May 6, 2016 | 82° | Check Traffic

Top News

Lingle appoints Leonard as chief justice

Gov. Linda Lingle this afternoon appointed appellate Judge Katherine Leonard as chief justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Lingle called the appointment of Leonard to a 10-year term an "important and historic" decision, noting that, if approved by the state Senate, Leonard would be Hawaii’s first woman chief justice, and the first graduate of the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson law school to sit on the five-member high court.

"I have chosen a person great character and strong intellect, who possesses effective writing skills and a true commitment to the rule of law," Lingle said.

Leonard would replace Chief Justice Ronald Moon who must step down by Sept. 4 when he turns 70 because of the state’s mandatory retirement law.

Lingle appointed Leonard, 51, the Intermediate Court of Appeals in 2007.

Her appointment as the head of the state’s third branch of government will be subject to Senate approval. Leonard was confirmed 23-0 by the Senate to the appeals court post.

Leonard was a partner with the law office of Carlsmith Ball LLP form 1992 until her appointment to the appeals court. She concentrated on civil litigation.

Leonard was editor-in-chief of the UH Law Review and served as a law clerk for former Associate Justice Robert Klein and as a law clerk at the circuit court in Honolulu.

Leonard said her appointment is a "great honor."

She would be the state’s fifth chief justice.
 

No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.