Congratulations to 2020 NAPABA Award Winners

On September 3, 2020, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) announced its 2020 award winners.

AABANY congratulates the following:

Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award Recipients:

Glenn D. Magpantay, Executive Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance

Mari Matsuda, Professor of Law at the University of Hawaii

The Honorable Rosa Peng Mroz, Judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court in the State of Arizona

L. Song Richardson, Dean and Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California

Eric Yamato, Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice at the University of Hawaii

Affiliate of the Year Award Recipient:

Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC)

APA-Owned Law Firm Award Recipient:

Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho

Law Firm Diversity Award Recipient:

Littler Mendelson P.C.

Best Under 40 Award Recipients:

Jasmeet Kaur Ahuja, Senior Associate at Hogan Lovells US LLP 

Kristin Asai, Partner at Holland & Knight LLP

Thy B. Bui, Partner at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP 

Vicki Chou, Of Counsel at Hueston Hennigan LLP 

Pankit Doshi, Partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP 

Benjamin H. Huh, Legal Counsel at Apple Inc. 

Sofia Jeong, Associate General Counsel of IP Legal at Facebook, Inc. 

Robin Jung, Senior Attorney of Litigation at Dykema Gossett LLP 

Naephil “Naf” Kwun, Partner at Lee Anav Chung White Kim Ruger & Richter LLP 

Erica Lai, Antitrust & Commercial Litigation Counsel at Cohen & Gresser LLP 

Bonnie Lau, Litigation Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP

Rotsen “Chinny” Law, Attorney at The Ramos Law Firm 

Mark L. Legaspi, Associate General Counsel and Director of Corporate Strategy, M&A, Investments and Emerging Technologies at Intel Corporation 

Abigail Rivamonte Mesa, Chief of Staff at Office of Supervisor Matt Haney, District 6

Lisa Kim Anh Nguyen, Partner at Latham & Watkins LLP

Phi Nguyen, Litigation Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta 

Philip Nulud, Senior Counsel at Buchalter

Judge Rizza O’Connor, Chief Magistrate Judge at Magistrate Court, Toombs County, Lyons, Georgia 

Candice Wong, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General & Chief of Staff of U.S. Department of Justice – Criminal Division 

Maya Yamazaki, Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP 

Women’s Leadership Award Recipient:

Sandra Yamate, Chief Executive Officer at Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Military and Veteran Service Award Recipient:

Colonel Kay K. Wakatake, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps

Pro Bono Award Recipient:

Alice Hsu, Partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Karen Kithuan Yau, Of Counsel at Kakalec Law LLP

AABANY congratulates its members who were honored by NAPABA:

Glenn Magpantay, Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award

Naf Kwun, Best Under 40 Award

Alice Hsu, Pro Bono Award

Karen Yau, Pro Bono Award

AABANY also congratulates Littler, an AABANY Silver Sponsor, on receiving the Law Firm Diversity Award.

All these award winners will be recognized during the month of October on NAPABA social media channels. Follow NAPABA’s Facebook and LinkedIn to hear the winners give their acceptance speeches and more!

AABANY Congratulates Chris Kwok on Publishing an Article in the New York Law Journal on Mediating Employment Disputes Ethically

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) congratulates Issues Committee Chair, Asia Practice Committee Co-Chair and Board Director Chris Kwok on his recent article published on September 1, 2020 in the New York Law Journal entitled “Mediating Employment Disputes Ethically: Ensuring Quality and Fairness in the #MeToo, #BLM, #COVID-19 Era.”

In the article, Mr. Kwok begins by exploring the value of mediation and the importance of mediators upholding ethical standards to ensure a just process in the #MeToo, #BLM, #COVID-19 era. Mr. Kwok then delves into the novel challenges that virtual negotiations bring, ranging from the issue of confidentiality and stability of internet connections to the ethics of avoiding categorization of damages as reparations for sexual harassment.

