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Florendo Named Jurist of the Year

Posted on Oct 15, 2008 in Press Releases

Chief Justice Ronald Moon will honor Hawai`i island District Court Judge Joseph Florendo as “Jurist of the Year” and help present Incentive Awards and Years of Service Awards to Judiciary employees during a ceremony to be held on October 17 at 11:30 a.m. in the Supreme Court courtroom. Chief Justice Moon selected Judge Florendo after reviewing nominations from court employees and attorneys.

“Judge Florendo has earned a reputation of being hard-working, fair-minded, compassionate, and not only knowledgeable in the law, but a good student of the law,” said Chief Justice Moon. “His rulings are thoughtful, grounded in the law, and tempered with compassion.”

In addition to his judicial competence, Judge Florendo will be recognized for his achievements as Deputy Chief Judge of the District Court of the Third Circuit, a position he has held since March 2007. Judge Florendo’s leadership and collaborative management style helped his staff adapt to major changes in the processing of traffic cases and become proficient with a new computer system. As a result, traffic notices and judgments are now generated in court shortly after the court’s ruling is entered into the system, which speeds up the entire process for litigants and their attorneys as well as court staff.

Also at the October 17 ceremony, Employee Incentive Award recipients from the courts on O`ahu, Maui, Kaua`i, and the Big Island will be honored. The recipients were selected from 20 individual and group nominees. A volunteer committee chaired by Supreme Court Associate Justice James E. Duffy, Jr. reviewed the candidates before presenting recommendations to Chief Justice Moon for his selection. The award recipients are:

Meritorious Service

Wayne Taniguchi, Facilities Management, First Circuit
Rachel Yuen, Office of the Chief Court Administrator, First Circuit

Group Meritorious Service

Courtroom Services, Kona District Court, Third Circuit
Henrietta Chong, Lisa Ciriako, Joseph Gusman, Elaine Nahakuelua, Wendy Terada

Spirit of the Judiciary

Joseph Amico, Adult Client Services Branch, Second Circuit
Robby Paulino, Aganoa “Mika” Savaii, Derek Yazaki, Facilities Management, First Circuit

Certificate of Commendation

Lori Rutherford, Legislative Coordinating/Special Projects Office,
Policy and Planning Department, Administration

Group Certificate of Commendation

Juvenile Client and Family Services Branch, Fifth Circuit
Cedric Antarais, Dinah Claytor, Tisha Fontanilla, Michelle Gibans, Marilyn Kaohi, June Kodani, Carol Matsumura, Sandra Ordille, Tina Rapozo, Kenneth Rosa, Arlene Sumida, Alexandra Thompson, Helene Yamamotoya, Kari Yamashiro.

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Contact: Marsha 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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