HONORABLE JUDGE KUBO

Hon. Edward H. Kubo, Jr. was appointed to be a Hawaii State Circuit Court Judge in 2010. As a judge, he presided over criminal cases in Honolulu. He also presided over the Hawaii Drug Court, the Mental Health Court, and an intensive supervision of probationer program which oversaw and supervised hundreds of defendants needing treatment and additional monitoring by the Court to ensure their future success.

In 2013, Judge Kubo created the Hawaii Veterans Treatment Court.  The mission of the Court is to supervise and treat veterans who have entered into the criminal justice system and who are considered to be a “high risk” of re-offending or violating probation due to mental health and/or substance abuse issues.  Judge Kubo actively interacted and networked with the U.S. Veterans Affairs in order to secure substance abuse and mental health assessments and treatment for these veterans. He also promoted addressing the veterans’ needs holistically, by networking with other organizations for housing, transportation, employment, potential job training, and educational opportunities. See, News Article, https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/21304932/saving-our-lost-soldiers/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W3p2dua0DE

 

In 2015, Judge Kubo networked with the Hawaiian Humane Society and obtained the assistance of two therapy dogs for his Court. These dogs were very instrumental in assisting the veterans with the stress of being in Court and with their underlying issues with Post Traumatic Stress, anxiety and depression. Theses dogs have been featured by the Court in Hawaii. See, https://www.courts.state.hi.us/news_and_reports/featured_news/2013/10/veterans_court_therapy_dog, and https://www.mcbhawaii.marines.mil/News/News-Article-Display/Article/586531/taking-care-of-their-own-veterans-help-veterans-in-treatment-court/

 

Unlike other courts, Judge Kubo monitored these veterans on a weekly basis and each veteran was given personal attention by a team of probation officers, service providers, counselors, and mentors. The goal is to provide encouragement, positive re-enforcement and a structured and disciplined environment to enhance their success.  In 5 years, this program graduated 35 veterans.  See also, https://www.courts.state.hi.us/news_and_reports/2018/04/hawaii-veterans-treatment-court-holds-graduation-ceremony-oahu and http://hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/17509/categoryId/110/Hawaii-Veterans-Treatment-Court-Celebrates-15-Successful-Graduates.aspx and https://www.khon2.com/news/friends-supporters-congratulate-graduates-of-oahu-veterans-treatment-court/  Although many entered the program homeless and unemployed, each graduate of this two year program left being employed, sheltered and with a brighter future. The program is so successful that recidivism among the veteran graduates are rare.

 

From 2001- 2009, Kubo was the Presidential appointed-Senate confirmed United States Attorney for Hawaii.  Under his leadership, Hawaii saw a sharp decline in crime during those eight years. He was the highest federal law enforcement officer (O-8 equivalent) in the Middle and South Pacific area and he headed an office of over 70 members.  As such, Kubo oversaw all federal criminal investigations and civil lawsuits involving the military in Hawaii.

 

Every military branch is stationed in Hawaii, and protection of their interest was a top priority for Kubo. As the U.S. Attorney, he became a senior member of the Department of Justice Military Issues/Affairs Subcommittee, a fact-finding policy group that advised the U.S. Attorney General on issues facing our military and veterans, and recommended how DOJ could assist DOD and the VA on a variety of important issues.

 

In 2006 to 2009, Kubo spearheaded the training of deploying Army units in important basic skills in Electrical, Solid Waste Disposal, Clean Water Pumps, and Sewer and Waste Water management.  By gaining these skills, our Soldiers were able to increase the quality of life in those challenging areas of our world.  This program was recognized by Pacific Army Command in 2009. Kubo also created a Sensitive Site Exploitation program to help our Marines obtain evidence to convict militants and insurgents in the Iraqi Courts by properly identifying and recovering evidence on the battlefield, interviewing witnesses, and post-blast investigations.

 

During his lifetime, Kubo has always been a strong supporter for our military and veterans.  In 2007, he founded the Hawaii Wounded Warrior Support Program that assisted Hawaii's injured service members and veterans during their recovery.  Kubo traveled to Alexander, Virginia and to Quantico, Virginia in order to meet with National Commanders and gain the support of the Army and U.S. Marines for this program. He developed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Army’s AW2 program to share resource information from his Victim-Witness Assistance Unit to help service members and veterans who were dealing with PTSD, temporary housing, government assistance, and other issues.

By networking with and giving presentations to Hawaii’s businesses and community, Kubo was able to provide Wounded Warriors and families with activities, funding, and valuable positive time away from their treatments, such as:

  1. Fundraising for Wii Playstations, games, and gift certificates to help promote their therapy and mobile recuperation;

  2. University of Hawaii Football Games at the Aloha Stadium;

  3. University of Hawaii Baseball Games at the Les Murakami Stadium;

  4. University of Hawaii Mens and Women’s Basketball Games at the Stan Sheriff’s Center;

  5. University of Hawaii Men’s Volleyball Games at the Stan Sheriff’s Center;

  6. Free visits to Hanauma Bay for recreational swimming, snorkeling and lunch;

  7. Cash donations;

  8. 500 DVD video movies from Warner Brothers Entertainment;

  9. 10 Blue Ray DVD Players from Sony Hawaii;

