AABANY’s new fiscal year began on April 1, and on April 6, at Mercury Bar West, 659 Ninth Avenue, over 40 attendees came out for the Fiscal Year ’24 Kickoff Mixer! The event was led by the Membership Committee and co-hosted by the Asia Practice, Litigation, and Women’s Committees. Attorneys, consultants, and friends alike networked, mixed, and mingled over shared appetizers and drinks. New friends ended the night with karaoke.
On March 22, the AABANY LGBT Committee held its annual Spring Educational program at Nixon Peabody consisting of a robust discussion about the current status of trans rights and the rise in anti-trans legislation over the last two years. Featured speakers were Cynthia Cheng-Wun Weaver, Litigation Director at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Howard Zelbo, Senior Counsel at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, and Schuylar Bailer, the first trans NCAA D1 Men’s athlete. We thank AC Mariott for sponsoring Schuylar Bailer’s attendance.
The panelists discussed in detail the types of legislative attacks that the transgender community has been experiencing, the legal challenges facing those laws, and the legal landscape with respect to trans rights post Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia.
We give an especially warm thank you to Nixon Peabody for sponsoring the event and to Gregory Hom from Nixon Peabody who served as the liaison.
To learn more about the LGBT Committee, click here.
Mark your calendars and save the date for NAPABA’s 2023 In-House Counsel (IHC) Summit, August 10-11, taking place in New York. We are proud to announce that hosted in conjunction with the IHC Summit is the inaugural Partners Summit. These two distinct gatherings will bring together senior Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) attorneys who seek to advance and influence the profession. Space is limited for each program; applications will open mid-April.
In-House Counsel Summit The IHC Summit is a career and skills development program designed to help current and former public company senior and experienced in-house attorneys make the jump into the C-Suite, with a focus on diversifying the legal leadership of Fortune 1000 companies. Drawing on the collective experience of senior leaders in the AAPI community, participants will receive tailored guidance and training necessary to successfully climb up, and thrive on top of, the corporate ladder.
The focus during the 2023 IHC Summit is to bolster efforts to reach the 50×25 Initiative (of at least 50 General Counsels in Fortune 1000 companies by 2025). Participants will be exposed to experienced and established faculty, including current and former General Counsels, C-Suite Executives, and senior professionals from search firms. Through a series of panels and support that offer practical learnings including soft skills, participants will learn how to get a seat at the Fortune 1000 table and thrive as a legal leader once they get there. For eligibility requirements, learn more here.
Partners Summit The Partners Summit is an interactive program designed to deepen relationships and bolster the collective impact of AAPI law firm partners. Participants will collaborate on issues facing AAPI partners, strategies to successfully lead and progress within law firms, and how to forge meaningful connections with the next generation of AAPI partners. While hosted in conjunction with the In-House Summit, this program provides law firm partners an opportunity to expand their network and demonstrate support for current and former public company senior and experienced in-house AAPI attorneys who seek to elevate into general counsel positions at Fortune 1000 companies.
During the 2023 Partners Summit, NAPABA and law firm leaders will facilitate collaborative conversations providing participants key insights and strategies on business development, origination credit, and advancement and mentorship. For eligibility requirements, learn more here.
On March 31, AABANY’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force, under the leadership of Chair Elaine Chiu, who is also a Professor at St. John’s University School of Law, organized and led a court watching event at New York State Supreme Court to observe the sentencing of Jarrod Powell, who pled guilty to manslaughter in the 2021 killing of Yao Pan Ma. Powell admitted that his act was motivated by racial hatred against Yao Pan Ma, and Powell was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime. He will serve 22 years in jail plus five years of post-release supervision.
More than 50 Asian New Yorkers came out today to #rememberyaopanma at the sentencing of his killer, Jarrod Powell. Together we helped our communities be seen and heard and not forgotten. Congrats to the team at Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for their commitment to these cases. Asian American Bar Association of New York thanks @donblee and @waiyeechan of Homecrest Community Services and Ansen Tang of United Chinese Association of Brooklyn. A big shout out to @maywong of the Pro Bono Committee!
Jeffrey Gu, a member of AABANY’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force, wrote on LinkedIn:
The raw necessity of just showing up has never been more evident. Over 50 Asian American community members showed up this morning to #rememberYaoPanMa at the sentencing of his killer.
It is not easy hearing victim impact statements and wondering whether, under different circumstances, it could have been your colleague, or friend, or family member viciously attacked on account of their race. The killer admitted in his plea that he targeted Mr. Ma because he was Asian American. There is no amount of justice that can restore what was taken from Mr. Ma’s family: the loss of a father taken from his children, a husband from his wife, a son from his elderly mother.
