AABANY Hosts Weekly Membership Mixer on June 26

On June 26, 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Membership Mixer, with 16 participants in attendance.  The icebreaker question posed to the participants was: “What is your family’s immigration story?”  Members told their stories of how and why they or their families arrived in the United States or Canada. Some families came for school, marriages, and better opportunities. Some members made the trip to North America as an adult for a different life. 

The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars and various other venues, such as ballparks and the Metropolitan Opera, but due to COVID, we have moved 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.

Membership Committee will continue to host weekly Zoom mixers until it is safe to gather together again in person. 

This week, after the main mixer, a breakout group of 6  members discussed the next steps of re-opening phases in New York City.

Watch out for the AABANY Talent Show coming on July 17! If you have a talent, such as singing, dancing, musical instruments, telling jokes, karate, etc., please email us at membership@aabany.org. See the flyer or go to https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1393375 to register.

We have been giving away door prizes at prior mixers. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on the aabany.org calendar entry to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. 
Mixers are not recorded, and are LIVE, so don’t miss out.

AABANY Hosts Weekly Zoom Membership Mixer on June 12

On June 12 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Membership Mixer, with 19 participants in attendance.  The icebreaker question posed to the participants was: “What is a motivational or inspirational moment or story that sticks out in your mind?” Members reported some favorite quotes: “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” (Tupac); “Tomorrow’s world is yours to build.”  (Yuri Kochiyama);  “The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” (Steve Jobs).  Other members recalled moments with mentors which stayed with them. One partner told  a young associate: “Speak up for what you want, you have to ask.” “There is the argument you prepare, the argument you make and the arguments you wish you made.” “Learn from your mistakes.” “Apply to every scholarship and opportunity and you can reach your goals.”

The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc, but due to COVID, we have moved 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, after the main mixer, a breakout group of 6 members stayed to discuss the upcoming elections, civil unrest and the latest news. 

We are giving away door prizes in some weeks. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on the aabany.org calendar entry to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. Congratulations to Chris Kwok for winning a PBS Passport subscription this week!

 Mixers are not recorded, and are LIVE, so don’t miss out. This week’s mixer will take place on Friday, June 19 , at 6:30 pm. Register by June 18 at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1366640

AABANY’s Pro Bono Committee Hosts a Remote Clinic Introduction Meeting

On Thursday June 4th, AABANY held a virtual introduction meeting for its Pro Bono Legal Advice and Referral Clinic. Since 2015, the Clinic provided in-person consultation to those with legal questions in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens on a walk-in basis or by appointment. Due to COVID-19, these operations have been suspended.  In order to continue serving community needs, the Pro Bono Clinic is transitioning to a remote clinic by setting up a telephone hotline for volunteer attorneys to provide legal information and referrals to all individuals. 

Judy Lee, Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair, and May Wong, a Pro Bono Clinic volunteer, led the meeting and discussed logistical concerns, such as how attorneys will be paired with the callers, the intake forms to maintain records, and the coordination of language interpretation. This will be a challenge during unprecedented times.

Judy and May also focused on confidentiality, how volunteers can best assist callers by being understanding and respectful, and how to use IRAC to answer the questions. They posed a housing and COVID-19 related hypothetical of whether a tenant who moved out from the apartment without providing 30 days’ notice to the landlord can recover his or her security deposit. After presenting the question at hand, they provided sample responses to show that many attorneys may have different approaches in solving the problem but at the same time the tenant is directed to the proper forum to seek relief.

The volunteers may not always know the answers to the caller’s issue but AABANY provides experienced coordinators, training materials, and CLEs to help. For example, such information can be found at: 

Anti Asian Violence – Know Your Rights:

COVID-19 Small Business Relief:

AABANY Covid-19 Resources: https://www.aabany.org/page/648

If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can view the recorded session at https://youtu.be/9FSmNG_Vfxw. We strongly encourage you to consider joining the Remote Clinic.

Please contact probono@aabany.org for more information. To learn more about the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee visit https://www.aabany.org/page/117.

AABANY Hosts Weekly Zoom Membership Mixer on June 5

On June 5, 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Membership Mixer, with 25 participants in attendance. The icebreaker question posed to the participants was: “Who is your favorite villain from television, movies, or literature?” Members reported their favorite villains as Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader of Star Wars, Khan Noonien Singh of Star Trek, Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, Negan from Walking Dead, Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones, Tony Soprano, Jack the Ripper, Agent Smith of Matrix, Mother Nature in Disney films, Bridget Gregory of the Last Seduction, Thanos in Marvel Universe, Maleficent of Sleeping Beauty, Hannibal Lecter, and Joker in Batman (both Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger).

