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Hon. Kirk H. Nakamura (Ret.) Honored With Orange County Asian American Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award

Hon. Kirk H. Nakamura (Ret.) Honored With Orange County Asian American Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award

Annual award honors Judge Nakamura’s exemplary contributions to the OC legal community throughout his decades-long career

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Irvine, Calif. – JAMS, the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services worldwide, is pleased to congratulate Hon. Kirk H. Nakamura (Ret.) for receiving the Orange County Asian American Bar Association’s (OCAABA) Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented during the OCAABA’s 28th Annual Installation Dinner on July 28.

Presented annually, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual for their outstanding contributions to the Orange County legal community. Among his career accomplishments, Judge Nakamura was the second-ever Asian American presiding judge of the Orange County Superior Court and played a vital role in leading the court through the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, he has served as the president of many organizations, including the Orange County Japanese American Lawyers Association, OCAABA, California Asian – Pacific American Judges Association and the William P. Gray Legion Lex American Inn of Court.

Throughout his decades-long career, Judge Nakamura has been a champion of diversity and tolerance, working to raise awareness of Asian American history and issues through his writing and public speeches. He is a strong advocate for fair representation within the law that honors the voices of diverse legal professionals, including Asian Americans. He is lauded among his peers for his leadership and commitment to the field of law, and we congratulate him on this outstanding award from the Orange County legal community.

- Chris Poole, JAMS CEO

Judge Nakamura joined JAMS in 2022 after a distinguished career spanning 41 years. He served for two decades as a judge of the Orange County Superior Court and presided over 300 jury trials during his tenure. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge Nakamura came into the courthouse every day from March to late November 2020 to lead the court in safely conducting 200 in-person jury trials and signing 40 administrative orders without a single criminal case dismissal for violating a criminal defendant’s right to a speedy trial.

At JAMS, Judge Nakamura serves as an arbitrator, mediator, special master/referee and judge pro tem, handling business and commercial, construction defect, employment, insurance, intellectual property, personal injury and torts, professional liability, real property and real estate, environmental and health care disputes.

About JAMS – Local Solutions. Global Reach.

Founded in 1979, JAMS is the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution services worldwide. JAMS successfully resolves and manages business and legal disputes by providing efficient, cost-effective and impartial ways to overcome barriers at any stage of conflict. JAMS offers customized in-person, virtual and hybrid resolution services locally and globally through a combination of industry-specific experience, first-class client service, the latest technology and highly trained mediators and arbitrators.

With a roster of over 400 neutrals and 29 locations, JAMS resolves thousands of the world’s important cases every year. JAMS neutrals are adept at managing the resolution process whether they are conducting in-person, virtual or hybrid hearings.

More information is available at, and you can connect with us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and our JAMS ADR blog. To learn about diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at JAMS, visit

Featured People

Hon. Kirk H. Nakamura (Ret.)
  • Business & Commercial
  • Construction Defect
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Health Care
  • Higher Education & Title IX
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Estate & Real Property

Media Contact

For further information, please contact:

Kristine Snyder

JAMS Director, Public Relations & Content 

+1 949-224-4614 (Direct Dial)

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