ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SIMEON ACOBA, JR. (RET.)
AREA OF EXPERTISEBanking/Finance/Foreclosure , Civil Mediation , Commercial/Business , Condo/AOAO , Construction/Design , Employment/Labor , Energy/Environment , Estates/Probate/Trusts , Family/Matrimonial , General Civil , Injury/Torts , Insurance/Personal , Intellectual Property , Partnership/Corporate Law , Real Property , Securities
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Associate Justice Simeon Acoba graduated with a B.A. in 1966 from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. In 1969 he earned his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Hawaii in May 2000. He served until his mandatory retirement age in 2014. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, he was an associate Judge on the Intermediate Court of Appeals from 1994 to 2000, a circuit court judge from 1980 to 1994, and a per deim district court judge from 1979 to 1980.
Recently, Justice Acoba has served as a lecturer at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii during 2013-2018. He is a member of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, having been appointed to a regent position from October 2014 to June 30, 2017, and from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020. He also serves as a director on the board of the University Clinical Education and Research Associates, a separate non-profit corporation that is affiliated with the University Medical School.
Justice Acoba started his career as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Richardson of the Hawaii Supreme Court, and was a special assistant to UH President Harlan Cleveland. He then served as a deputy attorney general, and later was engaged in the private practice of law. During his practice, he also served as a special deputy attorney general for the Hawaii division of occupational safety and health; the campaign spending commission, and the Hawaii public utilites division, a Hawaii State House of Represenatives majority attorney, and as an adjunct professor at the Richardson School of Law.
He was the founding Chair for the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission, a 22-member board with representatives from the three branches of government and other legally related entities, from 2008 to 2010, and was again appointed Chair of the Commission by the Chief Justice in 2016. Appointed by the President of the Bar, Justice Acoba is co-chair of the Hawaii State Bar’s Judicial Administration Committee Bar, and is the co-chair of the Hawaii State Bar’s Judcial Administration Committee that is composed of judges and attorneys. He also serves as a director on the boards of the Hawaii Justice Foundation and of the Mediation Center of the Pacific.
Justice Acoba is the 2013 recipient of the national Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence from the American Judicature Society, the Distinguised Service Award from the Honolulu Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Filipino Community Center, the Golden Gavel Award and the President’s Award from the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Fellow of the Pacific Award from Hawaii Pacific University and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the UH Founders Alumni Association.