Testimony backs Trader as a new circuit judge


POSTED: Friday, January 16, 2009

Career Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Rom Trader, 47, appears headed for swift confirmation as a new circuit judge.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard two hours of unanimously favorable testimony yesterday about the nomination of Trader to the court.

Judiciary Chairman Brian Taniguchi said he will recommend that Trader be confirmed.

“;Besides the testimony, people I know and respect called me. They said he is a very fair guy, and even though he is a prosecutor, they say he will be fair. So far it is all very positive,”; Taniguchi (D, Manoa) said.

Taniguchi and Republican Sen. Sam Slom both noted that legislators have been concerned that Gov. Linda Lingle has favored prosecutors or former prosecutors for appointment to the state bench.

At yesterday's hearing even defense attorneys said Trader would do a good job.

“;Integrity and common sense are accurate terms to describe the way he practices law,”; said David Hayakawa, a former deputy public defender.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett said Trader “;has an excellent temperament and consistently demonstrates sound judgment and common sense.”;

And state Rep. Glenn Wakai (D, Moanalua Valley-Salt Lake) said, “;He quickly distinguished himself as a shooting star at the prosecutor's office by convicting many of the state's most notorious murderous, rapists and drug lords.”;

Trader is expected to win final Senate confirmation next week.