NAPABA 2018 Officer Election Results and New Call for Nominations


NAPABA congratulates the newly-elected officers of the NAPABA Board of Governors for the 2018-19 board year. They will be sworn into office at the 30th Anniversary Gala during the 2018 NAPABA Convention in Chicago, IL.
The following individuals were elected by the NAPABA membership:

  • President-Elect | Bonnie Lee Wolf
  • Vice President for Finance and Development | Courtney Fong*
  • Vice President for Membership | Alen Hsu
  • Vice President for Programs and Operations | Charles Jung
  • Vice President for Communications | Avanti Bakane
  • Treasurer | Gary Zhao
  • Secretary | Jeffrey Javinar

*Courtney Fong has withdrawn his candidacy to be Vice President for Finance and Development. You can read a statement from him here. As a result, the Nominating and Elections Committee is accepting nominations for election as the Vice President for Finance and Development of the NAPABA Board of Governors for the 2018-19 term. Submit a nomination here by October 22 at 5 PM. The updated Elections Timeline for this position is included below.

Oct. 22, 2018: Nominations may be submitted until 5pm ET/2pm PT
Oct. 24, 2018: Vice President for Finance and Development candidates announced and endorsements accepted
Oct. 25, 2018: Election ballot will be distributed to eligible voters by email on this date (Members must have joined or renewed by July 1, 2018, to be eligible to vote.)
Nov. 1, 2018: Candidate endorsements may continue to be submitted until 12pm ET/9am PT on this date. Votes must be cast by 9pm ET/6pm PT on this date in order to be counted
Nov. 2, 2018: Election results will be announced.

Congratulations to Jennifer Wu, AABANY Women’s Committee Co-Chair, on Rising Stars Award


The New York Law Journal recognized Jennifer H. Wu on October 10, 2018 with a Rising Stars Award, given to 29 of the region’s most promising lawyers under 40.  Awardees are acknowledged for their influence in their practice areas in New York and beyond, developing unique practice niches, employing creative uses of technology, amassing robust books of business, demonstrating strong leadership qualities, showing expertise in litigation or transactional work, contributing to the improvement of their institutions, and committing themselves to pro bono, charitable and professional volunteer work.

Jennifer is a partner in Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s Litigation Department and focuses her practice on patent litigation matters. Jennifer frequently goes to jury and bench trials in federal district courts and trials before the International Trade Commission. She also represents clients in appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. She has litigated patents in a wide variety of technical areas, with a particular emphasis on pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Jennifer’s work on biologics includes litigating issues of first impression as to the BPCIA, and her patent litigation experience also extends to GPS devices, DNA sequencing technology, and medical devices.

Jennifer directs Paul, Weiss’s first pro bono project expressly for Asian Americans, helping parents of special-needs children obtain services from the New York City Department of Education. Jennifer has also worked with the Innocence Project for over a decade, including on eyewitness misidentification, death penalty, and Shaken Baby Syndrome issues. She is a Board member of the Federal Circuit Bar Association; co-chair of the Women’s Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York; a Board member of Friends of UNFPA, which supports the work of the United Nations reproductive health and rights agency; and an Advisory Board member of the NYU Law Alumni of Color Association.

For more information on this award, please click here (subscription required).

Please join us in congratulating Jennifer Wu on this well-deserved honor and recognition.

Thank you to our October Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!


October’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic, held on Wednesday, October 10 at 3 Bowery Street in Confucius Plaza, brought out 17 lawyers and 6 interpreters who volunteered their time to help 51 clients:


  • Zhixian Liu
  • Wei Li
  • Sylvia Chin
  • Sonya Chung
  • Rachel Yoo
  • May Kay Wong
  • Lord Chester So
  • Kwok Kei Ng
  • Kevin Hsi
  • Kelly Diep
  • Francis Chin 
  • David Lu
  • Conlyn Chan
  • Christopher Chin
  • Chris M. Kwok 
  • Annie Tsao
  • Jiayun Zhang 


  • Alva Lin
  • Xianxiao (Emily) Li
  • Wen Zhang
  • Wei Ling Huang 
  • Rachel Chen 
  • Emily Li 

Special thanks to Roger Chen and Johnny Thach for coordinating the clinic, and the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Co-Chairs Pauline Yeung, Karen Kithan Yau, Ming Chu Lee, and Asako Aiba for their leadership. 

If you are interested in volunteering at next month’s Pro Bono Clinic on November 14, please contact Asako Aiba at [email protected]. AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic occurs every second Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. 

