On January 16, a chilly winter evening in the heart of midtown Manhattan, AABANY’s Student Outreach, Career Placement, and Mentorship Committees came together to host a memorable event that combined artistry, camaraderie, and a dash of culture. It was the much-anticipated “Paint & Sip Night” held at the Painting Lounge. The event brought together a vibrant mix of practicing attorneys and enthusiastic law students, all eager to unwind and tap into their creative sides. The focal point of the evening: capturing the iconic New York City skyline on canvas while indulging in fine wine and delectable Korean cuisine.
As the attendees gathered, the Painting Lounge provided the perfect ambiance for the creative journey that lay ahead. Easels, canvases, and an array of vibrant paints awaited the eager participants. Under the guidance of an expert instructor, everyone had the opportunity to channel their inner artists and bring their visions of the NYC skyline to life. Sipping on wine and enjoying the company of fellow legal professionals and aspiring lawyers, the atmosphere was filled with laughter, shared stories, and a palpable sense of community. Korean cuisine enhanced the evening’s festivities. Attendees savored a variety of mouthwatering dishes that reflected the rich flavors of Korean culture. From savory bulgogi to spicy cucumber kimchi, the culinary journey was a treat for the taste buds, providing a culinary complement to the artistic expressions taking shape on canvas.
AABANY is pleased to announce the launch of the Trusts & Estates Committee. This new committee serves as a professional and community network for AABANY members and non-members interested in the practice of Trusts & Estates law, which spans trusts, estates, and tax planning to Surrogate’s Court practice and litigation. The Committee is dedicated to providing a platform for networking, mentoring, and professional development, as well as opportunities for public service.
Pang-Mei Natasha Chang, Co-Chair of the Committee, is a member of Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP’s estates, trusts and private clients practice group, as well as its international France desk, and charitable, not-for-profit and religious institutions practice groups. She counsels both domestic and international individuals, businesses and charitable organizations in estate and trusts planning, and wealth transfer planning. She represents clients of all ages, and advises in insurance planning, IRA/retirement benefit planning and the use of trusts for not only estate planning but asset protection. She also serves on the Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Court Committee of the New York City Bar Association, where she has participated as a writer and presenter.
Yi W. Stewart, the other Co-Chair of the Committee, works at the firm Farrell Fritz as a trusts and estates litigation associate. She performs pretrial discovery, conducts legal research, and prepares motions and memoranda of law for litigated Surrogate’s Court proceedings. Prior to joining Farrell Fritz, Yi served as associate law clerk to the Hon. Rita Mella for three years in New York County Surrogate’s Court, where she assisted the Surrogate with decisions on typical contested probate and accounting matters, complex issues of will construction and reformation, as well as novel issues such as a fiduciary’s authority to administer digital assets stored in Google and Apple accounts.
To contact the Committee Chairs for this Committee, click “Contact Us” at the top of the AABANY website and fill out the form, and tell us in the Comment field what in particular you would like to know about the Committee and its activities.
On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, AABANY held its Annual Meeting of Members at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. President William Ng called the meeting to order and established quorum. The main order of business was conducting the election for the 2024 Board of Directors and Officers.
President William Ng presented the Annual Report of the Board and thanked the Board members for their service during the past year. Treasurer Evelyn Gong and Membership Director Christopher Bae presented the reports for their respective offices.
Executive Director Yang Chen presented highlights of Committee activities. Following the reports, awards were presented to honor AABANY leaders and committees for their dedication to AABANY over the past year. While these presentations were occurring, Immediate Past President Terrence Shen and President-Elect Karen Kim tallied the votes.
The following awards were presented:
Committee of the Year: Intellectual Property Committee
The Intellectual Property Committee received the Committee of the Year Award for its outstanding contributions in promoting AABANY’s membership engagement and creating a vibrant community for IP law practitioners. The Committee successfully hosted several committee dinners and social events including their first concert event to see the ARKAI Duo. At the start of 2023, the IP Committee started a new program called “Dumplings & Discussion,” the inaugural event featuring Andy Yoo, SVP & General Counsel of Savvas Learning Company. The discussion covered topics including Andy’s role as general counsel, diversity, equity and inclusion, and his career path and trajectory.
Program of the Year: Inter-Bar Association Summer Family Day
The Program of the Year Award was given to Christopher Bae, AABANY’s Membership Director. On June 4, 2022, AABANY’s Membership Committee hosted an Inter-Bar Association Summer Family Day with the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) and the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY). Over fifty members and their friends and families gathered at the Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center in Brooklyn to participate in spirited sports games and enjoy snacks and refreshments.
Member of the Year: Jennifer H. Wu
The Member of the Year Award was presented to Jennifer H. Wu, for her outstanding leadership inside and outside of AABANY. Within AABANY, she co-chaired the Women’s Committee and helped to put on some excellent events. She was also active in AABANY’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force, in addition to the pro bono work she had been doing to advise and assist survivors and victims of anti-Asian violence in New York over the past couple of years. On top of all that, she co-founded her own patent litigation law firm Groombridge Wu Baughman & Stone
Congratulations to all the honorees for the recognition of their achievements and hard work during the 2023 fiscal year.
After the presentation of awards, William announced the election results. The following officers were elected and will begin their term one-year terms on April 1, 2023:
Joseph Eng, Jr.
