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.
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.
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.
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.
County of Hawaii