David Alan Ezra, JD

2013 UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award

Undergraduate studies, 1967-1968, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
BBA, 1969, St. Mary’s University
JD, 1972, St. Mary’s University

Judge David Alan Ezra currently serves by designation on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division.

Ezra grew up in Hawai‘i and graduated from St. Louis High School. He attended Chaminade University and UH before receiving a BBA from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He went on to graduate first in his class from St. Mary’s University School of Law before serving on active duty in the Army.

Ezra returned to Hawai‘i and joined the law firm of Anthony, Hoddick, Reinwald & O’Connor. In 1976, he became a partner in the firm, concentrating his practice in construction litigation. He left in 1980 to form his own law firm, Ezra, O’Connor, Moon & Tam, where he was managing director and practiced primarily financial services litigation. Ezra was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawai‘i in 1988, becoming the youngest federal judge in the state’s history. He went on to become the state’s longest-serving active federal judge, taking senior judicial status in 2012. He has handled complex litigation matters in Hawai‘i and, by designation of the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit and the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, in many districts throughout the country.

Ezra was an adjunct professor at UH’s William S. Richardson School of Law from 1978 to 2012. He served as vice president of the U.S. Federal Judges Association and also served on its board of directors and executive committee. He has been a member of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit, Executive Committee of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Judicial Conference Committee on Administration of the Bankruptcy System, Court-Council Committee on Bankruptcy Appointments, Evaluation Committee of the Ninth Circuit, Pacific Islands Committee of the Ninth Circuit, Board of Directors of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society, and St. Louis High School board of trustees. He is past president of the Ninth Circuit U.S. District Judges Association, the first federal judge from Hawai‘i ever to serve in that capacity. Ezra was also the first and only judge from Hawai‘i to be elected by the judges of the Ninth Circuit to a three-year term as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which governs the operations of the Federal Judiciary.

He currently serves as a member of the Judicial Conference Budget and Finance Advisory Council. In 2007, Ezra was awarded the prestigious Rosewood Gavel Award.


Tribute video produced by Tom Galli & Stacia Garlach. Mahalo to The Hon. Mark Recktenwald, Clare Connors, Avi Soifer, Denise Antolini, Grace Ginoza, Ashley Burns and Katharine Buddingh. Special thanks to Judge Ezra and Spencer Kimura at UH Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law for sharing photos, and to Benny Chong for permission to use music from Ukulele Jazz (2005).