NAPABA and AAABA Respond to the Pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio

For Immediate Release
Aug. 28, 2017

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

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Arizona Asian American Bar Association (AAABA) are disappointed by the pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“The Constitution affords the President wide latitude in the ability to issue a presidential pardon. While we respect this authority, we are concerned about the message the expedited pardon of former sheriff Joe Arpaio sends to the public in a political way that undermines the rule of law and the judicial system,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “As attorneys, we find it troubling that a law enforcement officer would be pardoned and absolved of responsibility for ignoring a federal court order in a civil rights case. Various organizations, leaders from both parties, and communities of color have expressed shock and concern over the effect of the pardon on the public’s trust in the judiciary and the ability to seek recourse for those whose rights are violated.”

The AAABA board of directors made the following statement: “The Arizona Asian American Bar Association condemns President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. AAABA’s mission is to ‘promote and advocate for justice, equity, equality, inclusion, and opportunity through the Arizona legal profession.’ Accordingly, AAABA is, and has been, against Arpaio’s policies of racial profiling and discrimination, which terrorized the Hispanic and minority communities for many years. Arpaio’s conviction after a five-day trial represented a just result of the systematic violation of civil rights and racial discrimination of the Hispanic and minority communities over many years committed under Arpaio’s guidance and supervision. Arpaio’s conviction finally brought some closure and justice to his victims. The rule of law was upheld, and his conviction clearly demonstrated that no one was above the rule of law. President Trump’s pardon of Arpaio sends the wrong message to minority communities and the rest of the country. By pardoning Arpaio, President Trump has validated and endorsed injustice, discrimination, intolerance, racism, and disregard for the rule of law. This pardon only further divides this country, and is nothing more than a transparent decision to choose politics over justice and the rule of law. AAABA unequivocally condemns the pardon.”

Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt by Judge Susan Bolton of the U.S. District Court of Arizona in July. He was found guilty of violating a court order by continuing to engage in illegal racial profiling and targeting of immigrants, stemming from a federal civil rights suit.

NAPABA and AAABA join their fellow national and local bar associations, including the American Bar Association and other diverse bar associations, in expressing disappointment over the pardon. In the current political climate where racial tensions are high in this country, it is important for NAPABA and its members continue to stand for justice, equity, and inclusion to preserve civil rights and to combat anti-immigrant backlash.

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 ANNOUNCES 2014 ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN-OWNED LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               Contact: Tina Matsuoka
August 21, 2014                                                                                           (202) 775-9555

NAPABA ANNOUNCES 2014 ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN-OWNED LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has named Lim, Ruger & Kim LLP (Lim Ruger) as the 2014 Asian Pacific American (APA)-Owned Law Firm of the Year. NAPABA created the APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award to recognize APA-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 APA community. The Award also celebrates growing APA ownership and entrepreneurship in the legal marketplace. The 2014 APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award will be presented at the 2014 NAPABA Annual Convention onNovember 8, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Lim Ruger has over twenty lawyers with expertise in areas including sophisticated real estate and corporate transactions that covers high-profile commercial developments, mergers and acquisitions, financing, and international business transactions. Lim Ruger’s successful legal practice includes work from Fortune 500 companies, Global 1000 companies, multinational corporations, governments, and private entrepreneurs. The firm actively supports a number of organizations that advocate for diversity in the legal profession, including NAPABA. Lim Ruger is deeply committed to giving back to the community by providing pro bono legal services and scholarships, sponsoring and supporting events for non-profit organizations, and supporting its attorneys as community leaders. Lim Ruger has also been the recipient of the NAPABA Law Firm Diversity Award, the Western Justice Center Builders of Peace Award, and the California Minority Counsel Program Client Service Award.

NAPABA is proud to honor Lim, Ruger & Kim LLP with the Asian Pacific American-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award and applauds their continued commitment to excellence within and outside the legal arena.

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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 40,000 attorneys and approximately 70 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 CELEBRATES LGBT PRIDE MONTH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2014

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is proud to join the National Queer Asian Pacific American Alliance (NQAPIA) in celebrating the month of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. In recognition of LGBT Pride Month, this month the NAPABA logo will proudly display the colors of the rainbow flag that is often flown as a symbol of LGBT pride.

“This month, we celebrate our family and friends in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities,” said William J. Simonistch, president of NAPABA. “NAPABA has long recognized the contributions and struggles of the LGBT community. And as we recognize LGBT Pride Month, we are reminded once again of the need to commit ourselves to fight for the equal civil liberties of all.”

LGBT equality has long been a priority for NAPABA. Most recently, The Hill published an op-ed by NAPABA’s President opposing Arizona Senate Bill 1062, which would have given businesses the right to discriminate under the guise of religion, including discrimination based on sexual orientation. NAPABA also sent a letter to Arizona Governor Jane Brewer urging her to veto the bill, noting that if she did not do so, NAPABA would have to seriously consider relocating its 26th Annual Convention from Scottsdale.

NAPABA has for many years supported marriage equality, and has joined amicus briefs in support of marriage equality in federal and state courts throughout the nation, including amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. United States in 2013.

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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 40,000 attorneys and 68 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service 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.