Vice President, Programs and Operations
Vice President, Programs and Operations
The following candidates were elected as Directors to serve two-year terms starting on April 1, 2023:
Katherine Loanzon P. Bartlett Wu
After the election results were announced, attendees stayed to network at Paul, Weiss. We thank everyone who came and participated in the Annual Meeting and the election. Congratulations to all the Officers and Directors who were elected to the Board to serve in the 2024 fiscal year that begins on April 1, 2023.
Special thank you to AABANY Director Larry Wee and the Paul, Weiss team for hosting AABANY’s 2023 Annual Meeting.
On November 19, 2022, the Prosecutors, ADR & and Women’s Committees teamed up to learn self defense at the NY Wutang Chinese Martial Arts Institute (“NY Wutang”) in downtown Flushing.
During these times of anti-Asian violence, AABANY members wanted to be prepared. Prosecutors Committee Co-Chair Joe Gim first taught members about the New York laws on the justification defense, particularly in connection with the use of physical force in defense of a person.
Next, the Master of NY Wutang and Prosecutors Committee Co-Chair Dave Chiang trained the attendees. Here, Dave wore his ADA hat as well as his Master Chiang hat.
Master Chiang taught the group that the first step is to be aware of one’s surroundings: “Don’t keep your head down looking at your phone.” The group also learned how to quickly turn their camera on to try to capture photos or video of the perpetrator.
Next, Master Chiang warmed everyone up with stretching exercises and the group practiced shouting, “Stay away! Leave me alone!” so that witnesses will know that you are not the initial aggressor.
The group then learned that the three weakest parts of an attacker are their eyes, throat and groin. Master Chiang taught attendees how to strike and target those body parts during an attack. The group practiced with each other and took away valuable information we will not soon forget.
Thanks to all the co-sponsoring Committees for putting together an informative and useful program on self-defense during these challenging times, and thanks to Prosecutors Committee Co-Chair Joe Gim for teaching us the law on self-defense and Prosecutors Committee Co-Chair (and Kung Fu Master) David Chiang for teaching those who attended how to protect themselves while following the law.
To learn more about the Prosecutors Committee, click here. To learn more about the ADR Committee, click here. To learn more about the Women’s Committee, click here.
On July 28, 2022, Co-Vice Presidents of Programs & Operations Joseph Eng, Jr. and Beatrice Leong hosted the Second Quarterly Committee Co-Chairs Meeting at King & Spalding. The Quarterly Meetings are a chance for all Co-Chairs, whether new or well-experienced, to learn about their roles as leaders in AABANY, brainstorm on future events and CLEs, and learn best practices.
The Co-Chairs were joined by the following Board members: President Will Ng, Membership Director Christopher Bae, Treasurer Evelyn Gong, Secretary Shirley Bi, Director of Technology Francis Chin and Board Directors Gigio Ninan and William Hao as well as Executive Director Yang Chen via video.
23 committees each sent a Chair to represent their group, share their thoughts, and collaborate with different committees. Immediately following the Committee Co-Chairs meeting was AABANY’s Membership Open House. To read more about AABANY’s Membership Open House, please click here.
Thank you to King & Spalding LLP for hosting AABANY’s FY2023 Q2 Committee Chair Meeting and Open House, and for providing food and beverages throughout the night!
On August 16th, 2022, AABANY’s Litigation and ADR Committees, along with JAMS, co-sponsored a CLE panel about international arbitration. AABANY ADR Committee Chair and JAMS Neutral Chris M. Kwok gave opening remarks, and AABANY Litigation Committee Co-Chair Aakruti G. Vakharia of Haug Partners moderated the panel. The panelists were Hiro Aragaki, JAMS Neutral and Professor of Law; Margaret Ives, in-house counsel at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Limited; and Dr. Kabir Duggal of Arnold & Porter. The panel discussed the differences between litigation and arbitration, the benefits of international arbitration over cross-border litigation, the challenges of arbitrating internationally, the mechanics of international arbitration, and best practices for what to include and what to avoid when drafting a dispute resolution clause. The panel encompassed neutral, outside counsel, in-house counsel, and academic perspectives
Thank you to everyone who worked on and attended this CLE. We greatly appreciate Niki Borofsky, Christine Smith, Alison M., Margaret Poppe, Todd Drucker, Jazmine Smith, Corey Taylor, and Matthew P. York of JAMS collaborating with AABANY’s Litigation Committee, co-chaired by Aakruti G. Vakharia, Jennifer Wu, Lois Ahn, and ADR committee, led by Chris M. Kwok (Chair) and May Li (Vice Chair), all of whom put together this interesting and informative program.
On May 5, 2022, AABANY held a kick-off event for Fiscal Year 2023 at Allen & Overy. The new Fiscal Year began on April 1. Vice President of Programs and Operations Beatrice Leong, together with Executive Director Yang Chen, provided an orientation for new co-chairs and vice-chairs and a refresher for returning chairs on information and resources available to them to facilitate their work organizing programs and events for AABANY members and the broader community. (VPPO Joe Eng was unable to attend due to pressing work obligations.)
The 2023 cohort of Committee leadership learned best practices for being a leader of AABANY and learned how to plan and host events. AABANY’s Committee Chairs are ready to put on exciting events, panels and CLEs that all members look forward to.
After the orientation, the attendees got to meet each other and mingle at Faces & Names Bar and Lounge, a few blocks north of Allen & Overy’s offices.
We thank Allen & Overy for donating their beautiful space and for being a strong sponsor of AABANY. We also thank our Committee leaders for their dedication to AABANY. Special thanks to Kevin Hsi, Co-Chair of the Government Service & Public Interest Committee for his photos of the event.