The Joint Diverse Bar Association Judicial Screening Panel (the “Panel”) has interviewed and rated judicial candidates nominated by the New York State Commission on Judicial Nominations to fill the vacancy on the New York State Court of Appeals, which was created by the retirement of Associate Judge Carmen B. Ciparick.  The Panel was comprised of members of various affinity bar associations including the Asian American Bar Association of New York, the Association of Black Women Attorneys, the Black Bar Association of Bronx County, the Dominican Bar Association, the Korean Lawyers Association of Greater New York, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and the South Asian Bar Association of New York.

Last week, the Panel was convened to determine whether the candidates were qualified for the judicial office using a three-tiered rating system of “qualified,” “well qualified,” and "exceptionally well qualified." 

A candidate was rated “Qualified” if found to meet the basic criteria required for the judicial position sought; a rating of “Well Qualified” was given if the candidate met the basic criteria and demonstrated a level of skill, experience, sound judgment, and excellence in his or her professional career, which would sustain or improve the quality of the bench or judicial position sought; and an “Exceptionally Well Qualified” rating was given to candidates fulfilling the requirements necessary for a “Well Qualified” rating and further demonstrating outstanding accomplishments.

The ratings were decided during a closed-door vote after review of the each candidate’s background, professional ability, experience, character, judicial temperament, and other pertinent qualities. The Panel’s findings were as follows:

• Hon. Sheila Abdus-Salaam – Exceptionally Well Qualified

• Hon. Rolando Acosta – Exceptionally Well Qualified

• Kathy Chin, Esq. – Exceptionally Well Qualified

• Hon. Eugene Fahey – Exceptionally Well Qualified

• Jenny Rivera, Esq. – Exceptionally Well Qualified

• Margarita Rosa, Esq. – Well Qualified

• David Schulz, Esq. – Exceptionally Well Qualified

AALFNY 2013 Scholarships

SPREAD THE WORD!  Each year, the Asian American Law Fund of New York (the “Fund”) awards up to three scholarships of up to $5000 to law students that are committed to helping the Asian American community in New York.  The Fund recognizes that at a time when money is tight, committing one’s time to our community service organizations can be a financial strain, especially when considering law school tuition and living expenses. 

If you are a law student and are planning to work with a community service organization in the New York area during the summer 2013, you are eligible to apply.  Go to for more details and to download a copy of the Scholarship Application.  The completed Scholarship Application and all required materials must be postmarked by April 1, 2013.


AABANY wishes everyone a happy holidays and a bright New Year filled with joy, success, prosperity, friendship, peace and love. We had a very active year in 2012, and we could not have done it without your participation, involvement and support. Thanks to all of our members and friends for being part of AABANY. We look forward to seeing you in 2013. Let’s make it another Great Year!

NAPABA Mourns the Death of Senator Daniel Inouye

Washington – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) mourns the death of Senator Daniel K. Inouye, the second-longest serving member of the United States Senate and the highest ranking Asian Pacific American in the nation. He was the first Japanese American to serve in Congress and a lifelong champion of civil liberties for all Americans.

Read the full press release here.

APALA-NJ Applauds Gov. Christie’s Nomination of New Jersey Sup. Ct. Judge David F. Bauman

On December 10, 2012, Governor Chris Christie nominated Judge David F. Bauman to a seat on New Jersey’s highest court. Judge Bauman would be the first Supreme Court Justice of Asian Pacific American (APA) descent in the history of New Jersey.

“This is a proud day for the APA community. APALA-NJ commends Governor Christie for nominating yet another highly qualified APA candidate to the State’s highest court,” said Paul K. Yoon, President of APALA-NJ.

Read the full press release here.

PALS Call for Attorney Mentors

PALS Logo White on Blue

Due to the Overwhelming Student Demand

Strengthen the Legal Diversity Pipeline
by Sponsoring a PALS Mentee

 The PALS Mentoring Program

Matches diverse law students with practicing attorneys,
who serve as professional development resources,
and has done so for more than 25 years.  

Attorney Mentors Make an Impact

● Join a community of diversity champion attorneys mentoring the next wave of leaders of color in the legal profession.
● Be rewarded with your gift of sharing your time and talents with unparalleled networking opportunities.
● Positively guide a mentee’s career path, course selection and the road to success!

