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Happy retirement, Chief Justice Moon!

Mrs. Stella and Chief Justice Ronald Moon (Hawaii 24/7 photo courtesy of Margaret Masunaga)

By Margaret Masunaga and Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor

The West Hawaii Bar Association surprised Chief Justice Ronald Moon with a retirement party on Friday, May 7 before a crowd of 100 at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona.

Highlights included a special video from Sen. Daniel Inouye congratulating Moon and Mayor Billy Kenoi presenting a proclamation to the Chief Justice proclaiming May 7, 2010, as “Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon Day” in the County of Hawaii.

Honored guests included Moon and his wife Stella, Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald, Associate Justice Paula Nakayama, Chief Judge Craig Nakamura of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, Federal Magistrate Barry Kurren, Chief Judge Craig Nakamura of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, Mayor Billy Kenoi, judges Ronald Ibarra, Greg Nakamura, Glenn Hara, Elizabeth Strance, Joseph Florendo, Mel Fujino, Barbara Takase, Lloyd Van De Car, Tony Bartolomew, Harry Freitas, Court Administrator Lester Oshiro, U.S. Attorney Flo Nakakuni, Prosecutor Jay Kimura, Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida, Chief Justice’s Judicial Assistant Susan DeGuzman, Hawaii State Bar Association President Hugh Jones and HSBA Executive Director Lyn Flanigan.

Members of the West Hawaii Bar Association and Hawaii County Bar Association honored the Chief Justice for his 17 years of service as Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, and as the first Korean-American to served as Chief Justice of any Supreme Court in the United States.

From left, WHBA President Bob Kim, HSBA board member Carol Kitaoka, Hawaii State Bar Association President Hugh Jones, Magistrate Barry Kurren, Justice Mark Recktenwald, U.S. Attorney Flo Nakakuni, Stephanie Vancil, Chief Judge Craig Nakamura (hidden), Lindsey Dahl, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Chief Justice Ronald Moon, Justice Paula Nakayama, Judge Ronald Ibarra, and WHBA Treasurer Margaret Masunaga. (Hawaii 24/7 photo courtesy Margaret Masunaga)

At the dinner, Moon presented West Hawaii Bar Association essay scholarships to Kacey Kim, Stephanie Vancil, and Lindsey Dahl.

Kim and Dahl are seniors at Konawaena High School, and Vancil is a senior at West Hawaii Exploration Academy. Kim will be attending the University of Denver, Dahl will attend Linfield College, and Vancil will attend the University of California at Berkeley.

A special musical tribute to Moon was choreographed by Dale Ross, and performed by the West Hawaii Bar Association members, including Florendo, Carol Kitaoka, Bob Kim, Fred Giannini, Peter Bresciani, Donna Payesko, Mark Disher, Ann Datta, and Al Lerma.

Justice Mark Recktenwald, Associate Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, Chief Judge Craig Nakamura of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, Federal Magistrate Barry Kurren, Justice Paula Nakayama, Associate Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, and Judge Ronald Ibarra, Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Court. (Hawaii 24/7 photo courtesy of Margaret Masunaga)

The dinner followed an appellate ethics seminar, also sponsored by West Hawaii Bar Association. Seventy-five members of the WHBA and Hawaii County Bar Association were able to hear a panel of Justices and Judges on how to handle situations involving legal ethics.

PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon has served as Chief Justice on the Hawaii Supreme Court since March 31, 1993; and

WHEREAS, Chief Justice Moon also served as an Associate Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court for three years and as Circuit Court Judge for eight years; and

WHEREAS, the West Hawaii Bar Association, Third Circuit Court, and the Hawaii County Bar Association have celebrated Law Week every year in May, in conjunction with the American Bar Association and the Hawaii State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and the Chief Justice has actively participated in Kona Law Week events with Judge Ronald Ibarra, such as the essay contest and meet the judges; and

WHEREAS, the County of Hawaii legal community honors Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon for his seventeen years of service as Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court and as the first Korean-American to become Chief Justice of any Supreme Court in the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, we congratulate Chief Justice Moon on his retirement this year, and express our heartfelt appreciation to C.J. and his wife Stella, and mahalo nui loa; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM KENOI, Mayor of the County of Hawaii, do hereby proclaim Friday, May 7, 2010, as

CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD T.Y. MOON DAY

in the County of Hawaii, and urge all citizens to honor and congratulate him on his retirement as Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused The Seal of the County of Hawaii to be affixed. Done this 7th day of May, 2010, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

William Kenoi
Mayor
County of Hawaii

  • http://rbc-in-md.blogspot.com/ Richard Baldwin Cook

    Part of the legacy of this jurist includes overlooking judicial misconduct and punishing lawyers who report it. This is what happened to me.

    Over tn years ago, I reported to the Hawaii Supreme Court that a federal judge before who I was then litigating (1) accepted valuable perks from lawyers appearing in his court (2) bent the procedural rules in his court to permit a significant monetary award to his former law partners, with who he was in an improper business relationship (3) made rulings on matters touching his own finances (4) ignored the judicial complaint rules which he, as a federal judge was bound to follow.

    The Chief Justice, together with the rest of Justices, prosecuted me for misconduct – for filing a confidential complaint with the federal fifth circuit and for filing a recusal motion with the judge. Neither of these actions was improper.

    Instead of protecting an officer of his own court, who discovered judicial misconduct and acted on judicial misconduct once discovered – as I was bound to do pursuant to the rules of conduct applicable to me as a lawyer licensed to practice in Hawaii – I was prosecuted in Hawaii by the Disciplinary Counsel. No investigation into the behavior of the miss-behaving judge was ever conducted.

    For further details, please see:

    http://www.tulanelink.com/tulanelink/cook_box.htm

    and:

    http://hi.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.20070306_0000165.HI.htm/qx

    Laxity in the face of judicial misconduct surely is part of the legacy of Chief Justice Moon.

 

 

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