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Statement from Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald on the Passing of Former Judge Alfred Laureta

Posted on Nov 30, 2020 in News & Reports, Press Releases

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of former Fifth Circuit Court Judge Alfred Laureta.

Judge Laureta, who devoted his life to public service, became the first state judge of Filipino ancestry when he was named to the First Circuit Court bench in June 1967 by Gov. John A. Burns. Two years later, the Governor appointed him to serve in the Fifth Circuit, which he did until July 1978 when he became a Federal District Court Judge in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. That nomination, by President Jimmy Carter, gave Judge Laureta the distinction of also being the first Federal judge of Filipino ancestry.

He retired from the Federal bench in 1988, and continued to be an active volunteer in the Kauai community until his 80s.

“Judge Laureta was a trailblazer,” said Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “From his humble beginnings on the Ewa plantation to sitting on the state and federal benches to using his experience, wisdom, and devotion to serve the people of Kauai well into retirement, Judge Laureta was a true inspiration to all.”

One of those was Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Randal G.B. Valenciano, who said that Judge Laureta was a mentor to him and supported his application to become a Circuit Court judge.

Our aloha and deepest sympathy go out to Judge Laureta’s family, including his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Judge Laureta’s obituary appeared in the Sunday, Nov. 29, edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

For more information, contact the Communications and Community Relations Office at 808-539-4909 or via email at pao@courts.hawaii.gov.

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