Maui Judge Joel August Retires, Wildman Fills Vacancy
By Wendy Osher
Maui Judge Joel August retires today after a full career with the Second Circuit Court that included his rulings in the high profile Hawaii Superferry case. More recently, he ordered a retrial in a 20-year-old rape conviction based on new DNA evidence.
August filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Artemio Baxa in 2001. Since 1982, Judge August served as a per diem judge for the District Court on Maui. As a partner with Maui law firm, Lowenthal & August since 1980, he specialized in torts, medical malpractice, land use, and criminal defense.
Judge August also served as president of the Hawai`i State Bar Association in 2000.
Today, Governor Neil Abercrombie announced the appointment of Joseph L. Wildman to fill the vacancy left by Judge August in the Second Circuit Court. Wildman was selected from a list of nominees provided to the Governor by a Judicial Selection Commission.
“I have full trust and faith in Joe’s experience and judgment. He has always put the interests of the people first and I believe he will serve honorably on the Second Circuit,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
Since 2004, Wildman has worked at the Maui firm Takitani & Agaran, where he is licensed to practice before the State and Federal courts in Hawai’i, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1989, Wildman established his own law firm in Honolulu. Wildman also served as an Arbitrator in the Court Annexed Arbitration Program.
Wildman received his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law and a B.A. in political science from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
His 10 year judicial term with the Circuit Court is still subject to Senate Confirmation.