AABANY’s Annual Picnic Returns to Central Park on August 13

On August 13, 2022, the Young Lawyers Committee (YLC) Co-Chairs, Jasmine Chean, Jimmy Kang, Jenny Park along with Vice Chair of Solo & Small Firm Practice Committee Yifeng Chen planned and organized AABANY’s Annual Picnic in Central Park. This was the first time in three years that AABANY held the picnic in Central Park. We could not have asked for better weather for this return: The temperature was in the low 80s with no humidity. The Spector Playground Lawn, where the picnic took place, had shade from the trees to keep the guests cool.

Over 55 guests attended, and AABANY members brought their children, siblings, spouses, and even their parents to enjoy the perfect picnic weather. YLC Co-Chairs ordered dumplings from Vanessa’s Dumplings and provided sandwiches and snacks for the guests to enjoy.

Board Members in attendance included Andy Yoo, the Board Liaison for the YLC, Vice President of Programs & Operations Beatrice Leong, and Board Director David Sohn. It was David’s 40th Birthday, and he made time to bike to the park to say ‘hi’ to members and guests!

Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Co-Chair May Wong sold kites and toys to fundraise for the Pro Bono Clinic.

We thank everyone who made it out on a beautiful Saturday to celebrate this annual event with us, and we thank the leaders from the YLC and the Solo & Small Firm Practice Committee for all their hard work to make it happen.

For more information about YLC, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/123. For more information about the Solo & Small Firm Practice Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/111.

To see all the photos from the picnic, go to:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/wDsx62GrLhnK7ry16

AABANY Membership Committee Hosts AAIFF Comedy Night in Brooklyn

On August 12, 2022, AABANY members attended an all-Asian lineup comedy show presented by the Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF45). The venue at Littlefield in Brooklyn was completely packed as seven comedians of all different views and backgrounds captivated the crowd with their hilarious sets. Congratulations to former AABANY intern, Claire Yoo, for not only being the event lead and producer, but for also performing a wildly entertaining set of her own. Shoutout to the Membership Committee for organizing another successful comedy event and be sure to look out for future membership events!

Thank You to Our 7/23 Queens and 7/30 Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

Just in the month of July, we met with 50 clients!!! There were so many positive and a few negative feedbacks from the clients.

Based on the feedback, many clients were grateful for our services and noted that “this is a much needed service in the Asian community.” Many clients cannot afford to speak with an attorney, do not understand the legal system, and are limited English proficient. A few clients complained that the time was too short or that the attorney couldn’t answer their questions.

Many clients asked questions about immigration, housing, contracts and fraud, wills, trusts, and estates. We also met with pro se litigants who have questions about liens, wage garnishment, judgment proof, and the New York State Exempt Income Protection Act.

Thank you AABANY, our volunteers, the Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York (CCCNY). In fact, we were amazed to have dedicated law students joining us on July 30 even though they just finished their NYS Bar exam that week. 

So…if anyone’s interested in the next round of mini-bar exams, please come join us at our next Pro Bono Clinics! To volunteer or to learn more about the Pro Bono & Community Services Committee, please visit probono.aabany.org.

From Flushing, Queens (7/23): Thank you, volunteers, for helping us meet with 19 clients. These cases covered various areas including immigration, housing, contract, and fraud. Of the 19 clients, 5 spoke Spanish, 11 spoke mandarin, 2 spoke Cantonese, and 1 spoke English.

Volunteer AttorneysInterpreters & Observers
Beatrice LeongAlexandra Lao^
Eugene KimJoy Fan^
Evelyn Gong*Nicole Morikawa^
Hooney HeohReni Axelrod^
Jackson Chin*Sharmie Azurel^
Johnny ThachYvette Adiguzel^ (licensed out-of-state)
Kyoung JungWeiqiao Lin^
Shirley Luong 
Duane Morikawa 
Yaoyu Liu 
Yvette Wang 
Zhaohua (Josh) Huang 
John Hwang (licensed out-of-state) 
May Wong 
Theresa Yuan 
^ = non-attorney volunteers
* = remote

From Chinatown, Manhattan (7/30): Thank you, volunteers, for helping us meet with 31 clients. Majority of these cases were related to housing, contracts and fraud, and wills, trusts, and estates. Of the 31 clients, 16 spoke mandarin, 7 spoke Cantonese, 7 spoke English, and 1 n/a.

