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Appellate court post has 6 finalists


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POSTED: Monday, July 20, 2009

Gov. Linda Lingle is expected this week to appoint a chief judge for the Intermediate Court of Appeals from a list of six candidates.

The former chief judge, Mark Recktenwald, is now an associate justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court.

The Judicial Selection Commission selected six nominees after reviewing the background and qualifications of all applicants.

They are:

» Katherine G. Leonard, associate judge, Intermediate Court of Appeals. Prior experience: attorney with Carlsmith Ball LLP and law clerk for the Hawaii Supreme Court and Oahu Circuit Court.

» Sabrina S. McKenna, circuit judge. Prior experience: Honolulu district judge, University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law assistant professor, UH College of Business instructor in business law, corporate secretary and general counsel for Otaka Inc., and associate at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel.

» Craig H. Nakamura, associate judge, Intermediate Court of Appeals. Prior experience: assistant U.S. attorney; University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law adjunct professor; associate at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel; law clerk, U.S. 9th Circuit Judge Herbert Choy.

» Steven M. Nakashima, partner at Marr Jones & Wang. Prior experience: Honolulu district judge, associate and partner at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel and law clerk for the U.S. 9th Circuit and the attorney generals of Hawaii and Oregon.

» Michael K. Tanigawa, staff attorney, Intermediate Court of Appeals. Prior experience: Court Annexed Arbitration Program, attorney at Char Sakamoto Ishii Lum & Ching, William S. Richardson School of Law adjunct professor, partner at Tanigawa & Tanigawa, grand jury counsel and deputy public defender.

» Frances Q.F. Wong, circuit judge. Prior experience: District Family Court judge, 1st Circuit Family Court per diem judge, partner at Hall & Wong, associate at Edmunds Hall & Weinberg, associate at Hart Leavitt Hall & Hunt.

The governor must decide within 30 days of the date she received the list, June 25.