five judges in a courtroom
From left, Jack Tonaki, Ronald Johnson, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Kevin Souza and Trish Morikawa

Three William S. Richardson School of Law alumni have been sworn in as judges in the First Circuit Court in Honolulu and a fourth was sworn in on Hawaiʻi Island as a district court judge in the Third Circuit in Hilo.

The new First Circuit judges include:

  • Ronald Johnson, a former attorney advisor for the Transportation Security Administration and previous prosecuting attorney for the City and County of Honolulu.
  • Trish Morikawa, who served as a district court judge and a deputy prosecuting attorney prior to her new appointment.
  • Kevin Souza, a previous family court judge and chief of staff in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

The new Third Circuit district court judge is Jeffrey Hawk, who has served as a district family court per diem judge on both Hawaiʻi Island and Oʻahu.

“These judicial appointments underscore the high quality of our alumni and the vital role they play as lawyers and leaders throughout our state,” said School of Law Dean Avi Soifer. “This was an important part of the reason that Chief Justice Richardson and his allies fought hard to launch our law school.”

With the new appointments, there are now 29 Hawaiʻi judges and justices who trained at the Richardson School of Law out of a total of 80 throughout the islands.

For the full story, please visit the William S. Richardson School of Law website.

—By Beverly Creamer