New York State Complete Count Commission Announces Public Events to Prepare for 2020 Census

Beginning March 4 in Rochester, the New York State Complete Count Commission will hold six public hearings across the state for input from Census experts, advocates, and the general public about how to best ensure a complete count of New Yorkers in the 2020 census.

The Complete Count Commission, appointed last month, is tasked with building upon the sweeping efforts already underway to prepare for next year’s federal Census. With these meetings, the Commission is undertaking a multi-year, collaborative strategy involving all state agencies, local and county governments, non-profits and local stakeholders across the state.

Each meeting of the Commission will be open to the public and webcast. The events will feature detailed presentations to the Commission by various entities involved in the census, as well as testimony from advocates, and the general public on a first-come, first-served basis.

Specific details for public participation in the public comment portion of the events will be forthcoming.

The hearings scheduled are:

Monday, March 4, 2 p.m.
Rochester City Council Chambers
30 Church St.
Rochester, NY 14614

Monday, March 11, 6 p.m.
Hostos Community College
500 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451

Wednesday, March 20, 7 p.m.
SUNY Sullivan
112 College Road
Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759

Friday, April 12, 3 p.m.
Suffolk County Legislature – William J. Lindsay County Complex – William H. Rogers Building
725 Veterans Memorial Highway
Smithtown, NY 11787

Friday, April 26, 10 a.m.
Mohawk Valley Community College – Utica
1101 Sherman Dr
Utica, NY 13501

Monday, May 6, 6 p.m.
Rockefeller Institute of Government
411 State St
Albany, NY 12203

Additional hearings may be scheduled at a later date.

In addition to the above hearings, members of the Commission will meet with stakeholders across the state to augment efforts.

For more information about the Complete Count Commission and New York’s efforts to ensure a full count in 2020, please visit https://www.ny.gov/programs/2020-census.

Call for Nominations: Secretary

AABANY thanks everyone who submitted nominations for the election taking place at the Annual Meeting scheduled for February 13, 2019. We did not receive any qualified submissions for the position of Secretary and therefore it was marked as vacant for the meeting. The Board will fill this vacancy pursuant to Section 7.05 of the bylaws. If you are interested in applying for the Secretary position, please submit your nomination materials by no later than 5:00 PM on Wednesday, March 6. Note that you may be meeting with the Nominations Committee on March 13, in the evening, so please save the date.

As set forth in the Bylaws, section 5.4 (f):

The Secretary shall:(i)  be the recording secretary of the Board, shall act as clerk, record all votes and prepare the minutes of all Board, Special and Annual meetings; (ii)  prepare all correspondence to inform the Members and the Board as to the status of all orders, votes and resolutions that call for some action or steps to be taken, give any required notice of all meetings, and inform the Board of all correspondence; (iii)  keep the seal of the organization; (iv) safeguard the indemnity insurance of the Association (see Section 4.18); (v) manage and review handbooks and manuals of the Association; and (vi) assist the other Officers in the performance of their respective duties and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board or by the President.

To apply for this Officer position, please submit:
(i) a statement of interest declaring your intent to run; and
(ii) a current resume, biography or CV listing your experience and accomplishments and any honors received to date.

As part of item (i), please indicate your experience with AABANY if you have been an active member, describing any activities that you have participated in or helped to organize. If you have not been an active member in AABANY, explain what capabilities, resources, talents, skills, expertise, experience or any other contributions you would be able to make as the Secretary. Please also identify any activities indicating a dedication and commitment to issues of importance to the Asian Pacific American community.

You may email your application in Word or PDF to [email protected]. You may fax your nomination to (718) 228-7206. If you wish to submit by regular mail, it must reach AABANY by no later than close of business, March 6, at the following address: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10111.

Congratulations to Michael J. Rhee

On February 21, 2019, the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA) at St. John’s University School of Law recognized Michael J. Rhee as the 2019 APALSA Honoree during their Lunar New Year Reception at China Blue-Tribeca. AABANY congratulates Michael J. Rhee on his recognition as the 2019 APALSA Honoree.

Michael J. Rhee received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1998 and went on to lead a remarkable legal career. Mr. Rhee had served as a Special Counsel in the real estate department at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.  Currently, Mr. Rhee is Vice President and General Counsel of the Durst Organization, one of the most prominent real estate companies in New York City. As Vice President and General Counsel, Mr. Rhee advises on leasing, acquisitions, construction and development activities, as well as the corporate and legal needs of the company. Mr. Rhee also oversees insurance and collections and manages outside counsel.

