Highlights from AABANY @ NAPABA 2015

New York once again made a strong showing at the Annual National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (”NAPABA”) Convention. Held at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside from Nov. 5-8, the NAPABA Rising Convention brought together over 1,500 Asian Americans from all across the nation. Our members spoke on numerous panels, and we are preparing a separate blog post on that. Keep a look out!

Josh Hsu, former law clerk to the Hon. Denny Chin, and Karen Wu, past Co-Chair of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, were each recognized with NAPABA Best Under 40 Awards. The NAPABA Civil Rights Committee, which was formerly chaired by AABANY co-founder Rocky Chin, took home the NAPABA President’s Award. Some of AABANY’s own Co-Chairs – including Vincent Roldan, Dwight Yoo, Ligee Gu, Jenny Lee, Jane Chuang, and Chris Kwok – also ran the show during the NAPABA Committee Meetings. 

Check out the social media highlights below. More photos, in-depth coverage of panels, and more to come.

Read all about the achievements of the President’s Award Committee, which includes our co-founder Rocky Chin: https://t.co/UOCBUinnG5

Rio Guerrero is speaking at tomorrow’s rainmaking panel at 3:30pm!

Happy to see a few familiar faces. If you haven’t already checked out the list of speakers on our FB event, you… https://t.co/QWV2r7fhhK

Our Immigration & Nationality Law Committee Co-Chair Tsui Yee (middle) prepares for the last session of the Solo… https://t.co/Od9JAPvCvD

Advice from @Tsui_Yee: Manage clients’ expectations. Some people think that hiring a lawyer instantly fixes all legal problems. #NAPABA15

Our very own Karen Wu is among those who will be honored at the Best Under 40 Reception in the River room at 5pm. #napaba15

Congratulations to Best Under 40 Josh Hsu and Karen Wu! #napaba15 #representnewyork https://t.co/zZvFyuOvFz

Now that’s one smooth ride. Support NAPABA Law Foundation and maybe you will drive home in it. #napaba2015 https://t.co/mDSKq8AAQK

Some more faces from New York! See you at the Welcome Reception? #napaba15 https://t.co/9aF8EQhQFn

Tomorrow, the Civil Rights Committee will be honored at the @NAPABA Gala: https://t.co/UOCBUinnG5

Blossom Kan is offering advice on how to survive the lion’s den at #napaba15! Think about not only what other… https://t.co/HcgmsGxYk1

AABANY Commercial Bankruptcy & Restructuring Committee Co-Chair Vincent Roldan is sharing his lessons from… https://t.co/TbXpbhMhWP

Our Litigation Committee – ADR Subcommittee Chair Theo Cheng (far right) is presenting on Asians in ADR. By the… https://t.co/ggmIayzOSE

Here’s the list of NFALA speakers at the NAPABA Convention. We’ve got quite a bit of overlap. Definitely check… https://t.co/ixjrbwO8Vs

Jennifer Wu speaking on panel “Shattering Double Ceilings: How to Increase APA Women Leaders in Law.” #napaba15 https://t.co/YOqcW8bctH

“At my first oral argument, the judge was looking at me like I can’t believe she’s speaking and speaking in… https://t.co/uqTbPTuRGX

Former AABANY Board Member Vinoo Varghese moderates Fishy Justice, a panel on prosecutorial misconduct and… https://t.co/OmIbKNik38

Friday Plenary Lunch on Voting Rights https://t.co/sTH8A80CGi

Hello to @NAPABA ED Tina Matsuoka, who encourages everyone to keep out their phones to let people know how much… https://t.co/RPsWSxSwuT

Thx @NAPABA affiliates for inviting me to talk abt rapid response @AABAChicago @APABAPA @APABADC @aabany #NAPABA15 pic.twitter.com/u2j3xF9C1x

When language assistance and disability access is done properly, our communities come out and vote. #NAPABA15 pic.twitter.com/hF1kmJyTXt

Luncheon plenary session on the Voting Rights Act 50 Years Later: Call to Action. #napaba15 https://t.co/lfDJyzHMhA

