Skip to Main Nav Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content

JIMS/JEFS/eCourt Kokua System Down May 18-19, 2024. Learn more here.

Judge Hilary Benson Gangnes

Hilary Benson Gangnes was appointed to the District Court of the First Circuit in May 2002.  Before her appointment, Judge Gangnes served for five years as a per diem district court judge.  
Judge Gangnes graduated magna cum laude from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now known as Seattle University School of Law) in 1984.  Following a clerkship for a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas civil division judge, she began her legal career in the litigation department of Schnader, Harrison Segal & Lewis in Philadelphia. After moving to Hawaii in 1990, she served as a law clerk to then-Associate Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon.  She then joined the law firm McKenzie Trecker & Fritz, and was managing partner of Trecker & Fritz from 1994 to 1998. She later joined the law firm Crabtree & Hoshibata and was a partner at Bronster Crabtree & Hoshibata until her appointment as a judge in 2002.
Judge Gangnes serves as the lead civil judge for the First Circuit district court and is chair of the District Court Civil Rules and Forms Committee. She has been a judge for the annual High School Mock Trial competition since 1998, and for the Susan B. McKay Intramural Oral Competition at the William S. Richardson School of Law from 1998 to 2013.  She has also served on the board of Hawai’i Women Lawyers (1998 to 2002), the American Judicature Society Hawai’i Chapter (1998 to 2008), and the Hawai’i Board of Bar Examiners (1993 to present).