Elisha Hunt Allen (b.1804 - d.1883) Selected United States Consul to Hawai`i in 1850, Allen resigned that post in 1853. He then received and accepted an offer from Kamehameha III to serve as Minister Minister of Finance for the Hawaiian government. Allen succeeded William Lee as Chief Justice in 1857 and served until 1877. Much of his work aided in solidifying and clarifying the laws of that period. He served as Hawaiian Minister to Washington from 1870 to 1883, and was active in securing the Reciprocity Treaty for Hawai`i.
Charles Coffin Harris (b.1822 - d.1881) Harris first arrived in Hawai`i enroute to the California gold rush. He served the Kingdom of Hawai`i for over 30 years in various capacities including Minister of Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He helped frame the 1864 Constitution and served as Hawai`i's first attorney general, a position that was created by the 1864 Constitution. Harris was appointed first associate justice in 1874, succeeded Allen as chief justice in 1877, and served until his death in 1881.
Kamehameha III (1814-1854) promulgated Hawaii's first constitution in 1840, which established the first chief judge of the Supreme Court, a position Kamehameha III then filled. He decided on a new land division in 1848, which became known as the Great Mahele.
William Little Lee (b.1828 - d.1857) Lee, appointed by Kamehameha III, served as Hawaii's first chief justice of the Superior Court of Law and Equity from 1848 to 1857. Lee had a profound effect on the development of Hawaii's political system by establishing the ground work for the Mahele, drafting the Constitution of 1852 and writing Hawaii's first comprehensive criminal and civil codes. Lee was very active in the community serving as trustee of Punahou School and founder and president of the Royal Hawaiian Agricultural society.
Walter Francis Frear (b.1863 - d.1948) Frear was the only person to hold the highest offices in both the judicial and executive branches of the territorial government. He was appointed judge of the First Circuit Court by Queen Lili`uokalani in January 1893, and in March 1893, Frear became associate justice of the Supreme Court under the provisional government. In 1900, he became chief justice of the Territory of Hawai`i until 1907, when he was appointed governor. A member of the commission which drew up the Organic Act, he was instrumental in gaining territorial status for Hawai`i.
Alfred Stedman Hartwell (b.1836 - d.1912) Hartwell was a brigadier general in the civil war and came to Hawai`i in 1868 at the urging of King Kalakaua to accept a commission as associate justice of the Supreme Court a position he held until 1874. For a few months in 1874, and later from 1876 through 1878, Hartwell served as attorney general. In 1904, he was appointed associate justice and in 1907, he became chief justice; a position he held until his retirement in 1911. In addition to his government service, Hartwell had a private practice and many persons, including King Kalakaua, studied law under him.
Albert Francis Judd (b.1838 - d.1900) Judd was the son of Kamehameha III's chief minister, Dr. Gerrit P. Judd. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he returned to Honolulu to start a private practice. Appointed attorney general in 1873, Judd became second associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1874. He rose to first associate justice in 1877, and was appointed chief justice in 1881. Serving 26 years as a member of the Supreme Court and 19 years as chief justice, his tenure was longer than any other justice on the Supreme Court.
Alexander George Morrison Robertson (b.1867 - d.1947) Robertson was the son of a distinguished associate justice of the Hawai`i Supreme Court and maintained family tradition as an outstanding jurist. In 1894, he was a delegate to the Hawaiian Constitutional Convention and served as a member of Governor Dole's staff. In 1895, he was appointed deputy attorney general of the Republic of Hawai`i and also served three terms in the House of Representatives. Robertson was appointed United States district judge in 1910. He became Hawai`i's chief justice in 1911, and was reappointed in 1916. In 1918, he resigned from the bench to pursue private practice.
James Leslie Coke (b.1875 - d.1957) Coke arrived in Hawai`i in 1898 to observe the ceremonies of Hawai`i's annexation to the United States. He began his practice in Wailuku, Maui and in 1908 was elected as a county attorney. Coke moved to Honolulu in 1909, represented O`ahu in the Territorial Senate in 1912, and became circuit court judge in 1916. He was appointed associate justice in 1917 and served as chief justice from 1918 to 1922. In 1935, he was again appointed chief justice, a position which he held until his retirement in 1941. Coke lectured to law classes in Japan at the urging of the Imperial Japanese government. He also worked with the Japanese Bar to set up a jury system in Japan.