Congrats to the Best Under 40 award winners! https://t.co/BA3wSVoQh0

Since our most diverse election in 2008, introduced legislative restrictions have unfairly targeted voters of color. #NAPABA15

Listening to @dale_e_ho at NAPABA Plenary lunch session on voting rights. Go Dale! #NAPABA15 #AABANY@NAPABA @aabany pic.twitter.com/icfPAa1LJS

Voter ID laws in Texas were found to be intentionally discriminating against black and Latino voters. #NAPABA15

.@aaldef’s Jerry Vattamala speaks about #AsianAmericans & 50th anniv of #VotingRightsAct at #NAPABA15 New Orleans pic.twitter.com/DFELd0sCby

While civil litigation is being brought against voter discrimination, elections are going forward with these unfair restrictions. #NAPABA15

FYI: You are not allowed to have segregated voting lines based on race. #BostonMA #AnnandaleVA #napaba15

Jerry Vattamala from #AALDEF talks about litigation efforts to protect rights of APAs to vote. #napaba15 https://t.co/O5336vxwxp

By the way, former Mentorship Program Coordinator Julie Kwon will be on the Many Pros, Few Cons Compliance panel in Grand Salon 3. #NAPABA15

#NAPABA15 @NAPABA #Legend #KarenNarasaki moderates deeply important discussion on the erosion of #VotingRightsAct pic.twitter.com/hNNhF5fWNN

Come to Connie Montoya’s panel at 2pm, LGBT Attorneys & the Bamboo Ceiling, in Eglinton Winton! #NAPABA15

Pro-tip: Make pro bono work a part of your practice where you can. Make a big deal about voter registration changes. #NAPABA15

Vattamala: "Sign up for the exit poll, volunteer three hours to be a poll monitor in 2016. Protect the rights of… https://t.co/MUHd2DjOO2

Hearing Judge McKenna, @RachelVSee, David Tsai, Eric De Los Santos, & our very own @montcon speak about the bamboo closet. #napaba15

Julie Kwon, our past Mentorship Program Coordinator, and Robert Shin, President-elect Susan Shin’s husband, speak… https://t.co/u5RzxzeLlg

What does it mean to be Asian, LGBT, and an attorney? #napaba15 https://t.co/6P9p916LL1

Judge McKenna had only just graduated high school when the DSM removed homosexuality as a mental disorder. #NAPABA15 pic.twitter.com/z2YaGqxv0a

"In the most literal way possible, being laid off from a big law firm saved my life.” @RachelVSee #NAPABA15 pic.twitter.com/UDaV8ImV1y

If you’re a minority, you can’t be defeatist & count yourself out. Keep applying. People may pass you over, but you’re qualified. #NAPABA15

Advisory Committee member Michael Yap moderates panel entitled “Secret Handshakes: Practical Leadership and… https://t.co/kLCCAULR0Z

David Lat of @atlblog presents on "Sorry, I Thought You Were the Interpreter – When It’s the Lawyers Who Are… https://t.co/zbx0iAtI1m

Our very own rockstar Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan moderates "The Ins and Outs of Becoming an Administrative Judge: A… https://t.co/Obe3fFqXWS

Delightful post-panel pic with our own @ericdslaw @montcon! #WeAreNFALA #NAPABA15 @FLOW_Law @falanewyork @aabany pic.twitter.com/8k4k0AxRBN

NFALA’s @kiddynomitjj presents the implicit bias panel @ #NAPABA15 w/ @atlblog’s @DavidLat! #NFALAfamily #WeAreNFALA pic.twitter.com/QLZYe4ohfx

Pro-tip for those with judicial ambitions: You can’t get your name out there if you’re not involved politically. #NAPABA15

Captain and Judge Benes Aldana – #NAPABA15 #Trailbazer recipient pic.twitter.com/t6BcNCrdLE

Captain & Judge Benes Aldana: "Do what you can to bend the arch of the moral universe towards justice.” #NAPABA15

Enjoyed presenting continuing legal education on becoming an Administrative Law Judge this afternoon #NAPABA15 pic.twitter.com/S7mTQiCjV6

Congratulations to Assemblyman @RobBonta, who advocates for teaching Asian American history in public schools!

