Notice from the NYS Unified Court System: New York Courts Emergency Alert Portal

We are sharing the announcement below that was circulated by NYSBA:

Effective January 30, 2020, the Court System has initiated a new system – the New York Courts Emergency Alert Portal (“Portal”) — to send out notifications about court closures and other UCS emergencies. The new Portal is hosted by NYAlert, a state public notification platform with a well-established record of reliable performance, and will replace Twitter notifications. Among other new features, the Portal will allow users to receive information about specific counties of their choosing, and to select their preferred method of notification (text, phone and/or email). Attorneys who are currently registered for Twitter announcement will need to register for the Portal at www.nycourts.gov/alerts/.

During a brief transition period, we will be sending out alerts through both Twitter and the Portal. We anticipate discontinuing use of Twitter for emergency alerts on or about March 15, 2020.

If you or your members have any questions on this subject, please contact Barbara Zahler-Gringer at: NYCourtAlert@nycourts.gov.

AABANY Goes to the Theater: “Cambodian Rock Band”

On Sunday, February 16, a group of AABANY members and friends, including AABANY Co-Founder Rocky Chin, Executive Director Yang Chen, Board Director Chris Kwok, Director of Technology Francis Chin, GSPI Committee Co-Chair Kevin Hsi, and Women’s Committee Co-Chair Yan Sin, went to see “Cambodian Rock Band.” The play is written by Lauren Yee, currently in residence at Signature Theater off-Broadway, steps away from the bright lights of Times Square. The all-Asian cast features six talented performers who play multiple roles, including as band members of a fictional band, the Cyclos. While the band is made up, the music they play is not, featuring Cambodian pop songs from the ’60s and ’70s. The story flashes back and forth between Cambodia in the 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge came to power, and modern day Cambodia, as a father and daughter come to grips with the legacy of a country torn apart by trauma, tragedy and war crimes.

Before the play started, the AABANY group got to meet and chat with Lauren Yee, who was busily greeting audience members as they gathered in the spacious lobby on the second floor, right outside the theater. She handed out “Cambodian Rock Band” buttons and happily spoke with us about her play and its journey to the New York stage. The play itself was gripping and powerful, and the talented cast not only sang and performed numerous songs, many in Cambodian, they also told a touching and compelling story about the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge’s reign in Cambodia. After the show, our group also got to meet members of the cast, who engaged with audience members that were hanging out in the lobby after the show, talking to them about the play and also taking photos with them.

“Cambodian Rock Band” was a worthwhile and moving theatrical experience, and we highly recommend that you go and see it. The play opened on February 4 and runs through March 15. Catch it before it closes! More details here.

Allen & Overy Hosts AABANY’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Members

On Tuesday, February 11, 2020, AABANY held its Annual Meeting of Members at Allen & Overy. President Brian Song called the meeting to order and established quorum. Elections were held for the 2020 Board of Officers and Directors, along with a vote on bylaw revisions to clarify and extend term limits.

President Brian Song presented the Year in Review while Executive Director, Yang Chen, presented the report of the Committees. After the reports, awards were presented to honor AABANY leaders and committees for their dedication to AABANY over the past year. While these presentations were occuring, Immediate Past President James R. Cho and President-Elect Sapna Palla tallied the votes.

The following officers were elected and will begin their term on April 1, 2020:

Terrence L. Shen
President-Elect

Tiffany Miao
Vice President, Programs and Operations

David Sohn
Vice President, Programs and Operations

Margaret Ling
Development Director

William Hao
Treasurer

Christopher Bae
Secretary

Beatrice Leong
Membership Director

The following candidates were elected as Directors to serve two-year terms starting on April 1, 2020:

Jasmine Ball
Una A. Dean
Edward Y. Kim
Naf Kwun
Won Shin
Kazuko Wachter

Congratulations to all the Officers and Directors who were elected to the Board.

The bylaw revisions were passed.

The following awards were presented:

Committee of the Year: The Young Lawyers Committee

For their outstanding contributions in promoting AABANY’s mission and their service to our members and the community at large.

