Judges Engage with CommunityPosted on Mar 22, 2023 in Featured News, News & Reports, Press Releases
Hawaiʻi state judges met with students and teachers in a variety of settings during National Judicial Outreach Week (NJOW) 2023 to discuss their roles as judges, the rule of law, and the work courts do to maintain open and transparent government, provide a fair and impartial system of justice, and protect the fundamental legal rights of all citizens.
First Circuit (Oʻahu) District Court Judge A.K. Thomas Haia visited Waiʻanae Elementary School where he spoke with fourth graders about how to become a judge, how the judicial process works, different types of judges and lawyers, what he likes and dislikes about his position, and the importance of doing well in school and making good choices.
Second Circuit District Court Judge Christopher M. Dunn participated in a Career Day event at Haiku Elementary School where he spoke to more than 40 fourth and fifth grade students, their teachers, and administrative staff. He had barely begun delivering his carefully prepared remarks when hands shot up and he spent his time answering a myriad of questions like, “Did you ever send anyone to jail?” “Have you ever had any celebrities in your courtroom?” “Why do judges wear a robe?” “Do you bang the gavel?” “What’s the most serious case you ever had?” The questions kept coming beyond his 30-minute limit and Judge Dunn, with the help of the principal, was able to thank his enthusiastic audience and make way for the next speaker.
First Circuit Civil Administrative Judge Jeannette H. Castagnetti, Intermediate Court of Appeals Chief Judge Lisa M. Ginoza, Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna, and Hawai‘i Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald served as panelists for the March 10 University of Hawaii Law Review Symposium: “Honoring Women in the Law and a Critical Inquiry Into Women’s Rights in the Past, Present, and Future.” See: https://hawaiilawreview.com/symposium
First Circuit Criminal Administrative Judge Judge Shirley M. Kawamura joined students and teachers at Lāʻie Elementary School on March 10, for the We the People Showcase, a simulated congressional hearing in which the students answer questions about the U.S. Constitution.
First Circuit Deputy Chief Judge/Senior Family Court Judge Matthew J. Viola and District Family Judge Brian A. Costa spoke with students and faculty of Aichi University Nagoya during their visit to the Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in Kapolei.
Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Justice Sabrina S. McKenna spoke to Japanese law students from five universities: Aichi, Aoyama Gakuin, Meiji, Waseda, and The University of the Ryukyus on March 7. They visited the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court as part of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law’s two-week Hawaiʻi Program Law Study Tour. This was the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic that students were able to visit in-person. Justice McKenna made her presentation in Japanese, and provided an overview of the U.S. and Hawaiʻi judicial and legal systems, Title IX, and LGBTQ rights.
Since 2017, the American Bar Association (ABA) has encouraged judges across the country to engage with their communities in the first week of March. The NJOW initiative aims to build greater understanding of the courts and our nation’s commitment to the rule of law – the legal principle that all people, institutions and entities, public and private, must be treated equally and fairly in accordance with the law.
Judges are available to speak to groups year-round. For information on scheduling a speaker, contact the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center by phone (808-539-4999) or email (email@example.com), or submit a request at:
Please note that speakers do not provide legal advice and may not discuss matters pending before the courts.
To learn more about the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center, its exhibits, services, and programs, visit them online at: