In the News: Judge James Cho and President Terry Shen in NYLJ

AABANY President Terry Shen was quoted in a New York Law Journal article published on April 6, 2021 titled “Former Federal Prosecutor Named US Magistrate Judge in Brooklyn.” The article highlights AABANY Past President James Cho, who was sworn in on Monday, April 5 as the Eastern District of New York’s newest magistrate judge and the district’s first Korean American judge. 

In the article, Terry Shen was quoted praising the appointment as “another important step” toward more diversity on the bench. Speaking more about Judge Cho, Terry said: “In his time as president of AABANY, Judge Cho displayed a combination of insightful leadership, work ethic, and commitment to public service that will undoubtedly equip him to be an exceptional federal judge. We congratulate Mr. Cho on this outstanding achievement.” 

To read the full article on Law.com, please click here (subscription may be required).

Congratulations to AABANY Leader Eugene Kim, Assistant Editor for Book on 50 Asian Life Stories from Around the World

Eugene Kim, Vice-Chair of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, is one of the editors of the recently published book 50 People. 50 Stories. I AM ASIAN. by Asian & Loud, Kevin Wang (Editor), and Loretta M. Cheung (Editor). The book is a collection of 50 uncensored life stories written by 50 Asian authors from around the world representing different ages, careers, and perspectives.

Eugene joined the project at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic after coming across the I AM ASIAN page on social media. He became interested in the project because he grew up around Asians who did not feel that they fit the model minority myth. Eugene believed the theme of the book, figuring out and being comfortable with our place and identity, was important to share. People with privilege often get to dictate the narrative, but this book was providing a platform for Asians around the world to share their story.

As a public defender with the Legal Aid Society, Eugene did not have the time to write his own story, so he joined the project as an editor. He was assigned a set number of authors’ stories to edit and he finished in August 2020. Speaking about the book, Eugene said, “The beauty of 50 different stories is that each story is unique. And although some stories are different from others (i.e. an Asian rapper, athletes, and growing up in foster care), there are some stories that may seem similar. However, even the ones that read similarly to others, they are still original in their own way, so there is definitely something in the book for every reader.”

Please join AABANY in congratulating Eugene on his creative work. 50 People. 50 Stories. I AM ASIAN. is available in print and electronically. To view the book on Goodreads, click here.

NAPABA Congratulates Rob Bonta on Nomination as California Attorney General

For Immediate Release: Date: March 18, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) celebrates the nomination of California Assemblymember Rob Bonta to be the state’s next attorney general. Bonta will be the first Filipino American to hold the position. In 2015, Bonta received NAPABA’s prestigious Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award for his outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership in paving the way for the advancement of other Asian Pacific American attorneys.

“We congratulate Assemblymember Rob Bonta on his historic nomination and thank Governor Newsom for his selection. Attorney General Designate Bonta embodies the best of our community,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “The son of AAPI civil rights activists, Attorney General Designate Bonta has spent his career fighting for justice and representation for people of color. As the first Filipino assemblymember in California, Attorney General Designate Bonta passed major reforms, including strengthening hate crime laws to protect communities like ours. With the increasing prevalence of hate incidents against AAPIs, we are confident that Attorney General Designate Bonta will ensure that these disturbing incidences are quickly investigated and prosecuted.”

Bonta has served extensively in the public sector. Prior to being elected as assemblymember, he was Deputy City Attorney of San Francisco. Bonta clerked for Judge Alvin Thompson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. He is a graduate of Yale University, Oxford University and Yale Law School.

We thank Governor Newsom for his nomination.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, 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.

NAPABA Congratulates Katherine Tai on Confirmation as U.S. Trade Representative

For Immediate Release: Date: March 18, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) celebrates Katherine Tai’s confirmation to be U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in the Biden-Harris administration. Tai is the first Asian American woman and woman of color to lead the agency.

“We congratulate Katherine Tai on her historic confirmation today,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Ambassador Tai’s confirmation by a 98 to 0 vote to lead the Biden-Harris administration’s trade policy shows that she is the most qualified person for this position. We look forward to Ambassador Tai serving as a voice for our community in the Cabinet, especially in the wake of increased acts of hate against Asian Americans.”

Tai formerly served as Chief Trade Counsel and Staff Director of the Trade Subcommittee in the Ways & Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and clerked for Judge John D. Bates, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Tai is the first AAPI to be confirmed to serve in President Biden’s Cabinet. She was first nominated December 2020. NAPABA advocated for Ambassador Katherine Tai’s nomination. We thank President Biden and the Senate for nominating and confirming her.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, 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. 

