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JABA Members Honored at NAPABA National Convention

JABA members Hon. Kathryn Doi Todd, Hon. Kimi Kondo, Hon. Akemi Arakaki, and Secretary Mark Hanasono were honored at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) National Convention held in Washington, D.C. on November 16-18.

NAPABA Trailblazer Awards

Hon. Kathryn Doi Todd is a Division Two Justice for the Second District Court of Appeal for the State of California. She is a third generation Californian, born in Los Angeles in January 1942. After being interned with her family during World War II, she returned to Los Angeles where she attended public school, graduating from Los Angeles High in 1959. She graduated from Stanford University in 1963 with a degree in history, and then attended Loyola Law School on an academic scholarship, graduating with honors in 1970. She served as Executive Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and was awarded membership in Order of the Coif. She was honored as Loyola Law School Distinguished Alumna in 2003.

She conducted a general civil practice in Los Angeles, in Little Tokyo, until she was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by Governor Jerry Brown in 1978, the first Asian American woman judge in the country. Governor Brown appointed her to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1981 where she served as presiding judge of the Juvenile Court from 1988 to 1989. She was appointed to the Court of Appeal by Governor Gray Davis in 2000.

Justice Todd has served on various committees and organizations created to improve the administration of justice, including the California Judicial Council, the policymaking body for our state courts, to which she was appointed by the Chief Justice of California. She has also served as a Trustee of the California Judges Foundation and the Los Angeles County Law Library, and Chair of the Judicial Council Appellate Advisory Committee.

Active in her community, Justice Todd has served as a member of the board of directors of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center for over twenty years.

Hon. Kimi Kondo presides over the busiest court in the State of Washington overseeing a $25 million budget, 12.5 judicial officers, and over 200 employees. In May, Judge Kondo received a Washington State Association of Justice 20 Year Service Award. As a member of the City of Seattle Municipal Court for 22 years, Judge Kondo was the first Asian woman attorney to be appointed to the bench in the State of Washington. Judge Kondo’s colleagues on the Seattle Municipal Court recently elected her for a second time as the Presiding Judge for a two-year term ending in 2013. She served on the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission from 1994-2001. During her tenure, domestic violence summits were held throughout the state. She was involved in presenting a pioneering statewide judicial program on issues of bias towards women of color in the court system. Judge Kondo graduated from the University of Idaho and Seattle University School of Law (formerly University of Pugent Sound).

NAPABA Best Lawyers Under 40 Awards

Hon. Akemi Arakaki was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in December of 2010 at the age of 37. She is currently sitting in the Antelope Valley Delinquency Court. Prior to her appointment she served as a deputy public defender for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office. She earned a J.D. from Loyola Law School and a B.A. from Wellesley College. In 2003 she was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to sit on the statewide Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs. She also served in 2004 as the president of the Japanese American Bar Association.

Mark Hanasono is a senior trial attorney and Team Leader for the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender. He represents indigent clients in felony cases, including capital murder, and supervises a team of attorneys in APD’s central office. Mark was also a Deputy Public Defender for the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Over his career, Mark has tried 85 jury trials. He was a law clerk for District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Stephanie Duncan Peters, and extern for U.S. District Judge Robert Takasugi. Mark serves as secretary for the Japanese American Bar Association, and was appointed to the California State Bar Criminal Law Section Executive Committee. He graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, and summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from U.C. Berkeley.

JABA celebrates the achievements of its members and congratulates them on this prestigious honor.