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Justice McKenna Selected for the 2015 Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award

Posted on Oct 8, 2015 in Press Releases

HONOLULU – Hawaii State Supreme Court Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna was one of five attorneys selected by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) to receive NAPABA’s highest honor- the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award. The award recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment and leadership of lawyers who have paved the way for the advancement of other Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys.
In announcing the award, NAPABA said, “Justice McKenna was a trial judge for 17 years before joining the Hawaii Supreme Court in 2011 as its third woman and as the first open member of the LGBT community of Asian Pacific heritage to serve on a state court of last resort. Throughout her career, she has pursued civil rights, social justice, and equality in access to justice for all. As a young associate in the early 1980’s, she successfully advocated for her firm to provide 50 hours of annual billable hour credit for pro bono time, a policy that was also later adopted by other Hawaii firms. Justice McKenna oversaw implementation of Hawaii’s court interpreter certification program, instituted a policy requiring free language access for all participants in Oahu’s family courts as the then presiding judge, then advocated for adoption of the same policy for the entire judiciary. As an appellate and trial judge over the last 22 years, she has ruled in many high profile and important cases.”   
“Justice McKenna is a well-deserving recipient of the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award,” said Hawaii State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “Throughout her life, she has worked to achieve equal justice for all in Hawaii. We join NAPABA in congratulating her in this prestigious honor.”
The 2015 Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazers Awards will be presented at a special ceremony on November 6, 2015, during the NAPABA Convention in New Orleans. Other recipients include: David Louie, Kobayashi Sugita & Goda LLP; Captain Benes Z. Aldana, United States Coast Guard; Rob Bonta, California State Assembly; and Judge Amul Thapar, United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky.

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