This is the blog for the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY). The views expressed by the authors of any particular blog entry are those of the authors only and may not reflect the views of AABANY. The inclusion of any link or re-blog of another post from other sources do not suggest or indicate, explicitly or implicitly, any kind of endorsement. Nothing in this blog should be taken as legal advice in any way, nor should anything on this page be understood to create any kind of attorney-client relationship between AABANY and anyone else.
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On Thursday, October 16, AALDEF held its second of five training sessions in New York City to prepare volunteers to help AALDEF monitor election sites on November 4 and guard against violation of voting rights for Asian Americans. Glenn Magpantay, Director, Democracy Program (and Chair of AABANY’s LGBT Committee), led the training, held at the New York offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

AABANY is pleased to be among the legal co-sponsors of this important initiative from AALDEF. AABANY provides the CLE accreditation (1.5 credits, including 0.5 in ethics) for these training sessions.

AABANY urges everyone who has the time to volunteer three hours on election day to sign up as a volunteer. The next two trainings in New York City are:

10/28/14 - 12 noon – Baker Hostetler, 45 Rockefeller Plaza #10, New York, NY 10111

10/28/14 - 6 p.m. – Debevoise & Plimpton, 919 Third Ave, New York, NY 10022

For more details, visit AALDEF’s website at http://aaldef.org/press-releases/press-release/volunteers-needed-on-election-day-nov-4-2014.html

This represents a great pro bono opportunity and is a wonderful way to serve the APA community. Please sign up!

Please join us in congratulating Board Director and Arnold & Porter Partner Susan Shin, who has been recognized by Working Mother magazine as 2014 Working Mother of the Year. Susan Shin and her firm were recognized at the Working Mother “100 Best Companies” Gala Awards dinner held October 15, 2014 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. To read the touching article about Susan’s dedication to her family and advocacy for underprivileged children in New York, click on the above link.

Congratulations, Susan!

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, during the ABA’s Mediation Week, the ADR Subcommittee of AABANY’s Litigation Committee co-sponsored a free CLE panel program with JAMS and NYCLA on “Best Practices in Employment Mediation.”  Held at the JAMS NY Resolution Center, the program was moderated by retired Appellate Division Judge Ariel Belen, and the panelists were Jane Kauh (Vice President and Senior Legal Counsel at HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. and former AABANY Recording Secretary), Karen Yau (pro bono EEOC mediator and co-chair of AABANY’s Government Service and Public Interest Committee), Jyotin Hamid (partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP), and Douglas H. Wigdor (partner at WIGDOR LLP).  The topics addressed by the panelists included how to prepare a case for mediation, effective negotiation techniques, getting beyond impasse, and considerations if a case does not settle.  The program was well received and well attended, and it was followed by a valuable networking reception hosted by JAMS.  For more information on AABANY’s efforts and initiatives in the ADR field, please contact the chair of the ADR Subcommittee, Theo Cheng, at tcheng@foxlex.com.

Please join us in congratulating In-House Counsel Committee Co-Chair and recently appointed NAPABA Regional Governor Austin So. Nominated by President and General Counsel of Heraeus Incorporated Yuri Rosenfeld, Austin has been selected as a finalist for the DELVACCA 2014 Corporate Counsel Excellence Award in the category of Outstanding In-House Counsel of the Year. He is one of three finalists that may be announced the winner of the Outstanding In-House Counsel of the Year during the 2014 DELVACCA Corporate Counsel Excellence Awards Dinner on Thursday, November 6, 2014, at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

AABANY wishes Austin the best of luck!




6pm Cocktail Reception 
7pm Awards Ceremony

Tribeca Three Sixty
10 Desbrosses Street
New York City

Proceeds raised through the event will support the growth of AAFE’s Equality Fund.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities contact
Isabelle Leighton at 212-979-8381 or isabelle_leighton@aafe.org

Copyright © 2014 Asian Americans for Equality, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Asian Americans for Equality

108 Norfolk

New York, NY 10002

Congratulations to AABANY Member and Baker Hostetler Partner Ona Wang who has been featured in New York Law Journal as one of the 2014 Lawyers Who Lead by Example: Pro Bono. The article illustrates her exemplary career as a pro bono lawyer, where she tirelessly serves as vice chair of Baker Hostetler’s pro bono committee and individually challenges death sentences, serves LGBT youth, and fights abuse in the mental health system in her personal work.

To read more about her tremendous efforts for the public good, click on the above link. (Subscription may be required.)

On September 27, 2014, NAPABA held its Northeast Regional Conference and Gala with the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel Dominion Ballroom. This year’s theme was Breakthrough! Shattering Barriers and Creating Opportunities, recognizing the unprecedented achievements of Asian North Americans in the legal field and to acknowledge the fact that we have many more miles (kilometers?) left to go.

The keynote address was given by our very own Judge Denny Chin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and first Asian American appointed to a U.S. District Court outside of the Ninth Circuit. Representing AABANY were President Clara Ohr, Former Membership Secretary Judy Kim, and Intellectual Property Co-Chair Jenny Lee. President Clara Ohr spoke on the “Launching Your Legal Career: The First Crucial Years” panel, where she discussed the chief do’s and don’ts for young lawyers setting the foundation of their future career growth.

We commend the efforts of the FACL Executive and Conference Committee and the NAPABA Board and congratulate them on a successful conference.

