Judge, judiciary employees lauded

Chief Justice Ronald Moon honored Hawaii island District Court Judge Joseph Florendo as “Jurist of the Year” and presented Incentive Awards to state Judiciary employees during a ceremony held on October 17 in the Supreme Court courtroom. Chief Justice Moon selected Judge Florendo after reviewing nominations from court employees and attorneys.

“Judge Florendo has earned a reputation of being hard-working, fair-minded, compassionate, and not only knowledgeable in the law, but a good student of the law,” said Chief Justice Moon. “His rulings are thoughtful, grounded in the law, and tempered with compassion.”

In addition to his judicial competence, Judge Florendo was recognized for his achievements as Deputy Chief Judge of the District Court of the Third Circuit, a position he has held since March 2007. Judge Florendo’s leadership and collaborative management style helped his staff adapt to major changes in the processing of traffic cases and become proficient with a new computer system.

Also at the ceremony, Employee Incentive Award recipients from the courts on O`ahu, Maui, Kaua`i, and the Big Island were honored. The recipients were selected from 20 individual and group nominations submitted by judges and Judiciary employees. A volunteer committee chaired by Supreme Court Associate Justice James E. Duffy reviewed the candidates before presenting recommendations to Chief Justice Moon for his selection. The award recipients are:

Meritorious Service
Wayne Taniguchi, Facilities Management, First Circuit
Rachel Yuen, Office of the Chief Court Administrator, First Circuit

Group Meritorious Service
Courtroom Services, Kona District Court, Third Circuit
Henrietta Chong, Lisa Ciriako, Joseph Gusman, Elaine Nahakuelua, Wendy Terada

Spirit of the Judiciary
Joseph Amico, Adult Client Services Branch, Second Circuit
Robby Paulino, Aganoa “Mika” Savaii, Derek Yazaki, Facilities Management, First Circuit

Certificate of Commendation
Lori Rutherford, Legislative Coordinating/Special Projects Office, Policy and Planning Department, Administration

Group Certificate of Commendation
Juvenile Client and Family Services Branch, Fifth Circuit
Cedric Antarais, Dinah Claytor, Tisha Fontanilla, Michelle Gibans, Marilyn Kaohi, June Kodani, Carol Matsumura, Sandra Ordille, Tina Rapozo, Kenneth Rosa, Arlene Sumida, Alexandra Thompson, Helene Yamamotoya, Kari Yamashiro

For more information, contact the Hawai`i State Judiciary Public Affairs Office at (808) 539-4909.

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