Jim Burns’ father, John A. Burns, always thought of himself as a local boy. Jim, who grew up in Kailua and could easily break into Pidgin English, saw himself the same way. As Jim was growing up, he saw the respect that his father had for Hawai‘i’s immigrants, and learned that being a local boy was about more than just speaking Pidgin.
Jim Burns reflects on his life as a judge, a father, a husband and a cancer survivor. By the time his father, John A. Burns, became the second Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi, Jim was already a lawyer. He carved out a career path: as a judge in Family Court, and later as Associate Judge and Chief Judge in the Intermediate Court of Appeals. “You don’t live your father’s life, you live your own life, and that’s what I’ve tried to do, without embarrassing him,” Jim says.