Maui attorneys appointed as judges

Christopher Dunn, James Rouse must be confirmed by state Senate


Longtime Maui attorneys Christopher Dunn and James Rouse were appointed Friday to fill positions as judges in the 2nd Circuit District and District Family Court.

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald made the appointments from nomination lists presented last month by the Judicial Selection Commission.

Dunn was appointed to the District Court to replace Judge Kelsey Kawano, who is now a 2nd Circuit judge. Dunn has 25 years of trial experience, a high volume of cases representing privately retained and court-appointed clients in District, Family and Circuit courts, and administrative proceedings.

He has had a private practice on Maui for the past 18 years and previously practiced in Massachusetts.

Dunn is a graduate of George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 2002. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.


Rouse was appointed to the District Family Court to replace retired Judge Lloyd Poelman. Rouse works as a deputy attorney general handling Family Court matters. He previously was a deputy public defender on Maui, an associate with Coates and Frey Law Firm on Oahu and the Law Office of David Sereno on Maui, and as a deputy prosecutor on Maui.

Rouse graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1994. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Chico State University in California.

Both appointments are subject to state Senate confirmation.

“It’s the greatest honor of my professional life,” Rouse said. “If confirmed, I promise the people of Maui County that I will devote all of my energy to protecting the Constitution and do the job with grace and dignity and good manners and courtesy — all that’s expected of a judge.”


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