AABANY Tax Committee Quarterly Meeting


On October 9, 2018, the AABANY Tax Committee held its quarterly meeting and dinner at the offices of Ashurst LLP, in order to discuss the Wayfair Supreme Court decision and other state and local tax issues.  Presenters Jessika Wong, of Grant Thornton LLP, and Rebecca Midori Balinskas, of Morrison & Foerster LLP, led a lively and informative discussion about the new landscape for sales taxes, particularly the issues for law firms and other service providers when they provide services to residents of other states.  The discussion addressed the lack of foreign treaty protection for state sales and income taxes, which may be imposed on Asia-based foreign businesses that sell products online to U.S. residents.  The group also discussed various questions related to the effects of the 2017 federal tax reform on state income taxation, such as whether state taxable income includes GILTI.  Special thanks to Sharon Kim, partner at Ashurst LLP, for hosting the event. 

To learn more about the Tax Committee and to contact the Committee Co-Chairs click here.

NAPABA Congratulates APA Nominees to the Second and Ninth Circuits

On Wednesday, President Trump announced his intent to nominate three Asian Pacific Americans to serve on the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Michael H. Park was nominated to serve as a judge on the Second Circuit. Patrick J. Bumatay and Kenneth K. Lee were nominated to serve as judges on the Ninth Circuit. If they are confirmed, the number of active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judges would increase to a historic ten. Six Asian Pacific Americans have been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals this year, which is the highest number to ever have been nominated to federal appellate courts during a single presidential term. This is also the first time that three Asian Pacific Americans have been nominated to federal appellate court judgeships in a single day.

Michael H. Park is a partner at Consovoy McCarthy Park, where he focuses on litigation and securities enforcement. He has experience in both private practice and government, including in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. He clerked for then-Judge Samuel Alito on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and later clerked for Justice Alito on the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School. If confirmed, Park would be the second Asian Pacific American to serve on the Second Circuit.

Patrick J. Bumatay is an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. He is currently on detail to the Office of the Attorney General in the Department of Justice. Bumatay has held numerous positions in public service throughout the Department of Justice. He clerked for Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and Judge Sandra L. Townes of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. He is an active member of NAPABA, its affiliated bar—the National Filipino American Lawyers Association—and the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association. If confirmed, Bumatay would be the first Filipino American to serve as an Article III federal appellate judge.

Kenneth Kiyul Lee is a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, where his practice focuses on internal investigations and appellate litigation before multiple U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is also member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and maintains a robust pro bono practice. Lee has worked in private practice and as Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush. He clerked for Judge Emilio M. Garza of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. If confirmed, Lee would join Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, the only other active Asian Pacific American judge on the Ninth Circuit.

NAPABA Opposes Plan to Redefine “Public Charge” and Limit Legal Immigration

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) opposes the proposed changes to “public charge” published Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We urge our members and affiliated bar associations to join NAPABA in submitting public comments opposing the proposed policy.

Public charge policy has roots in long-time efforts to limit the admission of ‘undesirable immigrants,’ such as Chinese in the 19th century. The proposed rule would re-define a public charge as an immigrant who would be likely to receive government benefits from an expanded list of programs, including nutrition and housing assistance programs for children. The proposed rule will make it easier to designate an applicant as a public charge, and deny their admission to the United States or reject their permanent resident application. DHS also proposes stricter guidance for weighing certain factors when reviewing visa applications, such as age, income, health, English proficiency, and employability. NAPABA is greatly concerned with how these changes will negatively impact Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants, working families, and children’s health.

The proposal has already had a chilling effect on Asian Pacific American communities. Due to reports of these proposed changes, some immigrant families—including those with eligible U.S. citizen members—have unenrolled from important public services for which they qualify. If implemented, the new public charge rules would undermine the safety, health, and security of immigrant families by denying them the support historically provided to new Americans. Asian Pacific American communities will be particularly hard hit, as over 31% of new green card recipients are from Asian and Pacific Island nations and as there is significant variation in average income amongst Asian ethnic groups.

Take charge by submitting a comment on the proposed rule before the DHS proceeds with its final rulemaking by the deadline, December 10, 2018. NAPABA will be submitting comments as an organization, but individuals are encouraged to submit unique comments here. To see available resources, please click here. For more information, contact Oriene Shin, NAPABA Policy Counsel, at 202-775-9555 or [email protected].

