Press Release: NAPABA Applauds Nomination of Jennifer Choe Groves to U.S. Court of International Trade

For Immediate Release
July 30, 2015

WASHINGTON – Today, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds President Barack Obama’s nomination of Jennifer Choe Groves to the U.S. Court of International Trade. If confirmed, Groves will be the first Asian Pacific American (APA) judge to serve on this court.

“We commend President Obama for his continued commitment to judicial diversity with this historic nomination,” said NAPABA President George C. Chen. “As a longtime NAPABA member and a NAPABA Law Foundation Board member, Ms. Groves is an esteemed leader in the APA legal community. NAPABA looks forward to continuing to support her nomination.”

The U.S. Court of International Trade, an Article III court, has nationwide jurisdiction over civil actions arising out of U.S. customs and international trade laws.

Groves is currently the chief executive officer of Titanium Law Group PLLC and Choe Groves Consulting LLC, where she provides consulting and legal services in the areas of international trade and intellectual property. Previously, she was a partner at the law firms of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC, and Hughes Hubbard and Reed LLP. Groves also has served as the Senior Director of Intellectual Property and Innovation in the Office of the United States Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President. Earlier in her career, she was an attorney at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Fisher & Neave LLP (now Ropes & Gray LLP) and the District Attorney’s Office of New York County.    

For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
(202) 775-9555, [email protected]

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 approximately 70 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American 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 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 the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

Everything Before Us & Closing Ceremony of AAIFF ‘15, Aug. 1

AABANY is pleased once again to be a Community Partner for the Asian American International Festival (AAIFF). As such all our members get 25% off online ticket orders by using promo code aabnyaaiff15. (That’s AABNY – AABANY without the third A!)

You might be interested in seeing Everything Before Us and attending the Closing Night Awards Ceremony on August 1:

Everything Before Us takes place i​n the near future when all romantic relationships are overseen by the D.E.I (The Department Of Emotional Integrity). By assigning everyone a “Relationship Score,” this system is meant to promote responsibility, happiness, and order within the chaotic process we know as falling in love. Born from the realization that scores tend to pivot our decisions today, EVERYTHING BEFORE US is a playful response to our world run by systems and ratings. With a focus on two couples, Wong Fu Productions foreshadows our possible future if such an institution were to exist.

When Ben reconnects with his ex-­girlfriend, Sara, to fix his damaged score, they’re forced to reconcile their past. While it seems as though one chapter of their lives has officially ended, their reunion turns out to be the beginning of many more as they must choose to either comply with the rules of the D.E.I or reject it all for the sake of love. Seth and Haley, recent high school graduates, are in their first registered relationship together. With bright eyes and innocent hearts, they experience the challenge of not only being each other’s first loves, but also each other’s first heartbreaks.

The AAIFF 2015 Award Ceremony will precede the screening of Everything Before Us at the Museum of the Moving Image. The Closing Night Reception will take place immediately after the film. For more information about the movie, click here. To purchase tickets, click here.

Please support AAIFF and Asian Americans in the arts, film and entertainment industries who are creating works about Asians and Asian Americans! Help us spread the word.

E3! Ambassadors: Educate, Engage, and Empower Young AAPI Leaders — Apply by Aug. 9

The E3! Ambassadors Program equips young leaders with the opportunity to work with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to brainstorm and implement their own unique ideas to help improve the overall quality of life for AAPIs across the country in the areas of education, mental health, pathways to public service, and immigration. E3! Ambassadors work to highlight key federal programs and resources in which AAPIs may be underserved.  Selected E3! Ambassadors are encouraged to conduct outreach within their campuses and communities – whether it’s setting up a table to share resources at a campus fair, facilitating a workshop during a conference, or even utilizing social media.

The 2014 inaugural class of 31 E3! Ambassadors came from 29 different cities and hosted more than 55 events during the 2014-2015 year to educate, engage, and empower their campuses and communities.

The application can be found HERE. The deadline to apply is August 9, 2015 at 11:59 PM ET. Please note that late applications may not be considered.

If you have any questions about the E3! Ambassador program, please contact [email protected].