The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc. but due to COVID, we have moved 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, after the main mixer, a breakout group of 12 members stayed to discuss anti-Asian hate crimes in the age of COVID, and the current protests happening in response to the death of George Floyd.

We are giving away door prizes in some weeks. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on the calendar entry for the mixer to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. Congratulations to Kevin Hsi for winning an Amazon gift card this week!

Mixers are not recorded, and are LIVE, so don’t miss out. This week’s mixer will take place on Friday, June 12 , at 6:30 pm. Register by June 11 at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1366639

AABANY Co-Hosts Webinar on Becoming a Magistrate Judge

On May 20, 2020, the Judiciary Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and the Public Interest Committee of the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) co-hosted a panel on how to become a Magistrate Judge. Recently, the Eastern District of New York announced vacancies for four US Magistrate Judge positions, the first time so many opportunities have been simultaneously available since the positions were created. The webinar provided important information and advice for individuals who might be considering a career as a Magistrate Judge.

The event featured panelists Hon. Sanket Bulsara, Hon. Peggy Kuo, and Linda Lin. Judge Bulsara was appointed as a Magistrate Judge of EDNY on August 28, 2017, and previously served as Acting General Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Judge Kuo was appointed on October 9, 2015, and prior to her appointment, she served as the Acting Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Division Criminal Section at the U.S. Department of Justice; litigation counsel at Wilmer Hale, LLP; Chief Hearing Officer at the New York Stock Exchange; and Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel of the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. Linda Lin is the General Counsel of Business Unit Support at QBE North America and a member of the EDNY Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel. Austin D’Souza, Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Faviola A. Soto at the New York Court of Claims and Vice President of Public Relations at SABANY, served as the moderator.

Judge Bulsara and Judge Kuo discussed their responsibilities as Magistrate Judges. They emphasized that though their docket is heavily civil, varying between 400-500 cases per judge, they also play an important role on the criminal side. Magistrate Judges are on criminal duty approximately once every ten weeks, during which they preside over arraignments, initial appearances, and bail hearings. They also conduct jury selection in felony cases. Judge Bulsara noted that his favorite part of being a Magistrate Judge is presiding over naturalization ceremonies and interacting with wonderful colleagues.

Linda Lin described the application process and how potential candidates are evaluated. Members of the Selection Panel independently review the applications and decide on which candidates to interview. Prior to the interview, the panel conducts due diligence and may reach out to references beyond those mentioned in the candidate’s application. The Selection Panel also requests writing samples, preferably those that demonstrate analysis and are centered around advocacy and litigation. Finally, five names are presented to the Board of Judges, who decide whom to appoint as a Magistrate Judge. While reviewing applications, members of the Selection Panel look for the following qualities: scholarship, from academic records to achievements; active practice of the law, including breadth and depth of experience, professional competence, and pro bono and public service activities; knowledge of the court system and recent experience in front of the federal bench; and personal attributes, or judicial temperament.

Judge Kuo advised individuals applying to become a Magistrate Judge to prepare for their interviews by going back and reading their application and writing samples, looking up the biographies of members of the Selection Panel, and reviewing the Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Bulsara urged candidates to take advantage of the mock interviews offered by AABANY and sit in on proceedings in court.

We thank our panelists for speaking on the program and sharing insightful advice about the process of becoming a United States Magistrate Judge. Thanks also to Austin D’Souza for serving as an excellent moderator. For more information on AABANY’s Judiciary Committee, please see https://www.aabany.org/page/115.

AABANY Hosts Weekly Zoom Membership Mixer on May 29

On May 29, 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Mixer Membership Mixer, with 29 participants in attendance. In honor of Membership Director Beatrice Leong’s birthday, the icebreaker question posed to the participants was: “What was your favorite or most memorable birthday memory or gift?” The overwhelming answer by most participants was “getting drunk on their 21st birthday.” Other answers included a one-week alcohol bender, birthday parties in McDonald’s with childhood crushes, Tokyo birthdays, birthdays where members took the LSAT and passed the bar exam. Members’ favorite gifts included a Voltron toy, a song written in their honor, and a 3D printed toy of the member’s likeness.

