HALT stated, in their 2008 D+ Report Card on Hawaii's Judicial Accountability:
"Hawaii's restrictions not only violate citizens' right to free speech, they also keep the general public in the dark about whether the system of judicial oversight is operating effectively."
HALT also faulted the state's online resources about judicial discipline, noting that the website for the Commission on Judicial Conduct fails to provide a clear explanation of the discipline process and lacks a downloadable complaint form, a database of past disciplinary decisions and links to the state's procedural rules:
"Without online information to clarify how to file a complaint, explain judicial ethics standards or provide information about judges' disciplinary histories, few consumers will be able to understand and use the system of judicial oversight in Hawaii," stated Blonder (HALT Senior Counsel).Per HALT's noted omissions in the Commission's website, AngelGroup has written to the Hawaii State Judiciary, requesting the following:
- A Complaint Form (or how I can access one)
- A clear description of the discipline process
- Explanation of judicial ethics standards
- List of past disciplinary decisions
- Information about judges' disciplinary histories (Family Court)
They responded supporting all HALT claims.
Should you wish to increase your paper trail, please send your complaint in writing to the Commission, including case numbers, names of corroborating witnesses when available, as well as supportive material such as transcripts, copies of motions, etc.
Commission on Judicial Conduct
Kapuaiwa Bldg., 426 Queen Street, Room 118
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813-2914
Phone: (808) 539-4790
Fax: (808) 539-4756
AngelGroup recommends that you do your best to leave out the "drama" or "editorial" when composing your complaint. We know this is most likely an emotionally charged situation in your life but the hard story is that the Commission probably doesn't care too much. Their job is to review the facts, see if there is substantiation and whether there is a violation. Concentrate on these things if you can.
The Commission consists of (4) lay members and (3) attorneys, one of whom serves as chair. The Supreme Court appoints Commission members for staggered three-year terms.
- Gerald Y. Skiya, Chair (more info)
- Shigeo Iwamoto, Vice-Chair (more info)
- Dickson C. H. Lee (more info)
- Janice M.T.L. Loo (more info)
- Benjamin M. Matsubara (more info)
- Michele T. Morikami (more info)
- Lynne T. Waters (more info)
Gerald Y. Skiya, Chair
Mr. Sekiya is a partner with the law firm Cronin Fried Sekiya Kekina & Fairbanks. Mr. Sekiya also serves on the Circuit Court Rules Committee, Family Court Rules Committee, Judicial Arbitration Commission and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel Hearing Panel. He is also Chair of the Committee to Review and Recommend Revisions to the Judicial Code of Conduct, President of the Hawaii Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and member of the Advisory Committee for the American Judicature Society Judicial Ethics Center.
Shigeo Iwamoto, Vice-Chair
Mr. Iwamoto is a retired Executive Vice President-Claims Manager of Island Insurance Companies for 42 years. He was a former member of the Judicial Selection Commission as well as the Disciplinary Counsel.
Dickson C. H. Lee
Mr. Lee is President and Director of Takushi Wong Lee & Yee. He is involved with several community health, human services and educational organizations. He is a member of the Hawaii State and American Bar Associations.
Janice M.T.L. Loo
Ms. Loo is a former high school instructor from Punahou School, having taught there for ten years. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, the K.J. Luke Foundation, Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation, REHAB Foundation, Care Resources Hawaii, Inc., Punahou School's Wo International Center Advisory Board, Variety School of Hawaii, and the Elementary School Center.
Benjamin M. Matsubara
Mr. Matsubara is with Matsubara, Lee & Kotake, Attorneys At Law, A Law Corporation and is a member of the Hawaii State and American Bar Associations. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Hawaii Library Foundation.
Michele T. Morikami
Ms. Morikami was employed by Hawaiian Electric Company for 22 years as a Director of Office Services, and most recently as the Telecommunication Business Manager. She is now employed at Punahou School where she manages the Visual Production Center.
Lynne T. Waters
Ms. Waters is a media and communications consultant, providing expertise in public relations, communications strategy and media management. Recent clients include the `Aha Punana Leo (the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program), the State Department of Education, PBS Hawaii, the Hawaii Commission on the Status of Women, and other non-profit and advocacy organizations. She is a former news anchor at KITV (ABC) in Honolulu and Hawaii Public Television, and a graduate of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Consortium of the Arts.