2014 NAPABA Convention: Convergence Program Proposals

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There is still time to submit program proposals for the 26th Annual NAPABA Convention, Convergence: Collaborating for a Grand Tomorrow, taking place in Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ from November 69, 2014. Topics that celebrate the diversity and unity of NAPABA and provide practical solutions and advice for our attendees’ development are encouraged.

Please note the extended deadline. Program proposals must be submitted to this online form by 8:00 pm ET on Friday, April 25. The program proposal submission guidelines can be viewed here. Please email NAPABA Special Events Coordinator Pia Rivera with any questions.

Press Release from the Hispanic National Bar Association: Pulling Participation in the 2015 Annual Convention

Contact: Alba Cruz-Hacker, HNBA Executive Director
acruzhacker@hnba.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Hispanic National Bar Association Pulls its 2015 Annual Convention From Phoenix in Response to Arizona’s SB 1062

February 26, 2014

Washington, D.C. – The HNBA announced today that it has pulled its 40th Annual Convention previously scheduled for Phoenix, Arizona in September 2015.

On Monday, February 24th, the HNBA denounced the Arizona legislature’s passage of SB 1062. The HNBA also called for Governor Jan Brewer to veto the legislation and still hopes that she will do so. As set forth in its February 24th press release, SB 1062 discriminates against members of Arizona’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The proposed legislation also impacts other citizens that are either traveling through Arizona or that are doing business or have business interests in the state. Accordingly, the HNBA’s Board of Governors voted unanimously to immediately pull the Annual Convention.

“The HNBA views this as a civil rights issue. As a national association of lawyers committed to promoting the ideals of equal protection, equal opportunity, tolerance, and inclusiveness, it is imperative that we speak up and take immediate action in the presence of injustice,” stated HNBA National President Miguel Alexander Pozo. As the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said more than 50 years ago, writing from a Birmingham, AL jail cell, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.“

As lawyers, we have sworn to uphold the United States Constitution as well as the laws of our respective states. “In our view, SB 1062 violates the Equal Protection and the Commerce Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, and offends the anti-discrimination protections found in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” said Mr. Pozo.

While the HNBA will remain steadfast, and stand in solidarity with our Affiliate Los Abogados and our HNBA members in Arizona, by taking this action we are sending a clear message to Arizona lawmakers. “Laws that return us to a darker time in the nation’s history simply cannot be tolerated. SB 1062 and SB 1070 are two such laws,” said Mr. Pozo. 

About the Hispanic National Bar Association

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership association that represents the interests of Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, law students, and legal professionals in the United States and its territories. Since 1972, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession by creating opportunities for Hispanic lawyers and by helping generations of lawyers to succeed. The HNBA has also effectively advocated on issues of importance to the national Hispanic community. While we are proud of our accomplishments, we are mindful that our mission is as vital today as it was four decades ago, especially as the U.S. Hispanic population continues to grow.

For more information, please visit http://www.hnba.com.

PRESS RELEASE: NAPABA SUPPORTS GOVERNOR BREWER’S VETO OF HATEFUL ANTI-LGBT BILL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           February 27, 2014

Contact: Emily Chatterjee                                                   (202) 775-9555

NAPABA SUPPORTS GOVERNOR BREWER’S VETO OF HATEFUL ANTI-LGBT BILL

Remains Vigilant As Similar Bills Are Proposed In Other States

WASHINGTON — Last night, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, legislation that would have enabled businesses to disregard municipal ordinances under the banner of religious freedom, and allowed them to discriminate against individuals who identify as LGBT.

“Governor Brewer’s decision to veto SB 1062 is a victory for everyone who opposes discrimination and supports the civil rights of all Americans, including those of our LGBT brothers and sisters, but it is disheartening that hateful legislation like this ever reached her desk,” said William J. Simonitsch, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Religious claims have been asserted in the past to justify slavery, segregation, and bans on interracial marriage. On Tuesday, we sent the Governor and other Arizona leaders a letter outlining our opposition to this latest religious justification for discrimination. We let them know that if the Governor allowed SB 1062 to become law, NAPABA would consider relocating its Annual Convention in November out of Phoenix/Scottsdale.”

Were it not for Governor Brewer’s veto Wednesday evening, Arizona would have been the first state to enact legislation enabling corporations and individuals to deny services simply by asserting that they were acting because of a “sincerely held religious belief.” Supporters of the bill did not hide the fact that this bill targeted lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. SB 1062 would have undercut the non-discrimination ordinances that include sexual orientation passed by several Arizona municipalities. Other states that are considering or have recently considered similar legislation include Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Missouri, Ohio, and Idaho.

“We won this round, but we must remain vigilant in Arizona and elsewhere because many states have contemplated or are contemplating bills similar in nature to SB 1062, and may do so again in the future,” said Arizona attorney George C. Chen, president-elect of NAPABA. “Religious freedom is important, but discrimination under the guise of religious freedom is not acceptable anywhere in our nation. At the same time, we need to support the work of many cities in Arizona (including Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff) that have passed non-discrimination ordinances regarding sexual orientation. Individuals, corporations, professional organizations, and many others in these communities strongly opposed SB 1062, and it was in large part due to their efforts that pressure was brought to bear on Governor Brewer.”

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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 40,000 attorneys and 67 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service 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.