Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald appointed Lanson K. Kupau, Melanie Mito May and Dean E. Ochiai to the District Court and Catherine H. Remigio to the District Family Court of the First Circuit (Oahu).
Kupau is currently a per diem District Family Court judge on Oahu, and an attorney with the law firm of Bronster Hoshibata. He was previously a partner at Kobayashi Sugita & Goda, where he specialized in commercial litigation and insurance regulatory issues. He also worked as a deputy public defender after graduating from the California Western School of Law in 1992.
Mito May has been in private practice, specializing in the area of employment law, since 1997. She is currently a partner with Marr Jones & Wang and has been an arbitrator with the Court Annexed Arbitration Program since 2002. She earned her law degree from Hastings College of Law in 1996, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Daniel G. Heely and Kevin S.C. Chang.
Ochiai has been the Vice President and Managing Attorney of First Insurance Company of Hawaii, Ltd. since 1991. He previously worked for the City and County of Honolulu as both a deputy prosecuting attorney and senior trial attorney for the Department of the Corporation Counsel. He received his law degree from Hastings College of Law in 1980.
Remigio is a partner of the law firm Bryant & Remigio, LLLC, where she practices in the area of family law. She has been a per diem District Court judge on Oahu since 2007. She is an arbitrator with the Court Annexed Arbitration Program and previously served as a Grand Jury counsel. A former deputy public defender, she is a 1992 graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law.
The chief justice appoints District Court and District Family Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission.
If confirmed by the State Senate, the district court judges will serve in office for six years.
Dean Ochiai and Lanson Kupau will fill the vacancies created when former District Court judges Colette Y. Garibaldi and Fa`auuga L. To`oto`o became Circuit Court judges. Catherine Remigio will fill the vacancy created when Michael F. Broderick left the Family Court bench to become President of the YMCA of Honolulu. Melanie Mito May will succeed Judge Christopher P. McKenzie who retires on May 1, 2011.