IP Committee Hosts Dinner at Dhaba Indian Cuisine

On December 15, AABANY’s Intellectual Property Committee hosted a Committee Dinner at Dhaba Indian Cuisine on East 28th Street.  A mix of law students (some who just completed their law school final exams!) and practitioners attended.  Conversation topics included career transitions, life as an IP litigator, life as in-house counsel, and upcoming holiday plans.  As always, new members are always welcome at the IP Committee dinners.  We hope to see you at the next one.  Please also reach out with event ideas!  To learn more about the IP Committee go to https://www.aabany.org/page/145

Manhattan DA-Elect Alvin Bragg Announces Transition Team

Following the historic election of Alvin Bragg as the first African American District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office on Nov. 2, his campaign announced the formation of DA-Elect Bragg’s transition team. Here is an excerpt:

Manhattan District Attorney-elect Alvin Bragg today announced the formation of a transition committee comprised of legal experts, service providers, faith based and community leaders, law enforcement, and those directly impacted by the office, that will help reimagine the office to deliver safety and justice for all.

“I am grateful to this group of talented and committed leaders who are volunteering their time and wisdom to ensure we are ready on Day 1 to transform the office to make it the progressive leader it should be,” said Alvin Bragg, a civil rights lawyer and former Chief Deputy Attorney General of New York. “The Transition Committee will be focused on doing the work necessary to identify the plans and people to implement my agenda to address both the need for fundamental reforms in the criminal legal system and the need for community safety. The two goals of justice and safety are not opposed to each other.  They are inextricably linked.  We deserve and demand both, and that has been the focus of my career, my life, and will be the focus of this office.”

“Together, we will make this office a leader on reform. One that ends racial disparities and mass incarcerations; makes us safer by getting justice for survivors of sexual assault and stopping the flow of guns onto our streets; one that invests in reentry programs and expands treatment for mental health and substance abuse; one that addresses the humanitarian crisis at Rikers; and one that holds police accountable, frees the wrongly convicted and delivers justice for all.”

The Transition Committee will be co-chaired by Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, Leroy Frazer, former Chief of Staff and Executive ADA, in Brooklyn and Manhattan District Attorney Offices respectively, and Insha Rahman, Vice President of Advocacy & Partnerships at the Vera Institute of Justice.

For the full announcement, go to https://www.alvinbragg.com/transition-announcement

The Transition Committee includes several members who are associated with AABANY, including Board Director Chris Kwok, former AABANY Development Director Kevin Kim, and AABANY members Asim Rehman and Chanterelle Sung. For the full list of Transition Committee members, see https://www.alvinbragg.com/transition-committee

Congratulations to DA-Elect Bragg and to all the members of the Transition Committee.

Pro Bono and Community Service Committee’s Pro Bono Clinics Serve Numerous Community Members in September and October

AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee would like to thank everyone who attended the second and third hybrid Manhattan pro bono clinics in September and October, as well as the soft opening of the Queens pro bono clinic this past Saturday, Oct. 30. The three clinics assisted a total of fifty-five (55) clients, who sought advice on a range of topics, including housing law, immigration, elder law, loans and contracts, marriage and divorce, estates law and drafting of wills and powers of attorney, discrimination, 9/11 compensation, and fraud. PBCS and AABANY are grateful to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) and Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) for co-sponsoring and hosting these clinics. 

The clinics for the past two months could not have happened without the gracious help of many AABANY members and committees. During the September pro bono clinic, in collaboration with AABANY’s Bankruptcy Committee, PBCS provided a “Know Your Rights” presentation on the topic of bankruptcy and consumer debt. During the October clinics, Rina Gurung and Kevin Hsi, two of the three co-chairs of AABANY’s Government Service and Public Interest Committee, and Zhixian (Jessie) Liu, a co-chair of AABANY’s Immigration Committee, helped PBCS out by volunteering to see clients for one-on-one informational consultations. Thanks to AABANY’s Committees for their camaraderie!

At the pro bono clinics, PBCS volunteers use quick issue-spotting skills to help members of the AAPI community and those with limited English proficiency know what their rights are. For instance, while answering housing questions, a volunteer discovered that a 70-year-old couple living at a rent-stabilized apartment was eligible for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exception (SCRIE). SCRIE is a program that allows qualified tenants to have their rent frozen at their current level and be exempt from future rent increases. This is crucial since most seniors depend on their fixed income. If their rent goes up, qualified SCRIE tenants do not have to pay the higher rent, as the City will pay the landlord the difference between the current rent and the future rent. The 70-year-old couple who came into the PBCS clinic will receive assistance from AAFE to apply for SCRIE. 