The trailblazers from Hawaii are wearing such beautiful lei. Congratulations to David Louie! pic.twitter.com/pv4pMWscOX

Congratulations to Justice McKenna – language access advocate, pro bono enthusiast, and LGBT trailblazer! #NAPABA15

Hanging out with our friends at #kalagny https://t.co/MGilWiB0Xw

Thanks to the @NAPABA Women’s Leadership Network for organizing the Women in Public Service breakfast plenary… https://t.co/zWduQlCHxJ

Our Immediate Past President Clara Ohr presents on The Paradox of Abundance: The Ups and Downs of $50/Barrel… https://t.co/34nzJhFQJH

The AABANY team prepares for its annual trial reenactment at #napaba15. We’ll be in Grand Salon 7. Get excited! https://t.co/KdeidNxvop

It’s started! Vietnamese Fishermen v. KKK. #napaba15 https://t.co/ml3JXf0HA6

Louis Beam being deposed. “The deposition did not begin well.” #napaba15 #reenactment https://t.co/ZVm2IR8VjX

Thanks to Judge Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin for leading these wonderful annual trial reenactments! pic.twitter.com/LygnpFzjD0

Judge Chin gives the background behind our historical reenactments. Vietnamese Fisherman is number 9. #napaba15 https://t.co/rXKnTXY3Os

Don Liu recognizes NAPABA’s Best Under 40 award recipients. #napaba15 #bu40 https://t.co/wooM5Lax8V

NAPABA 2015-16 Board of Governors has been sworn in. Congrats! #napaba15 https://t.co/rMbX7AnbR9

Just a couple of guys in tuxes at the President’s Party. #napaba15 https://t.co/UdsaCtOGo7


On Saturday, Nov. 7, the AABANY Trial Re-enactment Team, led by Hon. Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin, took to the stage at the NAPABA National Convention to perform “Vietnamese Fishermen v. KKK.” Set in the aftermath of the Fall of the Saigon, when Vietnamese immigrants arrived in the Gulf Coast and became fishermen, the case recounts their experience as targets of terrorizing tactics from the Ku Klux Klan designed to drive them out. The Vietnamese fishermen fought back with a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction against these actions.

The AABANY Trial Re-enactment Team played to a capacity crowd that was fully engaged from start to finish. The cast included no less than seven Past Presidents of AABANY: Hon. Denny Chin, Andy Hahn, Vincent Chang, Yang Chen, Robert Leung, Jean Lee and Clara Ohr.

During the post-performance discussion, one of the audience members stated that he was a young boy in New Orleans during the time of the events being re-enacted, and he appreciated learning about the case. He also shared that over the past three decades, progress has been made to improve relations between Asian Americans in the local fishing industry with the general community of fishermen in the Gulf Coast.

The Vietnamese Fishermen re-enactment is the ninth case presented by the AABANY Trial Re-enactment Team. Thanks to Judge Chin and Kathy Chin for leading us in yet another successful and impactful trial re-enactment. Stayed tuned for information about the New York premiere. 

In the meantime, save the date for the re-enactment of last year’s “Justice Denied: Wards Cove v. Atonio” at the New York City Bar Association on Dec. 7. Free for AABANY members. To register go to http://bit.ly/wardscove120715.

Full cast:

  • Janicelynn J. Asamoto
  • Vincent T. Chang
  • Yang Chen
  • Theodore K. Cheng
  • Francis H. Chin
  • Andrew T. Hahn, Sr.
  • Kathy Hirata Chin
  • Jean Lee
  • Lauren U.Y. Lee
  • Robert Leung
  • Hon. Kiyo A. Matsumoto
  • Concepcion A. Montoya
  • Clara J. Ohr
  • Vinoo Varghese
  • Jessica C. Wong
  • Michael Yap

The slideshow presentation featuring historical photographs is courtesy of David Weinberg of Jury Group. Thank you!

(Thanks to AABANY Program Associate Simone Nguyen for photos from the rehearsal and performance.)

