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Governor names Judge Pollack to State Supreme Court

Judge Richard Pollack and Gov. Neil Abercrombie. (Photo courtesy of the Governor's Office)


Gov. Neil Abercrombie has announced Judge Richard W. Pollack as his nomination for associate justice to the Supreme Court.

This nomination fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice James E. Duffy, Jr. and requires confirmation by the State Senate.

“I am confident that the core values of the constitution and Hawaii are well met in Judge Pollack,” Abercrombie said.

“I am extremely honored by the governor’s nomination,” Pollack said. “It is deeply gratifying to be nominated to our state’s highest court whose decisions can have such a beneficial effect on the lives of our island people.”

Pollack, 61, has been serving as a judge in the Circuit Court since 2000, presiding over the civil and criminal trial calendar. During that time period, he served as a substitute justice and substitute Intermediate Court of Appeals judge on numerous occasions.

Pollack is an adjunct professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law where he currently teaches Law of Evidence and Criminal Procedure.

Prior to his appointment to the circuit court bench, Pollack served as the state public defender from 1987 to 2000. He managed a statewide office of 99 attorneys and was actively involved in appellate work during his tenure.

Pollack earned a B.A. with honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his J.D. from Hastings School of Law in San Francisco.

Pollack is Abercrombie’s second appointment to the Supreme Court. Following Senate confirmation of the governor’s appointment, Judge Sabrina S. McKenna was sworn in as associate justice to the State Supreme Court in March 2011.

The high court is composed of a Chief Justice and four associate justices. Justices are nominated by the governor from a list of names submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission.

A justice’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the State Senate.

Each justice is initially appointed for a 10-year term.

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