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Chief Justice Appoints Shimozono, Yoo, Hiatt, and DeWeese as District Court Judges

Posted on Jun 15, 2018 in News & Reports, Nominee and Appointments, Our Judges, Press Releases

HONOLULU, HI – Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has today appointed Kenneth J. Shimozono to the District Family Court of the First Circuit and Kristine Y. Yoo to the District Court of the First Circuit.  He has also appointed Mahilani E.K. Hiatt and Wendy M. DeWeese to the District Family Court of the Third Circuit.

FIRST CIRCUIT (OAHU)
Kenneth J. Shimozono has been practicing criminal defense law as a partner in the law firm of Takemoto & Shimozono, LLC. since 2005.   He also currently serves as a per diem judge in the District Family Court of the First Circuit.  Prior to private practice, he served for ten years as a Deputy Public Defender in Honolulu and as a law clerk to Associate Justice Paula A. Nakayama. He also previously served as Grand Jury Counsel in the First Circuit.  Shimozono is currently a member of the Board of Bar Examiners and an avid volunteer coach for community sports.   He is a graduate of Willamette University College of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1994.

Kristine Y. Yoo  is currently serving as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Honolulu, where she has 14 years of experience. Prior to that, she worked as an AmeriCorps attorney with Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, as well as with the litigation firm of Howie, Long & Smith in California.  She currently serves as the Vice-President of Hawaii Women Lawyers and is a Pacific Century Fellow.  Yoo is a graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of Law, a member of the California State Bar since 2000, and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 2003.

THIRD CIRCUIT (HAWAII ISLAND)
Mahilani E.K. Hiatt is currently a partner at Hiatt & Hiatt, where she concentrates on commercial litigation and employment law. She also serves as a per diem judge in the District and District Family Courts of the Third Circuit.  She previously served as Human Resources Administrator at Hawaii Electric Light Co., and was an associate attorney at Bays Deaver Hiatt Lung & Rose in Honolulu.  Hiatt is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1993.

Wendy M. DeWeese has been a Deputy Public Defender in Kealakekua for the past 11 years.  Prior to that, she served as a law clerk for Judge Ronald Ibarra (ret).  Before moving to Hawaii, DeWeese worked for 11 years in private practice in California handling personal injury, civil, and family law cases.   She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Southwestern University School of Law, a member of the California State Bar since 1993, and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 2006.

The Chief Justice appoints District Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission. If confirmed by the State Senate, Shimozono, Yoo, Hiatt, and DeWeese will each serve a term of six years. 

For more information, contact the public affairs office at 808-539-4909 or via email at pao@courts.hawaii.gov.

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