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Friday, January 5, 2001

H. Baird Kidwell
dies; was high
court justice

The longtime Honolulu attorney
left the court to teach at
the UH law school

More obituaries

By Harold Morse

H. Baird Kidwell, former Hawaii Supreme Court associate justice, died Dec. 26 in Medford, Ore. He was 89.

He served as an associate justice from 1975 to 1979, when he left to teach at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii.

Kidwell was born in Maricopa, Calif.

He received his law degree in 1935 from Stanford University, where he also had done his undergraduate work. He practiced law in Los Angeles after graduation.

He arrived in Hawaii in 1937, joining the law firm of Henshaw and Ouderkirk. In 1938 he joined the firm that is now Goodsill Anderson Quinn and Stifel. For much of his career, he practiced business, real estate, trust and banking law.

"Baird was a practical intellectual," said Marshall Goodsill, a former law partner. "He had a brilliant, searching mind. He was capable of seeing all sides of a question and usually did. No client ever got into trouble by listening to his advice. He was the most ethical lawyer I ever knew. He was widely respected by clients and legal colleagues. He was deeply devoted to community welfare, particularly in legal, environmental and ethical matters."

Kidwell was a territorial deputy attorney general during World War II, serving at the request of Attorney General J. Garner Anthony. He drafted legal documents that paved the way for a return to civilian government here after wartime martial law.

Active in professional and community organizations, he served as president of the Hawaii Bar Association and was active in the American Bar Association. He served on its board of governors and was a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Kidwell was a supporter of the Honolulu Symphony and was a participant in the Oahu Development Conference.

Kidwell is survived by his wife, Margaret; son Alan; daughter Frances; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

There will be no services.

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