(Source: http://bit.ly/)

The People Vs. Moses – The Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center | New York City

The People Vs. Moses – The Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center | New York City

White House Initiative on AAPIs Launches Public Awareness Campaign Against Bullying

The White House Initiative on AAPIs has launched a public awareness campaign against bullying, called Act To Change. The campaign aims to increase awareness of bullying – including in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community – and empower communities with information and tools to help prevent and end bullying.

The new campaign website, ActToChange.org, includes video and music empowerment playlists and an organizing toolkit, and encourages visitors to “Take the Pledge” to join the #ActToChange movement and stand up against bullying. As one out of three AAPIs does not speak English fluently, resources are available on the site in Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Punjabi, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Please join us in the #ActToChange movement! If you have a moment today, please check out ActToChange.org, Take the Pledge, and share on social media and with your networks. 

CLICK HERE to download a campaign amplification packet to help guide the way.

PRESS RELEASE: National Coalition of Bar Associations of Color Urge Supreme Court to Support Diversity in Admission Programs


For Immediate Release
Nov. 4, 2015

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

National Coalition of Bar Associations of Color Urge Supreme Court to Support Diversity in Admission Programs

File Joint Brief with U.S. Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas

WASHINGTON — The Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC)–the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA) and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) filed a joint amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The Court will review the standard used by University of Texas at Austin in developing their race-conscious admissions policy following a 2013 decision by the Court which affirmed the principle that diversity in higher education is a compelling national interest. With oral arguments scheduled for Dec. 9, the four organizations recognized the significance of all four communities of color standing together in support of race-conscious admission policies in order to promote diversity in the legal profession. The brief discusses the unique perspectives of the communities each bar association represents, and highlights the importance of ensuring access to institutions of higher education, in order to preserve a diverse pipeline for our multicultural society and ultimately advance CBAC’s shared commitment to diversity in the legal profession. The brief can be found here: http://bit.ly/fisher2cbac

“The National Bar Association proudly stands with our CBAC partners to once again argue that now is not the time to turn back the clock on our efforts for diversity in the U.S.,” NBA President Benjamin L. Crump said. “We have taken significant strides forward but we know that there is much work to be done in order to achieve a diverse and inclusive society. The Court, as before, should uphold the admirable and critical efforts institutions of higher education in their continuing mission to reflect society and its diversity. The court should not jeopardize the progress made and sought by law schools and the legal community to simply reflect the rich diversity that makes this nation great.”

“The Hispanic National Bar Association is proud to join our partner bar associations of color to reaffirm the decades of Supreme Court precedent deeming collegiate diversity a compelling national interest,” said HNBA President Robert T. Maldonado. “Despite efforts that have been made to improve equal access and opportunity in colleges and law schools of our nation, the simple fact is that we still do not have a level playing field, and there is much left for us to do. College admissions programs that take race into account, among a number of other factors, fit the parameters the Court has laid out in previous decisions, and work to create a diverse and inclusive student body that is beneficial to everyone. It is essential for college campuses to reflect the diversity of our nation to prepare our students for success in the real world.”

“The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association supports efforts to overcome barriers to equal opportunity. We are proud to join our colleagues in the Coalition of Bar Associations of Color encouraging the Court to recognize the benefits students receive when immersed in diverse environments, and to uphold the University of Texas’s attempt to create opportunities for diverse populations,” said NAPABA President George C. Chen. “We recognize that Asian Pacific Americans, like other groups, have endured cases of discrimination and lack of opportunities which continue to impact us today. The low numbers of minority groups in the legal profession, government, and corporate leadership underscore the need to remove barriers to higher education and increase diversity. Courtrooms, law firms, and law schools must be filled with people of different backgrounds so that we can better understand and respect the diversity of the American public.”

“The National Native American Bar Association joins our CBAC partners in expressing the importance of creating a pipeline for students of color in higher education,” shared NNABA President Linda Benally. “The Supreme Court has previously affirmed the compelling interest of colleges in encouraging diversity in the student body, which should not be removed. Race-conscious admissions programs, like the one designed by the University of Texas, open doors for students of color by ensuring a richer and intellectually diverse classroom experience for all students.”