CUP Fellows Program Applications Open Now


The CUP Fellows Program is a transformative, one-year leadership development experience for early-to-mid career professionals of color across industries, who are deeply committed to supporting their communities through impactful contributions to the nonprofit and public sectors. All purpose-driven professionals of color are encouraged to apply.


  • Professionals of color across all industries and sectors with 5-10 years of professional work experience.
  • Applicants must be employed full-time in the New York tristate area at the time of application and must plan to remain employed throughout the fellowship. Internships and part-time positions do not meet this requirement.
  • Applicants must not participate in another significant program at the same time as the CUP Fellows Program, which runs from February 2019 through December 2019.
  • Applicants must commit to attending the monthly workshops.

Click here to apply. Please complete the application submission instructions by November 11, 2018. Essay and Statement of Intent should not exceed 500 words. Only complete applications will be considered for the program. Incomplete or late applications will be ineligible. Please note the following guidelines.

  • Resume should be 1-2 pages long, and not exceed 2 pages. Include experience demonstrating your commitment to public service.
  • Statement of Intent should describe how you intend on contributing to your community in the short and long term and how the CUP Fellows Program will help you achieve your aspirations. 
  • Essay should describe a specific activity or organization in which you were directly involved as a leader. What challenges did you face, how did you resolve them, and what did you learn about yourself in the process? 
  • Letter of Recommendation should speak to your personal and professional accomplishments, civic engagement, and commitment to community. Must be 1 page and submitted with your application.

Volunteers Needed for AALDEF’s Election Protection Program


The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is in need of volunteers to survey Asian American voters and protect their vote. In past elections, Asian Americans have faced a series of barriers in exercising their right to vote. For example, poll workers were hostile and made racist remarks, poll sites had too few interpreters to assist Asian American voters, translated voting materials were missing or hidden from voters, and ballots were mistranslated listing Democratic candidates as Republicans, and vice versa. When the news media reported on election results and the vote by specific groups, Asian Americans were often overlooked. 

Since 1988, AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters and monitored polls in every major election. Help us continue to resolve these issues at the polls by taking part in AALDEF’s 2018 Asian American Election Protection Program. On Election Day, November 6th, volunteers will document voter problems and the availability of language assistance. They will also conduct a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll to get a snapshot of Asian American candidate preferences, party enrollment, and issues of significance to Asian American voters.  

To read AALDEF’s report on the Asian American Vote, click here. Click here to sign up to volunteer. Attendance at one training session is required for all volunteers. All volunteers must be non-partisan and work a 3-hour shift. CLE trainings are 90 minutes, and attorneys can receive 1.5 CLE credits including 0.5 ethics credit. AABANY is the CLE provider for the New York training sessions. If you have volunteered in the past, you do not have to attend another training, but you must register to volunteer again. 

For more information, contact AALDEF Democracy Program Director Jerry Vattamala or Voting Rights Organizer Judy Lei at 800-966-5946 or [email protected].

Fall Harvest Moon Festival Networking Event


On September 26, 2018, AABANY’s Real Estate and Solo & Small Firm Practice Committees, with KALAGNY, Citrin Cooperman and HSBC, hosted a Fall Harvest Moon Festival Networking Event. Over 60 people attended the event at Citrin Cooperman’s Fifth Avenue headquarters. AABANY leadership in attendance included Margaret Ling, AABANY Development Director and Co-Chair of AABANY’s Real Estate Committee; Cary Chan, AABANY Co-Chair of Real Estate and Solo & Small Firm Practice Committee; Poonam Gupta, AABANY Immigration Committee Co-Chair; Beatrice Leong, AABANY Government Service and Public Interest Committee Co-Chair; and Vincent Chang, Former AABANY President. VIP Guests included Bridgette Ahn, President of the Network of Bar Leaders; George Xu, President of New Century Development; and Wellington Chan, Executive Director of Chinatown Partnership. Many thanks to our sponsors Ben Liu, CPA, Director at Citrin Cooperman, and David Lau, Retail Business Banking Relationship Manager at HSBC Bank. Everyone enjoyed the networking and the buffet, which included moon cakes to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Above: Citrin Cooperman Team and Margaret Ling


Left to Right: Bridgette Ahn, George Xu, David Lau,Margaret Ling, Ben Liu


Left to Right: Ben Liu, George Xu, Patrick Yu, Wellington Chan, Margaret Ling, David Fesser


Left to Right: Jane Chen, Jang Lee, Margaret Ling, Cary Chan