Appointment of Dennis K. Yamase, Kevin Bennardo and Ramona Manglona
As Associate Justices of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau
On January 26, 2017, President Tommy Remengesau Jr., appointed three non-resident Associate Justices to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau. The three Associate Justices will serve only when a resident justice of the Appellate Division is disqualified to sit on an appeal because of a conflict of interest: Federated States of Micronesia Chief Justice Dennis K. Yamase, Clinical Associate Professor of Law Kevin Bennardo, and United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona. [restrict]
Chief Justice Dennis K. Yamase has been a member of the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia since 2002. He became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia in October 2015.
After graduating from the University of Hawaii Law School in 1982, Chief Justice Yamase served as legal counsel for various governmental bodies of the Republic of Palau from 1982 to 1986, including serving as Senior Senate Legislative Counsel of the First and Second Olbiil Era Kelulau, Executive Secretary for the National Code Commission, Law Clerk for the Supreme Court, Legal Counsel for the National Reapportionment Commission, and as Special Assistant to Chief Justice Mamoru Nakamura. He later served as Special Counsel to Palau’s Vice President/Minister of Administration from 1993 to 1996. Chief Justice Yamase also worked as an Associate for the Hawaiian law firm Dander, Manuia & Castroverde from 1986 to 1987, Legislative Counsel for the FSM Congress from 1987 to 1993, was Legal Staff for the 1990 FSM Constitutional Convention, and served as Executive Director of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island’s Law Revision Commission from 1996 through 2001.
Professor Kevin Bennardo has been a Law Professor since 2011 and is currently Clinical Associate Professor of Law at North Carolina School of Law. He has also taught at the University of Richmond School of Law, the Louisiana State University Law Center, and Indiana University School of Law. He came to Palau with his wife Amy Ullrick to be a Court Counsel to the Palau Supreme Court from 2009 to 2010. Amy Ullrick became an Assistant Public Defender for the Republic of Palau from 2009 to 2010. During Professor Bennardo’s tenure at the Palau Supreme Court, Professor Bennardo wrote “The Rights and Liberties of the Palau Constitution,” a treatise on how the Palau Supreme Court interprets and applies the Palau Constitution, which was published in Volume 12 of the Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal. This is the only scholarly treatise on the Palau Supreme Court jurisprudence in existence. He also taught a course on the Palau Constitution at the Palau Community College during the summer of 2010. Professor Bennardo graduated second in his class of (233 students) from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, in 2007. He then clerked for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 2007 to 2008, worked in the Chicago offices of law firm Sidley Austin LLP from 2008 to 2009, and served as a Staff Attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 2010 to 2012.
Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona was Associate Judge of the Commonwealth Superior Court of the Northern Mariana Islands from 2003 to 2011 and has been the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands since 2011. She has also served as Justice Pro Tempore of the Guam Supreme Court, Judge Pro Tempore of the Guam Superior Court, and as a Designated Judge for the United States District Court of Guam. After graduating from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1996, Chief Judge Manglona worked as a Law Clerk for the Commonwealth Superior Court of the Northern Mariana Islands from 1997 to 1998. She then became a Northern Mariana Islands Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division 1998 to 2001, served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division from 2001 to 2002, served as Deputy Attorney General in 2002, and finally served as Attorney General for the Northern Mariana Islands from 2002 to 2003. [/restrict]