Office of the Governor – News Release – Governor Green Announces Nominees for Two Judicial Vacancies

Posted on Oct 23, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., today announced the nominations of Judge Lisa M. Ginoza and attorney Vladimir P. Devens as Associate Justices to the Hawai‘i Supreme Court.

“One of my guiding principles for judicial nominations is to ensure diversity — in terms of gender and ethnicity, yes — but also in background and experience. These nominees have very different legal backgrounds, but the breadth and depth of their experience in different areas of law and practice were compelling reasons for me to choose them,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D.

Associate Justice nominee Ginoza has served as Chief Judge of the State of Hawaiʻi Intermediate Court of Appeals for five of her 13 years with the appeals court. Ginoza also served as First Deputy Attorney General from 2005 to 2010, assisting the Attorney General in leading a department of more than 700 employees including 170 attorneys across 16 legal services divisions and five non-legal divisions covering Crime Prevention, Criminal Justice Data Center and investigations, among others. In private practice, Chief Judge Ginoza worked for some of the top law firms in Honolulu overseeing various types of litigation and handled cases at all court levels, including the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ginoza is a member of the boards of directors of both the Judiciary History Center and the American Judicature Society. She chairs the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court’s Commission to Promote and Advance Civic Education, known as the PACE Commission. She received her Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She also graduated from Kailua High School.

“It is a great honor to be nominated to the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court,” nominee Ginoza said. “I am grateful to Governor Green for his confidence in me and thank him for this opportunity. I look forward to meeting with senators in the coming weeks as they consider my nomination. I also thank the Judicial Selection Commission for its earlier role in this important process.”

Associate Justice nominee Devens is principal at the Law Offices of Vladimir P. Devens, LLC and had been a partner at Meheula, Devens & Winer, as well as at Meheula & Devens. He served as lead counsel in the Hawai‘i Supreme Court’s landmark child abuse decision in Kahoohanohano v. DHS, has litigated constitutional privacy right cases, and handled significant litigation involving child sexual abuse issues and numerous wrongful death cases. He represents several labor unions. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Devens serves as a member on the Disciplinary Board of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court and as a director for the nonprofit Crime Stoppers Honolulu, Inc. His previous public service roles include participation as a member on the Governor’s Hawai‘i Impaired Driving Task Force in 2013 and as chair and vice chair of the State Land Use Commission.

His activity within the legal community includes several roles with the Hawai‘i State Bar Association since 2011 and he serves as a volunteer attorney with the Access to Justice Center. Following a six-year career with the Honolulu Police Department attaining the rank of Corporal, Devens remains a volunteer reserve police officer. Devens graduated from Kalani High School.

“I am truly honored and humbled with this appointment to the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court. I want to thank the Governor for having confidence in me. Having been born and raised in this community and having had the opportunity to serve many over the decades through a very diverse legal practice and through work in our community, it is an honor to be nominated. And should the State Senate confirm me, I will bring the same values, hard work, commitment, and dedication that has marked my decades of work as a litigator and through my service in the community.”

Ginoza and Devens will fill two vacancies on the Hawai‘i Supreme Court resulting from the retirements of Associate Justice Michael Wilson in March and Associate Justice Paula Nakayama in April. Their nominations were among six names provided to the Governor after a thorough review of the backgrounds and qualifications of all applicants by the Judicial Selection Commission.

The nominations are subject to confirmation by the State Senate.

With Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald’s swearing in of three new First Circuit District Court Judges this afternoon including one woman and two men, the state will have a total of 81 judges/justices on the bench. There will be 40 females and 41 males.

News conference video can be found on Governor Green’s Facebook page.

Photos from the news conference, courtesy Office of the Governor.

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Media Contacts:

Erika Engle

Press Secretary

Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i

Phone: (808) 586-0120

Email: [email protected]

Makana McClellan

Director of Communications

Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi

Cell: (808) 265-0083

Email: [email protected]