In order to be eligible for SCRIE, an applicant must be 62 years or older, have less than $50,000 in household income, spend more than 1/3 of monthly income on rent, and reside in a NYC rent-stabilized apartment, rent-controlled apartment, rent-regulated hotel or single room occupancy unit, Mitchell-Lama development, Limited Dividend Housing Company development, Redevelopment Company development, or Housing Development Fund Company development. Senior citizens who own homes, condominiums or private non-government supervised co-ops may also be eligible for SCRIE. To learn more about SCRIE, see https://access.nyc.gov/programs/senior-citizens-rent-increase-exemption-%E2%80%8Bscrie/.

To learn more about the PBCS Committee and its work, click here and here. The next hybrid legal clinics will take place on Saturday, November 6, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at AAFE, 2 Allen Street (2nd Floor), New York, NY 10002; and Saturday, November 13, 2021, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at CCBA, 62 Mott Street (2nd Floor), New York, NY 10013. For up-to-date details about the clinic and other events, please check PBCS’s event calendar.

And as always, we are always looking for volunteers to help us out! 

To volunteer at CCBA’s Clinics – https://airtable.com/shrQFecVpU1u5ltAy

To volunteer at AAFE’s Clinics – https://airtable.com/shrtPeVTibQA9qNgD   

AABANY thanks the following September 18, 2021 Manhattan CCBA Clinic Volunteers:

AABANY  AAFE
Asako Aiba*
Chao Yung (Kloe) Chiu
Megan Gao
Chenxin (Sarah) Li
Eugene Kim
Jason Kuo
Judy (Ming Chu) Lee
Karen Lin
Erxian (Estelle) Lu*
Jayashree Mitra
Kensing Ng*
Kwok Ng
Grace Pan
Anthony Park*
S. Yan Sin
Tina Song
May Wong
Courina Youlisa*
Serena Zou^

AABANY thanks the following October 16, 2021 Manhattan CCBA Clinic Volunteers:

AABANY  AAFE
Xuanyou (Alicia) ChenLuna Fu^
Francis Chin
Yoonhee Kim*
Judy (Ming Chu) Lee*
Karen Lin
Zhixian Liu
Erxian (Estelle) Lu^*
Megan Gao
Kwok Ng
Kendall Park^*
S. Yan Sin
Johnny Thach
Annie Tsao
Bill Yang^*
Teresa Wai Yee Yeung^
May Wong
Meng Zhang*

AABANY thanks the following October 30, 2021 Queens Clinic Volunteers:

AABANY  AAFE
Esther Choi^Lilian Cheung
Megan GaoLuna Fu
Rina GurungGabriel Hisugan
Kevin Hsi
Eugene Kim
Kendall Park^*
Rachel Ji-Young Yoo*
May Wong

^Non-attorney volunteers

*Remote volunteers

Family & Elder Law Committee Hosts Second General Interest Meeting

On June 10, AABANY hosted another general interest meeting, this time over Zoom, to discuss the formation of a  Family & Elder Law Committee. AABANY members Beatrice Leong, S. Yan Sin, and May Wong, who all practice matrimonial law, said they proposed creating this committee because they noticed a lack of Asian Americans in the field.

Despite AABANY’s history of over 30 years as a bar association, there have been no committees dedicated to matrimonial law, family law or elder law. The Family & Elder Law Committee aims to focus on issues pertaining to divorce, custody, child support, domestic violence, guardianship, estate planning, abuse/neglect, pre- and post-nuptial agreements and a host of other areas. As a committee focused on specific areas of law, the group would be able to provide support to the general membership – and even those who may not be  AABANY members –  by connecting them with lawyers who specialize in these fields and with other resources. The committee would also serve as a way to raise awareness about these areas of law which are more directly related to helping individuals.

During the webinar, Beatrice, Yan and May shared a short presentation detailing the goals and benefits of their proposed committee, as well as giving an overview of  what family law and elder law entail. The webinar co-hosts also addressed the new challenges that have surfaced due to COVID-19 and detailed the ways they were adapting to the changes in the legal field. 

Also in attendance was Pauline Yeung-Ha, an elder law and estate planning attorney who also supports the formation of this new committee. Elder law focuses on helping older adults with the preservation of wealth during one’s lifetime, aiding the elderly in issues related to health care, government benefits, guardianship and more. Estate planning, on the other hand, is centered more around the distribution of assets after one’s death. The two fields intersect heavily, Pauline said, requiring both extensive legal knowledge and the skill set of a social worker. With COVID-19, especially because of its tremendous toll on the older population, her work has been even more difficult than normal, filled with lots of urgent situations often regarding healthcare proxies or home attendants. 

