Sam King

Posted on December 10, 2010 by Linda-Mei Jaress
Tags: hawaii, people

This post is by guest author Linda-Mei Jaress, a retired attorney.

Judge Sam King died on Tuesday, at age 94. The news doesn’t mention it, but he authored a book on Go and I am told he was born in China of missionary parents. Most people remember him as an author of the essay “Broken Trust” that slammed the Bishop Estate Trustees.

He was the pre-trial and trial judge in my biggest ($) case, a rare instance when I represented a defendant rather than a plaintiff. After three weeks of jury trial, at the close of plaintiff’s case and before the defense case began, Judge King rocked the courthouse by dismissing plaintiff’s fraud case. From the bench, he said of plaintiff’s fraud claims:

“You remind me of an old French proverb: Your suspicions of others are a reflection of your own mind.”

It was only the second time in his 40 years as a judge that he dismissed the jury before the defense case began; most judges don’t have the guts to ever do it. He was affirmed on appeal. The case lasted more than 10 years.