NAPABA Congratulates APA Nominees to the Second and Ninth Circuits

On Wednesday, President Trump announced his intent to nominate three Asian Pacific Americans to serve on the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Michael H. Park was nominated to serve as a judge on the Second Circuit. Patrick J. Bumatay and Kenneth K. Lee were nominated to serve as judges on the Ninth Circuit. If they are confirmed, the number of active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judges would increase to a historic ten. Six Asian Pacific Americans have been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals this year, which is the highest number to ever have been nominated to federal appellate courts during a single presidential term. This is also the first time that three Asian Pacific Americans have been nominated to federal appellate court judgeships in a single day.

Michael H. Park is a partner at Consovoy McCarthy Park, where he focuses on litigation and securities enforcement. He has experience in both private practice and government, including in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. He clerked for then-Judge Samuel Alito on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and later clerked for Justice Alito on the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School. If confirmed, Park would be the second Asian Pacific American to serve on the Second Circuit.

Patrick J. Bumatay is an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. He is currently on detail to the Office of the Attorney General in the Department of Justice. Bumatay has held numerous positions in public service throughout the Department of Justice. He clerked for Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and Judge Sandra L. Townes of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. He is an active member of NAPABA, its affiliated bar—the National Filipino American Lawyers Association—and the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association. If confirmed, Bumatay would be the first Filipino American to serve as an Article III federal appellate judge.

Kenneth Kiyul Lee is a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, where his practice focuses on internal investigations and appellate litigation before multiple U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is also member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and maintains a robust pro bono practice. Lee has worked in private practice and as Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush. He clerked for Judge Emilio M. Garza of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. If confirmed, Lee would join Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, the only other active Asian Pacific American judge on the Ninth Circuit.

AABANY CONGRATULATES JUDGE LILLIAN WAN ON HER HISTORIC APPOINTMENT AS THE FIRST ASIAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO SERVE ON THE NEW YORK COURT OF CLAIMS

NEW YORK – June 25, 2018- The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”)
congratulates the Honorable Lillian Wan on being confirmed by the New York State Senate on
June 20, 2018, to sit as a judge on the New York Court of Claims, where she will rule on cases
involving claims against the state or its agencies. As Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Brooklyn) stated
at the confirmation, Judge Wan will be “making history” by serving as the first Asian American
woman on the Court of Claims. 

Prior to her confirmation, Judge Wan served as a Judge on the Kings County Family Court after
being appointed in 2012 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, where she heard a number of
complex cases pertaining to child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency, and family offenses. She
also presided over “crossover youth” cases, which involve children who enter the juvenile justice
system after spending time in the state’s child welfare system or in foster care. 

Before being appointed to the bench, Judge Wan led a successful legal career as an experienced
trial attorney for the Administration for Children’s Services (“ACS”) in the Family Court Legal
Services Division, where she litigated cases on neglect and abuse. Judge Wan also served as a
Court Attorney-Referee in Kings County Surrogate’s Court, where she participated in settlement
conferences and held hearings related to guardianship, kinship, adoption, and estates. Judge Wan
received her B.A. from Binghamton University and her J.D. from Albany Law School, where she
served on the Albany Law Review and graduated within the top five of her class. 

Judge Wan is an active member of various organizations and committees dedicated to the
advancement of justice, including the Encourage Judicial Service Committee and the New York
State Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics. She currently serves as a board member for the
Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and the New York State Family Court Judges Association,
and has served as the former Co-Chair of the Government and Public Sector (now the
Government and Public Interest) Committee for AABANY. Judge Wan is active within her local
community, taking part in outreach programs such as the National Association of Women Judges
“Color of Justice” Program, which aims to introduce students to the legal profession. 

“AABANY is immensely proud of Judge Wan. Her experience in the courtroom, compassion,
and unwavering dedication make her an unparalleled candidate to serve as a judge on the Court
of Claims,” said James Cho, President of AABANY. “Judge Wan’s confirmation also reminds us
of the progress we have made in advancing diversity and inclusion on the bench; Asian Pacific
Americans and other minority communities continue to be underrepresented on the bench, but
we are gratified to see that New York is appointing minority judges like Judge Wan. Her
appointment marks a historic and significant step forward in making the judiciary more diverse
and inclusive.” 

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-
2478, or direct any inquiries to main@aabany.org. 

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of
attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated
in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also
to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is a New York
regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). 

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NAPABA Announces Nassiri & Jung LLP as its 2017 Asian Pacific American-Owned Law Firm of the Year

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has named Nassiri & Jung LLP as its 2017 Asian Pacific American-Owned Law Firm of the Year. NAPABA created the Asian Pacific American-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award to recognize Asian Pacific American-owned law firms that have achieved prominence and distinction while maintaining the highest ethical and legal standards in the profession, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to the Asian Pacific American community. The Award also celebrates growing Asian Pacific American ownership and entrepreneurship in the legal marketplace.

The presentation of the 2017 Asian Pacific American-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award will take place at the NAPABA Anniversary Gala during the 2017 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4, 2017.

