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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October 20, 2014 

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
(718) 228-7206

NEW YORK – October 20, 2014 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that Government Service & Public Interest Committee Co-Chair Katrina Goyco has been named one of Legal Services NYC’s Top 30 Pro Bono Lawyers of 2014 for her tireless efforts on an AABANY U-Visa initiative for immigrant victims of domestic violence. Katrina will be honored at Legal Services NYC’s Volunteer Reception on Thursday, October 23, 2014, hosted by WilmerHale.

Launched by AABANY’s Government Service & Public Interest Committee in conjunction with Legal Services NYC, the U-Visa initiative began in June 2014 to provide immigration relief for low-income survivors of domestic violence. The initiative trained pro bono lawyers on the step-by-step process of U-Visa application, the first step to a naturalization path for undocumented victims of qualifying crimes, as well as how to work with victims of mental, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Ms. Goyco headed the efforts to match pre-screened survivors with attorneys and law students who could help them prepare their narratives and offer legal advice through the difficult-to-navigate path to citizenship.

“AABANY is fortunate to have someone as dedicated to the public interest as Katrina Goyco is to be among its members and its leadership,” says Executive Director Yang Chen. “When the Government Service and Public Interest Committee first brought this project to AABANY’s attention, it was received with much enthusiasm. Without the energy and dedication of Katrina as the Committee’s co-chair, the project would have just remained an idea. Through her efforts, the U-Visa project now helps many deserving members of the community get the legal assistance they need. We are pleased and proud to be working with Legal Services NYC on this important initiative, and we are grateful to Katrina for all that she has done to bring this project to fruition. Congratulations, Katrina!”


For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries tomain@aabany.org.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.  Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole.  AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).


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On October 18, as part of the recently opened “Chinese American Inclusion/Exclusion" exhibit at the New York Historical Society, AABANY performed a shortened version of its highly engaging "22 Lewd Chinese Women" Trial Reenactment, led again by Hon. Denny Chin. In yet another performance of this popular trial reenactment since the 2013 NAPABA Convention, we examined important issues of immigration, federalism, human trafficking, and civil rights in the case of Chy Lung v. Freeman via performance, narration, discussion, and photography. The New York Historical Society’s audience did not consist primarily of lawyers, showing the widespread impact of the case not just in the legal community, but the community at large. The reenactment’s appeal beyond the traditional legal community was apparent in the laughter of the audience as well as lively discussion that followed.

Following the shortened version of the script, Hon. Denny Chin, Kathy Hirata Chin, Vince Chang, and David Weinberg led a discussion about the historical impact of anti-Asian discrimination and the unknown fate of the 22 Chinese women, exposing the many ironies of the case, including the fact that the women had indeed won their freedom in court and yet were still probably forced into lives of prostitution. Hon. Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin, the writers of the dramatic script and leaders of AABANY’s well-received trial reenactments, discussed how the case’s ruling that federal government have precedence in matters of immigration ironically paved the way for Chinese Exclusion Acts. The examination of the ”22 Lewd Chinese Women” explored the hypocrisy and political aspects of Asian American history, and yet marked how far our community has come. 

(Photos courtesy of Francis Chin and Simone Nguyen.)

The NYC Family Justice Center in Manhattan is happy to announce their next round of core trainings. The core training program provides professional development on the most relevant topics for service providers working with victims and survivors of intimate partner violence, sex trafficking, and elder abuse. More training content details will follow in several weeks. All trainings are held at the MFJC: 80 Centre St., 5th floor.


Monday, November 3rd 2-5 pm
Domestic Violence Dialogue: Focus on Poverty & Racism
Facilitated by Black Women’s Blueprint

Thursday, November 6th 10 am-1 pm
Immigration Law: Options and Remedies for Survivors
Facilitated by Sanctuary for Families

Friday, November 7th 2-5 pm
Safety Assessment and Planning
Facilitated by STEPS to End Family Violence

Monday, November 10th 1:30-3:30 pm
Family Planning, Clinical & Educational Services
Facilitated by Planned Parenthood of NYC *special one-time training

Wednesday, November 12th 10 am-1 pm
Elder Abuse: Focus on the Asian Community
Facilitated by Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, NY Asian Women’s Center, Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse, JASA  
Wednesday, November 12th 2-5 pm
Culture Conversations: Focus on Faith-Based Communities and DV
Facilitated by CONNECT, Turning Point, Met Council

Thursday, November 13th 10 am-1 pm
Criminal Justice in Manhattan
Facilitated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office

Thursday, November 13th 2-4 pm
Human Trafficking
Facilitated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office

Friday, November 14th 10 am-1pm
Self-Sufficiency & Economic Empowerment
Facilitated by MFJC staff

Wednesday, November 19th 2-5 pm
Housing Options for Survivors of Domestic Violence
Facilitated by New Destiny Housing
Date TBD
Family & Matrimonial Law
Facilitated by NY Legal Assistance Group
For any inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact Sarah Flatto, Programs & Outreach Director of the Center, at sarahf@fjcnyc.org.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The New York Regional Interagency Working Group of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, in partnership with The NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health, invite you to a day focused on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Communities.

Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time: 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM

Place: NYU Langone Medical Center - Farkas Auditorium, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Cost: FREE

Register online at: https://aapihealth.eventbrite.com 

Participating professionals and college and university students from or serving the AAPI communities will:

  • get up-to-date information about key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that impact their communities, such as new options for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid Expansion;
  • provide feedback on opportunities for educating the community and obstacles; and,
  • learn more about various career paths for young people to be engaged in the work of health systems transformation.

Register online at: https://aapihealth.eventbrite.com

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006

October 16, 2014 

Contact: Tina Matsuoka
(202) 775-9555

WASHINGTON — Today, President Barak Obama announced his intent to nominate Michelle K. Lee as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If confirmed, Lee would be the first woman and person of color to lead the USPTO.

“This is a historic moment as we celebrate Michelle Lee’s nomination to the USPTO,” said William J. Simonitsch, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We congratulate Michelle on her well-deserved nomination, as she continues to break barriers in the legal and tech industries. And we applaud the Administration’s commitment to advancing more women of color into leadership roles.”

Lee has over twenty years of experience advising some of our country’s most innovative companies on intellectual property and other legal matters. She is the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO and current acting Director of the USPTO. Prior to that position, she served as USPTO Director of the Silicon Valley office. Lee also served as Google’s first Deputy General Counsel and Head of Patents and Patents Strategy.

Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and Masters of Science in computer science from MIT. She received her JD from Stanford Law School.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and approximately 70 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

On October 9, 2014, the AABANY Real Estate Committee and the Solo & Small Firm Committee presented “Understanding Diversity and the 411 on Foreign Real Estate Investors,” a CLE program and networking dinner. This AABANY Event was also co-sponsored by: Asian American Real Estate Association- New York East Chapter; Queens Asian Bar Association; Fidelity National Financial; East West Bank; and Skyline TRG Title Agency. The event took place at Mudan Banquet Hall in Flushing, New York and was attended by 60 attorneys and real estate professionals. Panel speakers included Pablo Wong, Senior Vice President of Market Development of Fidelity National Financial; Margaret T. Ling, Esq., Senior Underwriter Counsel, Skyline TRG Title Agency; and Janny Cheung, First Vice President, Commercial Real Estate, East West Bank.

Pablo Wong discussed the statistical breakdown and population changes of the foreign markets and how they affect the U.S. home ownership and the real estate market. He raised key points on understanding foreign investors.

Janny Cheung presented on how foreign investors are gaining strength in the U.S. commercial real estate market. She focused on China as a source of global capital and spoke about the current wave of China real estate investment in New York City. She further discussed the evolving role played by East West Bank in partnering with the global investor on the many cross border transactions taking place. 

Margaret Ling was the final speaker. She discussed the legal substantive points of representing foreign buyers and sellers. She stressed the importance of knowing your client and exercising due diligence in explaining all the facets of buying and selling to the foreign client. In addition, she spoke about the Asian client and the need to understand the cultural aspects and nuances of Feng Shui in regard to a real estate transaction.

Thank you to all those who made this event possible: sponsors, organizers, speakers, and attendees. Those interested in becoming more involved in AABANY’s Real Estate Committee should contact Co-Chairs Margaret Ling (margaret.ling@aabany.org), Wendy Yu (wendy.yu@aabany.org), or Edward Kang (edward.kang@aabany.org). Those interested in becoming more involved in AABANY’s Solo & Small Firm Practice Committee should contact Co-Chairs Wendy Yu (wendy.yu@aabany.orgor Cary Chan (cary.chan@aabany.org). 

(Photos courtesy of Yang Chen and Francis Chin.)

On Saturday, October 18, 2014, AABANY’s Young Lawyer Committee took part in New York Cares Day Fall — New York City’s largest hands-on volunteer service day, which is dedicated to revitalizing the city’s public schools.  Committee Chairs Amy Ngai and Gabriel Arce-Yee, and members Jessica Eng, Jessica Lam, Katherine Eng, Julie Geng, May Li, Rachel Yu, and Sophia Yoo used spray paint and paint brushes to apply a fresh coat to the perimeter fence of IS 230Q in Jackson Heights.  At the end of the day, Principal Ronald Zirin remarked that he had never seen the fence look so good.  Other projects at the school included gardening, removing old study materials, and painting murals.

Thank you to our YLC Chairs for organizing this important event as a way to give back to the community, and all those who made New York Cares Day possible. To learn more about our Young Lawyers Committee, including events and opportunities to get involved, please join the Young Lawyers Committee mailing list. You can contact YLC Co-Chairs David Sohn (david.sohn@aabany.org), Amy Ngai (amy.ngai@aabany.org), or Gabriel Arce-Yee (gabriel.arceyee@aabany.org) for more information. 

(Photos courtesy of Gabriel Arce-Yee.)

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.