On Monday, Dec. 15, AABANY took part in the Historical Society of New York Courts’ Stephen R. Kaye Memorial Program entitled “Asian Americans and the Law: New York Pioneers in the Judiciary.” The program was preceded by a reception at which most of the currently sitting APA judges in New York were in attendance. In the top photo, from left to right, are:

  • Hon. Gilbert Hong, Crim. Ct. Kings Co.
  • Hon. Kiyo Matsumoto, USDJ, EDNY
  • Hon. John Lansden, Civ. Ct. Queens Co. Supervising Judge
  • Hon. Toko Serita, Crim. Ct. Queens Co.
  • Hon. Dean Kusakabe, Family Ct. Kings Co.
  • Hon. Lillian Wan, Family Ct. Kings Co.
  • Hon. Laurie Lau, Housing Ct. N.Y. Co.
  • Hon. Denny Chin, US Circuit Judge, 2d Cir.
  • Hon. Pamela K. Chen, USDJ, EDNY
  • Hon. Danny Chun (center, rear), Sup. Ct. Kings Co. Deputy Admin. Judge for Crim. Matters
  • Hon. Alex Jeong (center, front), Crim. Ct. Kings Co. Deputy Admin. Judge
  • Hon. Randall T. Eng, Presiding Justice, 2d Dept. N.Y. App. Div.
  • Hon. Marilyn D. Go, USMJ, EDNY
    Hon. Margaret Chan, Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. Civil
  • Hon. Lydia Lai, Housing Ct. Kings Co.
  • Hon. Peter Tom, Justice, 1st Dept. N.Y. App. Div.

Thanks to Rick Kopstein, New York Law Journal, for the wonderful photo.

In addition to the APA judges, leaders from AABANY, KALAGNY, SABANY and FALANY were present at the reception.

Following the reception, Judge Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin presented a history of Asian Americans and the law, touching on four seminal cases that helped shape not only the Asian American experience but the legal landscape of America. The cases were subjects of trial re-enactments that Judge Chin and Kathy Chin spearheaded for AABANY. They discussed the following cases: Chy Lung v. Freeman (“22 Lewd Chinese Women”), Heart Mountain, Tokyo Rose and Vincent Chin. The presentation was accompanied by a slideshow of historic images, many of them reflecting the racism and anti-Asian sentiment that was prevalent at the time.

After the presentation, Judge Chin led a conversation with three APA pioneers on the New York bench: Hon. Peter Tom (Justice, 1st Dept. Appellate Division), Hon. Randall Eng (Presiding Justice, 2d Dept. Appellate Division), and Hon. Dorothy Chin-Brandt (Justice, New York Supreme Court, Queens Co.).

The lively and freewheeling discussion chronicled the trailblazing careers of each judge, showing the great strides each made for Asian Americans in the law and the judiciary, providing strong inspiration for those who would follow the paths they cut for future generations.

The excellent program took place in the main hall on the second floor of the New York City Bar and was filled nearly to capacity with an estimated 300 attendees. It was recorded by C-Span for broadcast at a later date.

We thank the Historical Society of the New York Courts for including AABANY in this memorable and worthwhile event.