  10. Donations of autographed footballs and memorabilia by the NFL Pro Bowl Players;

  11. Summer Concerts in Waikiki at the Aquarium;

  12. Waikiki Sunset on the Beach with Movies;

  13. Participation in Golf Tournaments;

  14. Attending annual Lions Club Plays and Shows;

  15. Meetings with Representatives from the Social Security Administration regarding potential Benefits they were eligible for;

  16. Christmas Luncheon for these Troops with Home cooking and gifts;

  17. Valentine’s and Christmas Cards from School Children and Federal employees thanking them for their service;

  18. Dinner and Movie at the USS Missouri, hosted by the Navy League;

  19. Dinner at Hale Koa Military Resort’s Luau and its Entertainment Show;

  20. Visits to the Pacific Air Museum at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor;

In 2009, Kubo co-founded the Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta, whose mission was to recognize and assist those who were injured while serving in our military and recovering in Hawaii, to assist them with finding employment in the public sector, and to support their families.  Kubo successfully solicited the support from the Association of U.S. Army, Navy Region, Jimmy Buffets Beachcomber Restaurant, BAE Systems, the Honolulu Police Department, the Honolulu Fire Department and the Pure Light Canoe Club.  Each year, the Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta has grown, and this event became part of the annual Duke Kahanamoku Ocean Fest in Waikiki. See, https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2019/08/18/dukes-oceanfest-begins-with-wounded-warrior-canoe-regatta/ and https://www.kitv.com/clip/12676801/na-koa-wounded-warrior-regatta and https://www.khon2.com/local-news/military-celebrated-with-na-koa-wounded-warrior-canoe-regatta-job-fair/

Kubo has been active in promoting the employment opportunities for Veterans.  In the last 10 years, he has hired many veterans to be law clerks or interns for his Court so they could experience the legal profession. As the U.S. Attorney, he was also successful in having Wounded Warriors assigned for temporary duty with government agencies. Additionally, Kubo attended various Job Fairs at the Neal Blaisdell Center and approached employers while promoting the hiring of Wounded Warriors and Veterans.  Each company was given a pamphlet designed by Kubo to tout the value to companies in hiring these Heroes.  Next, as one of the organizers for the Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta, Kubo has made it a priority in soliciting employers to station themselves at the event with applications for the potential employment of these service members or veterans with their companies.  Finally, Kubo is a member of Hawaii Hires Heroes which seeks to increase public awareness on the need to hire Veterans.

As the U.S. Attorney, Kubo created an Identity Theft Initiative which protected potential unknowing or elder victims.  He also gave an Identity Theft Presentation to World War II veterans at the 100th Battalion Clubhouse of the dangers of Identify Theft and Fraudsters on our Elders.  Additionally, since becoming a judge, Kubo gave a presentation to the Korean War Veterans, thanking them for their service and to inform them about additional military medals and certificates that they may be eligible for. Finally, Kubo volunteered to chaperone and assisted the Veterans of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service, who went to Washington D.C. in November, 2011, to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

Kubo also partnered with the DOD's Employer Support for the Guard and Reserves (ESGR). In 2009, he signed a Five-Star Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve.  Additionally, he launched "Operation Mahalo" (Thank you) by awarding Certificates of Patriotism to Employers who have assisted their activated employees.  As the U.S. Attorney he gave press conferences providing public awareness of the rights of our military members under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). He developed an outreach program which gave legal advice about ones rights surrounding activation or deployment, and he developed two booklets on the rights of Guard and Reserves in the workforce.

Additionally, Kubo developed awareness DVDs entitled, "Your Federal Rights Under USERRA and SCRA," and “USERRA for Employers."  These educational DVDs provided active duty, veterans, and Hawaii’s employers information on what federal law required regarding employment, termination of leases, interest rates, and lawsuits.  Almost 4,000 DVDs were distributed to Commanders for National Guard and Reserves in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam American Samoa, and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the Department of the Army, and to the membership of Small Business Hawaii with positive reviews. His efforts were recognized by the Department of Defense (ESGR).

Since 2009, and with the assistance of the Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii, Kubo has continued to provide free legal advice for Veterans and members of our Guard and Reserves with employment issues relating to their deployments.

In 2009, Kubo was selected as Chairperson on the Advisory Board for the Tripler Army Medical Center’s School Behavioral Health program, which sought to identify, counsel, and improve the mental health of military/veteran’s children in Hawaii’s schools.  This program was in six (6) Hawaii schools on or near military bases, and it was successful in its outreach.  This pilot program was also adopted by several other U.S. military instillations across the globe.

Finally, in 2016, Kubo joined a task force advocating the creation of a Gold Star Families Memorial at the State Veterans Cemetary.  In 2018, the goal was accomplished with the dedication of the Memorial at the Veterans Cemetary.  See, https://www.khon2.com/news/new-gold-star-monument-in-kaneohe-honors-families-of-fallen-hawaii-servicemen-and-women/  

Judge Kubo retired from the Bench in December 2019.  However, he remains a steadfast and vocal advocate for our Military and our Veterans.

Judge Kubo is the son of Retired Army E-9 CSM Ed Kubo, who is a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and who is the recipient of the Bronze Star, Air Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge. Additionally, his son was an Army Reservist assigned to the 100th Battalion, 442nd Combat Infantry Regiment, and served in Kuwait and Iraq. Kubo was an active member of their Family Readiness Group (FRG), and a contributor to their Delta Dragons’ Family Newsletter.

Finally, Kubo is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, and the University of San Diego School of Law.

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