Antonio Perry (b.1871 - d.1944) Perry served as district magistrate of Honolulu from 1894 to 1896 when he was named judge of the First Circuit Court. In 1900 he was appointed to a four-year term as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the Territory. After returning to private practice, Perry was again appointed as associate justice and served from 1909 to 1914. Following another period of private practice, he was chosen for a third term as associate justice in 1922 and in 1926 he was elevated to chief justice and served until 1934.
Emil Cornelius Peters (b.1877 - d.1961) Peters came to Hawai`i in 1900 and between the years 1903 and 1922, he served as deputy attorney general, attorney general and judge advocate of the Hawai`i National Guard. In 1922, he was appointed to a four-year term as chief justice of the Supreme Court. Peters later served as associate justice from 1935 through 1949. Several years later he reentered private practice where he was best known for his trust casework.
Samuel Barnet Kemp (b.1871 - d.1962) Kemp came to Hawai`i in 1916 after practicing law in Texas and serving as judge in Coke County. He was an assistant United States attorney until 1917 when he was appointed circuit court judge. Kemp was appointed associate justice of the Territorial Supreme Court in 1918 and served until 1922. In 1936 he served as attorney general. In 1938 he was reappointed associate justice and served as chief justice from 1941 to 1950 when he retired from the bench.
Philip L. Rice (b.1886 - d.1974) Rice's interest in law began during his tenure as clerk of the Fifth Circuit Court on the island of Kaua`i. Admitted to the University of Chicago as a special student in 1914, he completed the three year course in 1916. Returning to Hawai`i he was admitted to the Bar and established a practice in Lihu`e.
He served as circuit court judge on Kaua`i for twelve years. Named associate justice of the Territorial Supreme Court on February 15, 1955, he served until April 7, 1956 when he became chief justice. Rice served until July 27, 1959 and was the last chief justice of the Territory of Hawai`i.
William Shaw Richardson (b.1919) Richardson began his legal career in the Army's Judge Advocate General Corps serving until 1946. From 1956 to 1962, he was chairperson of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawai`i.
Richardson was elected Lieutenant Governor of the state of Hawai`i in 1962, a position he held until his appointment as chief justice in 1966. He served as chief justice for 16 years until his retirement in 1982. One of his greatest contributions to the state was the founding of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai`i.
Edward Armstrong Towse (b.1905 - d.1973) Towse had one of the most spectacular ascents in the history of the local bench. Appointed assistant United State Attorney for Hawai`i from 1932 to 1934, he then became circuit court judge in 1949. By 1950 he was appointed associate justice of the Territorial Supreme Court and in 1951, he was elevated to the position of chief justice. Towse served as chief justice until 1956.
Wilfred Chomatsu Tsukiyama (b.1897 - d.1966) The son of immigrant Japanese parents who came to Hawai`i to work on sugar plantations, Tsukiyama was the state of Hawai`i's first chief justice.
He began his legal career with the firm Huber, Kemp, and Stainback during the 1920's and later served as a City and County of Honolulu attorney. First elected to the Territorial Senate in 1946, he served as president of the Senate from 1949 to 1954, and minority floor leader from 1955 to 1959. Tsukiyama was the first Japanese-American to head a state Supreme Court. He resigned in 1965.
Herman T.F. Lum (b.1926) Lum was appointed chief justice in 1983 and served on Hawai`i's highest court until his retirement in 1993. Prior to serving as chief justice, Lum's former positions included: associate justice of the Hawai`i Supreme Court, senior judge of the Family Court, circuit judge of the First Circuit, United State attorney, chief clerk and chief attorney of the Hawai`i State House of Representatives, and assistant public prosecutor.
Ronald T.Y. Moon (b.1940) As the incumbent chief justice, Moon began his legal career in 1965, serving as a law clerk at the Hawai`i U.S. District Court. He then served as deputy prosecutor from 1966 to 1968, entered private practice from 1968 to 1982, and spent the next eight years as a circuit court judge. Moon was appointed associate justice of the Supreme Court of Hawai`i in 1990, and became chief justice in 1993.
Moon is a third-generation Korean-American. His grandparents were among the first wave of Korean immigrants who arrived in Hawai`i in the early 1900s.