On December 13, 2018, AABANY held its annual holiday party, this time at rent24, a co-working space near Bryant Park. We believe this might well have been the 11th annual holiday party. The party started at 7 pm, after the space was converted from office space to a party space that we had all to ourselves for the duration of the event. We enjoyed cheese and crudite from Murray’s and Korean food from Woojirip. A professional bartender served and mixed a variety of beverages, including soft drinks, beer, wine, and whiskey. For dessert, we munched on an assortment of cupcakes, brownies and cookies from Whole Foods
The party was at full capacity, with over 140 people registered. We received a special visit from Andrew Yang, candidate for US President, who shared with the crowd why he was running. Also at the party was Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair Karen Yau, who appealed to the attendees to support the Pro Bono Clinic with a donation.
The party was scheduled to end at 9 pm but many stayed until 9:30 pm. Thanks to all who came. Check out some photos from the party at https://photos.app.goo.gl/AKxJP4jZ2Grh7oo5A
Special thanks to Charles Chen, VP of Programs and Operations, for finding the space, David Sohn, Membership Director, for handling food and beverages, and Margaret Langston, interns Katie Lee and Emma Li, and our volunteers for helping to staff the event
We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!
On December 18, 2018, AABANY’s Prosecutors Committee held its 10th Annual Reception by honoring Bridget G. Brennan, Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York, and Jesse J. Sligh, Executive Assistant District Attorney, Queens County District Attorney’s Office, for their exemplary and established record of public service and their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the profession and the community.
Approximately 200 Prosecutors Committee members and guests filled the New York County Lawyers Association at 14 Vesey Street to capacity to celebrate this special anniversary event. The evening featured numerous distinguished guests and speakers who provided congratulatory remarks to the Committee and the honorees.
Notable guests and speakers included:
- Darcel Clark, Bronx County DA
- Michael McMahon, Richmond County DA
- Madeline Singas, Nassau County DA
- Cyrus Vance, New York County DA
- Neil Corwin, Executive AUSA, US Attorney’ s Office, SDNY
- Nancy Hoppock, Chief ADA, Kings County DA’s Office
- Bridget Rohde, Chief AUSA, US Attorney’s Office, EDNY
- John Ryan, Chief ADA, Queens County DA’s Office
- Joe Alexis, Chief of Trials, Kings County DA’s Office
- Catherine Christian, Special Assistant to the NY County DA for External Affairs
- Diane Gujarati, Deputy Chief of Criminal Division, US Attorney’s Office, SDNY
- Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President
- Yang Chen, Executive Director, AABANY
- Pamela Chen [Judge, US District Court, EDNY]
- Dorothy Chin-Brandt [Retired Judge, Queens County Supreme Court]
- Phyllis Chu [Judge, NY County Criminal Court]
- Danny Chun [Judge, Kings County Supreme Court]
- Ronald Hollie [Judge, Queens County Supreme Court]
- Gilbert Hong [Judge, NY County Criminal Court]
- Judy Kim [Judge, NY County Criminal Court]
- Peggy Kuo [Judge, US District Court, EDNY]
- Don Leo [Judge, Kings County Criminal Court]
- Daniel Lewis [Judge, Queens County Supreme Court]
- Kevin McGrath [Judge, NY County Criminal Court]
The Prosecutors Committee presented a 10-year retrospective slideshow reflecting on the birth and growth of this vibrant committee over the past decade.
This year’s reception also included a touching tribute in memory of Committee Co-Chair Helen Ahn, who passed unexpectedly in November. Helen’s parents and family were present to hear and receive the tributes from all the speakers and honorees.
AABANY thanks Prosecutors Committee co-chairs James Lin and Myongjae M. Yi for organizing the event, as well as Kin Ng, Catherine Christian, Francis Chin, Laura Badger, and the planning members for their assistance. AABANY also thanks the New York County Lawyers Association for providing the beautiful venue for this special celebration.
AABANY congratulates the Prosecutors Committee on reaching its 10-year milestone and wishes it much success and growth in the coming years. The Committee is comprised of current and former state and federal prosecutors. To learn more about the Committee go to https://www.aabany.org/page/73
On December 21, the Hon. Ushir Pandit-Durant made history as the first South Asian judge elected to New York State Supreme Court in Queens and the first South Asian woman judge elected in New York State. Justice Pandit-Duran was sworn in by the Hon. Randall T. Eng (ret.), former Presiding Justice of the Second Department, New York State Appellate Division. Justice Eng was the first Asian American elected judge in New York State so it was especially fitting for one trailblazer in the Asian American community to swear in another trailblazer. Hon. Joseph Zayas, Administrative Judge of the Queens Supreme Court, Criminal Term, presided.
Justice Pandit-Duran began her career as a Prosecutor in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, serving there with distinction for 25 years before being elected to New York City Civil Court in 2015, becoming the first South Asian to hold that elected office.
The induction took place at the Queens Supreme Court in Kew Gardens. Numerous speakers, including elected officials and community leaders, extolled Justice Pandit-Duran’s exemplification of the American Dream, coming here at age 10 not speaking a word of English and rising up to become a top prosecutor and now judge. As a South Asian, Justice Pandit-Durant reflects the diversity of Queens, one of the most diverse boroughs of New York City, with a large Asian population. Justice Pandit-Durant is herself a bar leader, having served as the first President of the South Asian Indo-Caribbean Bar Association of Queens.
AABANY congratulates Justice Pandit-Durant on her historic election and wishes her continued success and achievement as a Justice of the Supreme Court.
On November 30, 2018, Hon. Peter Tom of the Appellate Division, First Department, was presented with the Distinguished Public Service Award by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of the City of New York, at the Chamber’s 2018 Benefit Fundraising Dinner held at the Jing Fong restaurant. The event was attended by over 1,000 guests representing Chinatown’s businesses, family associations and community groups.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1904 by Chinese businessmen in New York City and registered with the Imperial Chinese Government. This organization was formed to promote and support Chinese commerce and businesses in the Chinese communities. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce was incorporated in New York State in 1932.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce Public Service Award recognizes Justice Tom’s contributions to New York State and the Asian American community. Please join AABANY in congratulating Justice Tom on this well-deserved award and honor.