From Douglas C. Palmer, Clerk of Court, United State District Court, Eastern District of New York:
The application period for any one of four vacancies being filled at this time has been extended to May 29th, 2020. I have attached a link to the public announcement seeking applicants for currently vacant positions and upcoming vacancies. This is perhaps a unique time in the history of the federal court in this, the Eastern District of New York; I do not have any record of this number of opportunities being available at the same time since the US Magistrate Judge positions were created.
On April 24, 2020, the Membership Committee hosted the first of its weekly Zoom Membership Mixers, with 22 members in attendance. The question posed to the participants was: “What is the most positive thing to happen to you as a result of COVID-19?” Members reported having more time to garden, spending time watching their children grow, watching TV shows (“Better Call Saul”) and exercising.
The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc, but due to COVID-19, we are moving online to offer members a weekly outlet to share their feelings, see old friends, and make new connections. Mixers start at 6:30pm on Friday and the main event ends at 7:30pm but feel free to stay on after 7:30pm for smaller breakout groups. (This week a few members talked till 10pm!)
The Membership Committee will be giving away door prizes at some of the upcoming mixers. Congratulations to Jeffrey Mok for winning the cash prize at the first mixer!
The Asian American Law Journal (AALJ) is taking article submissions for this upcoming publication cycle.
The Asian American Law Journal (AALJ) is one of only two law journals focused on Asian American communities. Known as the Asian Law Journal until 2007, AALJ first published in October 1993 in a joint publication with the California Law Review. AALJ provides a scholarly forum for the exploration of unique legal concerns of Asian Americans, including but not limited to the East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Asian Pacific American communities. AALJ publishes annually, and each volume typically contains articles, book reviews, essays, and other contributions from scholars, practitioners, and students. AALJ welcome commentary, analysis, and research on the experiences and concerns of Asian Americans, including the intersections of gender, class, sexual orientation, religion and race.
AALJ invites you to submit an article, essay, book review, transcript of a previous lecture, or other contribution on civil rights, immigrant rights, or any other area of your interest relating to Asian Americans and the law. Authors may submit a piece by emailing AALJ directly at [email protected], or by submitting to AALJ through Scholastica or ExpressO.
AALJ makes offers for publication on a rolling basis as submissions are received, but the deadline for submissions is August 15, 2020. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to Yongbin Chang, a Submissions Editor for the Asian American Law Journal at Berkeley Law, at [email protected].
Since the rise of COVID-19, Asian Americans have become increasingly vulnerable to acts of assault, harassment, and discrimination. In response, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, and the NYPD have become more aware and responsive to hate and bias reports related to coronavirus. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office has made an info sheet detailing some resources available to Asian Americans and others who may be victims of such cases.
Download the fact sheets in the following languages:
A week ago, there was a statewide rollout of virtual court operations via Skype and teleconferencing for essential and emergency proceedings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 13, 2020, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks announced that this temporary “virtual court” model is being expanded beyond the limited category of essential and emergency matters.
Over the past two weeks, the New York State Courts’ trial court efforts have centered on arraignments, bail applications, orders of protection and other essential and emergency criminal, family and civil matters. Following a successful transition to a virtual court system for the handling of essential and emergency matters statewide, the court system is extending its focus to include pending tort, asbestos, commercial, matrimonial, trusts and estates, felony, family and other cases, which make up the vast bulk of trial court caseloads. The existing ban on the filing of new “non-essential” matters will remain in effect.
On March 26th, 2020, the Federal Administration passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act with the interests of minority groups, immigrants, and low-income community members in mind. The Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) policy team has created an easily accessible info sheet on the CARES Act in English and Chinese (simplified and traditional). Thanks again to CPC for providing these information sheets and advancing the interests of not only Asian-Americans but all who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Download the fact sheets in the following languages:
NAPABA continues to monitor the current situation regarding coronavirus and recognizes the disruption it has had—and may continue to have—on members’ daily lives.
With that in mind, NAPABA has extending its deadline for the 2020 NAPABA Convention Call for Programs to April 20 at 5 p.m. ET to provide more time for submitting proposals.
NAPABA also understands that the current situation may impact submitters’ ability to secure speakers for program ideas as people’s schedules change. NAPABA wants to reassure everyone that the CLE Committee will take the current events into consideration upon reviewing the submissions and will not count the lack of “confirmed” speakers against any submission.
NAPABA still encourages submitters to include those who have expressed interest in speaking on a program as “confirmed” speakers, and understands that their availability may change.
NEW YORK — April 10, 2020. The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) congratulates Luna Ngan Barrington of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP on her elevation to partnership and Jeffrey Mok of Fish & Richardson P.C. on his elevation to principal, on January 1, 2020. Congratulations to Dohyun Kim of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for her elevation to partnership on April 1, 2020.
These three AABANY members are all proud participants of AABANY’s Leadership Development Program (ALDP). Established in 2018, ALDP is a six-month long interactive leadership training course aimed at helping AABANY members who are senior attorneys at law firms and companies navigate the promotion process within their respective organizations. According to A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law by Yale Law School and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Asian Americans have a 3.65 ratio of associates to partners—significantly higher than the 1.01 ratio for Caucasians—and the highest ratio of any racial or ethnic group for more than a decade. Asian Americans also have the highest attrition rates at law firms. Although Asian Americans comprise 6.7% of all attorneys in the Vault/MCCA 2014 survey, they comprise 8.9% of attorneys who left their firms that year. ALDP addresses these issues of chronic Asian American underrepresentation at leadership levels through its law firm partnership track program, which is focused on cultivating a selected group of Asian Pacific American (APA) law firm associates on the partnership track. In 2019, ALDP expanded its program to include an in-house counsel track. ALDP is unique in its small set of qualified participants and its focus on soft skills, accountability, and the AABANY community. AABANY President Sapna Palla is a co-founder of ALDP.
