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.

In the News: AABANY Co-Sponsors Reenactment of Supreme Court Cases Ozawa & Thind

On May 23, 2019 AABANY co-sponsored a reenactment of the Supreme Court cases Takao Ozawa v. United States (1922) and United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923) in the Ceremonial Courtroom at 225 Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn. The two historical cases describe the exclusionary immigration policies that prevented Asian immigrants from becoming naturalized citizens. The reenactment scripts were written by longtime AABANY members Kathy Hirata Chin and her husband, the Hon. Denny Chin. The event was jointly sponsored by the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) and was held in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, during the month of May. The event was covered by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on the history of these reenactments, “The Chins began writing and performing these reenactments 12 years ago, and every year they create a new performance based on a different case. Judge Chin explained that they look for cases of importance historically and that still resonate today.”

To read the full article, please click here.

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Trial Reenactment of Korematsu v. U.S.

On April 3, 2019, AABANY co-sponsored with Fordham APALSA and the Federal Bar Association a trial reenactment of the historical case, Korematsu v. U.S. in a packed Moot Courtroom at Fordham Law School.

As every seat in the spacious Moot Courtroom filled up and audience members began to stand along the sides, Dean Matthew Diller of Fordham Law School delivered passionate opening remarks. The Dean noted that the reenactment is vital to this time, for we not only need to remember the best of this nation, but also the worst of it. Judge Denny Chin, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and his wife Kathy Hirata Chin played their usual roles of Narrators 1 and 2. The cast of the reenactment consisted of students and faculty from Fordham and a few members of the AABANY Trial Reenactment Team.

Korematsu’s struggles were recounted on a sunny afternoon in April 2019, yet a sense of heaviness that seemed to belong to an older time filled the room. Fred Korematsu was arrested during WWII for his disobedience of Executive Order 9066, which ordered Korematsu to an incarceration camp for being Japanese American. Korematsu spent the rest of his life fighting for justice. The performers’ voices were amplified through microphones, accompanied by PowerPoint slides projected onto the wall on the stage, guiding the audience through Korematsu’s decades-long struggle. When Fred Korematsu exclaimed on the stage, “The Supreme Courts’ decision meant that being an American was not enough — you also have to look like one; otherwise, you may be seen as an enemy of the state,” one cannot help but reflect on the differences and similarities of minority experiences between past and present.

The last part of the reenactment struck a thought-provoking and alarming note when the Korematsu case was overruled in a footnote in the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Hawaii, but the decision itself served as justification for the travel ban targeting Muslims, raising the question of whether one injustice was exchanged with another. The reenactment ended with a wave of prolonged and warm applause from the audience.

A Q&A session and a reception followed, ending the night with great food, drinks and company.

We thank Judge Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin for their continuing contributions to AABANY’s reenactment program. We thank Fordham Law School for hosting the event, and Fordham APALSA and the Federal Bar Association for co-sponsoring the reenactment. We thank the volunteer actors for delivering incredible performances. Last but not least, we thank everyone who attended the event for joining us in remembering Fred Korematsu and celebrating his achievements.

For more information on AABANY’s trial reenactment programs, visit our reenactment website at https://reenactments.aabany.org/.