Trainings Sessions are on Tuesday, Oct. 15, Wednesday, Oct. 16 and Tuesday, Oct. 28

10/15/14 - 12 noon - Shearman & Sterling, 599 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022

10/16/14 - 12 noon - Weil Gotshal, 767 5th Ave, New York, NY 10153

10/16/14 - 6 p.m. - Wilson Elser, 150 East 42nd Street New York, NY 10017

10/28/14 - 12 noon – Baker Hostetler, 45 Rockefeller Plaza #10, New York, NY 10111

10/28/14 - 6 p.m. – Debevoise & Plimpton, 919 Third Ave, New York, NY 10022

AALDEF seeks volunteers to monitor the November 4th  elections for compliance with the federal Voting rights Act and to document instances of anti-Asian voter disenfranchisement. Our Asian American Election Protection and Poll Monitoring Project will be conducted in Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland,  Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

In past elections, Asian Americans have faced a series of barriers in exercising their right to vote.  For example, poll workers were hostile and made racist remarks, poll sites had too few interpreters to assist Asian American voters, translated voting materials were missing or hidden from voters, and ballots were mistranslated listing Democratic candidates as Republicans, and vice versa. When the news media reported on election results and the vote by specific groups, Asian Americans were often overlooked.

On November 4, 2014, AALDEF, along with other Asian American groups and bar associations, will be monitoring the elections and conducting non-partisan voter surveys at poll sites in Asian American neighborhoods.

We need your help. Advanced registration required. Signup at  http://www.aaldef.net/volunteer_monitor_form.aspx.   

Polling sites in New York are in:

  • NYC – Chinatown
  • Brooklyn - Kensington, Sunset Park
  • Queens - Flushing, Richmond Hill, Midwood, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Floral Park, and Jamaica

Trainings Sessions are on Tuesday, Oct. 15, Wednesday Oct. 16 and Tuesday, Oct. 28 (Light lunch/dinner will be provided)

10/15/14 - 12 noon - Shearman & Sterling, 599 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022

10/16/14 - 12 noon - Weil Gotshal, 767 5th Ave, New York, NY 10153

10/16/14 - 6 p.m. - Wilson Elser, 150 East 42nd Street New York, NY 10017

10/28/14 - 12 noon – Baker Hostetler, 45 Rockefeller Plaza #10, New York, NY 10111

10/28/14 - 6 p.m. – Debevoise & Plimpton, 919 Third Ave, New York, NY 10022

This 90-minute training session is required for all volunteers. (Attorneys can receive 1.5 CLE credits including 0.5 ethics credit.)  All volunteers must be non-partisan and work a 3-hour shift. 

For more information, contact AALDEF Staff Attorney Jerry Vattamala or Voting Rights Organizer Judy Lei at 800-966-5946 or votingrights@aaldef.org.


List as of September 17, 2014

National Co-Sponsors

Alliance of South Asian American Labor


Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development

National Korean American Service & Education Consortium

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance

North American South Asian Bar Association

OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates

South Asian Americans Leading Together

Local Co-Sponsors

APIA Vote – Michigan

Asian American Society of Central Virginia

Boat People SOS Delaware Valley – PA

Center for Pan Asian Community Services – GA

Chhaya CDC - NY

Chinese Community Federation of Atlanta – GA

Chinese Progressive Association – MA

Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia

Hunter College/CUNY, Asian American Studies Program – NY

Korean American Civic Empowerment of NY/NJ

MinKwon Center for Community Action – NY

OCA Georgia Chapter

OCA Greater Houston Chapter

Princeton Asian American Students Association – NJ

University of Maryland, College Park, Asian American Studies Program

University of Massachusetts Boston, Asian American Studies Program

Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans – LA

Legal Co-Sponsors

Asian American Bar Association of Houston

Asian American Bar Association of New York

Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts

Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia

Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas – NV

Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Washington, DC

Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania

Asian Pacific American Lawyers Assoc. of New Jersey

Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center – DC

Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Greater Boston Legal Services: Asian Outreach Unit – MA

Korean Amer. Bar Assoc. of the Washington DC Area

Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater NY

Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Pace Law School, Public Interest Law Center – NY

South Asian Bar Association of New York - NY

Suffolk U. Law School, Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service – MA

and Asian Pacific American Law Student Association chapters across the country.

Grab your friends and take over the Met for the night. Drop in for teen-only activities across the Museum including art making, performances, gallery activities for teens by teens, music, dancing, and more. Please use the ground-level entrance at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street; doors will open at 5:00 p.m. Teens Take the Met is free and open to all teens 13+ with a middle or high school ID. No RSVP—just show up!

On Wednesday, October 8, the South Asian Bar Association of New York held their 8th Annual Leadership Awards Gala at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, honoring and celebrating South Asian attorneys as leaders within the legal and business communities.

Following a delightful cocktail reception, attendees sat down to a delicious dinner. Each of the incredible honorees spoke about their personal journeys, how their ties to their home countries color their understanding of justice today, and how important it is to uphold the notions that Americans of South Asian descent are Americans too. Anu Aiyengar, Managing Director of Mergers and Acquisitions at JPMorgan Chase & Co., delivered a brief keynote address about how the picture of success in America is not represented by a short female woman of foreign nationality, but how it is truly an American quality to succeed anyway.

We thank the many leaders in this community. AABANY commends the impressive group of honorees:

Legal Trailblazer Award - The Honorable Anil C. Singh, New York State Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County

Corporate Leadership Award - Asim Rehman, Corporate Counsel, MetLife

Litigation Achievement Award - Guruanjan Singh Sahni, Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York

Access to Justice Award - Amardeep Singh, Co-Founder and National Director of Programs, Sikh Coalition