Honolulu, Hawaii






Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fourth State Legislature

Third Special Session of 2007

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred Governor's Message No. 1, submitting for study and consideration the nomination of:


Intermediate Court of Appeals, Associate Judge, KATHERINE G. LEONARD


G.M. No. 1


Submitting for consideration and confirmation to the Intermediate Court of Appeals, Associate Judge, KATHERINE G. LEONARD, Gubernatorial Nominee, for a term of ten years,


begs leave to report as follows:


Upon review of the background information submitted by the nominee, Katherine G. Leonard, your Committee finds that Ms. Leonard is currently an attorney with the law firm of Carlsmith Ball, LLP, and has been with the firm since 1992.


While with Carlsmith Ball, LLP, Ms. Leonard's practice has included working on issues and matters related to the termination of the Damon Estate and the Campbell Estate. She has also represented banks and other lenders in commercial loan matters and some defense matters.


Prior to joining Carlsmith Ball, LLP, Ms. Leonard was a law clerk at the First Circuit Court for six months and a law clerk with the Hawaii Supreme Court for six months.


Ms. Leonard is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the law school's law review and received numerous awards and accolades.


Before attending law school, Ms. Leonard, who received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, with degrees in biology and chemistry, worked for HR Nursery in Waimanalo, helping to clone orchids.


Testimony in support of the nomination of Ms. Leonard was submitted by the Attorney General; the Hawaii Women Lawyers; the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii; the ILWU, Local 142; and eighty-five individuals, many of whom are affiliated with the Carlsmith Ball firm.


The Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) found Ms. Leonard to be qualified for the position of an Associate Judge on the Intermediate Court of Appeals. Seven members of the Board of the HSBA voted that Ms. Leonard was highly qualified; eight voted that she was qualified; and two voted that she was not qualified.


Your Committee finds that the testimony submitted was all in support of Ms. Leonard's nomination to the Intermediate Court of Appeals. Many testifiers supported Ms. Leonard for her intellect, hard work, and dedication and testified that the Intermediate Court of Appeals and the people of the State of Hawaii would benefit greatly from Ms. Leonard being placed on the Intermediate Court of Appeals.


Your Committee notes it does have concerns with Ms. Leonard's lack of judicial experience. Your Committee believes that it is not unreasonable for the Senate to want to see the Governor choose an Intermediate Court of Appeals nominee with judicial experience. While judicial experience is not a requirement, your Committee finds that it is still a significant factor because none of the current members of the Intermediate Court of Appeals had previous judicial experience and a nominee with suitable and varied judicial experience would provide a broader perspective to the Intermediate Court of Appeals.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee, after full consideration of the background, experience, and qualifications of the nominee, has found the nominee to be qualified for the position to which nominated and recommends that the Senate consent to the nomination.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,