No, WE blog @AABANY did not get taken over by a spambot.  This embed of the theme to “Moonlighting” has been inserted on purpose, to congratulate Susan Moon on her first blog column for Above the Law, which is called, appropriately enough, “Moonlighting."  Those who follow blogs regularly might be too young to recall the show from the ‘80s as the comedy-detective show that launched the career of Bruce Willis.  Yes, indeed, he did have a life before "Die Hard."  I won’t even try to explain to you young whipper snappers who Cybil Shepherd or Al Jarreau are.

Anyway, read on to learn more about the life of that magical creature we all envy called "The In-House Counsel."  (Click this link.)  We look forward to reading more of Susan’s entries in the weeks ahead.  Congratulations, Susan!

Congrats to Alex Lee on Being Elected NAPABA VP of Communications

From Alex Lee, our newly elected NAPABA VP of Communications:

Dear AABANY member:


From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank each and every one of you who supported and voted for me in this year’s NAPABA Board Elections. As the only contested race, I felt it important that the Northeast Region affiliates make a statement and I am very happy to report WE WON!


The NAPABA Nominations Committee has told me that it was a very close race and that by NAPABA standards, turnout was very high – could have very easily gone in favor of my esteemed opponent, Bijal Vakil – so every single vote mustered by all of you was extremely important.

To Andy Hahn, Linda Lin, Jean Lee, Yang Chen, Margaret  Ling, James Chou, Vincent Chang, Clara Ohr, Theo Cheng, Michael Yap and the rest of the AABANY Board, I am deeply indebted to you all.

Thank you all again and I hope to see you at an AABANY event soon!


Alex Lee

Please join us in congratulating Alex Lee on his election to the NAPABA Board as VP of Communications.

AABANY hits the hardwood, joins Asian-rec basketball league FastbreakNYC

This article was written by Will Wang, editor-in-chief of the AABANY Advocate and co-chair of the Communications Committee:

After lengthy discussion about potential interest amongst members in playing basketball together, in early 2011 Communications Committee Co-chairs & AABANY directors (and Binghamton University alums) William Ng and William Wang decided to put together a basketball team and enter a recreational division of FastbreakNYC, an Asian-American focused recreational basketball league.


In the AABANY basketball inaugural season, the team included Kirkland & Ellis associate Jason Chien, Ng (NYC Law Dept), Wang (Patterson Belknap), Allan Fajardo (in house counsel at M.D. Sass), Jeremy Kim (a securities litigator from Jaffe & Asher), and the E.D. of MinKwon, Steve Choi.  In addition, a few “ringers” or non-lawyers were part of the team as well.  One of the team’s best players was Jonathan Chen, a Ph.D./M.D. student at Cornell Medical.  

After an 8 game regular season, AABANY excelled in the playoffs and eventually succeeded in a championship run to win the division’s championship in exciting fashion. See: for more info on the championship game.   One of FastbreakNYC’s team benefits are an advanced website that tracks statistics and provides game previews, recaps and boxscores.  There are even weekly highlight videos. 

The league has different levels of competition and is a program run by its parent organization, the Dynasty Project, a New York 501©(3) that initiates and supports innovative programs that enrich local Asian-American communities through athletics. The Dynasty Project focuses on youth athletics in underprivileged Asian American communities through a diverse array of programs including sports leagues, camps, educational efforts, volunteer work, employment opportunities and community outreach events as an alternative to the pitfalls often found in these communities. AABANY members have the pleasure of getting some exercise, healthy competition, and also supporting a worthy community organization. 

