James E. Duffy, Jr.

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Associate Justice of the Hawaii State Supreme Court, James E. Duffy Jr.




  • 2003-2013


Legal career:

  • Private practice from 1968-2003,
  • senior partner in law firm of Fujiyama, Duffy & Fujiyama from 1975 to 2000;
  • associate, Chuck & Fujiyama, 1971-74;
  • associate, Cobb & Gould, 1968-71.

Judicial career:


  • Married;
  • two children

According to a Honolulu Advertiser article by Lynda Arakawa, entitled Top jurists represent diverse backgrounds and dated 11-23-03:

"Any negative word about Jim Duffy almost seems to be sacrilege among legal circles in this town.
The newest member of the court and the former Hawai'i State Bar Association president is the only justice who has not served as a judge. But supporters say he is well-qualified by his 35 years in private practice that includes plaintiff and defense trial work in civil and criminal matters, as well as his background in mediation and arbitration. He was known for representing politicians and others who got in trouble.
And, lawyers say, Duffy's so nice it's almost hard to believe he's an attorney.
"He's smart as a whip and the kind of lawyer that will slice your case apart with a surgeon's skill if you're not careful, but he'll do it in such a nice way that you can't get mad at him," said former Hawai'i State Bar Association president James Kawachika.
In making her first appointment to the Hawai'i Supreme Court, Gov. Linda Lingle looked for someone who could bring a "good demeanor" to the court and who would interpret law rather than make it.
The governor apparently saw those qualities in Duffy, who told senators during his confirmation hearing: "I do not believe in legislating from the bench."
Duffy, who was senior partner at the law firm of Fujiyama, Duffy & Fujiyama, was a protege and partner to the late Wallace Fujiyama, a close friend of former Gov. Ben Cayetano and other prominent Democrats and a political power broker.
Duffy also reviewed operations at Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate in the early 1990s as a special master and concluded in a report that education had become a secondary priority to the estate's finances. He also served as lead attorney for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in its litigation against the state in the ceded lands revenue case." [1]

External Links

  • Top jurists represent diverse backgrounds Honolulu Advertiser, 11-23-03.
  • Hawaii State Supreme Court Justices Hawai’I State Judiciary.
  • White, Doug. Manslaughter conviction overturned - fetus not “person” Poinography!, 11-30-05.
  • Kobayashi, Ken. Selection panel limits judgeship picks -- Duffy might have been "a lesser of evils," one Republican believes Honolulu Star-Bulletin, March 9, 2008.

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