Office of the Governor News Release: Governor Ige announces judicial appointments for Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi circuit courts

Posted on Oct 8, 2021 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today announced five judicial appointments to fill vacancies on the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Oʻahu), Circuit Court of the Second Circuit (Maui), and Circuit Court of the Third Circuit (Hawaiʻi – Kona). The five appointees were each chosen from five lists of nominees submitted to the governor on Sept. 13, by the state Judicial Selection Commission.

CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT (Oʻahu):

Gov. Ige has made the following three appointments:

Clarissa Y. Malinao is appointed to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Circuit Judge Edwin C. Nacino in 2020. Malinao is a solo practitioner focusing on criminal law in both state and federal courts. Since 2019, she has been a per diem District Court Judge of the First Circuit. Malinao was recognized in 2020 as Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney Honoree for her volunteer work with Volunteer Legal Services of Hawai‘i. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Seattle University and her JD from Whittier Law School in California.

“I am thankful and truly humbled by the Governor Ige’s nomination and am excited to have an opportunity to serve our community on the First Circuit Court.  I look forward to meeting with members of the Senate as they consider my nomination,” said Malinao.

Kevin T. Morikone is appointed to fill the vacancy left by former Circuit Judge Todd W. Eddins, who was appointed as associated justice of the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court in 2020. Morikone is currently a District Family Court Judge of the First Circuit. Born and raised in Kaimuki, he graduated Kalani High School and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a BA in political science and a certificate in ethnic studies. Judge Morikone earned his Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He has practiced in civil litigation and was appointed a per diem judge of the Family Court in 2015.

“It is an honor to be nominated by Governor Ige for this position. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to meeting with the members of the Senate as they consider my nomination,” said Morikone.

Shanlyn A. S. Park has been appointed to the seat previously held by former Circuit Judge Karen T. Nakasone, who was appointed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals in 2020. Park is an attorney in private practice, specializing in insurance defense, commercial litigation, contested probate matters and criminal defense. She graduated from Chaminade University with a BA in English and earned her Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

“I am grateful and humbled by Governor Ige’s nomination to serve as a First Circuit Court judge,” said Park.

­CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND CIRCUIT (Maui):

Kirstin M. Hamman is appointed to the seat previously held by Circuit Judge Rhonda I. Loo, who retired in May. Hamman is a judge with the District Court of the Second Circuit. Previously, she had her own private practice specializing in family law and special education law. She was also an attorney with the Maui Office of Council Services, the Public Defender’s Office, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi. Hamman is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu and the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

“I am deeply honored.  I would like to thank Governor Ige for his faith in me.  I look forward to meeting with the Senate and to serving the people of Hawaiʻi as a Circuit Court judge,” said Hamman.

CIRCUIT COURT OF THE THIRD CIRCUIT (Hawaiʻi – Kona):

Wendy M. DeWeese is appointed to the seat previously held by Circuit Judge Melvin H. Fujino, who retired in 2020. DeWeese is a judge with the District Family Court of the Third Circuit. She received a BA from Pomona College in California and her Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law. DeWeese was born in the US but grew up in Europe, lived and worked in California before moving to Hawaiʻi.

“In 2005, the Big Island welcomed me with open arms and has given me so much since then. I am just so very grateful, honored and humbled to have the opportunity to give back to the community that has been so kind, generous and inspiring to me,” DeWeese said.

Prior to making these appointments, Gov. Ige carefully evaluated and investigated the backgrounds and qualifications of all applicants submitted to him by the state Judicial Selection Commission.

All appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

**Headshots are attached

**Resumes for all appointees are available upon request.

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Media Contacts:

Jodi Leong

Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0043

[email protected]

Cindy McMillan

Communications Director

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0012

[email protected]