Volunteer AttorneysInterpreters & Observers
Ailsa ChauAlex Hwang^
Beatrice LeongAlexandra Lao^
Chao-Yung (Kloe) ChiuJoy Fan^
Eugene KimKirin Moy^
Eun Hye (Grace) LeeMeng Zhang^
Francis ChinNandar Win Kerr^
Jackson ChinReni Axelrod^
Kwok Kei NgTeresa Wai Yee Yeung^
Lindsay HaoYvette Adiguzel^ (licensed out-of-state)
Lulu Jing 
May Wong 
Meghan Liu 
Min Jung Esther Choi 
Theresa Yuan 

Please feel free to join us at our upcoming Pro Bono Clinics in August –

Manhattan – August 20 – Cutoff time to register by 12pm, 8/17 to recruit volunteers

Location – 33 Bowery, Community Room at Confucius Plaza, New York, NY 10002

Please sign up here – https://airtable.com/shr1fbjStq7JLSaWY

Brooklyn – August 27 – Cutoff time to register by 12pm, 08/24, to recruit volunteers

Location – United Chinese Association of Brooklyn (UCA), 1787 Stillwell Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11223

Please sign up here – https://airtable.com/shreNdk1DNGzCiHp2

Volunteer Law Firm Needed for BreakthroughNY!

BreakthroughNY is a non-profit organization which supports underprivileged New York public school students from 7th grade through college by providing mentorship, educational and career training and support. 

BreakthroughNY is looking for a law firm to donate their space, time and lunch on Thursday, July 28, 2022 from 1:00pm to 3:30pm, so that students can ask a lawyer career questions. The organization also seeks an interactive session for their students with practicing lawyers.

If you are interested, please send an email to:

Brittany Parisi Doshi, brittany@btny.org
Chief Development Officer
Breakthrough New York
39 Broadway, Suite 820
New York, NY 10006

AABANY Offers Condolences to Families and Loved Ones of the Victims of the Uvalde, Texas Shooting

19 children, 2 teachers – killed in yet another episode of gun violence that has become all too common. This endless tide of racial hate and gun violence continues to take the lives of innocent Americans across the nation.  The shootings targeting communities of color in Buffalo, Dallas, and now Uvalde, Texas must stop.  This week’s mass shooting at a Texas elementary school –  following the Buffalo mass shooting from two weeks ago resulting in deaths of 10 predominantly older victims – is a harsh reminder that our country has failed to protect the most vulnerable among us.  We offer our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting.  We demand that our elected officials at all levels of government work together to take immediate action to protect Americans in their daily lives.

Prosecutors Committee Hosts Spring Cocktail Mixer

The AABANY Prosecutors Committee finally held their Brooklyn get together after being postponed since December due to the Omnicron variant of COVID.  Over 50 former and current prosecutors from Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau and Manhattan joined Committee Co-Chairs, David Chiang of the Queens DA’s Office and Joe Gim of the Nassau County DA’s Office to honor James Lin, who recently retired after 30 years of service at DANY (District Attorney New York) and KCDA (Kings County District Attorney).  Prosecutors have been on the front lines of the crime wave that has struck New York City, and it was great to share the stories of our challenges and our efforts to overcome them!  We also were joined by AABANY Board Member Karen Yau, who works on AABANY’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force, and Hannah Yu, DANY’s Chief of the Hate Crimes Unit.  We are so excited to see so many Asian Americans representing the people of New York State! To learn more about the Prosecutors Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/73.

AABANY Celebrates AAPI Heritage Night at Brooklyn Nets Game

On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, AABANY members attended AAPI Heritage Night at the Barclays Center to watch the Brooklyn Nets take on the Detroit Pistons. During this inaugural event by the Nets to celebrate AAPI cultural heritage, female South Asian acapella group New York Masti performed the national anthem, Chinese-American rapper Bohan Phoenix performed during halftime, and AAPI pioneers were honored during the game.  As for the game itself, fans enjoyed an exciting game where the Nets overcame an early deficit to win by a final score of 130-123 with Kevin Durant leading the way with 41 points. Thank you to those who came out and stay tuned for future AABANY Membership Committee events!