Todd Kim Nominated Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources at the U.S. Department of Justice

For Immediate Release: Date: March 15, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden nominated Todd Kim as Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources at the U.S. Department of Justice. If confirmed, Kim will be the first AAPI to lead this division.

“NAPABA offers its sincerest congratulations to Todd Kim on his nomination to lead the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Todd is a talented and accomplished attorney who has extensive litigation experience of high-profile matters of national significance, including winning appeals with the U.S. Supreme Court and across appellate and state supreme courts. NAPABA applauds the Biden-Harris administration on their commitment to diversity with the nomination of Todd, and urges the Senate to confirm him as Assistant Attorney General.”

Todd Kim currently serves as the Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, Regulation, and Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Energy, and previously served as the first Solicitor General of the District of Columbia, and as an appellate attorney with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Kim was a partner at Reed Smith and clerked for Judge Judith Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  He received his A.B. with honors from Harvard College and his J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, 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.

Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Presented with Certificate of Commendation at NYS Senators’ Lunar New Year Virtual Celebration

New York State Senators John Liu (11th District, Queens), Andrew Gounardes (22nd District, Brooklyn), Brian Kavanagh (26th District, Manhattan) and Toby Stavisky (16th District, Queens) hosted a Lunar New Year virtual celebration Tuesday evening, February 16, featuring performances from AAPI youth and community honorees. The event was well-attended by city, state and federal elected officials, as well as community leaders and their organizations.

Senator Kavanagh presented May Wong, Esq., and Olympia Moy with a certificate of commendation to recognize the work of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee in providing invaluable legal assistance to the AAPI community during the pandemic. May Wong and Olympia Moy were proud to accept the certificate on behalf of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. In their acceptance speech, they detailed the committee’s success in creating a one-day “in-person” clinic in July 2020 to assist tenants with paper applications for the COVID Rent Relief Program. When the COVID Rent Relief Program was extended to February 2021, law students volunteered again to establish a two-week remote hotline service to assist non-English speaking tenants apply via telephone. They were able to assist callers in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish with the help of the committee’s community partners, Chinatown CLT and GOLES. May Wong and Olympia Moy concluded their speech by expressing gratitude towards the State for its effort in addressing the State’s housing and poverty crisis and strongly encouraged the State to “direct emergency financial relief to tenants and property owners in meaningful programs that can provide permanent rental assistance and increased access to rental subsidies.”

Thank you to all the attorney volunteers and law students who helped AABANY and the community, especially May Wong, William Lee, Karen Lin, Nicholas Loh, Xinyi Shen, and Olympia Moy.

Congratulations to the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee on this well-deserved recognition! To learn more about the Committee and all its wonderful work, go to probono.aabany.org. They are always looking for more volunteers so email them at clinic.volunteer@aabany.org if you can help.

NAPABA is Proud to Congratulate Past President John C. Yang

2021 ABA Spirit of Excellence Award Honoree

President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC and NAPABA Past President John C. Yang is among the five honorees of the American Bar Association’s 2021 Spirit of Excellence Award. NAPABA proudly congratulates John for his illustrious accomplishments in every facet of the legal profession and for championing the Asian American & Pacific Islander community.

The Spirit of Excellence Award celebrates the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. The awards are presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; who personify excellence on the national, state, or local level; and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the law.

John has achieved professional excellence in his wide-ranging career that has spanned four different practice settings. He has served as partner at a law firm practice in Washington, DC; led as a Director of Legal affairs at a Fortune 200 company in Shanghai, China; served as a Senior Advisor within the Obama Administration; and most recently, directs the organizational efforts to fight for civil rights and empowering Asian Americans to create a more just America at the Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.

At each stage of John’s career, he has served as a leader, role model, and mentor to countless racially and ethnically diverse individuals, helping to guide many promising lawyers’ careers. John has tirelessly promoted and supported attorneys who were interested in pursuing a federal judgeship, resulting in the nomination and confirmation of more than 25 Asian American Article III judges. His work has also opened doors for attorneys interested in serving in presidential administrations.

John’s advocacy has reached far beyond the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. In addition to his leadership roles within NAPABA, John has served as Chair of the Minority Caucus of the ABA House of Delegates where he worked closely with bars of color to advance distinct and unifying agenda items and resolutions and he has served on the ABA Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity. Present day, John serves on the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC where he collaborates closely in coalition with other organizations representing the interests of minority groups.

John used his parents’ experiences as well as the injustices that he personally encountered as an immigrant to the United States from Taiwan to navigate his own path while blazing a trail for others to follow. NAPABA is proud to have supported John’s nomination as a Spirit of Excellence honoree.