The Dynasty Project recently hosted a sports clinic at the Chinatown YMCA for local youth.  The program was called ASPIRE.  For more info on the Dynasty Project, see:  

Currently, the AABANY team is in the midst of defending its championship, and are scheduled to play in the Summer/Fall semifinals on Thursday September 29th, at 9pm at Lycee Francais (75th Ave and York).   The league runs games mostly at either Lycee Francais, Martin Luther King High School in the Upper West Side, or the Chinatown YMCA, at Bowery and Houston.  Games are weeknights and occasionally Sunday afternoons.  For more info, see:

NAPABA Press Release: Nomination of Hon. Jacqueline H. Nguyen


NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555

September 23, 2011

AAJC Contact: Leonie Campbell-Williams (443) 803-1465


WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) applaud the decision of President Barack Obama to nominate Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. If confirmed, Judge Nguyen would become the first Asian Pacific American woman in the history of the United States to serve as a federal appellate court judge and only the second Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judge currently in active service nationwide.

“Judge Nguyen is an exceptional judge who has a proven track record as a jurist,” said Paul O. Hirose, president of NAPABA. “Moreover, given that there is not one single active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judge in the Ninth Circuit, where approximately 10 percent of the population is Asian Pacific American, Judge Nguyen’s nomination is even more appropriate.”

It has been more than seven years since there has been an active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judge in the Ninth Circuit. From 1971 to 2004, there was at least one active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judge on this Circuit.

“We commend President Obama on the nomination of Judge Nguyen to the Ninth Circuit,” said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of AAJC. “She has been a trailblazer in every step of her career, and we are confident that she will continue to distinguish herself as the first Asian Pacific American woman to serve as a federal appellate court judge.”

Judge Nguyen has served as a federal district court judge for the Central District of California since 2009. Prior to that, she served as a California state court judge for seven years. Judge Nguyen also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, where she argued several appeals before the Ninth Circuit.

Judge Nguyen was born in Dalat, South Vietnam, the daughter of a South Vietnamese Army major who worked closely with U.S. intelligence officers. She escaped the fall of South Vietnam with her family in a harrowing trip, starting with a terrifying toss over a fence, to a plane ride filled wall to wall with people, temporary separation from her father, through a chaotic Saigon, to the Philippines, to Guam, and eventually, to Camp Pendleton, California. Having been born into a life of privilege, then to lose it all to the chaos of war, Judge Nguyen embraced her new life in America with grace, fortitude, determination and cheerful modesty. Growing up, she assisted her mother in cleaning dental offices and earned a four-year full tuition scholarship to Occidental College, eventually graduating from UCLA School of Law, continuing all the while to help her mother in the family donut shop on the weekends.

NAPABA and AAJC congratulate Judge Nguyen on her historic nomination. The organizations thank President Obama for nominating her, and commend Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for their support of Judge Nguyen’s nomination.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 62 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.

The Asian American Justice Center (, a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, works closely with its sister organizations – the Asian American Institute in Chicago (, the Asian Law Caucus ( in San Francisco and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center ( in Los Angeles – to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Minority Attorneys: You’re an Up and Coming Talent

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Minority Attorneys: You’re an Up and Coming Talent



Thanks for Coming to Fall Conference 2011: Diversify

Thanks to everyone who came to AABANY’s Second Annual Fall Conference on September 17, 2011, at Skadden.  We are grateful for the hospitality of Skadden and its entire team for hosting us so well throughout the day.  Special thanks go to our anchor sponsor Wells Fargo for its generous support.  We thank also Sprint and Veritext as additional sponsors.

Thanks to our hard-working Committee Chairs and program organizers for bringing in some excellent speakers and moderators covering a diverse range of topics that truly defined what it means to “Diversify” as an attorney.  Thanks to the Fall Conference Planning Committee for putting in long hours, participating in meetings and conference calls and doing all that was needed to pull off an event of this magnitude. Thanks to all the volunteers, mostly law students, who assisted tremendously in the smooth flow of everything from registration to checking attendees in and out of each program and making sure that everyone was getting proper CLE credit.  Thanks to our AABANY Legal Interns, Melerie Shih and Hyunjoo Kim for running our BlackBerry PlayBook sweepstakes.  Congratulations to Judy Tsang (@soapdishes) on winning the drawing for the PlayBook. 

 Thanks especially to everyone who registered to attend the Fall Conference.  All told we had more than 210 attendees througout the day, from morning until evening.