As a community, what we can do is at least show up and refuse to let the stories of the victims of anti-Asian American hate fade away. Follow Asian American Bar Association of New York for future court watching and community gatherings.
Jeffrey is Co-Founder of Make Us Visible, a group advocating for AAPI history to be taught in school from K-12 across the country.
Hannah Yu, Chief of the Hate Crimes Unit in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, wrote on LinkedIn:
While this sentencing is the end of this sad chapter, the work of our Hate Crimes Unit continues. We are dedicated to serving every community in Manhattan and ensuring that everyone feels safe to be who they are. It is my sincere hope that the Ma family will continue to heal and find peace.
Her post included the Manhattan District Attorney’s Press Release on the sentencing that included the following quote from D.A. Bragg:
“Mr. Ma’s death was the result of a despicable racially motivated attack. His family endured an agonizing eight months in the hospital while the devoted husband and father of two remained in a vegetative state, before succumbing to his injuries on December 31, 2021,” said District Attorney Bragg. “New York is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and no one should have to fear that they may be in danger because of their background. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that New Yorkers of all origins feel safe.”
AABANY thanks everyone who came out for this court watching event which epitomized the importance of the AAPI community showing up and standing up to speak out against AAPI hate. We thank Prof. Chiu for her leadership and Jeffrey Gu for his support and dedication. We thank Chief ADA Hannah Yu and the Manhattan DA’s office for their continuing fight to seek justice in hate crimes against the AAPI community and all targeted communities.
On March 20, City & State published their 2023 list of the Law Power 100 in New York. As stated in the article:
City & State’s Law Power 100 recognizes the most influential legal professionals in the world of New York politics and government. The list features high-profile elected officials, powerful prosecutors, high-ranking appointees, partners at prominent firms, defense attorneys, public defenders, legal scholars and others in the profession who advise or oversee governmental bodies, advocate for policy changes or argue cases before our highest courts.
AABANY is pleased to announce that President William Ng has been named one of City & State’s Law Power 100 at 96 on the list. (At the time of publication, William Ng was AABANY President. His term ended on March 31, and he currently sits on the Board as Immediate Past President.)
Please join AABANY in congratulating William Ng along with attorneys from the following affinity bar associations that were featured in the 2023 Law Power 100 List (numbers in parentheses indicate ranking):
·Carl Forbes Jr., President, Metropolitan Black Bar Association (93)
·Deborah Rosenthal, President, Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (95)
·Anthony Perrotto, Board President, LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (97)
·Megha Jain, President, South Asian Bar Association of New York (99)
·Lejla Hadzic, President, Muslim Bar Association of New York (100)
We also congratulate the attorneys from the following AABANY sponsors (2022-23) for being featured on the 2023 Law Power 100 List (numbers in parentheses indicate ranking):
March 30, 2023 – On behalf of the Asian American Judges Association of New York (AAJANY), we would first like to congratulate the seven candidates who have been nominated to fill the Chief Judge vacancy on the New York State Court of Appeals. Our state’s highest court is a Court for the people, inclusive of every race, ethnicity, gender, religion and more. Likewise, the process of selecting the six Associate Judges and Chief Judge that make up this Court must be thorough and all-inclusive. We wish to emphasize the importance of a fair and thoughtful selection process for any future Associate Judge appointment and express concern over the newly proposed Program Bill.
There has never been an Asian American judge on the Court of Appeals. To date, there have only been five Asian American judges on the Appellate Division, and only in the First and Second Departments. Since 1979, the Commission on Judicial Nomination has published 37 nomination lists for appointment to the Court of Appeals. An Asian American candidate did not appear on a list until the 25th vacancy in 2012. In the entire history of the Commission on Judicial Nomination, an Asian American has only appeared on the list on five occasions.
Jeh Johnson’s report on Equal Justice in the New York State Courts, dated October 1, 2020, highlighted the significant deficiencies in the representation and promotion of Asian American and Latino judges. There are no Asian American or Latino American candidates on the Commission’s current list for the Chief Judge vacancy. On Monday, March 27, 2023, new legislation was proposed which would significantly modify the well-established procedure for filling an Associate Judge vacancy on the Court of Appeals. Were the Governor to select a sitting Associate Judge from the Court of Appeals as the next Chief Judge, and then select from this same list of nominees to fill that vacancy, there will be no opportunity for the Governor to consider an Asian American for the Associate Judge position. In fact, there will be no opportunity for the Governor to consider any candidate of color. Diversity of candidates is paramount in the selection process of an Associate Judge to our highest court, and so we call for that process to be complete, fair, and inclusive of all.