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

    Chief Judge Raffetto retired in May, 2012 after more than 24 years service as a trial judge with the Second Circuit Court, State of Hawaii. Prior to his judicial service, he practiced law for more than 20 years in Maui and Honolulu, Hawaii and San Francisco, California, advising businesses and litigating business disputes and other matters. Currently, he is actively developing his post-judicial career as an Arbitrator, Mediator, Discovery Master, US legal advisor and International Lecturer & Trainer, both in the US and internationally.

    Since his retirement Chief Judge Raffetto has been active teaching and presenting programs at law schools, Bar Associations, International Law Conferences and other venues in Japan, China, Mongolia, Armenia and Ukraine on US Justice, Drug Court Systems, Civilian Control of the Military, Human Rights in the Military and related subjects. He serves as a Visiting Professor at Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, Japan, Beijing Foreign Studies University Law School and the University of International Relations Law School, Beijing, China. He also continues to serve as Adjunct Instructor for the US Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS), Newport, RI and as an Independent Consultant for the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF), Geneva, Switzerland.

    Each year Chief Judge Raffetto continues to serve as a volunteer judge for the Jessup International Law Moot Court competition in China, Russia and the international, final rounds in Wash. DC.

    Is serving as a volunteer Mediator for the Appellate Mediation project.

    BS (Business Administration), California State College 1965
    JD (Juris Doctor – Law), Univ. of California, Hastings College of Law 1968
    LLM (Masters of Law – Taxation), New York Univ. Grad. School of Law 1970
    Graduate US Naval Justice School 1982
    Graduate US Army Judges School 1995

    State Courts in California & Hawaii, US District Courts for Hawaii and California, US Tax Court, US Court of Claims & all US Military Courts

    Member of the Hawaii Bar Association, American Bar Association & American Society of International Law


    • Self employed international lecturer, court appointed commissioner, arbitrator, mediator, discovery master and legal advisor, affiliated with “Dispute Prevention & Resolution”, LLC., Honolulu, HI, and as a Foreign Lawyer with Chung Ting Fai & Co., Advocates & Solicitors, Singapore.
    • Member, Hawaii Supreme Court Judicial Council, by appointment of the Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, providing advice and recommendations regarding appointments to the State of Hawaii Ethics Commission, and other important State agencies and Commissions
    • Member, Hawaii Supreme Court Judicial Performance Review Panel, by appointment of the Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, reviewing judicial performance of Hawaii judges
    • Director, ThinkTec Hawaii, news and information programing, Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Director, Suurin Jantsan Foundation, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Non-Profit NGO dedicated to reform and development of criminal justice and police science in Mongolia
    • Chief Operating Officer of “The Asia Rule of Law Society,” a non-profit NGO whose mission is to provide a vehicle to marshal, organize & develop training materials and programs and obtain funding for training and seminar programs for developing and supporting Rule of Law, Human Rights and Advocacy Training in Asia.

    Chief Judge Raffetto has served in many capacities during his legal and judicial career, including serving as Chief Judge, Arbitration Judge, Administrative Judge, Senior Family Court Judge, Drug Court Judge, prosecutor, defense lawyer, civil lawyer; and, also, by special appointment, as a Substitute Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, on many occasions. In his capacity as Chief Judge he provided leadership for 20 trial judges and over 250 employees working on three different islands in Second Circuit, State of Hawaii.

    As Chief Judge, Judge Raffetto also served as a member of many Judiciary Committees for the improvement of the justice system in Hawaii, including the Committee on Jury Innovations for the 21st Century (Chair). He created and served as presiding judge for the Maui/Molokai Adult Drug Court program, a very successful rehabilitation program for drug addicted offenders in the criminal justice system.

    Chief Judge Raffetto also created and carried out the “International Court Observer Program” in which he invited foreign law professionals to visit his Court in order to observe and learn about, first hand, the US justice system; in particular, observe a complete jury trial. Participants in the program over the years included law professionals from Russia, Mongolia, Thailand, Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan. Most recently, just prior to Judge Raffetto’s retirement, all seven of the Chief Military Judges from the seven Military Judicial Districts of Afghanistan, and the Chief Military Judge, came from Afghanistan to observe operations in Judge Raffetto’s court in Maui, Hawaii for one week.

    After serving 3 years as a member of the US Marine Corps. Reserve, Chief Judge Raffetto served 21 years as a US Navy Reserve legal officer (Judge Advocate General’s Corps.) actively engaged in all aspects of military justice, operational law, and international law. During his Navy service, Chief Judge Raffetto was appointed and served for five years as Military Judge for US Navy and Marine Corps. Trial Judiciary. As a Military Judge he presided over court martial proceedings in Japan, Guam and the US. He retired 2001 in the rank of CAPTAIN (0-6) and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

    As a military officer, and thereafter, Chief Judge Raffetto served as adjunct instructor with the US Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) and presented training seminars in many nations around the World on subjects related to rule of law, military justice reform, UN peacekeeping operations, human rights, and many other related subjects.

    Chief Judge Raffetto has also served for many years as an independent consultant and Senior Fellow for the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), a Swiss inter-governmental organization located in Geneva, Switzerland. For DCAF he researched and presented papers on military law reform, ombudsman in the military, civilian control of the military, human rights in the military, anti-corruption and related subjects, at venues such as the UN Development Project conference in the Kingdom of Tonga, and similar international conferences at Moscow, St. Petersburg, and in consultation with the Parliament of Indonesia at Jakarta. Most recently, in December 2012, DCAF Judge Raffetto traveled to the Republic of Armenia and presented a program on Human Rights in the US Military as a part of an on-going training effort in that nation and in May 2014 presented a program on the structure and history of the US National Guard for the Defense Ministry of Ukraine in Kiev.

    Also, since his retirement Chief Judge Raffetto has organized and hosted groups of lawyers from China, prosecutors from Mongolia and lawyers from Japan to travel to Hawaii and participate in program observing and learning about the US justice.


    • Selected as “Jurist of the Year” for the State of Hawaii by the Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, for 2011, for judicial excellence.
    • Awarded the “Director’s Award” by the Director of the US Department of Defense, Security Cooperation Agency, 2004, for “…extraordinary achievement in the performance of invaluable Security Cooperation service…” for, inter alia, creating and carrying out his International Court Observe Program, and his work as Adjunct Instructor at DIILS.
    • Awarded the “Meritorious Service Medal” and other decorations during his service in the US Navy.
    • Recognized for “Lifetime Achievement” 2012, by his colleagues of the Bar, by the members of the Maui County Bar Association, State of Hawaii

    Chief Judge Raffetto has written and published numerous articles and papers for publication and presentation, including for DCAF, local newspapers, law journals; including an article on the “Value of Dissenting Opinions, published 2002 in the Mongolian Law Journal, co-written with Justice G. Ganzorig, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Mongolia (Ret.) and “Report on the Success of the Maui/Molokai Adult Drug Court: Proven Successful, the New Paradigm for our Criminal Justice System?” an article about the drug court he established in Second Circuit Court, Maui, Hawaii, published in Vol. 34/Number 2, Spring 2012 (published July, 2015) in the University of Hawaii Law Review.