Santa Ana, Calif. – The judges of the Orange County Superior Court have elected Hon. Kirk Nakamura as Assistant Presiding Judge, announced the Court’s Presiding Judge, Hon. Charles Margines. Judge Nakamura begins serving immediately as he is filling a vacant position for the term that ends December 31, 2017.
Judge Nakamura graduated from Duke University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 1980 and from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science in 1977, where he was a Chancellor’s Scholar. Judge Nakamura grew up locally in Orange County and attended Walt Disney Elementary School, Brookhurst Junior High School, and Savanna High School in Anaheim. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Nakamura practiced civil litigation for 19 years.
He was appointed as Planning Commissioner for the City of Yorba Linda. He is past president of the Orange County Japanese American Lawyers Association and the Orange County Asian American Bar Association. He was also a director of the Orange County Bar Association and a member of the Duke Alumni Interview Advisory Committee.
Judge Nakamura was appointed to the Orange County Superior Court bench by Governor Gray Davis 2001. In his first assignment, he heard civil and criminal cases at the West Justice Center in Westminster. Since 2004, he has been assigned to the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana and has heard limited and unlimited civil cases.
As a judge, he has served as a member of the Superior Court Executive Committee, chair of the Temporary Judge Committee, chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, member of the Grand Jury Selection Committee, and member of the Jury Orientation Committee. He was an adjunct professor for Chapman Law School teaching Construction Law in 2004. He received the Outstanding Service Award from the Orange County Asian American Bar Association in 2008, the Constitutional Rights Foundation-Orange County Judge of the Year in 2010, and the Trailblazer Award from National Asian Pacific American Bar Association in 2011. He has presided over numerous mock trials for high school, college, and law students and has supervised more than 20 law school interns at the Court.