Judge (retired) “Yama” Chillingworth Interview

Thank you also to William Chillingworth, who reached out to me in the comments (a few years ago, I’m embarrassed to say) with some information about his clerkship. Here is a link to an interview he did with PBS in 2016, in which he pays tribute to Judge Pence and describes his own experiences as a judge. https://www.pbshawaii.org/tag/william-chillingworth/ Thank you, Your Honor!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Back Again

Thanks to recent emails from Thomas Vinje and Michael Davis, I have updated my list of Judge Pence law clerks. It also seemed time to update the current status of everyone already on the list as best I could based on Google searches. I’m still missing clerkship years for a number of individuals – they don’t list that information on their law firm bios. In any case, I’m grateful to Thomas and Michael for contacting me. I would greatly appreciate receiving personal memories from his law clerks (I would add “former” but that would be too obvious.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Walter Chinn, Clerk of the Court, Retired

In my research to locate Pence’s former clerks, I came across this Honolulu Advertiser article – now old news – on the retirement of Walter Chinn, who served as Clerk of the Court in the US District Court.? It describes one of his early exchanges with Judge Pence:

Chinn, a graduate of Roosevelt High School and the University of Hawai’i who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, worked several jobs before the late U.S. District Judge Martin Pence hired him as his courtroom deputy clerk and two years later named him clerk of the court.

Chinn recalled Pence advising him, “Walter, keep your shoes clean and you’ll be OK.” Being rather naive, Chinn polished his shoes each week.

That is surely an accurate memory of Judge Pence!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thank you, Sean

Finally getting around to updating the list of Pence law clerks (see link to list above)?based on information I received from Sean Maloney, who kindly?called and emailed from Wisconsin?(I’m embarrassed to say when).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Penny Featured in 1985 Honolulu S-B Article

Here is a copy of a 1985 Honolulu Star-Bulletin?article?featuring Judge Pence.? It’s a PDF from the only copy I have and I have not been able to find it in SB archives, so my apologies if it’s difficult to read.? Worse, I don’t have the complete article (missing page D-2)!? If any readers have access to the full article, I would appreciate receiving a full copy.

Of course, it opens with a hunting story!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Puny Judges

Buzz Hines, an erstwhile Pence law clerk, recently informed me that Judge Pence (with the assistance of his long time secretary, Annabelle Pa) humorously appointed a number of his clerks as “puisne” judges.

We were called “puny” judges – puisne is a French phrase and the working definition is as follows:

Puisne Judges means the younger-born judges, at one time called puny judges. They are the four inferior judges of?the Court of Queen’s Bench, and the four inferior judges of the Court of ? Common Pleas. (French, puisné, subsequently born; Latin, post natus.)

As evidence of this great honor, Buzz forwarded a picture of the certificate hanging on a?wall in his office:


Here’s a transcript:

Martin Pence

Chief Judge, Inner Court of the Second Chamber
of The District of Hawaii

To all who shall see these Presents, Greeting:

Know ye: that reposing special trust and confidence in the ability to evaluate soundly and deal sagaciously with facts and law; in the uncompromising adherence to high moral principles; and in the achievement of intellectual legal maturity of

Robert Lewis Hines

?I do hereby appoint him an Honorable Past Puisne Judge of the Inner Court of the Second Chamber of the District of Hawaii; and I do hereby certify that he has exhibited some traits indicating an understanding of Law and the just application to the problems of mankind.

?In testimony whereof, I have caused these

letters to be made obvious, and the Seal of

the Inner Court of the Second Chamber

To be hereunto affixed.

Done at the City of Honolulu, State of Hawaii,

this 26th ?day of August, 1986

?By the Chief Judge

Thanks, Buzz – an honor well-deserved, I’m sure!

Posted in Law Clerks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Judge Pence’s Law Clerks

Just posted a new page listing Judge Pence’s law clerks.? It is based on a Google search I did a year or so ago and, admittedly, is incomplete.? I would be happy to make corrections and additions – just let me know.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Hilo Rotary Club – Pence as Founder

This from the web page of the South Hilo Rotary Club:

Charter member Paul Schattauer had another view of why this club was formed.

Martin Pence was a strong Democrat, while the president of their Hilo Club was a strong Republican. When Pence
applied for membership in the Hilo Club, he was turned down; the Hilo Club had too many lawyers already. So Pence
decided to form his own Rotary Club!

The Hilo Club set very strict boundaries on the new club’s geographic area of eligibility, which only left a small area in
which it could recruit members. It is interesting to note that not one of the members of the Rotary Club of South Hilo
was a transfer from the Hilo Club.

Back then, most of the membership in Rotary was recruited by appealing to management of a business that they should have an employee (0) in Rotary.

Although the club was chartered on November 2, 1956, charter night festivities were held at the old American Legion
Clubhouse at Reeds Bay on January 11, 1957. Martin Pence, a prominent Hilo attorney was the first president. The
Reverend Abraham Akaka, pastor of Haili Church, gave the invocation and blessing. South Hilo’s Rotary meetings were
held at the old Naniloa Hotel, which was later destroyed by a tsunami.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hilo Tsunami Museum

We recently returned from a 10 day visit to the Big Island and, for?the first time, visited the Pacific Tsunami Museum (www.tsunami.org), which chronicles in pictures, videos and stories the tsunamis that hit Hilo in 1946 and 1960.? I’d heard about the tsunamis, but had never before sought to understand their impact -the tragedies and courage of the saviors and the saved.??

The video produced by the museum includes snippets of Martin Pence being interviewed since he lived there at the time.? Unfortunately, the snippets do not include his personal experiences of the tsunamis, but they do convey his wit and sense of humor.? I will try to find a transcript or video of the entire interview.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Eleanor Pence RIP

Eleanor Pence, wife of Martin Pence (his second), passed away on August 15, 2011 at the age of 98.? She is survived by daughters of her first marriage, Merrill Johnston, Drudi Johnston, Suzy Hemmings of Honolulu and her son Tom Johnston of Sydney, Australia.? We last visited with Eleanor in 2007, at which time she was as charming and humorous as ever.? Rest in peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment