During a ceremony today in the State Supreme Court courtroom, Associate Justice Steven Levinson honored First Circuit (O`ahu) Family Court Judge Karen Radius as the 2007 "Jurist of the Year." Justice Levinson also recognized individual employees and teams from the Hawai`i State Judiciary for their outstanding contributions to the court system.
Judge Radius helped establish the First Circuit Girls Court in 2004. One of the first courts of its kind in the nation, Girls Court addresses the needs of at-risk and delinquent girls by providing more gender-specific programs and services. As the presiding judge of Girls Court, Judge Radius goes beyond the role of a judge to provide hands-on help to the girls and their families, often doing so on her own time. She takes part in many community service projects with the girls and their families to provide opportunities to give back to the community and meet positive role models. Among her many activities this year, Judge Radius accompanied eight girls to surfing lessons designed to teach life skills and, on Mother's Day, involved mothers and daughters in craft projects as a means of strengthening their relationships.
Judge Radius was appointed a full-time judge in 1994, and has presided over all types of family court cases. She was the founding judge of the First Circuit Juvenile Drug Court. Judge Radius currently sits on the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and is a member of the Child Support Enforcement Agency Advisory Board, the Per Diem Screening Committee, and the American Judicature Society Hawai`i Chapter's Special Committee on the American Bar Association's Model Judicial Conduct Code.
Receiving the Meritorious Service award at the ceremony was Third Circuit (Hawai`i island) Judicial Assistant Lani Ng. This honor recognizes employees who consistently maintain a high level of excellence on the job. Ms. Ng is Judge Ronald Ibarra's judicial assistant, and has worked at the Judiciary for 20 years.
Receiving the Spirit of the Judiciary award for consistently displaying a helpful and courteous attitude to the public and co-workers was Secretary June Amaral of the Second Circuit (Maui) and First Circuit District Court Probation Clerical Support Supervisor Evelyne Luk.
Honored with an individual Certificate of Commendation for superior performance was David Kauhola of the Kane`ohe District Court, and Neal Hamada, Facilities Branch, both of the First Circuit.
Group Certificate of Commendation awards went to the Facilities Branch, Fifth Circuit (Kaua`i) for their commitment, pride, and passion toward the cleaning and maintenance of the new Kaua`I Judiciary Complex. The branch members are Perry Alisna, Romy Basilio, Christine Callejo, Leila Cordozo, Cline Hiranaka, Edgardo Ibanez, Jason Kaui, Dean Kuboyama, Steven Macabeo and Cisco Peru.
The Office of Equality and Access to the Courts also received a Group Certificate of Commendation. Team members Debi Tulang-DeSilva, Philip Liu, Anna Lisa Vidad and Joyce Kajioka were recognized for establishing the Judiciary's first certification program for interpreters.
The Incentive Award recipients were selected from 25 individual and group nominees. A volunteer committee chaired by Supreme Court Associate Justice James E. Duffy, Jr. carefully reviewed the nominations and presented recommendations to Chief Justice Moon for his selection.
Along with the Jurist of the Year and Incentive Award presentations, Judiciary employees from the Courts of Appeal and Administration were honored for completing 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 45 years of service.
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Contact: Marsha Kitagawa, 539-4909