In 2005, the American Arbitration Association, American Bar Association, and Association for Conflict Resolution promulgated the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators that has since served as a central guide for mediators who encounter ethical conundrums. The article concludes by suggesting that the emergence of unprecedented technological and confidentiality concerns in a challenging time call for a potential revisitation of the Model Standards of Conduct and prompts readers to ponder the changing scope of ethical duties mediators need to take on.

To read the article, click here.

AABANY Congratulates Won S. Shin on Promotion to Chief of Appeals at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) congratulates Won S. Shin, AABANY Board Director, on his recent promotion from an Assistant United States Attorney to Chief of Appeals at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division, Southern District of New York.

Before his promotion, Won S. Shin served as an Assistant United States Attorney at the same office. In that role, Mr. Shin oversaw briefing and argument in criminal appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and advised other prosecutors on legal issues arising in their investigations and prosecutions. He was previously a member of the office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit and is a recipient of the FinCEN Director’s Law Enforcement Award for Cyber Threats.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Shin was an Assistant Solicitor General at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where he briefed and argued appeals on behalf of the state in the Second Circuit and New York state appellate courts. Before entering public service, he was a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, DC. He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Mr. Shin received his A.B., magna cum laude, in biochemical sciences from Harvard College, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. 

Mr Shin’s dedication to public service and his record of leadership is well-known and appreciated by all of us at AABANY. Please join us in congratulating Mr. Shin on this well deserved promotion.

AABANY Membership Committee Hosts Weekly Membership Mixer on May 1

On May 1, 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Membership Mixer, with 17 members in attendance. The question posed to the participants was “What is the first thing you plan on doing after quarantine ends?” Members reported they wanted to eat at their favorite restaurant, do food tours, go to the gym and get hair cuts.

The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc, but due to COVID-19, we are moving online to offer members a weekly outlet to share their feelings, see old friends, and make new connections. Mixers start at 6:30pm on Friday and the main event ends at 7:30pm but feel free to stay on after 7:30pm for smaller breakout groups.

We are giving away door prizes on some weeks. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on the aabany.org calendar to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. This week, we let the members choose what prize they wanted to win: (HBO Subscription, NYTimes subscription, Washington Post subscription, Trader Joe’s Gift Card, or a one year AABANY Membership. The participants voted for a free AABANY Membership! Congratulations to Bart Wu on winning a one-year membership renewal to AABANY.

In the upcoming weeks, we will be looking to play charades or pictionary or host trivia nights through Zoom. Join us weekly to hang out! Register for this week’s May 8 mixer by May 7 here: https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1366634

AABANY Celebrates 2020 Annual Dinner with More Than 800 Attendees

On Wednesday, February 26, 2020, AABANY hosted its 2020 Annual Dinner with the theme “Stronger Together: Unity in Diversity” at Cipriani Wall Street. The dinner attracted over 800 attorneys, judges, prosecutors, in-house counsel, government officials, and dignitaries and sponsorships from more than 60 law firms and corporations.

This year AABANY was proud to honor:

Hon. Sri Srinivasan, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, with the Public Interest Leadership Award.

Alan Tse, Global Chief Legal Officer, Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc., with the Corporate Leadership Award

Yen Chu, Chief Legal Officer, Equinox Holdings, Inc., with the Women’s Leadership Award

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP with the Law Firm Diversity Award

To read more about our extraordinary honorees, read the press release here.

This year, Spectrum NY1 News Anchor Vivian Lee served as MC and was joined on stage by Immediate Past President James Cho. 

James presented each of the honorees with special gifts from AABANY. Noting that Alan Tse was considered by his peers to be “The Closer,” James presented him with a bottle of McCallan, a nod to Attorney Harvey Specter from “Suits,” another well-known “Closer.” However, because Alan had to fly back to Chicago, the full-size bottle was replaced with a miniature size, with a ziploc bag that will ensure the bottle gets through security. (We have a feeling that the bottle was consumed well before Alan made it to the airport.)

