Maui News

Chief Justice Appoints District and District Family Court Judges

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Maui Court building / Hoapili Hale. PC: Wendy Osher

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald appointed two individuals to fill judicial positions in the District and District Family Courts of the Second Circuit. 

Christopher M. Dunn has been appointed to the District Court, replacing Judge Kelsey Kawano, who is now sitting on the Circuit Court bench. Dunn has 25 years of trial experience, handling a high volume of cases representing privately-retained and court-appointed clients in District, Family and Circuit Courts, and administrative proceedings. He has been in his own private practice on Maui for the past 18 years, and previously was in private practice in Massachusetts. Dunn is a graduate of George Washington University Law School, and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 2002. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Skidmore College. 

James R. Rouse has been appointed to the District Family Court, replacing retired Judge Lloyd Poelman. He is currently employed as a Deputy Attorney General with the Department of the Attorney General handling Family Court matters. Rouse previously served as a Deputy Public Defender in the Office of the Public Defender, as an associate with Coates and Frey Law Firm and the Law Office of David Sereno, and as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Maui County Prosecutors Office. Rouse graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law, and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1994. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Chico State University.  


The Chief Justice made his appointments from the nomination lists that were presented to him by the Judicial Selection Commission on Dec. 17, 2020. Both appointments are subject to Senate confirmation. 


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