Become a Mentor Today!
Commit 2-4 hours per month
to a designated PALS Mentee.

Signup today at:

                                                  MAKE A DIFFERENCE
                                                    ACTION REQUIRED

Attorneys Who Have Previously Created a Profile on the PALS Website:

1.   Email [email protected] to indicate that you would like to be considered for participation in the mentoring program as a “mentor”.
2.   Utilize Email Subject: “PALS 2011-2012 Mentor”
3.   PALS will respond to your email within 7 business days, indicating a completed mentor profile status.
4.   Please log-in Here to update your profile today!  

Attorneys who have NOT Created an Attorney Profile on the PALS Website:
1.   Visit and fill in all requested information on the online form.
2.   PALS will respond to your email within 7 business days, indicating a completed mentor profile status.

Current Mentors:
We thank you for your willingness to volunteer as a mentor in the past.  If you would like an additional PALS Mentee, or if you have lost touch with your PALS Mentee and are interested in being assigned a new PALS Mentee, please update your profile and let us know via email at  [email protected].  

Attorneys matched through the program will be required to review the

PALS Mentoring Manual and sign a Participation Agreement with their mentor.  

Please forward this email to colleagues who may be interested in mentoring.
If you have any questions or concerns about the PALS Mentoring Program, please contact the Executive Director of PALS, Paula Donaldson at: [email protected]  


AABANY Law Review Special Edition: Own Your Copy Now

AABANY Law Review Special Edition

The AABANY Law Review’s Special Edition issue, released at the AABANY fall conference, is available for purchase ($20) on the AABANY website at The issue features annotated reenactment scripts of five historic Asian American trials written by Honorable Denny Chin, Chancellor and Dean Frank H. Wu, Kathy Hirata Chin, and Vincent T. Chang. These plays have been presented by Asian American bar associations and law schools all over the nation. The issue includes the following reenactment scripts with an introduction and foreword from the authors:

  • The Constitution in a Time of War: The Trial of Minoru Yasui:  Japanese-American lawyer Minoru Yasui defied a curfew order issued under Executive Order 9066 to challenge its legality in court.
  • Building Our Legacy: The Murder of Vincent Chin: Vincent Chin was beaten to death in 1982 in Detroit. When the assailants didn’t even receive jail time, the injustice galvanized the Asian American community.
  • The Massie Cases: Race, Honor, and Justice In Depression-Era Hawaii: Thalia Massie’s allegation that she was raped by a gang of Hawaiians leads to two trials and exposes the racial and political tensions in Depression-era Hawaii.
  • The Trial of Tokyo Rose: United States v. Iva Toguri D’Aquino: Cast as the mythical “Tokyo Rose” who taunted Allied forces on Radio Tokyo, Iva Toguri d’Aquino stands trial for treason following World War II.
  • Race, Color, and Citizenship: Ozawa and Thind: In the 1920s when, by law, only “free white persons” and “persons of African descent” could be naturalized, the Supreme Court addresses where Asians fit in.

Questions can be directed to [email protected].


On Friday, December 14, AABANY held its Annual Holiday Party, this year again at Pranna Lounge. Over 100 AABANY members and friends were in attendance to celebrate the holiday season over drinks and delicious hors d’oeuvres. AABANY participated in the joint fundraising effort undertaken by SABANY, KALAGNY and MuBANY to collect money for the Food Bank For New York City to aid in Hurricane Sandy relief. We raised online and onsite over $700. Thanks to all who contributed. We conducted a drawing of those who submitted donation forms and we congratulate Kim Le, who received free admission to next year’s Fall Conference, and Lauren Lee, who received free admission to next year’s APA Heritage Month performance. We also distributed the notice of Annual Meeting and collected proxies.

After the official end time of 9 pm, we still had a sizeable crowd and around 9:30 pm, the management turned on the lights as a not-so-subtle hint for our group to take the party elsewhere. Because Pranna is so close to K-town, many of the party-goers walked over to continue the celebration at their favorite K-town bar or restaurant.

Thanks to all who came! Happy Holidays, everyone!