About Us


Our mission is to secure and promote an independent and qualified judiciary and a fair system of justice.


The American Judicature Society was established in 1913 as an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with the purpose of improving the administration of justice in the United States, and to increase public understanding of the justice system.


On October 7, 1912 AJS founder Herbert Harley sent to A Circular Letter Concerning the Administration of Justice to key legal minds in each state asking for their review and opinions concerning conclusions contained in the Circular Letter.


In 2014, the AJS Board of Directors voted to dissolve the Society and wind up its affairs.  For the past several years our membership numbers have been in steep decline and our outside funding had dropped significantly as well, prompting us to conduct a thorough review of all options.  We came to the conclusion that ceasing operations and making every effort to find good homes for the various AJS programs and assets would be the approach most respectful to our founders and the many people who have contributed to our great history.  While we took this difficult step with heavy hearts we are glad to report that the crucial work of AJS will continue to live on through other organizations.

Successor Organization

In view of its excellent tradition of active membership, service, and contributions to the AJS mission, the Hawaii chapter has been authorized to operate under the AJS name. We are confident that they will continue their excellent work and will represent us all well. New contact information: Duane Fisher <DFisher@starnlaw.com>


Center for Judicial Ethics - CJE was transferred to the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) effective October 1, 2014 and continues to do its good work there.  Cindy Gray is now an employee of NCSC.  New contact information: Cynthia Gray -  cgray@ncsc.org     www.ncsc.org/cje


Judicial Selection in the States  - This has been transferred to NCSC.  New contact information:  William Raftery - wraftery@ncsc.org    www.judicialselection.us


Jury Center - This has also been transferred to NCSC.

New contact information:   Paula Hannaford-Agor - phannaford@ncsc.org    www.ncsc-jurystudies.org


Judicature – A new, revised Judicature will be published by the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies.  The Center will provide complimentary issues to every Article III judge, federal magistrate judge, and state supreme court justice.   They will also be sending two editions of Judicature at no cost to those who held AJS memberships and subscriptions. New contact information: judicature@law.duke.edu


Hunter Center  - The work of the Hunter Center will continue under the stewardship of the Communities Foundation of Texas.  They will continue to honor the legacy of Judge Elmo B. Hunter, a former AJS President, and work to ensure that the ongoing mission of the Hunter Center, to maintain public respect for the courts and preserve the integrity of the judiciary, is carried out.


AJS Archives   These have been placed in the care of the South Texas College of Law thanks to the efforts of Jim Alfini.  South Texas has a professional archivist who will preserve AJS materials in accordance with the appropriate standards and will provide access to the archives by researchers and scholars in a manner that best ensures their security and preservation.  New contact information:

Heather Kushnerick, MA, MLS, CA

Special Collections Librarian & College Archivist

Fred Parks Law Library

South Texas College of Law

1303 San Jacinto St

Houston, TX 77002




Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan outlines the major focus areas of AJS research and programming over the next three to five years, based upon the Society’s mission “to secure and promote an independent and qualified judiciary and a fair system of justice.”  To view the AJS Strategic Plan, click here.

Board Of Directors

James S. Burns Chair

Ivan M. Lui-Kwan Vice Chair

Duane R. Miyashiro Secretary

Susan Oki Mollway Assistant Secretary

Russell J. Lau Treasurer

Colleen K. Hirai Assistant Treasurer

Robert A. Alm Director

William E. Atwater Director

Mark J. Bennett Director

Momi Cazimero Director

Kevin S.C. Chang Director

Douglas S. Chin Director

Calvert G. Chipchase Director

Richard R. Clifton Director

Virginia L. Crandall Director

James A. Kawachika Director

Gerald H. Kibe Director

Arkie Koehl Director

Katherine G. Leonard Director

David M. Louie Director

Victoria S. Marks Director

Colin O. Miwa Director

Paula A. Nakayama Director

Lawrence S. Okinaga Director

Randy P. Perreira Director

Barbara P. Richardson Director

Mark A. Rossi Director

Gerald Y. Sekiya Director

Aviam Soifer Director

Terry E. Thomason Director

John M. Tonaki Director

Robert S. Toyofuku Director

Sylvia H. L. Yuen Director

Bi-laws of HSC

The HSC bi-laws limit membership "to members of AJS resident in the State of Hawaii." The seven officers (including the President of national AJS) are members of the HSC Board. The Board is authorized to have thirty-one (31) additional members.