To learn more about the Membership Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/130.

AABANY Co-Sponsors Historic Reenactment: “Kung Flu”: A History of Violence and Hostility Against Asian Americans

On March 24, 2022 AABANY co-sponsored a reenactment on the history of anti-Asian violence and hostility at the New York City Bar Association in midtown Manhattan. The script was written by Kathy Hirata Chin and her husband, the Hon. Denny Chin, longtime leaders and supporters of AABANY, who spearheaded the AABANY Trial Reenactment project. “Kung Flu” marks the Trial Reenactment Team’s 14th production. “Kung Flu” was first performed to a standing room only audience at the NAPABA National Convention in Washington, DC, in December 2021.

The program examined the history of anti-Asian violence and hostility through narration, reenactment of court proceedings, and historic photos.  Asian Americans did not hesitate to fight for their rights in the courts, and these cases raised issues that were — and still are — important to all Americans.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 10,000 incidents of violence and hostility against Asian Americans nationwide.  But this is nothing new, for there is a long and little-known history of anti-Asian violence in this country — from the lynching of 15 Chinese in Los Angeles in 1871 to the expulsion of all the South Asian residents of Bellingham, Washington in 1907 to five days of rioting and attacks against Filipino men in Watsonville, California in 1930.  

​​Likewise, the recent rhetoric about the “China virus” and “Kung Flu” is not the first time Asian Americans have been targeted over purported health concerns.  In 1870, San Francisco passed two health ordinances that were enforced only against the “Chinese and Asiatics.”  In 1900, amidst fears of the bubonic plague, San Francisco required “the inoculation of all Chinese residents” and quarantined Chinatown. The ordinances were not applied to members of any other groups.

The reenactment acknowledges the challenges Asian Americans have faced in the past and  reminds us that much is still to be done. 

We thank Judge Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin for leading the AABANY Trial Reenactment Team and all the participants for giving their time to raise awareness on anti-Asian violence and hostility. We thank the New York City Bar Association for co-sponsoring and allowing us to perform “Kung Flu” in the Great Hall. President Sheila Boston presented opening remarks at the start of the program and performed as Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald. To learn more about AABANY’s reenactments project, please visit https://reenactments.aabany.org/.

AABANY LGBT Committee Hosts Lunar New Year Dinner Discussion

On March 23, the LGBT Committee hosted a group dinner at Wu’s Wonton King in Manhattan Chinatown. Attendees enjoyed a delicious family-style feast featuring peking duck, Wu’s signature wonton soup, and crispy prawns, among other dishes. 

The dinner honored Committee Co-Chair John Vang for his five years of service. Co-Chairs Glenn Magpantay and Jacob Chen surprised John with a bouquet and a speech thanking him for all his hard work.

The evening also included a roundtable discussion on future programming by the LGBT Committee. Attendees reflected on what queer Asian spaces could look like. The conversation engaged voices from all areas of law, from the Honorable Richard Tsai of the New York Criminal Court to students at Cardozo School of Law. 
Thank you to everyone who attended the event! To learn more about the LGBT Committee, please visit https://www.aabany.org/page/439.

AABANY Membership Committee’s #RestaurantSeries Continues at Nowon, March 31

On Thursday, March 31, 2022, AABANY’s Membership Committee hosted their last event of the fiscal year, supporting Asian-owned restaurant, Nowon. The #RestaurantSeries was created to support Asian-owned restaurants recovering from the impact of the pandemic.  Twelve members were in attendance enjoying Korean-fusion cuisine.  We ordered the “Mixtape” menu, Classic – Vol. 1, which included Korean Fried Chicken, their Legendary Burger, Crispy Tater Tots, and Yuja Donut Holes for dessert. Chef-owner Jae Lee came out during dessert to say ‘hello’ to our group. Everyone was excited to be back in-person, dining comfortably with others and learning about the diverse membership body.  Thank you to those who came out and stay tuned for future AABANY Membership Committee events!