During the luncheon, Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China, delivered inspiring and compelling remarks covering a wide range of subjects from Asian American attorneys to attorneys in China and the struggles and challenges that both have faced and continue to face.  At the end of the luncheon, President Linda Lin announced the launch of the AABANY Law Review and introduced its first Editor-in-Chief Jen Yue Connor Yim. (Read the AABANY press release announcing the AABANY Law Review here.)

After the end of a long day, many of the attendees stayed for the cocktail reception.  During the reception, James Hong, Civic Participation Coordinator at MinKwon Center, spoke about the work that MinKwon has been doing to mobilize the Asian American community in New York to engage in the re-districting process.  MinKwon is the lead organization behind ACCORD (Asian American Community Coalition on Redistricting and Democracy) of which AABANY is a member.

Also during the cocktail reception, AABANY officially kicked off its inaugural Mentorship Program, with Julie Kwon, Mentorship Program Coordinator, introducing the program and inviting the first class of AABANY mentors and mentees to meet each other in person for the first time.

Fall Conference 2011: Diversify was a wonderful event, and it would not have been as successful without your involvement and participation.  Thank you all for being a part of it.  If you have any feedback, good, bad, big, small, please share it with us by emailing your comments to [email protected].

NAPABA Election: Message from Alex Lee, Esq.

Alex Lee, past president of APALA/NJ, friend of AABANY and active member of NAPABA, is a candidate for NAPABA VP-Communications and send this message to everyone at AABANY:

Dear AABANY member:

This email is a reminder to vote in this year’s NAPABA elections – you have until 11:59PM PDT, this coming Friday, September 23rd to cast your votes. By now, you should have received an electronic ballot and/or a paper ballot via The NAPABA Lawyer newsletter.  If you haven’t, this may because NAPABA has an out of date email or snail mail address on file – please check with your home affilliate to ensure the correct information was sent to NAPABA when annual dues were paid in June/July but in any case, please also contact Andre Harrison in the NAPABA DC office at [email protected].

I know usually NAPABA elections generate limited interest for most people as often candidates run uncontested. This year is no different – of the seven races, just one – Vice President of Communications – is contested. However, that contested race happens to be mine – – I’m running against Bijal Vikal of White & Case in Palo Alto, California – and coming from your sister affiliate across the Hudson, I would greatly appreciate your vote and support. Attached are my candidacy statement and CV so you can take a look at my qualifications.

I’m very proud (some would say to the point of obnoxiousness, LOL!) of my roots in the NY/NJ area.  I was born in New Jersey, went to grad school in Manhattan, and have lived on and off for many years in the city.  My first mentorship during law school was through AABANY and I’ve always tried to attend AABANY events when I can.

I consider myself good friends with many of AABANY’s past presidents and officers.  So when people ask why I’m running for NAPABA Board, a big reason is to continue and maintain NY/NJ representation at the national level.  Of the current slate of candidates, none (other than myself) are from the Northeast.  This fall, when Andy Hahn and Joe Centeno step down from their Board positions, the Northeast representation on the Board could be reduced to just our two regional governors.  That’s about 10%.  Considering the Northeast is 25-30% of the total NAPABA membership, we will be grossly under-represented.

We deserve better than that and if elected, I pledge to ensure that the Northeast will be heard at the Board level.

If you have any suggestions or comments or just want to chat, have a beer, etc., please feel free to contact me. Meeting fellow attorneys from around the country and the tri-state area has been one of the most rewarding aspects of NAPABA for me and I hope to continue to expand my friendships with all of you in the coming years. Thanks for your time and support and if you haven’t already, please try to make plans to attend the National Convention in Atlanta this November.

Alex Lee

Law Offices of Alexander M. Lee
354 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 201
P.O. Box 205
Caldwell, New Jersey 07006
Tel: 973/364-1688
Fax: 973/364-1689
E-Mail: [email protected]

The attachments are:

Alexander Lee CV

Alexander Lee Candidacy Statement