Standing Committees

Civil Justice (Including Family Court, ADR)


Reviewing, monitoring and, if applicable, making recommendations relating to matters affecting our civil justice system in Hawaii. Such matters may include a timely review of matters affecting access to courts; family court; forms of alternative dispute resolution (including mediation rules).


Gerald Kibe, Co-Chair

Terry Thomason, Co-Chair

Kevin Chang

Virginia Crandall

Avi Soifer

Sylvia Yuen



Criminal Justice

Reviewing, monitoring and, if applicable, making recommendations relating to matters affecting the administration of our criminal justice system in Hawaii. Specific projects could include access to justice, the relevance of cultural differences of minorities and their impact on the courts.


Kate Leonard, Co-Chair

Jack Tonaki, Co-Chair

Arkie Koehl




Administer matters relating to the finances and the financial activities of the Chapter. No Chapter fundraising activities are anticipated for some time. It may be requested by the Chapter's Judicial Administration Committee to assist it in reviewing and making recommendations regarding the Report and conclusions of the Chapter's Special Committee on the Public Knowledge, Understanding and Confidence in the Courts.


Russell Lau, Chair

Mark Rossi



Judicial Administration

Reviewing, monitoring and, if applicable, making recommendations relating to court structures, organization, and operations and relationships with other organizations (whether governmental, community or otherwise) and the public. The Committee shall review and recommend appropriate alternatives to the final report of the Chapter's Special Committee on the Public Knowledge, Understanding and Confidence in the Courts.


Doug Chin, Co-Chair

Rich Clifton, Co-Chair

Cal Chipchase

Jerry Sekiya

Randy Perreira

Barbara Richardson

Mike Scanlon



Judicial Selection, Retention and Accountability

Reviewing, monitoring, and, if appropriate, making recommendations on matters relating to issues relating to merit selection generally, and particularly the process and procedures affecting the selection and retention of Hawaii judges, both state and federal. These matters include, but are not limited to, the Judicial Selection Commission, its Constitutional mandate, the Rules of the Commission and its work. The Committee will review alternatives to addressing the conclusions and recommendations of Chief Justice Moon in his annual report to the Chapter relating to the role of the HSBA as well as other organizations in the selection and retention process.


Vicki Marks, Co-Chair

Colin Miwa, Co-Chair

Mark Bennett

Bob Toyofuku

Erika Lewis




Developing and promotion of membership policies and activities among existing members and encouraging and enlisting new members from the Hawaii community, whether judges, lawyers or community members interested in improving the administration of justice. Specific projects could include the creation of a website for the Hawaii Chapter consistent with the AJS National website and a focus on increasing interested corporate leaders and members.


Virginia Crandall, Co-Chair

Duane Miyashiro, Co-Chair

Colleen Hirai




Reviewing, developing and overseeing programs that may be offered by the Hawaii Chapter.


Jim Kawachika, Co-Chair

Sylvia Yuen, Co-Chair




Publishing and distributing of a quarterly newsletter of appropriate matters relating to developments, activities and accomplishments of the Hawaii Chapter. The Committee shall also provide notices of meeting applicable to the membership, including but not limited to notices of the annual meeting of the Chapter.


Colleen Hirai, Co-Chair

Ivan Lui-Kwan, Co-Chair

Robbie Alm

Arkie Koehl




Planning, promoting and organizing the annual Sidebar Program.


Paula Nakayama, Co-Chair

Colin Miwa, Co-Chair

Carrie Okinaga, Co-Chair




Founded in 1913, the national American Judicature Society was dissolved in 2014. The Hawaii State Chapter, established in 1998, changed its name and is now the American Judicature Society. The Hawaii Chapter has over a hundred members comprised of judges, lawyers and other citizens of the State of Hawaii.

© 2015 AJS Hawaii


The purpose of the Society is “To Promote the Effective Administration of Justice” as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation. The work of AJS focuses primarily on judicial ethics, judicial selection, access to justice, criminal justice reform, and the jury system.