The Retired Judge is Remembered Fondly for His Intellect and Low-key Local Demeanor

Richard Borreca
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Jim Burns had the untucked Aloha shirt casualness Hawai‘i appreciates, but his intellectual rigour and character were just as strong as his father’s straightaway posture.

Former Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals Chief Judge James S. Burns died March 9, a little more than a month before turning 80.

Burns was famous because he was the son of Hawai‘i’s beloved first elected Democratic governor, John A. Burn, and then made his own mark as one of the state’s most respected judges.

Wahiawä Democratic Rep. Marcus Oshiro knows how bright the spotlight can be when your parent is a famous Hawai‘i politician — his father was Robert Oshiro, the famed Democratic strategist who shaped the elections of several Hawai‘i governors.

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