by the Judicial Selection Commission on December 17, 2020. He notified the Senate of his appointments on January 15, 2021.
Dunn has been appointed to fill the seat vacated by Judge Kelsey Kawano, who is now sitting on the Circuit Court bench. He has 25 years of trial experience, handling a high volume of cases representing privately retained and court-appointed clients in District, Family and Circuit Courts, and administrative proceedings. He has been in his own private practice on Maui for the past 18 years. Dunn is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School, in Washington, D.C., and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 2002.
Rouse has been appointed to fill the seat of retired Judge Lloyd Poelman. He is currently employed as a Deputy Attorney General with the Department of the Attorney General handling Family Court matters. Rouse previously served as a Deputy Public Defender in the Office of the Public Defender for almost twenty years, and as an associate with Coates and Frey Law Firm, the Law Office of David Sereno, and in the Maui County Prosecutors Office. He graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law, in San Francisco, and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1994.
The Senate has until Friday, February 12 to confirm the appointments. If confirmed, the term of office for both appointees would be for six years.