Senators Schatz and Hirono Establish Federal Judicial Selection Commission to Fill U.S. District Court Vacancy

Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway to Take Senior Status on November 6, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced the formation of a Federal Judicial Selection Commission to make recommendations on candidates to fill a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii following Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway’s retirement from active service on November 6, 2015.

The Commission consists of seven members with three members appointed by each senator and a chair jointly agreed on.  Senator Schatz appointed Nadine Ando, Keith W. Hunter, and Emily Kawashima Waters.  Senator Hirono appointed Grant Chun, Patsy Saiki, and Alan Van Etten.  Louise Ing will serve as Chair of the Commission.

“Hawaii is home to some of the most diverse and brilliant legal minds in the country, and that is what our judiciary should reflect,” said Senator Schatz.  “This balanced commission will begin a process that will help us put forward well-qualified candidates to fill this important vacancy.  I look forward to working with the Commission members and President Obama to make sure our next District Court Judge will be a fitting replacement for Chief Judge Mollway.” 

“This group of esteemed individuals carries with them a unique set of backgrounds and experiences that represent the diversity of our great state,”
said Senator Hirono.  “I look forward to their process and their eventual decision on candidates to replace the Honorable Judge Susan Mollway.  Hawaii needs a full, active bench of four judges and I will work closely with my colleagues in the Senate to confirm whomever the President ultimately selects.”

Louise Ing is a founder of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Ms. Ing represents businesses and nonprofits in commercial, real estate, bankruptcy, intellectual property, and employment litigation and dispute resolution.  She has been recognized by Best Lawyers of America and Benchmark Litigation for several years.  Her accomplishments include the Patsy T. Mink PAC Award for legislative advocacy on women’s health issues and leadership awards from Hawaii Women Lawyers, Hawaii State Bar Association, Planned Parenthood of Hawaii, and the YWCA of Oahu.  Ms. Ing is a past president of the Hawaii State Bar Association and the Hawaii State Bar Foundation and has devoted her energies to helping strengthen Hawaii’s communities as a board member of non-profits (the University of Hawaii Foundation and Child & Family Service, among others) and Hawaii-based companies such as Island Holdings, American Savings Bank (past director) and Aloha Airlines (past director).

Nadine Ando is a partner at the Honolulu law firm of Sullivan Meheula Lee, where she focuses on commercial litigation.  A Hilo native, Ms. Ando received her undergraduate degree and J.D. from the University of Hawaii.  She was recently elected as Vice President of the Hawaii State Bar Association and is slated to serve as its President in 2017.  Ms. Ando has been consistently selected by her peers to be included in the listings of the Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.

Grant Chun is an attorney and Vice President of A&B Properties, Inc.  Chun serves as the Maui member on the State Board of Education.  He is also President of the Maui Boy Scouts Council, and a member of the Maui Economic Development Board.

Keith W. Hunter is the founder, CEO, and President of Dispute Prevention & Resolution, Inc., a full service alternative dispute resolution (ADR) firm in Hawaii.  During his career, Mr. Hunter has administered over 10,000 ADR proceedings on a wide range of claims and issues.  Mr. Hunter has previously served as Regional Vice President of the Hawaii office of American Arbitration Association and as the Executive Director of the Center for International Commercial Dispute Resolution.

Patsy Saiki serves as the Senior Vice President & General Counsel of First American Title in Hawaii.  She was previously a partner at the law firm of Watanabe Ing & Komeiji where she practiced in the area of litigation.  She is a board member and past President of Hawaii Women Lawyers.  Ms. Saiki is a graduate of Roosevelt High School, Mount Holyoke College, and the William S. Richardson School of Law.

Alan Van Etten is a Honolulu native who graduated from Yale University and UC Berkeley School of Law.  His first job out of law school was serving as a law clerk to the late William S. Richardson, then Chief Justice of the State of Hawaii.  He is a past President of the Hawaii State Bar Association.  He was the Hawaii State Representative to the American Bar Association House of Delegates for nine years, where he was a member of that body's Nominating Committee.  He also served a 3-year term serving as one of the 15 members, nationally, of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which evaluates proposed federal court nominees for the White House.

Emily Kawashima Waters is a 1995 graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law, where she served as Executive Managing Editor and Case Note Author for the University of Hawaii Law Review.  She established her own practice in October 2011, focusing on trust and probate litigation, conservatorships, guardianships, and select personal injury cases.  Ms. Waters previously served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu.

Candidates interested in applying for the pending vacancy are asked to submit a confidential cover letter, resume, and a list of five representative cases worked on with names of the presiding judge and other counsel (just names of counsel if the candidate is a sitting judge) who may be confidentially contacted to the Commission by Friday, April 3, 2015.  Any judge or counsel called about an applicant will be instructed to keep the application confidential.  Please send application materials and any questions to the Federal Judicial Selection Commission, Attn: Louise Ing, 1001 Bishop Street, Suite 1800, Honolulu, HI 96813 or to usjsc@ahfi.com or us.judicial.selection@ahfi.com.  Voicemail messages for the Commission can be left at (808) 441-6225.

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