Nassiri & Jung was founded in June 2006 by two friends — Kassra Nassiri and Charles Jung — focusing on sophisticated litigation as a small firm for both plaintiffs and defendants. On the plaintiff’s side, Nassiri & Jung has represented attorneys, executives, and classes of workers and consumers, earning several tens of millions of dollars at trial and through settlements. On the defense side, they have represented global companies such as eBay, Hitron Technologies, and Flextronics in multimillion dollar lawsuits.

Nassiri & Jung’s foundation has made it a priority to support pro bono direct legal services to their local and Asian Pacific American communities. Since 2013, they have supported public interest attorney scholarships to NAPABA and provide an annual scholarship to a public interest attorney through the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California. They also began a partnership with the Asian American Bar Association – Bay Area’s Law Foundation in 2015 and have awarded a total of $80,000 in grants to direct legal services providers. This year, the Jung Foundation donated $30,000 to the NAPABA Law Foundation to support an annual public interest scholarship.

With the spike of hate crimes and incidents in the days after the 2016 presidential election, some in their San Francisco-based community suspected that incidents against Asian Pacific American were underreported. After discussions with community members, Nassiri & Jung launched a website,www.standagainsthatred.org, to collect and report hate crimes and incidents against Asian Pacific Americans. The website gained attention after stories ran in the Huffington Post and NPR, and has since been donated to Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Advancing Justice who use it to track hate crimes nationally.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

NAPABA Applauds the Nomination of James C. Ho to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

WASHINGTON — Today, President Trump nominated James C. Ho to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. If confirmed, Ho would be the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and would be the sixth active Asian Pacific American federal appellate judge in the nation.

“Jim is one of the foremost appellate litigators in the nation and we strongly support and applaud his nomination to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit,” said Cyndie M. Chang, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Jim has been a leader in NAPABA for close to a decade. He is widely respected throughout the NAPABA membership and he is consulted by both sides of the aisle.”

NAPABA recommended Ho to Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit earlier this year.

He is co-chair of the Appellate and Constitutional Law practice group at the law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. He has presented over 45 oral arguments in federal and state courts nationwide, including 16 arguments before the Fifth Circuit. He has argued and won cases before both the U.S. Supreme Court and the entire Fifth Circuit en banc.

Ho has extensive experience in all three branches of government: as former chief counsel for Senator Cornyn, as an appointee at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Most recently, he was the first Asian Pacific American ever appointed to serve as the solicitor general of Texas, the state’s chief appellate and Supreme Court litigator, responsible for defending the state’s most important programs and policies against legal attack.

Born in Taiwan, Ho arrived in the U.S. at the age of 1, and became a U.S. citizen at age 9. He is an active member of the Asian Pacific American community. He is co-chair of the NAPABA Judiciary & Executive Nominations & Appointments Committee, and he has written and spoken on a variety of occasions about the role of Asian Pacific Americans in the law. Ho has been recognized for his leadership and honored by organizations throughout the Asian Pacific American community, both nationally and in Texas, including the President’s Award from NAPABA, the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Asian Pacific American Leadership from the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership, the Justice David Wellington Chew Award from the Asian Pacific Interest Section of the State Bar of Texas, the Community Leader Award from the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, the Award for Outstanding Contributions in Law from the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce, and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the SMU Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.

Ho has also received numerous other awards and recognitions, including the Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service from the Secretary of Defense. He is a three-time recipient of the Supreme Court Best Brief Award from the National Association of Attorneys General. He has also been named as a leading appellate lawyer by Chambers, Benchmark, Law360, The Best Lawyers in America®, The Legal 500, Texas Super Lawyers, and D Magazine.

NAPABA commends President Trump for nominating Ho to the bench, and thanks Senators Cornyn and Cruz of Texas for recommending him to the White House. NAPABA also urges the Senate to quickly confirm Ho to the bench.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

NAPABA Congratulates Noel Francisco on Confirmation to be Solicitor General of the United States

For Immediate Release
Sept. 19, 2017

For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
202-775-9555; bschuster@napaba.org

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate confirmed Noel Francisco to serve as the Solicitor General of the United States. Francisco is the first Asian Pacific American to be confirmed to the position.

“We congratulate Noel Francisco on his historic confirmation,” said Cyndie M. Chang, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) president. “Mr. Francisco’s confirmation is a testament to his experience and the esteem of his colleagues. It is inspiring to see the Senate confirm the first Asian Pacific American and Filipino American to serve as the nation’s Supreme Court lawyer.”

A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Francisco clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and for the late Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. He served as Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush and was Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice. In 2005, Francisco entered private practice, where he was the chair of the government regulations practice and where he argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2017, he was appointed Principal Deputy Solicitor General and Acting Solicitor General of the United States.

NAPABA supported Noel Francisco during his nomination. We thank President Trump for nominating him to the position.