Program of the Year: The AABANY Trial Reenactments Project under the auspices of the Professional Development Committee 

For enhancing and contributing to public understanding and awareness of major contributions by Asian Americans to the social, political and legal history of the United States.

Member of the Year: Beatrice Leong

For her contributions to the growth of AABANY’s membership under her leadership as Membership Director.

Congratulations to all the honorees for the recognition of their achievements and hard work during the 2019 fiscal year.

We would like to thank our members for attending and participating in the annual meeting, and we also thank John Hwang and Allen & Overy for hosting the meeting in a beautiful space, treating us to a delectable selection of food and drinks.

AABANY Congratulates Kenneth Chin as Recipient of the NYSBA 2020 Diversity Trailblazer Award

AABANY congratulates Kenneth Chin on being presented with the New York State Bar Association’s Diversity Trailblazer Award at the John E. Higgins, Esq. Diversity Trailblazer Award Ceremony on Jan. 27, 2020 at the New York Hilton Midtown. Ken is a Partner and the Banking and Finance Chair at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and longstanding member of AABANY. The award recognizes Ken for his transformative work to promote and achieve diversity and inclusion at his firm and in New York’s Asian American community.

Read our full press release here.

First General Interest Meeting Held for Proposed Family and Elder Law Committee

Over 20 people attended the first general interest meeting of the proposed Family and Elder Law Committee on January 21 at Kleyman Law Firm. The Family and Elder Law Committee seeks to provide legal practitioners and the community with valuable resources, networking opportunities, and CLE workshops that address issues related to divorce, custody, support, child abuse/neglect, domestic violence, long-term care planning, advanced directives, and guardianship.

The Family and Elder Law committee hopes to provide an outlet to support the members that practice in these fields and provide guidance to other attorneys who do not. Participating members of the committee can learn from experienced family, matrimonial and elder law attorneys regarding these issues. There will be many opportunities to advocate, volunteer, take on pro bono cases and network with legal professionals in these fields.

We were honored to have Alvin Tsang, who wrote and directed his documentary film about immigration and divorce, Reunification, join us. We hope to co-sponsor the screening of his film in March/April. We discussed many great ideas of having mediation trainings, holding workshops on Know Your Rights, and  reaching out to other not-for-profit organizations for sponsorship and collaboration. Your inputs are greatly appreciated and we hope to implement them moving forward.

For more information, please contact Yan Sin – sinsengyan(a)gmail.com; Beatrice Leong – leongbeatrice(a)gmail.com; and May Wong – maywong.esq(a)gmail.com.

Last but not least, many thanks to Beatrice Leong and her firm, Kleyman Law Firm, who lent us the space for this inspirational meeting and Yan Sin for providing the Maury show souvenirs for our raffle winners!  

Women’s Committee Hosts First Breakfast Meeting in 2020

On January 16th, the Women’s Committee kicked off the new year with a breakfast meeting at Urbanspace Vanderbilt. Eight people attended the 8am meeting to discuss careers, professional development events, and New Year resolutions.  It was great meeting lawyers from different fields, lawyers in transition, and lawyers with a variety of skills including yoga training and image consulting! We encouraged our members to attend the Family Law Committee General Interest Meeting and the Brown Bag Lunch with Sandra Ung, Special Assistant to Congresswoman Grace Meng and Executive Director of At the Table PAC, on 2/25. Registration link coming soon! 

Thanks to everyone who attended. To learn more about the Women’s Commitee go to https://www.aabany.org/page/122

Thank You to Our January Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

AABANY’s Pro Bono Committee held its third Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic on Thursday, January 16, 2020, at A Plus Academy located at 6802 8th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. The clinic brought out 18 volunteers who volunteered their time to help 10 clients.

The Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic has allowed AABANY’s Pro Bono Committee to service a new community in need of pro bono legal services and indicates our efforts to grow and expand these services to more New Yorkers in need.

We are asking every member to actively support AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinics 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.

