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On June 29, 2015, the Hawaii Supreme Court rendered its decision in the case of St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance, Hi. Sup. Ct. Case No SCCQ-14-0000727 (June 29, 2015). This case arose out of a wrongful death personal injury case handled by this office which resulted in a $4.1 million verdict in favor of our clients - even though Liberty Mutual, the primary liability insurer, never offered anything even close to its policy limits of $1 million. St. Paul - who had to pay our clients everything recovered in excess of the initial $1 million - claimed that Liberty Mutual committed bad faith towards it by failing to settle within its $1 million policy limits. The Hawaii Supreme Court agreed and found that an excess insurer has claims for bad faith against a primary insurer.

 

 


THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII

ARTICLE VI - THE JUDICIARY


INDEX TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII

section titles

preamble
article I
article II
article III
article IV
article V
article VI
article VII
article VIII
article IX
article X
article XI
article XII
article XIII
article XIV
article XV
article XVI
article XVII
article XVIII

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index (pdf, 45K)

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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII

As Amended and in Force January 1, 2000

ARTICLE VI

THE JUDICIARY

JUDICIAL POWER

Section 1. The judicial power of the State shall be vested in one supreme court, one intermediate appellate court, circuit courts, district courts and in such other courts as the legislature may from time to time establish. The several courts shall have original and appellate jurisdiction as provided by law and shall establish time limits for disposition of cases in accordance with their rules. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

SUPREME COURT; INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT; CIRCUIT COURTS

Section 2. The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and four associate justices. The chief justice may assign a judge or judges of the intermediate appellate court or a circuit court to serve temporarily on the supreme court, a judge of the circuit court to serve temporarily on the intermediate appellate court and a judge of the district court to serve temporarily on the circuit court. As provided by law, at the request of the chief justice, retired justices of the supreme court also may serve temporarily on the supreme court, and retired judges of the intermediate appellate court, the circuit courts, the district courts and the district family courts may serve temporarily on the intermediate appellate court, on any circuit court, on any district court and on any district family court, respectively. In case of a vacancy in the office of chief justice, or if the chief justice is ill, absent or otherwise unable to serve, an associate justice designated in accordance with the rules of the supreme court shall serve temporarily in place of the chief justice. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am HB 355 (1985) and election Nov 4, 1986]

APPOINTMENT OF JUSTICES AND JUDGES

Section 3. The governor, with the consent of the senate, shall fill a vacancy in the office of the chief justice, supreme court, intermediate appellate court and circuit courts, by appointing a person from a list of not less than four, and not more than six, nominees for the vacancy, presented to the governor by the judicial selection commission

If the governor fails to make any appointment within thirty days of presentation, or within ten days of the senate's rejection of any previous appointment, the appointment shall be made by the judicial selection commission from the list with the consent of the senate. If the senate fails to reject any appointment within thirty days thereof, it shall be deemed to have given its consent to such appointment. If the senate shall reject any appointment, the governor shall make another appointment from the list within ten days thereof. The same appointment and consent procedure shall be followed until a valid appointment has been made, or failing this, the commission shall make the appointment from the list, without senate consent

The chief justice, with the consent of the senate, shall fill a vacancy in the district courts by appointing a person from a list of not less than six nominees for the vacancy presented by the judicial commission. If the chief justice fails to make the appointment within thirty days of presentation, or within ten days of the senate's rejection of any previous appointment, the appointment shall be made by the judicial selection commission from the list with the consent of the senate. The senate must hold a public hearing and vote on each appointment within thirty days of any appointment. If the senate fails to do so, the nomination shall be returned to the commission and the commission shall make the appointment from the list without senate consent. The chief justice shall appoint per diem district court judges as provided by law.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT

Justices and judges shall be residents and citizens of the State and of the United States, and licensed to practice law by the supreme court. A justice of the supreme court, a judge of the intermediate appellate court and a judge of the circuit court shall have been so licensed for a period of not less than ten years preceding nomination. A judge of the district court shall have been so licensed for a period of not less than five years preceding nomination

No justice or judge shall, during the term of office, engage in the practice of law, or run for or hold any other office or position of profit under the United States, the State or its political subdivisions.

TENURE; COMPENSATION; RETIREMENT

The term of office of justices and judges of the supreme court, intermediate appellate court and circuit courts shall be ten years. Judges of district courts shall hold office for the periods as provided by law. At least six months prior to the expiration of a justice's or judge's term of office, every justice and judge shall petition the judicial selection commission to be retained in office or shall inform the commission of an intention to retire. If the judicial selection commission determines that the justice or judge should be retained in office, the commission shall renew the term of office of such justice or judge for the period provided by this section or by law

There shall be a salary commission to review and recommend salaries for justices and judges of all state courts. Justices and judges shall have salaries as provided by law. Their compensation shall not be decreased during their respective terms of office, unless by general law applying to all salaried officers of the State. They shall be retired upon attaining the age of seventy years. They shall be included in any retirement law of the State. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am SB 2182 (1994) and SB 2294 (1994) and election Nov 8, 1994]

JUDICIAL SELECTION COMMISSION

Section 4. There shall be a judicial selection commission that shall consist of nine members. The governor shall appoint two members to the commission. No more than one of the two members shall be a licensed attorney. The president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives shall each respectively appoint two members to the commission. The chief justice of the supreme court shall appoint one member to the commission. Members in good standing of the bar of the State shall elect two of their number to the commission in an election conducted by the supreme court or its delegate. No more than four members of the commission shall be licensed attorneys. At all times, at least one member of the commission shall be a resident of a county other than the City and County of Honolulu

The commission shall be selected and shall operate in a wholly nonpartisan manner. After the initial formation of the commission, elections and appointments to the commission shall be for staggered terms of six years each. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no member of the commission shall serve for more than six years on the commission

Each member of the judicial selection commission shall be a resident of the State and a citizen of the United States. No member shall run for or hold any other elected office under the United States, the State or its political subdivisions. No member shall take an active part in political management or in political campaigns. No member shall be eligible for appointment to the judicial office of the State so long as the person is a member of the judicial commission and for a period of three years thereafter

No act of the judicial selection commission shall be valid except by concurrence of the majority of its voting members

The judicial selection commission shall select one of its members to serve as chairperson. The commission shall adopt rules which shall have the force and effect of law. The deliberations of the commission shall be confidential

The legislature shall provide for the staff and operating expenses of the judicial selection commission in a separate budget. No member of the judicial selection commission shall receive any compensation for commission services, but shall be allowed necessary expenses for travel, board and lodging incurred in the performance of commission duties

The judicial selection commission shall be attached to the judiciary branch of the state government for purposes of administration. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am SB 2513 (1994) and SB 2515 (1994) and election Nov 8, 1994]

RETIREMENT; REMOVAL; DISCIPLINE

Section 5. The supreme court shall have the power to reprimand, discipline, suspend with or without salary, retire or remove from office any justice or judge for misconduct or disability, as provided by rules adopted by the supreme court

The supreme court shall create a commission on judicial discipline which shall have authority to investigate and conduct hearings concerning allegations of misconduct or disability and to make recommendations to the supreme court concerning reprimand, discipline, suspension, retirement or removal of any justice or judge. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

ADMINISTRATION

Section 6. The chief justice of the supreme court shall be the administrative head of the courts. The chief justice may assign judges from one circuit court to another for temporary service. With the approval of the supreme court, the chief justice shall appoint an administrative director to serve at the chief justice's pleasure. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

RULES

Section 7. The supreme court shall have power to promulgate rules and regulations in all civil and criminal cases for all courts relating to process, practice, procedure and appeals, which shall have the force and effect of law. [Ren Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

 

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