Spirit of Excellence Ceremony

NAPABA invites you to join in celebration as John is recognized and honored at the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award Virtual Ceremony on February 18 at 5 PM ET. In addition to John, honorees include Barbara L. Creel, Román D. Hernández, Sherrilyn Ifill, and Lori E. Lightfoot. To register for the awards ceremony during the ABA Midyear Meeting, please click here.

NAPABA Congratulates Josh Hsu on Appointment as Counsel to the Vice President

For Immediate Release: December 30, 2020

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Josh Hsu on his appointment as Counsel to the Vice President. Hsu is the first Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) to serve in the lead legal role for the Vice President of the United States. 

“Josh Hsu has been a rising star and major contributor within the NAPABA community for many years.  In 2015, he was recognized as one of NAPABA’s Best Lawyers Under 40. We are delighted that the Biden-Harris administration has appointed him to a senior leadership position as Counsel to the Vice President,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Vice President-elect Harris had one of the most diverse staffs in the Senate and her recent executive office appointments demonstrate her continued commitment to creating a government that better reflects the American citizenry. We celebrate Josh in his new role and trust that the Biden-Harris administration will continue to recognize the value of AAPI attorneys by rightfully placing them in leadership roles.”

Prior to his appointment, Hsu served as National Policy Director for Vice President-elect Harris’ presidential campaign and was formerly Deputy Chief of Staff and General Counsel for her Senate office. He has served as Chief Counsel for Nominations in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee under Ranking Member Patrick Leahy and as an attorney in the national legal department at the American Civil Liberties Union. Hsu clerked for the Honorable Denny Chin on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and Georgetown University.

NAPABA advocated for a senior level appointment for Josh Hsu. We thank President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris for appointing him to the position.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity in government and the judiciary on the local, state, and federal levels, 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.

Congratulations to AABANY Members Listed as Rising Stars in the New York Metro Edition of 2020 Super Lawyers

AABANY congratulates the AABANY members who have been named Rising Stars in the New York Metro 2020 edition. Rising Stars are selected through a rigorous selection process that includes being nominated by their peers, evaluated by third-party research in 12 key categories, and reviewed by a Blue Ribbon Panel of attorneys. Two point five percent of attorneys are named Rising Stars.

Please join us in congratulating the following AABANY members on their achievements:

  • Moses M. Ahn, Liakas Law, P.C.
  • Keala Fumiko Chan, Chan Hubbard PLLC
  • Shruti Chopra, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Co-Chair of AABANY’s Mentorship Program
  • Mulan Cui, Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Han Deng, Reed Smith LLP
  • Anthony K.C. Fong, Law Office of Anthony K.C. Fong, Esq.
  • Flora Go, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
  • Ligee Gu, Halperin Battaglia Benzija, LLP
  • Lawrence S. Han, Rivkin Radler LLP 
  • Claire Huynh, Condon & Forsyth LLP
  • Kail Jethmalani, Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP 
  • Albert K. Kim, William Schwitzer & Associates
  • Kathleen Y. Kim, Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Joyce E. Kung, Sive, Paget & Riesel P.C.
  • Olivia Sul Ki Lee, Lee Anav Chung White Kim Ruger & Richter LLP
  • Darley Maw, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Co-Chair of AABANY’s Young Lawyers Committee
  • Alysha M. Naik, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Claudia Pak, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
  • Sun Ah (Michelle) Park, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
  • Nicholas Tam, Shaub, Ahmuty, Citrin & Spratt LLP
  • Shengyang Wu, Caesar and Napoli, P.C.
  • Stacy Wu, Law Office of Stacy L. Wu
  • Melissa Yang, Rakower Law PLLC
  • Ji-Young (Rachel) Yoo, Law Offices of Rachel J. Yoo, LLC
  • Honghui S. Yu, Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP

To view the 2020 digital edition of Super Lawyers, click here.

NAPABA Congratulates Katherine Tai on Nomination for U.S. Trade Representative

For Immediate Release: December 10, 2020

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Katherine Tai on her nomination to be U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in the Biden-Harris administration. If confirmed, Tai will be the first woman of color to lead the agency.

“Katherine Tai has been a valued member of our NAPABA community, and we are thrilled that President-elect Biden has nominated her to be U.S. Trade Representative,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Her background is a story that many AAPIs can relate to—like many of us, Katherine is the daughter of immigrants who came to this country to embark on a better life. Since then, she has excelled in her illustrious career, counselling our nation’s leaders on trade policy in past administrations and in Congress. NAPABA congratulates Katherine and urges the Senate to confirm her as Trade Representative.”

Tai is currently Chief Trade Counsel and Staff Director of the Trade Subcommittee in the Ways & Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. She formerly served as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and clerked for Judge John D. Bates, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

NAPABA advocated for Katherine Tai’s nomination. We thank President-elect Biden for nominating her to the position.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, 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.