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Tanaka Appointed District Court Judge for Second Circuit

Posted on Jan 3, 2007 in Press Releases

Chief Justice Ronald T. Y. Moon appointed Keith E. Tanaka as judge of the District Court of the Second Circuit (Maui). Tanaka fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Reinette Cooper.

Tanaka has been in private practice, specializing in the area of criminal defense, since 1989 to the present. His experience also includes appellate work, divorce and foreclosure proceedings, arbitration, and parole hearings. Prior to entering private practice, he was employed as a Deputy Public Defender with the Office of the Public Defender, State of Hawai`i, from 1984 to 1989, and practiced in the District, Family, and Circuit Courts of both the First and Second Circuits.

Prior to graduating from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1983, Tanaka earned a bachelor’s degree in education from University of Hawai`i at Manoa in 1974 and a professional diploma in 1977. From 1975 to 1980, he worked as a secondary education teacher for the Hawai`i State Department of Education.

The chief justice appoints District Court and District Family Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission.

Tanaka’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the State Senate.


Contact:Marsha E. Kitagawa, 539-4909

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

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