Lecturer in Law
Associate Justice, Hawai'i Supreme Court (Retired)
BA, University of Hawai`i
JD, Northwestern University School of Law
Associate Justice Simeon R. Acoba, Jr., (ret.) was appointed to the Hawai`i Supreme Court 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 1994-2000, a circuit court judge from 1980-1994, and a per diem district court judge from 1979-1980.
Justice Acoba received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hawai`i, and his Juris Doctorate from the Northwestern University School of Law. He was admitted to practice law in the federal and in the Hawai`i state courts on October 9, 1969. He started his career as a law clerk to then-Chief Justice William Richardson of the Hawai`i Supreme Court, was a special assistant to Harlan Cleveland, then-President of the University of Hawai`i, 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 in the occupational safety and health area and in the public utilities area, as a state house of representatives majority attorney, and as an adjunct professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i.
Justice Acoba was the founding Chair of the Hawai‘i Access to Justice (ATJ) Commission from 2008-2010 and currently serves on various Commission committees. He is also Co-chair of the Judicial Administration Committee of the Hawai`i State Bar Association (HSBA) and is a director of the Hawai‘i Justice Foundation and of the Mediation Center of the Pacific.
Justice Acoba is the 2013 recipient of the Filcom Center Lifetime Achievement award, the Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence from the American Judicature Society, the Distinguished Service Award from the Japanese American Citizens League, Honolulu Chapter, the HSBA’s Golden Gavel Award and President’s Award, and the Hawai’i Pacific University Fellow of the Pacific Award. Justice Acoba is a member of the University of Hawai`i Board of Regents.