For Yen Chu, James presented her with a monogrammed workout head towel for her next session at one of Equinox’s many gyms. That is one way to make sure that AABANY is “top of mind” for Yen in the days to come. Finally, for Chief Judge Srinivasan, we figured that as a jurist, he can never have too many robes, so James presented him a wizard’s robe, bearing his name above the Gryffindor crest. Although we doubt we will see Chief Judge Srinivasan wearing that robe on the bench any time soon, we can imagine him donning the robe in chambers, especially on those occasions where he may need to work some judicial wizardry to decide the most difficult cases.

In addition, we were also pleased to present the 2019 class of Don H. Liu Scholars: Grace Cho, Raymond Magsaysay, and Andrew Tran. To read more about the Don H. Liu Scholars, see our press release here.

Congratulations also to the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. The Pro Bono Clinic was recognized with the New York State Bar Association Bar Leaders Innovation Award. NYSBA President Hank Greenberg attended the Annual Dinner to present the award. To read more about the award, see our press release here.

We thank all of the AABANY Annual Dinner Planning Committee members and volunteers for their hard work in making this year’s celebration a huge success.

We extend sincere thanks to all of our sponsors. Their generous sponsorships make it possible for us to pursue our mission to advance the interests of the Asian Pacific American (APA) legal community and the communities we serve and support our many activities and signature events throughout the year.

Lastly, we thank everyone that attended the 2020 Annual Dinner and celebrated with us.

Thanks to Corky Lee for the photos in this blog post. More photos to come. Stay tuned!

Congratulations to Kevin Kim on Receiving the Hong Yen Chang Award at the 9th Annual Columbia Law School APALSA Conference at Columbia University

AABANY congratulates Kevin Kim on receiving the Hong Yen Chang Award at the 9th Annual Columbia Law School APALSA Conference on February 22, 2020.

In June of 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Kevin as a Trustee of the City University of New York (CUNY) making him only the third Asian American and the first Korean American to serve on the CUNY Board of Trustees. Previously, Kevin served as a Commissioner of the New York State Liquor Authority, and became the first Asian American appointed to this position. In 2009, Kevin became the first Korean American to win a NYC primary when he became the Democratic nominee for NYC Council (District 19). Prior to that, he worked as a Congressional aide to former Congressman Gary Ackerman, an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and a law clerk for then-U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin (SDNY). Kevin is also an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Tactile Brain LLC, an innovative mental math program designed by Jeonghee Lee, one of the world’s foremost mental mathematicians. In 2015, the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) awarded Kevin with an Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of his many years of community service. Kevin served on AABANY’s Board as Director of Development in 2017. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Korean American Community Foundation (KACF) and the International Student Conference.

Kevin received his B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University and his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

Kevin received his award during the Gala Dinner following this year’s Columbia Law School APALSA Conference, entitled “The Path Less Traveled: Success Beyond the Law Firm.” The award is named after Hong Yen Chang, who became the first Asian American lawyer admitted to the New York State bar over 130 years ago. In 1872, 13-year-old Hong Yen Chang came to the United States to be groomed as a diplomat. He earned degrees from Yale University and Columbia University’s law school and passed the bar exam. However, after passing the bar examination, he was first denied admission because of his lack of U.S. citizenship due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. A special act of the New York Legislature allowed his admission in 1888. Hong Yen Chang then moved to California and applied for admission to the bar there but was denied in 1890 due to his lack of citizenship. Not until 2015 was this exclusion remedied, when the California Supreme Court granted an application from members of the UC Davis Asian Pacific American Law Students Association for posthumous admission of Hong Yen Chang.

Before the award was presented, a video was played featuring Congresswoman Grace Meng and US Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang offering their congratulations to Kevin. Hon. Denny Chin introduced Kevin and presented the award to him. In accepting the award, Kevin gave an impassioned speech calling all in attendance, as law students or as lawyers, to become more active in the issues that affect Asian Americans and all under-served and under-represented communities.

