Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Yamase nominated for Associate Justice of FSM

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): April 30, 2002 - Dennis K. Yamase has been nominated for the position of Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Yamase is being nominated to fill the position vacated by former Associate Justice, Richard H. Benson, who completed his tenure in Chuuk State last June. Yamase's nomination is being submitted for approval by the FSM Congress during their upcoming regular session in May.

In the nomination letter to the FSM Congress, President Leo A. Falcam described Yamase as "well qualified for the position of Associate Justice." Yamase who had well over 18 years of experience as a practicing attorney, spent an extensive length of his time in the Micronesian region.

His Micronesian experiences began in the Republic of Palau in the early 80s', first as the Senate Legislative Counsel for the First and Second Olbiil Era Kelulau or the Legislative arm of Palau Government. Yamase continued his services in Palau with the National Code Commission and went on to become a Special Assistant to the Chief of Justice. He was instrumental in codifying the Palau National Code.

In 1986, Yamase moved to Honolulu where he became an Associate in the Law Firm of Dandar, Manuia and Castroverde, during which he was also played a major role in codifying the Yap State Code.

The following year, Yamase returned to Micronesia where he spent the next seven years in the FSM Congress where his services ranged from heading the Legislative Counsel to legal services for the Second FSM Constitutional Convention.

After the FSM, Yamase continued in Micronesia in the Republic of Palau where he was assigned as the legal counsel to ROP Vice President/Minister of Administration where he provided a wide array of legal assistance to the ROP Government.

In 1998, Yamase went to the Northern Mariana Islands as Executive Director of the Law Revision Commission, the Judiciary of the Commonwealth of the CNMI.

Yamase is currently in the FSM as a Legal Information System (LIS) Consultant contracted by the Asian Development Bank to launch FSM's Legal Information System on the internet.

Yamase has a Juris Doctorate from the University of Hawaii's Richardson School of Law. He is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association and admitted to practice law in both Palau and the FSM.

The FSM Supreme Court is a court of record and the highest court in the nation. It consists of the Chief Justice and not more than 5 associate justices. Each justice is a member of both the trial division and the appellate division.

As listed in the FSM Code, the qualifications for a Chief Justice or Associate Justice nominee are: of the Supreme Court shall:

  1. be at least thirty years of age at the time of nomination; and

  2. be a graduate from an accredited law school and be admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction, or be a person of equivalent and extraordinary legal ability obtained through at least five years of experience practicing law.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356