Kubota sworn in as Hilo Circuit judge

  • Hawaii Judiciary photo Hilo Circuit Court Judge Peter K. Kubota holds a copy of the April 17, 1974 edition of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald featuring his father, retired Hilo Circuit Judge Ernest H. Kubota, being sworn in by then-Gov. George R. Ariyoshi.

Hilo has a new Circuit Court judge.

Peter K. Kubota was sworn in during a special session of the Hawaii Supreme Court on May 15.


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald administered the oath of office from the high court’s courtroom in Honolulu while Kubota appeared before him via videoconference in the Hale Kaulike Courthouse in Hilo, marking the first occasion in state history that a judge was sworn in remotely.

Kubota has served as a per diem District and Family Court Judge in the 3rd Circuit since 2019. He has practiced law for 30 years, with a solo practice in Hilo specializing in estate planning, real property advice and litigation, and business law.


He sits on the 3rd Circuit Division One bench that’s not had a permanent occupant since Hilo Circuit Judge Greg K. Nakamura retired at the end of November.

Kubota, whose father, Ernest Kubota, is a retired Hilo Circuit judge, was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1989 after graduating from the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law.

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