Michael J. Rhee is not only a distinguished member of the legal community, he is also an active one. He has been an AABANY member since 2015, and he is a member of the In-House Counsel Committee. Mr. Rhee is also a member of the Leadership Advisory Council of the Korean American Lawyers Associations of Greater New York. Please join AABANY in congratulating Mr. Rhee on this well-deserved recognition.

From left to right: Christopher Arcitio (St. John Law Alum & Former AABANY Intern), Anna Chen (St. John Law Alum & Former AABANY Intern), Michael J. Rhee, Yang Chen (Executive Director at AABANY)

Preventing Immigration Fraud in the Filipino Community

Older Filipino Americans are particularly vulnerable as targets of certain fraud. According to AARP’s “Facing Fraud or Saving Face? A Survey of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders 50 Years and Older on Fraud and Scams” (www.aarp.org/AAPIfraudsurvey), many con artists use immigration scams to falsely promise cheap, quick, or easy paths to work permits and green cards.

Scammers pretend to provide quality legal advice, help with paperwork, or other tasks involved in the immigration process. The scammer usually asks for an upfront fee, takes the money, and disappears immediately. Or worse, they provide ineffective or even harmful representation by filing the wrong paperwork, using fraudulent measures, or misrepresenting facts. The American Bar Association believes immigration fraud is underreported because many victims are often ashamed to report it to authorities or are afraid it will affect their immigration status.

Amanda Bernardo, Co-Chair of AABANY’s Immigration Committee, provides tips and advice on how to avoid being a victim of immigration fraud. She is working with AARP to help the Filipino community and notes “The immigration process can be confusing and intimidating, especially for Filipinos and Asian immigrants who face language barriers.”

Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience Strategy says “Con artists often target immigrant communities because they are particularly vulnerable, but knowing how they work can help you spot and avoid scams.”

To learn more about Amanda Bernardo and to watch her video, click here.

Preventing Immigration Fraud in the Chinese Community

AABANY has partnered with AARP to prevent immigration fraud in the Chinese community.

Older Asian American and Pacific Islanders are particularly vulnerable as targets of certain fraud. According to AARP’s “Facing Fraud or Saving Face? A Survey of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders 50 Years and Older on Fraud and Scams” (aarp.org/AAPIfraudsurvey), many con artists use immigration scams to falsely promise cheap, quick, or easy paths to work permits and green cards.

Susan Akina, Co-Chair of AABANY’s Immigration Committee, provides tips and advice on how to avoid being a victim of immigration fraud. She is working with AARP to help the Chinese community and says “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and if you ever feel uncomfortable, you don’t have to proceed with the attorney or the case. Sometimes the wrong type of help can be more problematic in the long run.”

Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience Strategy says “Con artists often target immigrant communities because they are particularly vulnerable, but knowing how they work can help you spot and avoid scams.”

To learn more about Susan Akina and to watch her video, click here.

PRESS RELEASE: ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK RECOGNIZES DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL LLP AS THE 2019 AABANY LAW FIRM DIVERSITY AWARD HONOREE

NEW YORK – Feb. 21, 2019 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (“Davis Polk”) has been selected to receive the 2019 AABANY Law Firm Diversity Award.  Davis Polk will receive the award at AABANY’s Annual Dinner on February 27, 2019, at Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall Street, in New York City.

Since 2014, AABANY has selected a law firm to recognize for its commitment to improving diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. Applications are reviewed on four main criteria, which include a formal diversity plan committed to retention and promotion of women and minorities, an established diversity pipeline of talent, external participation in diversity programs with organizations such as AABANY, and the furtherance of AABANY’s mission, which includes the active and affirmative recruitment, retention, promotion, and development of Asian lawyers in New York City.

Davis Polk’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is rooted in its traditional emphasis on excellence and respect.

The firm is actively involved in fostering an inclusive environment and culture, from its recruitment efforts that target diverse student organizations and underserved communities, to generous parental leave and reintegration programs in support of new mothers in the workplace.

“AABANY congratulates Davis Polk on receiving the 2019 Law Firm Diversity Award,” states James Cho, AABANY’s President. “We applaud the commitment Davis Polk has shown in advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and AABANY looks forward to working with Davis Polk to continue promoting these important values in the years ahead.”

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332- 2478, or direct any inquiries to [email protected].  The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.  Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole.  AABANY is one of the most prominent and active minority bar associations in New York with more than 1,100 members, including practicing attorneys in the private and public sectors, in-house lawyers, judges, professors and law students. AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is accepting applications for service on the Court’s Criminal Justice Act Panel

The Criminal Justice Act Committee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is accepting applications for service on the Court’s Criminal Justice Act Panel. Criminal Justice Act Panel Members represent indigent criminal defendants and petitioners for habeas corpus.

The deadline for applications is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 8, 2019.

