Former U.S. attorney for Hawaii Ed Kubo was recently approved by the state Senate to become a circuit court judge. Nominated by Gov. Linda Lingle, Kubo will be sworn in at a ceremony at the State Supreme Court next month. You could say everything has come full circle for the soon-to-be judge. As a young attorney in the early 1980s, judges served as his mentors.
“They were people who guided us in positive and constructive ways,” Kubo says. “I strongly believe that I am a better trial attorney because of their advice and guidance to me during my career. I seek not only to be a fair and impartial judge, but I also look forward to mentoring the next generation of trial attorneys in the same way as a judge. I feel that with my extensive trial record of more than 120 jury trials, I have a lot of positive and constructive advice to give to these young attorneys as they seek to become better trial attorneys in the future.”
A proud graduate of Waipahu High, Kubo went on to attain his bach-elor’s degree in political science at UH-Manoa. He then attended the University of San Diego School of Law, where he graduated with a juris doctorate in law before returning home to Hawaii.
Kubo paid his dues along the way, working his way from clerking at the law firm of Kobayashi and Watanabe to trying homicides and organized crime cases in state court. In 1983, Kubo went into private practice with the law firm Carlsmith and Dwyer, and took part in construction litigation and insurance defense, later returning to public service under prosecutor Chuck Marsland, then continuing with prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro. Seven years later, Kubo was hired as an assistant U.S. attorney, where he handled major violent crimes and drug-trafficking cases. He continued to work under U.S. Attorney Steve Alm up until 2001, when he was nominated U.S. attorney for Hawaii.
“The ability to make a difference in our state is what captivates me, and it continues to drive me today,” explains Kubo, who lives in Nuuanu with wife Tammy. Kubo appeared on MidWeek‘s cover in July 2005, and since then continued to serve as the U.S. attorney until last September, when he became senior counsel to the Department of Justice, detailed to assist the Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Organization. Retired from the Justice Department, Kubo is now seeking valuable advice from various state judges before being officially sworn into office.
“I have sat in on various hearings and trials in order to get more comfortable with the court calendars and types of cases pending in the judicial system today. I also have been studying the rules of court and the judge’s trial notebooks in order to get more information on the judicial rules, requirements and procedures,” he says.
“I have always gained much satisfaction in public service, and being a judge allows me to now continue serving the people of Hawaii with all my heart and soul.”
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