Luna Barrington is a Partner in the Complex Commercial Litigation practice of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. She represents clients in consumer class actions, antitrust litigation, commercial contract disputes and multi-district litigations, and has extensive experience taking cases from the pleading stage through to trial. Prior to joining Weil, Ms. Barrington served as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard M. Berman, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Barrington received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she was a member of the Hastings Business Law Journal.
Jeffrey Mok, a Principal at Fish & Richardson P.C., focuses his practice on litigation and counseling for patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets. His work spans a variety of technical areas, including wireless communications, semiconductor technology, automotive technology, financial services, software, and medical devices. He has represented clients in federal courts across the country and before the U.S. International Trade Commission. He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2012 and his B.S. in electrical engineering, with a minor in computer science, from Columbia University in 2007.
Dohyun Kim, a Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, private equity, securities and general corporate law matters. Ms. Kim regularly advises public and private companies in a variety of U.S. and cross-border corporate matters, including acquisitions and dispositions, investments, joint ventures, restructurings and financings. She has represented clients across a wide variety of industries, including consumer products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, technology and communications. Ms. Kim received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law, where she was the Senior Executive Editor for the New York University Law Review.
“AABANY congratulates Luna Barrington and Dohyun Kim on their elevation to partnership and Jeffrey Mok on his elevation to principal and recognizes them as outstanding participants in AABANY’s Leadership Development Program,” states AABANY President Sapna Palla. “A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law tells us that although Asian Americans comprise 7.05% of all attorneys in the Vault/MCCA survey of 2015 data, they held only 2.09% of seats on executive management committees, 2.32% of seats on partner review committees, and 3.78% of seats on associate review committees. Furthermore, the 2016 Law Firm Diversity Benchmarking Report from the New York City Bar Association shows that Asian/Pacific Islander attorneys make up only 3% of all leadership positions within New York’s law firms. AABANY is committed to helping raise these numbers through ALDP. We are extremely grateful for the leadership and dedication of ALDP’s faculty members and organizers for making this innovative and impactful program possible. We especially thank and acknowledge our sponsors and our members for their support of ALDP’s mission to empower qualified senior attorneys in their respective firms and fields. We look forward to sharing more of ALDP’s continued success in the future.”
On Friday, April 3rd, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) hosted a webinar titled “Pandemic and Acts of Hate Against Asian Americans: From Past to Present.” The webinar traced the historical roots of Asian American discrimination related to disease and public health issues and presented solutions for the present in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The webinar featured a panel which included Professor Jack Chin of UC Davis Law School, Matt Stevens of The New York Times’s Political News division, Harpreet Singh Mokha of the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service, and Rahat N. Babar, Special Counsel, Office of the Governor of New Jersey. Chris M. Kwok, the NAPABA Dispute Resolution Committee Co-Chair and our very own AABANY Issues Committee Chair, helmed the panel as moderator.
Professor Chin began by outlining the extensive history of anti-Asian discrimination within the United States. He focused on how discriminatory legislation at the state level in California and at the national level through the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 frequently correlated Asian American immigrants with disease. In particular, Professor Chin noted how San Francisco became a focal point of race-based efforts to control the bubonic plague in the early 1900s. Multiple political attempts were made to isolate and discriminate against Asians in the city which were repeatedly rebuffed by legal challenges such as Wong Wai v. Williamson and Jew Ho v. Williamson. Professor Chin underscored the ugly but recurring theme pushed in American politics about the “foreignness of germs.”
Following the professor’s historical account, Matt Stevens, an Asian American political reporter for The New York Times, noted the efforts that legislators are making to combat these acts of discrimination. Moreover, he noted the pervasive feeling of fear that permeates the Asian American community.
Harpreet Singh Mokha, National Program Manager for Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian, and Hindu (MASSAH) issues at the Community Relations Service of the DOJ, explained the role and function of CRS during this pandemic. Established under Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS, frequently called “America’s Peacemakers,” works directly with communities facing conflict on racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, religious, and disability issues. It has four primary functions: facilitating dialogue, mediating conflict, training community members, and providing consultation for methods of community assistance. Mr. Mokha noted that members of communities all across the country should be encouraged to make use of CRS’s resources and report hate crimes at their first occurrence.
To wrap up the panel, Rahat Babar, Special Counsel for Litigation with the Office of the New Jersey Governor, echoed Mr. Mokha’s point to report hate crimes without hesitation. He noted a 2020 in-state report which found a 65% increase in bias incidents between 2018 and 2019 with 46% of those engaging in such bias incidents being minors. Thanks to this report, Governor Phil Murphy was able to set up a task force to explore why minors were engaging in such behavior. Mr. Babar notes that without a robust data set of incident or hate crime reports, lawmakers and community leaders will not be able to identify root problems or pose solutions.
Overall, the panel outlined past and present cases of racial discrimination targeted towards the AAPI community. All panelists acknowledged the importance of speaking out during this time of uncertainty for the sake of protecting fellow community members both now and in the future.
This event reached the largest audience for a NAPABA webinar to date, with 160 registrants. The program stressed placing the events of today within historical understanding of America, engagement with our government institutions charged with enforcing our laws, and collaboration across civil society organizations. We at AABANY thank and acknowledge Chris Kwok for proposing this program to NAPABA and serving as moderator.