Following the presentation, the hosts opened up the webinar for a brief Q&A session, where they each explained what drew them to the type of law they practice and why they continue to be so passionate about their field. Although working at separate firms, Beatrice, Yan, and May agreed that being able to guide someone through the most difficult times in their lives — both on a legal and personal level — is what makes their jobs so fulfilling. Bringing knowledge in from a variety of fields, including social work and psychology, has allowed people to entrust them with their most valuable assets: their family and their money. 

Pauline shared a similar sentiment, also noting how underserved elder law and estate planning tends to be. She particularly likes the fact that her job allows her to help people, and often requires her to piece together a puzzle from a host of incomplete stories, ultimately aiding older adults financially, while also connecting with and supporting them through a very emotional, sensitive process. The attorney-client bond has been so strong that Pauline still goes out to dimsum with some of her past clients.

To learn more about this committee-in-formation, or to find out how you can get involved with establishing it,  please contact Beatrice Leong (beatriceleongsq@gmail.com), S. Yan Sin (ysin@ssrga.com), May Wong (maywong.esq@gmail.com), or Pauline Yeung-Ha (pyeung@gylawny.com). 

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!  

GSPI and Pro Bono Joint Committee Dinner

On March 28, the Government Service and Public Interest (GSPI) and Pro Bono Committees enjoyed some traditional Chinese delicacies at Bite of Hong Kong in Chinatown. The committees gathered for a joint year-end celebration to thank and recognize members and volunteers that made the Pro Bono Clinics, trainings, panels, and other activities a success this past year.

Thank you to everyone who attended the dinner. Thanks also to our Committee Chairs for their leadership: Kevin Hsi, Beatrice Leong and Jonathan Hernandez (GSPI); and Karen Yau, Pauline Yeung-Ha, Judy Lee and Asako Aiba. To learn more about the Pro Bono Clinic and get involved, click here. To learn more about the GSPI Committee, go here. To learn more about the Pro Bono Committee, go here.

NAPABA Convention 2016

NAPABA committee and network events are a great way to engage with members in your network and practice areas. NAPABA committee and network leaders welcome you to their business meetings, receptions, and dinners. Events are open to all Convention attendees unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, Nov. 3 | NAPABA Committee/Network Social | 3:45–4:45 p.m.
Kick off the Convention by meeting with NAPABA committee/network leaders and active members to learn how to maximize your NAPABA membership through involvement in a NAPABA council, affinity network, substantive law committee, and/or service committee. For a full listing of committees and networks, click here.

Thursday, Nov. 3 | Dinners | 8–10 p.m. (additional fees apply)

  • Joint International & Entertainment Law Committees Dinner
  • Solo & Small Firm Network Dinner (generously supported by Met Life)
  • Women’s Leadership Network Dinner
  • Young Lawyers/First Time Attendee Dinner

Friday, Nov. 4 | Business Meetings | Various times (see schedule)

  • Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors’/Debtors’ Rights Committee
  • Civil Rights Committee
  • Corporate Transactions Committee
  • Government Enforcement & Compliance Committee
  • Insurance Law Committee
  • Pro Bono & Community Service Committee
  • Real Property Committee
  • Regional Conference Committee
  • Trusts & Estates Committee

Friday, Nov. 4 | Receptions | 5–6 p.m.

  • In-House Counsel Reception (generously supported by Prudential)
  • Insurance Law Committee
  • Joint Corporate Transactions, Real Property, and Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors’/Debtors’ Rights Committees
  • Real Property Committee
  • Solo & Small Firm Network
  • Women’s Leadership Network

Friday, Nov. 4 | Dinners | 8–10 p.m.

  • Judicial Council Dinner (Private event open only to bench officers)
  • Partners/In-House Counsel Dinner (Private event only open to Partners Directory Members and in-house attorneys. Registration information will be available in August.)

Saturday, Nov. 5 | Business Meetings | Various Times (see schedule)

  • Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Intellectual Property Committee
  • International Law Committee
  • Judicial Council
  • Leadership Advisory Council
  • Mass Torts Committee
  • Partners Network
  • Solo & Small Firm Committee
  • Women’s Leadership Network
  • Young Lawyers Network

Saturday, Nov. 5 | Receptions | 5–6 p,m.

  • Intellectual Property Committee (generously supported by Mayer Brown and IMS ExpertServices)
  • International Law Committee

Click here for a full schedule of committee/network events and all Convention events.  

Early-bird registration for the 2016 NAPABA Convention closes on Aug. 26. NAPABA members save an additional $200 off the non-member rate. Not a member? Become a member today and save!