Please join AABANY in congratulating Kevin Kim on this recognition and well-deserved honor.

AABANY Congratulates Kenneth Chin as Recipient of the NYSBA 2020 Diversity Trailblazer Award

AABANY congratulates Kenneth Chin on being presented with the New York State Bar Association’s Diversity Trailblazer Award at the John E. Higgins, Esq. Diversity Trailblazer Award Ceremony on Jan. 27, 2020 at the New York Hilton Midtown. Ken is a Partner and the Banking and Finance Chair at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and longstanding member of AABANY. The award recognizes Ken for his transformative work to promote and achieve diversity and inclusion at his firm and in New York’s Asian American community.

Read our full press release here.

Congratulations to Hon. Denny Chin on Receiving the Honorable Harold Baer Jr. Award from the Network of Bar Leaders

On January 27, 2020, the Honorable Denny Chin, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, received the Honorable Harold Baer Jr. Award from the Network of Bar Leaders. In his remarks, Judge Chin emphasized that the legacy of Judge Baer lives on in initiatives such as the SDNY’s Re-entry through Intensive Supervision and Employment (RISE) Court. Judge Chin presided over the first RISE Court, where he met with at-risk individuals on supervised release to encourage them to seek and maintain employment. Judge Chin was happy to report that at least ten of the individuals in the program were set to successfully graduate from the inaugural program. 

Congratulations, Judge Chin, on the well-deserved recognition and thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for the legal profession. For more information about Judge Chin and the award, read the press release here.

Congratulations to AABANY Past President Susan Shin on Being Honored by KAAGNY

AABANY congratulates its Past President Susan L. Shin on receiving the Community Role Model Award at the Korean American Association of Greater New York (KAAGNY) 60th Anniversary Fundraiser at the Ziegfeld Ballroom on January 13, for her leadership in the legal community. For more details, from Weil’s website, go to
https://www.weil.com/articles/susan-shin-honored-with-community-role-model-award-by-the-korean-american-association

Press Release: NAPABA Congratulates Jessie K. Liu and Jennifer Yue Barber on Their Nominations

For Immediate Release I January 7, 2020

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, President Trump announced the nominations of Jessie K. Liu to be Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes and Jennifer Yue Barber to be Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador.

“We congratulate Jessie K. Liu on her nomination to serve as the Under Secretary of the Treasury. Ms. Liu is an experienced and respected attorney with a record of leadership as U.S. Attorney. She is well qualified to oversee the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We congratulate Jennifer Yue Barber on her nomination to serve as Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Ms. Barber has a strong record of encouraging and creating economic opportunity and is well qualified to serve as Ambassador. We are encouraged to see Asian Pacific American women like Ms. Liu and Ms. Barber continue to break barriers and serve as role models.”

A litigator with over 20 years of experience, Liu is presently the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. She previously served as Deputy General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia and in several senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, 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 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. 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.  

Barber is a member of the law firm Frost Brown Todd LLC focusing on state and local tax, economic incentives, and government affairs. She was appointed by the Governor of Kentucky to serve on the University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees. Barber is also a member of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Tax Working Group and Litigation Committee and a member of the American Bar Association and Kentucky Bar Association, where she leads and serves on multiple committees. She is also a member of the local advisory board for United States Bank, the nation’s fifth largest commercial bank. She served on the Kentucky State Fair Board, which has over $450 million in annual economic impact to Kentucky. Barber earned her B.S. from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. She clerked in the Office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky. Barber is a member of the NAPABA Partners Committee.

Barber is also nominated to be an Alternate U.S. Representative to the United Nations General Assembly.

NAPABA commends President Trump for announcing the nomination of Jessie K. Liu and Jennifer Yue Barber.

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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 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 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.