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

Courts in the Community: Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Holds its First Oral Argument at Kailua High School

Posted on Apr 26, 2024 in Featured News, News & Reports, Press Releases
Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Associate Justice Lisa M. Ginoza, Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Associate Justice Todd W. Eddins, and Associate Justice Vladimir P. Devens sitting at the court’s bench in the Kailua High School gymnasium. On the left, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brian R. Vincent faces them from the podium. Courts in the Community, April 26, 2024.

From left: Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Associate Justice Lisa M. Ginoza, Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Associate Justice Todd W. Eddins, and Associate Justice Vladimir P. Devens listen as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brian R. Vincent presents his arguments during Courts in the Community at the Kailua High School gymnasium, April 26, 2024.

KAILUA, Hawaiʻi – The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court convened today at Kailua High School, giving more than 300 students the opportunity to observe oral argument in an actual case. 

Students from Kailua High School, Kalāheo High School, McKinley High School, Le Jardin Academy, and Pūʻōhala School attended as part of the Judiciary’s Courts in the Community outreach program.  

They watched attorneys representing both parties present their legal arguments in SCWC-21-0000679, State of Hawai‘i vs. Charles Tung Ming Yuen. The case involves a defendant who is alleged to have rear-ended another car 50 feet outside of the O’Malley Gate at Hickam Air Force Base and was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant (“OVUII”).

Oral argument was followed by two question-and-answer sessions for the students – one with the attorneys and another with the five justices.

“Today was our 20th Courts in the Community event since February 2012, when the Supreme Court convened at Farrington High School,” said Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald.  “Since then, the program has provided more than 6,000 students, teachers, administrators, and members of the public the chance to observe oral argument in a real case.  This would not have been possible without the support of the many HSBA members and staff who have given of their time and expertise to help Hawaiʻi’s next generation of leaders gain a clearer understanding of our system of justice.”

“I would like to extend a special mahalo to the teachers, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, and all the volunteer attorneys who helped make this happen. These invaluable partnerships are what make the program a success,” added Chief Justice Recktenwald.

The Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) and the Hawaii State Bar Foundation generously provided the students with lunches and transportation.

“Thank you to our attorneys who volunteered their time to learn the case and visit participating classrooms to engage with students,” said HSBA President Jesse Souki. “Their efforts have inspired future leaders and stirred a healthy curiosity judging by student’s comments and questions after oral arguments.”

The proceedings were livestreamed on the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary’s YouTube channel ( and broadcast live on ʻŌlelo Community Media Television 54 (  Check the websites for online availability and rebroadcast dates and times.

Courts in the Community is a hands-on civics education initiative.  It gives students the opportunity to study the important legal issues in a pending court case to enhance their understanding of the Judiciary’s role in government, and how it resolves disputes in our democracy.   

To prepare for the case, students studied a curriculum developed by the Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center and the Students for Public Outreach and Civic Education of the University of Hawaiʻi’s William S. Richardson School of Law. Attorneys from the HSBA volunteered their time and facilitated a moot court activity where students had an opportunity to argue the case themselves.

If you have any questions or would like to request additional photos or video of the event, please contact the Judiciary’s Communications and Community Relations Office at 808-539-4909.  

For more information, contact the Communications and Community Relations Office at 808-539-4909 or via email at

Subscribe to the Hawai'i State Judiciary mailing list for email notification of press releases and other announcements.