This mixer featured Trivia Night hosted by Sal Chan. Sal is Chief of Operations at the trial boutique Mukasey Frenchman & Sklaroff. Thank you, Sal! Anyone interested in joining Zoom trivia nights every Thursday can email Sal at  sal.chan@mfsllp.com.

We had enough attendees to form four teams. Three of the teams stayed through two full rounds of quetstions. The winning team was “Taking Back Monday.” Congratulations to team members Andrew Kao, Puja Sharma, Kevin Hsi and William LimDuring the game, we encouraged participants to donate to a fund, with the winning team getting to pick which charity or cause they wished to support. Taking Back Mondays kindly agreed to donate to AABANY’s Pro Bono Clinic. Thank you, Taking Back Mondays!

The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc., but due to COVID, we moved 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 people have stayed on after 7:30pm for smaller breakout groups.

We are giving away door prizes during some weeks. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on aabany.org to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. Mixers are not recorded, and are LIVE, so don’t miss out.

This week’s mixer will take place on Friday, June 5, at 6:30 pm. Register by June 4 at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1366638. We hope to see you there.

AABANY Hosts Weekly Zoom Membership Mixer on May 22

On May 22, 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Mixer Membership Mixer, with 21 participants in attendance. The icebreaker question posed to the participants was “What song would be playing if you had to  make an grand entrance?” Members named “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Game of Thrones” theme song, “Eye of the Tiger,” “Final Countdown,” K-Pop classics, “‘Law and Order” theme, “Juicy,” “Young, Scrappy and Hungry,” and more great songs.

This mixer featured AABANY Treasurer Will Hao, Alston & Bird Associate Will Lee, Pro Bono Committee Vice Chairs Karen King and Kwok Ng who gave members a preview of an upcoming COVID-19 small business relief community presentations.

The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc, but due to COVID, 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.

We are giving away door prizes on some weeks. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP via the calendar entry on aabany.org to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. Mixers are not recorded, and are LIVE, so don’t miss out.

This week we gave away a Hulu subscription – congratulations to Bryan Cheah for winning! Congratulations to Bryan also for graduating from Rutgers Law School, and we wish you the best of luck in preparing for the bar exam!

Please register at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1366637 to join us on May 29, for a possible trivia night, and to celebrate Beatrice’s birthday!

NYForward: A Guide to Reopening New York

NYForward is a state mandated guide to reopening New York safely. The guide has addressed some of the critical factors that have have helped New Yorkers combat the spread of the Covid-19: statewide testing initiatives, economic stimulus packages, and maintenance of strategic reserve of personal protective equipment (PPE). As for guidelines moving forward, the guide has proposed a series of metrics by which regions would be evaluated to determine if they can reopen. These guidelines include a sufficiently low infection rate, a stable health care system that is able to absorb a potential resurgence in cases, sufficient diagnostic testing capacity, and robust contact-tracing to help prevent the spread of the virus. Additionally, the guide has provided a plan for the phased reopening of businesses.

The guide also urges community leaders to pay special attention to vulnerable populations and to hold businesses accountable to the listed guidelines. Universities and schools should craft individualized plans for reopening and state and local leaders should continue to provide sufficient mental health resources. The guide also outlines the individual responsibilities necessary for communities to curb the spread of the virus and stresses the importance of continuing social distancing policies along with practicing good hygiene.

The final section discusses lessons that can be learned from the current crisis and proactive measures that could be adopted. These policies include incorporating and integrating technology that could help schools better transition to online lessons, streamlining healthcare and transportation systems, and ensuring greater social equity through reforming housing policies and other initiatives.

To read the full guide, click on the cover image below.

Common Threads of Justice: Get to Know Hon. Peter Tom

The Historical Society of the New York Courts continues its month-long celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month with its 2017 film Get to Know: Hon. Peter Tom. At the time of the interview, Justice Tom served as the Acting Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department.
 
The now-retired Justice Tom speaks of his upbringing in Hong Kong, and how his early years in the United States brought him to an interest in the law. He traces his judicial career from Housing Court Judge to Appellate Division Justice. He also discusses the importance of boxing in his life. The film comes full circle in Justice Tom’s reflections on the American dream.

AABANY Membership Committee Hosts Weekly Mixer on Zoom

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!

Register for this week’s mixer at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1366633. Please register by April 30; we will send you the Zoom call-in details on Friday morning.

Thanks to everyone who attended, and thanks to the Membership Committee for organizing these weekly mixers.