After the confirmation of Justice Elena Kagan in 2010, Neal Katyal served as Acting Solicitor General under President Obama for the 2010-11 U.S. Supreme Court Term.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, D.C. 20006 | www.napaba.org

NAPABA Celebrates Confirmation of Jessie K. Liu to be United States Attorney for the District of Columbia

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For Immediate Release

Sept. 15, 2017

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Jessie K. Liu to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Liu is the first Asian Pacific American and the second woman to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

“We congratulate Jessie Liu on her historic confirmation,” said Cyndie M. Chang, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) president. “Ms. Liu’s confirmation reflects the important strides Asian Pacific Americans and women are making in the law.”

A longtime member of the Asian Pacific American legal community, Liu served as a co-chair of the 2012 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C. She is also a recipient of the NAPABA Best Under 40 Award.

A litigator with almost 20 years of experience, Liu has a history of federal government service. She served most recently as the Deputy General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury. She previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia for four years and in several senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice for three years, including as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division, counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, and Deputy Chief of Staff for the National Security Division. She also was a partner at the law firms Morrison & Foerster LLP and Jenner & Block LLP.

Liu clerked for then-Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston, Texas. She received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

NAPABA is proud to have supported Jessie Liu during her nomination. We thank President Trump for nominating her to the position.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

NAPABA and CA APA Bar Assns Share Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s Concerns on Access to Justice

News Release

For Immediate Release
April 21, 2017

For More Information, Contact: 

Brett Schuster, Communications Manager

bschuster@napaba.org, 202-775-9555

NAPABA and California Asian Pacific American Bar Associations Share
Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s Concerns on Access to Justice

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and 21 of its California-based affiliates join California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye in expressing concern over the arrests of individuals by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers at California state courts and the impact of these arrests on the administration of justice.

“NAPABA and Asian Pacific American lawyers in California share Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye concerns over the arrest of individuals for immigration-related violations at courthouses,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “Our legal system is based on the idea that our courts are open to every person who seeks redress and due process. Our courts are not able to fulfill their fundamental role when victims and witnesses fear coming to the courthouse. Public safety is ultimately damaged when the administration of justice is thwarted.”

As organizations representing lawyers committed to the fair administration of justice and open access of the courts, we remain concerned that individuals may be deterred from participating in our legal system out of fear of arrest based on their immigration status. Our courts must be able to hear and obtain all evidence to fairly adjudicate the disputes and questions before them, including from undocumented individuals.

During her State of the Judiciary Address, the Chief Justice stated: “…when we hear of immigration arrests and the fear of immigration arrest in our state courthouses, I am concerned that that kind of information trickles down into the community, the schools, the churches, the families and people will no longer come to court to protect themselves or cooperate or bear witness.”

She made these points in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly expressing her concern “…about the impact on public trust and confidence in our state court system.”

The following Asian Pacific American bar associations join in this statement:

  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
  • Asian American Prosecutors Association
  • Asian Americans Criminal Trial Lawyers Association
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Los Angeles
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Solano County
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley
  • Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance
  • Asian/Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento
  • Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego
  • Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
  • Japanese American Bar Association
  • Korean American Bar Association of Northern California
  • Korean American Bar Association of Southern California
  • Orange County Korean American Bar Association
  • Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego
  • South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
  • South Asian Bar Association of Northern California
  • South Asian Bar Association of San Diego
  • Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association
  • Taiwanese American Lawyers Association
  • Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and approximately 75 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, D.C. 20006 | www.napaba.org

NAPABA Applauds Nomination of Judge Karen Gren Scholer to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

For Immediate Release
March 15, 2016

For More Information, Contact​​:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
202-775-9555; bschuster@napaba.org

WASHINGTON
— Today, President Obama nominated Judge Karen Gren Scholer to the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. If confirmed, Scholer
will be the first Asian Pacific American to serve as a federal district
court judge in Texas or any of the courts encompassed by the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit — which encompasses Texas, Louisiana,
and Mississippi.

“Judge
Karen Gren Scholer has had a distinguished legal career and will serve
admirably on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas,”
said Jin Y. Hwang, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar
Association (NAPABA). “I urge the Senate to ensure a speedy
confirmation for Ms. Scholer.”

Scholer
is currently a partner at Carter Scholer Arnett Hamada Mockler PLLC, in
Dallas, Texas. She is an experienced litigator and former judge who has
presided over 100 trials. Her judicial experience includes eight years
as a state district judge on the 95th Judicial District Court, Dallas
County, Texas. She has also served as the presiding judge for Dallas
County Civil District Court Judges and, on one occasion, as a Justice on
the Tenth Court of Appeals by appointment of Governor Rick Perry.

Scholer

has been a partner at a number of firms in Dallas, including Jones Day,
Andrews & Kurth LLP, and Strasburger & Price LLP. Active in her
community, Scholer has served as co-chair of Attorneys Serving the
Community and in leadership positions in the Dallas Bar Association and
Asian Pacific American community organizations. She is a speaker on
trial practice and was a visiting faculty member at the Notre Dame Law
School. The State Bar of Texas, the University of Texas at Austin, and
Superlawyers have all recognized Scholer for her legal excellence and
achievement. Scholer graduated from Rice University and the Cornell
University School of Law.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.