To make it easier for our members and our community to donate to the Pro Bono Clinic, we have set up a page on Give Lively where you can make a donation by texting APAPROBONO  to 44321. It takes seconds to donate, and we hope you will take a moment today to support the Pro Bono Clinic and help it meet its fundraising goals. Please donate today!

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 karen.yau@aabany.org.

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 January Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

Lawyers: 

Tina Y. Song
Yifei He
May Kay Wong
Francis Chin
Veronica Louie

Interpreters: 

Teri Chou
Go-eun Son
Ru Hochen
Alicia Chan
Jonathan Wong
Jing Chu

Special thanks to Coordinator Xinyi Shen, Coordinator Roger Chen, Vice Chair Kwok Kei Ng for coordinating the clinic, and the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Co-Chairs Pauline Yeung-Ha, Judy Lee, Karen Kithan Yau, and Asako Aiba for their leadership. We also thank our “On-Call Expert” Beatrice Leong for offering advice by phone. The Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic will be a bi-monthly clinic occurring on the fourth Thursday of every other month. The next clinic will be held on Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 6:30 pm to 8:30pm. If you are interested in volunteering at future Pro Bono Clinics, please contact Asako Aiba at asako.aiba@aabany.org.

AABANY Celebrates Lunar New Year at Mayer Brown

On January 22, 2020 AABANY co-hosted a Lunar New Year party with the Financial Services Network of NAPABA at the offices of Mayer Brown. Over 50 attendees enjoyed food, wine and drinks. Kendrick Nguyen, founder of Republic Bank, spoke briefly about his journey from being a lawyer to CEO of a start-up with 60 employees.

We thank Mayer Brown and all who attended this event.

AABANY Goes to the Hello Panda Lantern Festival at Citifield

On Friday, January 17, 2020, thirty AABANY members and friends braved the cold weather to enjoy a mixer at Citifield for the Hello Panda Lantern Festival.

Members were able to walk around the beautifully crafted structures, lit in colorful lights against the black night sky. Members also took a break from the cold and warmed up with hot cocoa and food while networking.

We thank AABANY’s Government Service & Public Interest, Pro Bono and Community Service, Young Lawyers, and Membership Committees for co-sponsoring this event.

To find out more about the Government Service & Public Interest Committee go to https://www.aabany.org/page/113. To find out more about the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee go to https://www.aabany.org/page/117. To find out more about the Young Lawyers Committee go to https://www.aabany.org/page/123.
To find out more about the Membership Committee go to https://www.aabany.org/page/130.

Thank you to our January 8 Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic, held on Wednesday, January 8 at 33 Bowery Street in Confucius Plaza, brought out 31 volunteers who volunteered their time to help 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.

To make it easier for our members and our community to donate to the Pro Bono Clinic, we have set up a page on Give Lively where you can make a donation by texting APAPROBONO to 44321. It takes seconds to donate, and we hope you will take a moment today to support the Pro Bono Clinic and help it meet its fundraising goals. Please donate today!

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 karen.yau@aabany.org.

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 January Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

Lawyers:

Steven Schaefer
Eugene Kim
Simon Zhen
Bart Wu
Tina Y. Song
Yan Sin
Samantha Sumilang
Chris M. Kwok
Beatrice Leong

Interpreters:

Masako Catalina
Ya Peng
H. Anthony Park
Xin Zhou
Go-eun Son
Weixi He
Ruth Poon
Kenny Moy
Jing Chu
Limeng (Charles) Tan
Alicia Chan
Teri Chow
Sophia Catalina
Nanako Arai
Teri Chow

Other Volunteers:

Linda Liang, Research & Administration

Special thanks to Kwok Kei Ng and Zhixian Liu for coordinating the clinic, and the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Co-Chairs Pauline Yeung-Ha, Karen Kithan Yau, Asako Aiba, and Judy Lee for their leadership. AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic occurs every second Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. The next clinic will take place on February 12. If you are interested in volunteering at future Pro Bono Clinics, please contact Asako Aiba at asako.aiba@aabany.org.