I Will Not Be Silent: A Comfort Woman’s Road to Activism

I Will Not Be Silent: A Comfort Woman’s Road to Activism

Press Release: NAPABA Files Amicus Brief in Federal Circuit Case Affecting Trademark Registration of Disparaging Marks

For Immediate Release
July 28, 2015

For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
202-775-9555, [email protected]

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C., (SABA-DC) and the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality (Korematsu Center) jointly filed an amicus brief to support the U.S. government’s denial of trademark registration to an Asian American rock band in a case before the Federal Circuit. Amici were represented by Charanjit (Charan) Brahma, Michael Hobbs, and Daniel Sharpe at Troutman Sanders LLP.

Simon Shiao Tam applied to register a federal trademark for his band, “The Slants.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied his application based on Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act that permits it to deny registration of disparaging marks. Though Tam’s appeal was rejected by a panel of the Federal Circuit, the en banc court on its own accord vacated that decision and ordered an en banc hearing on whether Section 2(a) violates the First Amendment.

“Asian Pacific Americans are all too familiar with the harm, including violence, that often accompanies racial slurs and epithets,” said NAPABA President George C. Chen. “Although I recognize the band’s intent to reclaim a historically disparaging term, as an intellectual property attorney, I also am cognizant that changing the U.S. trademark regulations to allow the registration of ‘The Slants’ could result in the trademarking of offensive terms by individuals and groups without similarly positive intentions.”

“SABA-DC deplores the use of racial slurs and epithets, and while the particular epithet involved in this case is not one that is usually directed to our South Asian constituency, we believe slurs against any racial or ethnic group are damaging to us all,” added SABA-DC President Habib F. Ilahi. “The First Amendment protects free speech, but it does not entitle those who wish to use such derogatory terms for branding purposes to receive the stamp of government approval that comes with federal trademark registration.”

The amicus brief urges the court to recognize that federal registration of a disparaging mark implicates the government. It argues that the federal registry can be compared to county deed recording systems, under which property owners were permitted to record racially restrictive covenants. Until the 1948 case of Shelley v. Kraemer, courts enforced these private acts of discrimination. The amicus brief urges the Federal Circuit to not make the federal trademark registry a place where racism is recorded and authorized, and to not require our government to perpetuate racism.

Robert Chang, executive director of the Korematsu Center, commented, “While Mr. Tam seeks to embrace a derogatory racial term and to subvert it, a laudatory goal, a ruling against the government in this case would leave the government powerless to deny federal registration of trademarks to hate groups.”

“Troutman Sanders is pleased to be able to lend our experience in intellectual property and Federal Circuit appellate issues to aid NAPABA, SABA-DC and the Korematsu Center in this important case,” added Charan Brahma, a partner in Troutman Sanders’ Intellectual Property practice in the San Francisco office, and former president-elect of SABA-DC. 

The case, In re Tam, will be heard en banc by the Federal Circuit on Oct. 2, 2015.

The amicus brief is available HERE.

Contacts:         DC)
                        [email protected]

                        Brett Schuster, Communications Manager (NAPABA)
                        [email protected]

                        Robert S. Chang (Korematsu Center)
                        [email protected]

Attend the Asian American International Film Festival 2015 | Free Screenings in Flushing, NY

Attend the Asian American International Film Festival 2015 | Free Screenings in Flushing, NY



Watch “Someone Else” at CineVision’s 38th Annual Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF)!

A tale of two Korean American cousins. A shy young law student, hungry
for a more vivid, risk-taking existence, visits his playboy cousin in
New York City. In his quest to emulate his cousin, the law student sheds
his old identity and takes a leap into the unknown, where risk,
adventure, and a chance at love await.

“Someone Else” will be shown on July 24 at 9 pm at Village East Cinema.

AABANY members can get a 25% discount on online ticket orders by using PROMO CODE: aabanyaaiff15. ***

Dates for AAIFF: July 23-August 1.

Locations: Screenings will be held at Cinema Village East (181-189 2nd Avenue),
Asia Society (725 Park Avenue), Museum of Chinese in America (215 Centre
Street), Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Ave, Astoria), and
Flushing Town Hall (13735 Northern Boulevard, Flushing).

Click HERE for more information.

*** If this offer code doesn’t work, try offer code: aabnyaaiff15