To see the full announcement and learn more, click here.

For the application form, click here.

Thank you to our February Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

February’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic, held on Wednesday, February 13 at 33 Bowery Street in Confucius Plaza, brought out 14 lawyers and 6 interpreters who volunteered their time to help 27 clients.

We are asking every member to actively support AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic by making donations that are vital to its continuing operation. In a few short years, with the tireless and generous assistance of our volunteers, we have helped hundreds of low-income clients with free legal advice and referrals to high-quality, culturally sensitive, and linguistically competent legal services. Together we have helped expand access to justice for underserved Asian American New Yorkers.

If you know family members, friends, or businesses, such as your firm, who would like to support the Clinic, please help us connect with them by contacting Karen Yau at [email protected]

Or please urge them to make a donation directly. They can visit the website of Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY), AABANY’s 501(c)(3) affiliate: https://www.asianamericanlawfund.org/donate/ AALFNY is accepting charitable donations on the Clinic’s behalf and can issue any donor a tax receipt. Any contribution, large or small, would help. Please be sure to indicate in the memo field that the donation is intended for the Pro Bono Clinic.

Thank you to all of the February Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

Lawyers:

  • Gaye L. Chun
  • Zhixian Liu
  • Yan Sin
  • Xianxiao Li (Emily)
  • Wei Li
  • Soichiro Ishita
  • Kwok Kei Ng
  • Jonathan Hernandez
  • David Lu
  • Gloria Tsui-Yip
  • Pauline Yeung-Ha
  • Ming Chu Lee
  • Karen Kithan Yau
  • Asako Aiba

Interpreters:

  • JoJo Hwang
  • Frankie Lam
  • Satoshi Kurita
  • Hao Zhang
  • Derek Ting-Che Tai
  • Henry Man

Special thanks to Johnny Thach for coordinating the clinic, and the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Co-Chairs 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 March 13, 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 Women’s Committee Brown Bag Lunch with Joyce Lai from ConsenSys

On February 7, 2019, the Women’s Committee held another successful brown bag lunch, this time featuring Joyce Lai from ConsenSys.  Members learned about blockchain technology and alternative organizational structures, and were also able to share their own experiences working at law firms, transitioning into the tech industry, and balancing family and work.  The Women’s Committee thanks Joyce for taking the time to share her experience with us and BakerHostetler for hosting! 

The Women’s Committee Brown Bag Lunches feature prominent Asian American women in the law.  Through these lunches we aim to create an intimate space that allows for open dialogue on real issues that Asian American women face in the legal community.  Please feel free to reach out to the committee chairs with any ideas for potential hosts. To learn more about the Women’s Committee go to https://www.aabany.org/page/122

Annual Meeting of Members 2019

On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, AABANY held its Annual Meeting of Members at Wachtell Lipton. President James R. Cho called the meeting to order and established quorum. Elections were held for the 2019 Board of Officers & Directors and President James R. Cho presented the Year in Review. President James R. Cho also announced a new initiative to help AABANY law students find summer internship positions.

Executive Director, Yang Chen, presented the report of the Committees and then presented awards honoring several members and committees for their dedication to AABANY over the past year. Immediate Past President Dwight Yoo and President-Elect Brian Song tallied the votes.

The following officers were elected and will begin their term on April 1, 2019:

Sapna Palla
President-Elect

Tiffany Miao
Vice President, Programs and Operations

David Sohn
Vice President, Programs and Operations

Margaret Ling
Development Director

William Hao
Treasurer

Secretary – Vacant

Beatrice Leong
Membership Director

The following candidates were elected as Directors to serve two-year terms starting on April 1, 2019:

Dai Wai Chin Feman

Suzanne Kim

Chris Kwok

Edward Lee

Marianne Chow Newman

Terrence Shen

Andy Yoo

The following awards were presented:

Committee of the Year: The In-House Counsel Committee

For their excellent programming and activities that have benefited AABANY’s members and the community of legal professionals in New York.

Program of the Year: The AABANY Leadership Development Program

For helping to develop future leaders and contributing to the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession in New York.

Member of the Year: Edwin Kim

For his exemplary record of service and leadership as Co-Chair of the Student Outreach Committee and Labor and Employment Law Committee and in coordinating volunteers for numerous programs and events.

Congratulations to all the officers and directors who were elected to the Board.

Congratulations to all the honorees for the recognition of their achievements and hard work in 2018.

We would like to thank our members for attending and participating in the annual meeting, and we also thank Edward J. Lee and Wachtell Lipton for hosting the meeting in a beautiful space, treating us to a delectable selection of food and light refreshments.

(Thanks to AABANY Program Associate Dave Singh for the write-up and photos.)