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Peter K. Kubota Sworn In as New Circuit Court Judge of the Third Circuit

Posted on May 18, 2020 in Featured News, News & Reports


Third Circuit Court Judge Peter K. Kubota stands in front of his courtroom bench holding a copy of the 04/17/1974 edition of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald newspaper.

Third Circuit Court Judge Peter K. Kubota proudly shares a copy of the April 17, 1974 edition of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald newspaper featuring his father, Judge Ernest H. Kubota (ret.), being sworn-in as Third Circuit Court Judge by Gov. George R. Ariyoshi.

Peter K. Kubota was sworn-in as Judge of the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit (Hawaii island) during a special session convened by the Hawaii Supreme Court on May 15.

For the first time in state history, a judicial swearing-in ceremony was conducted by videoconference and broadcast live on the Judiciary’s YouTube channel where friends, family, and members of the public could watch. This break from traditional proceedings is one of many changes the Judiciary has implemented since February to ensure community health and safety while maintaining court operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald administered the oath of office from the Hawaii Supreme Court courtroom in Honolulu, while Kubota appeared before him in the Hale Kaulike Courthouse in Hilo.

Image from the YouTube livestream of Judge Peter K. Kubota at the bench with livestream images of other Hawaii Supreme Court justices and Gov. David Y. Ige looking on from their remote locations.

After being sworn in, Judge Peter K. Kubota shares his thoughts from the bench of his Hilo courtroom while Hawaii Gov. David Y. Ige and Supreme Court justices view the livestream from their remote locations.

Guest speakers also participated by videoconference. They were, in order of presentation: Hawaii County Bar Association President Michelle S.K. Oishi, West Hawaii Bar Association President Rebecca H. Colvin, Hawaii State Bar Association President P. Gregory Frey, Hawaii State Trial Judges Association Vice-President Margaret K. Masunaga, Judicial Selection Commission Chair Ronette M. Kawakami, Hawaii State Rep. Richard H.K. Onishi, Hawaii State Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi, and Gov. of Hawaii David Y. Ige.

Judge Kubota has served as a per diem District and Family Court Judge in the Third Circuit since 2019. He has practiced law for 30 years, with a solo practice in Hilo specializing in estate planning, real property advice and litigation, and business law. Following his graduation from the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, he was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1989.