AABANY Applauds Nomination of Kathy Hirata Chin for New York Court of Appeals Vacancy

December 18, 2014

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

NEW YORK – December 18, 2014 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that the Commission on Judicial Nominations has named Kathy Hirata Chin (Partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft LLP) as one of seven well-qualified nominees for the judgeship vacancy on the New York State Court of Appeals created by the retirement of Judge Robert Smith. The Commission on Judicial Nomination, charged with evaluating and recommending to the Governor candidates to fill vacancies on the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, received 53 applications and interviewed 22 candidates for the Smith opening.

“AABANY applauds the Commission on Judicial Nomination for its recommendation of Kathy Hirata Chin to join the highest court of New York and strongly encourages Governor Cuomo to make history by appointing the first-ever Asian Pacific American (APA) judge to this esteemed institution,” said AABANY President Clara Ohr.  “Kathy’s qualifications would make her a valuable addition to this court and her appointment would be an important step toward making the judiciary in New York a more accurate reflection of the population it serves.” APAs remain significantly underrepresented in the New York Judiciary. With approximately 1300 judges in the New York State court system, only 22 of them are APAs in spite of the fact that APAs make up approximately 8% of the population of New York State.  

“We congratulate Kathy on her selection as a nominee to the State’s highest court,” said Linda Lin, Co-Chair of AABANY’s Judiciary Committee. “Her outstanding credentials, balanced temperament, and sterling achievements undoubtedly make her an excellent candidate for the bench and we strongly urge Governor Cuomo to appoint Kathy Chin to the New York Court of Appeals bench.”

Kathy Hirata Chin is an accomplished litigator who has handled dozens of appellate cases, concentrating her practice in healthcare and real estate. After graduating magna cum laude from Princeton University and graduating Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and Editor-in-Chief of The Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Ms. Chin joined Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, becoming one of the first minority and women Partners in 1990. Nominated by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Ms. Chin served on the New York City Planning Commission from 1995-2001. Nominated by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Ms. Chin has served on the New York City Commission to Combat Police Corruption since August 2003. She has also served on Governor Mario M. Cuomo’s Judicial Screening Committee for the First Judicial Department from1992-1994; the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the Eastern District of New York from 1992-1999; the Gender Bias Committee of the Second Circuit Task Force on Gender, Race, and Ethnic Fairness; the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s Task Force to Increase Diversity in the Legal Profession; and Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye’s Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections from 2003-2006; and the New York County Lawyers’ Association Board of Directors. She currently serves as a member of The Attorney Emeritus Advisory Council and The Commercial Division Advisory Council, and as member of the Board of Directors of the Medicare Rights Center. Ms. Chin has been a longstanding and active member of AABANY.


For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries to [email protected].

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).


Additional information about AABANY is available at www.aabany.org

Follow our blog at www.blog.aabany.org

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aabany

Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aabany

Find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/aabany

Volunteer with Empire Mock Trial: January 24-26

Earn 3 free CLE credits while educating top collegiate mock trial competitors! 
The nonprofit Empire Mock Trial, in conjunction with NYU Mock trial, is pleased to invite you to our ninth annual Downtown Invitational mock trial tournament on January 24-26 at the EDNY (225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn. Each year the Downtown brings together sixteen of the top collegiate trial advocacy teams. This year’s field includes Harvard, Columbia, NYU, UVA, 2014 national runner-up Princeton, and the 2014 defending national champion, UCLA. 

You can help teach talented, motivated college students about the law by volunteering just a few hours of your time. In exchange, we’ll provide you with free non-transitional CLE credits in the category of skills. 

  • Features four preliminary rounds of competition, and you can judge as many or as few as you like—no litigation experience is required
  • Please free to invite a friend or colleague to co-judge with you at the tournament.  We’ll pair you together!
  • 16top trial advocacy teams will compete including Harvard, Columbia, NYU, UVA, and defending national champion UCLA
  • We’ll serve complimentary food and beverages as a token of our appreciation
  • Registering takes less than a minute – just visit our site
We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.  Feel free to call (917-426-EMTA) or e-mail [email protected].
We look forward to seeing you in January.