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Senate unanimously confirms Ige’s judicial nominees


The Hawaii state Senate unanimously confirmed two nominees by Gov. David Ige to state Circuit Court as well as a third nominee to Honolulu District Court before adjourning a two-day special session today.

Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee Chairman Gil Keith-Agaran told his senate colleagues that each of the nominees demonstrated a “deep commitment to justice,” and urged the senators to approve them.

Ige nominated Shirley M. Kawamura, 43, to serve as on the 1st Circuit Court on Oahu. Kawamura is a former civil litigator at Kawashima Lorusso LLP, and previously worked as a trial deputy at the Office of the Public Defender. She has served as a district judge on Oahu since 2012.

Ige also nominated District Family Court Judge Melvin H. Fujino to serve on the 3rd Circuit Court on Hawaii island.

Fujino, 55, has been a judge with the District Family Court of the 3rd Circuit since 2008. He previously worked as deputy attorney general, and was a team leader responsible for the Statewide Wiretap Review Unit and Asset Forfeiture program.

Fujino was also a deputy prosecuting attorney and supervisor as well as a community-oriented prosecutor for the West Hawaii branch of the Hawaii County Office of the Prosecutor.

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald nominated James C. McWhinnie to District Court on Oahu. 

McWhinnie has been a director with Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert since 1989, handling primarily commercial, product liability, construction, environmental and personal injury cases.

McWhinnie, 62, has also served as secretary and director of the Hawaii State Bar Association, and was a co-founder of the Lawyer Kokua Program.

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