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LIHUE — Deputy Chief Judge Trudy Senda of the District Court of the 5th Circuit was named the 2014 Jurist of the Year by the state of Hawaii Supreme Court.

Senda received the honor at an Oct. 3 ceremony at the Hawaii Supreme Court courtroom. She was selected by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, who presented the honors.

The Jurist of the Year is selected for exceptional judicial competence evidenced by decisional quality, significant extra-judicial contributions to the administration of justice and participation in public service.

Senda has been a leader in increasing access to justice and in enhancing the administration of justice, according to a press release. As a member of the Access to Justice Commission, she was instrumental in the opening of the Judiciary’s Self-Help Center on Kauai, where volunteer attorneys provide legal information to individuals who are representing themselves in civil cases. The Kauai center was the first such center to open in the state.

The Hawaii State Judiciary also recognized employees who distinguished themselves through exceptional accomplishments.

The 5th Circuit employee awardees from Kauai included the Kauai Drug Court team, Tammy Kakutani, Tori Ann Miyazaki, Vonn Ramos, Martin Steinhaus and Jennifer Tone. Together, they received a Group Meritorious Award for their superior performance and outstanding contributions to the Judiciary and the State of Hawaii. IT Support Technician Jayson Taniguchi received a Certificate of Commendation for his responsiveness assisting staff with their computer and audio visual needs.

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