JUDGE KARL K. SAKAMOTO (RET.)

    PANEL LOCATION

    All neutrals on the DPR Panel are willing to travel to the neighbor islands and the mainland. If you have any questions, please contact DPR at (808) 523-1234

    Judge Karl K Sakamoto (Retired) served for 16 years as a Circuit Court judge of the First Circuit (Oahu) from June 2000 to December 2016. Judge Sakamoto possesses an extensive and diverse professional litigation background – which heightened his insight into the difficult and nuanced disputes that are commonly raised in civil court. In his eight- year tenure in the Criminal Division, his exposure to hundreds of criminal cases and multitudes of jury trials afforded him a rare, and deep understanding of local jury behavior and tendencies. The eight years Judge Sakamoto was appointed to the Civil Division provided expansive experience and knowledge in the areas including insurance/personal injury/tort; estate/probate/trusts; employment/labor; commercial/business; real property; condominium/AOAO; and contract law.

    Judge Sakamoto’s perspective on litigation issues is seen from the vantage point of his diverse and heavy litigation professional background. His litigation background began at the Office of the Public Defender. He was a senior litigator with a focus on high publicity cases and complex defense litigation. His insight into jury behavior and thought allowed him to reach a successful outcome in a majority of his cases.

    Judge Sakamoto was an insurance defense attorney with the firm of Burke Sakai McPheeters Bordner & Gilardy. The focus of his civil practice involved matters including personal injury, commercial/business, employment, and construction cases. He was able to resolve his litigation cases efficiently and timely through settlement or mediation.

    As a litigation attorney with the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, he brought forth cases on behalf of State for those injured by violations of the State’s civil rights laws. He prevailed in all cases brought to hearing, and in the remaining matters, settled all cases brought to litigation. He became the Deputy Executive Director of the office, which afforded him the perspective of an employer with the many personnel and disciplinary issues that arise. He also oversaw the operations of all the investigations and the litigation divisions.

    Judge Sakamoto has an exemplary and consistent record of resolving cases while assigned to the Civil Division. He reduced his caseload from over 600 cases to a little more than 100. He often has been entrusted with difficult and complex, high-publicity cases including state worker furlough, rail, and same-sex marriage. An understanding of the legal issues, evidentiary problems, psycho-social mindset of parties, and subtleties of communication led to successful resolutions in almost all cases. Judge Sakamoto had extremely positive results in resolving all probate/trust cases involving disgruntled family members. The mediation process will allow Judge Sakamoto the greater flexibility of time expenditure, and more in-depth exploration of the obstacles that may rise in mediation. He has attended specific mediation courses at the National Judicial College for judges.

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