Masunaga appointed Big Island judge

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed Margaret Masunaga as judge of the District Court of the 3rd Circuit.

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Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed Margaret Masunaga as judge of the District Court of the 3rd Circuit.

Masunaga has been practicing law since 1987, after receiving her law degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento and her bachelor’s degree from University of California at Berkeley.

She currently serves as deputy corporation counsel for the County of Hawaii. She previously served as deputy director of the Hawaii County Planning Department, as a deputy attorney general, and as an associate at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, where she represented financial institutions, hotels, hospitals, doctors and businesses.

Masunaga is active in professional, public and community service organizations. She has served as the Hawaii state delegate to the American Bar Association since 2009, and as co-president, treasurer and assistant treasurer for the West Hawaii Bar Association. Masunaga is a member of the Kona Japanese Civic Association board and was a member of the West Hawaii Committee for Hawaii Island United Way in 2009, and also was a state delegate to the White House Forum on Women & the Economy.

She also volunteers at the 3rd Circuit Court’s Self-Help Center in Kona, as well as with the Kids First program, and has served as an arbitrator in the Court Annexed Arbitration program.

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The chief justice appoints District Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission.

Masunaga fills a position left vacant when District Court Judge Joseph Florendo retired earlier this year. She was one of six finalists the judiciary named in September to replace Florendo.

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