Jean Lee – Catalyst Spotlight

Jean Lee – Catalyst Spotlight

PRESS RELEASE: NAPABA Announces Its 2015 Best Lawyers Under 40

For Immediate Release
Sept. 23, 2015

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

NAPABA Announces Its 2015 Best Lawyers Under 40

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has selected 14 attorneys to receive the 2015 Best Lawyers Under 40 Award (BU40). The BU40 recognizes talented individuals in the Asian Pacific American (APA) legal community who are under the age of 40 and have achieved prominence and distinction in their respective fields while demonstrating a strong commitment to the APA community at relatively early stages in their careers.

The BU40 Award will be presented on Nov. 5, 2015, during the 2015 NAPABA Convention in New Orleans, to the following recipients:

  • Christine Bautista — U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Christopher Y. Chan — RedMart Limited
  • Mark J. Furuya — Clark Construction Group LLC
  • Josh M. Hsu — U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Office of Senator Patrick Leahy
  • Miranda L. Lam — McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Gloria Lee — Rutan & Tucker LLP
  • Christine Li — Nationwide
  • Sujit Raman — U.S. Department of Justice
  • Darren S. Teshima — Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Stacey H. Wang — Holland & Knight
  • Karen I. Wu — Perlman & Perlman LLP
  • Hli Xyooj — Farmers’ Legal Action Group Inc.
  • Amy Yoshimi Yeung — ZeniMax Media Inc.
  • Gary Zhao — SmithAmundsen LLC

“These distinguished lawyers represent some of the best in their field under the age of 40,” said NAPABA President George C. Chen. “As these 14 men and women continue to make strides in their respective careers, the pipeline for national Asian Pacific American leaders in the legal profession appears bright.”

The 2015 class of honorees continues the BU40 legacy of excellence and leadership in both the legal and APA communities. This year’s BU40 honorees have vast and varied experiences — representing clients in nationwide high-stake and complex business litigation matters, investigating violations of federal securities laws, providing legal services to family and underrepresented farmers, serving as the senior counsel to a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and assistant general counsel for one of the nation’s oldest construction firms. NAPABA congratulates the 2015 Best Lawyers Under 40 award winners and looks forward to their future successes.

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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 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).

NAPABA congratulates the newly-elected officers of the NAPABA Board of Governors for the 2015-16 board year. They will be sworn into office at the Installation Banquet held on Nov. 7, 2015, during the 27th Annual NAPABA Convention in New Orleans.

The following individuals were elected by the NAPABA membership:

President Elect: Cyndie M. Chang
Vice President for Finance and Development: Alexander M. Lee
Vice President for Membership: Tacie H. Yoon
Vice President for Programs and Operations: Pankit J. Doshi
Vice President for Communications: Sun E. Choi
Treasurer: Steven Y. Reeves
Secretary: Brad Yamauchi

In addition to these newly-elected officers, Jin Y. Hwang will serve as President and George C. Chen will serve as Immediate Past President. Joining the officers on the NAPABA Board of Governors will be ten regional governors and four at-large board members.

PRESS RELEASE: NAPABA Names McManis Faulkner as its 2015 Pro Bono Award Winner

For Immediate Release
Sept. 2, 2015

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

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is proud to present the 2015 Pro Bono Award to James McManis, Elizabeth Pipkin, Christine Peek, Ruby Kazi, and Jennifer Murakami of McManis Faulkner. This award recognizes a team of attorneys for outstanding achievements in pro bono service that: (1) involved impact litigation to advance or protect civil rights, (2) provided direct legal services to individuals in the furtherance of the administration of justice. The McManis Faulkner team’s historic victory in Ibrahim v. Department of Homeland Security is exemplary.

The 2015 Pro Bono Award will be presented at the 2015 NAPABA Convention on Nov. 7, 2015, in New Orleans, La.

James McManis, Elizabeth Pipkin, Christine Peek, Ruby Kazi, and Jennifer Murakami served as trial counsel in the first successful challenge to the U.S. government’s post-9/11 terrorist watch list system. The client, Dr. Rahinah Ibrahim, was a Malaysian scholar who lived in the U.S. for many years while studying for her Ph.D. at Stanford University. Dr. Ibrahim challenged the constitutionality of the Government’s terrorist watch lists after she was arrested at San Francisco International Airport and informed she was on the No-Fly List. More than eight years later, the McManis Faulkner trial team would make the Government admit that Dr. Ibrahim was erroneously placed on terrorist watch lists due to a bureaucratic error.

The five-member McManis trial team, opposing 12 U.S. government lawyers, ultimately forced the Government to concede at trial that Dr. Ibrahim never posed a threat to national security and that she does not meet the reasonable suspicion standard for inclusion in the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). The McManis Faulkner team’s historic victory in Ibrahim laid the foundation for erroneously watch-listed individuals to clear their names by revealing: (1) the Executive Branch had created at least one secret exception to the “reasonable suspicion” standard, (2) the Government asserts absolute and unreviewable discretion in its watch list decisions, and (3) the Government’s redress system deprives individuals of due process of law.

Regrettably however, to date, the Executive Branch has still not allowed Dr. Ibrahim to obtain a visa to return to the U.S.

“NAPABA congratulates the McManis Faulkner team of James McManis, Elizabeth Pipkin, Christine Peek, Ruby Kazi, and Jennifer Murakami on receiving the 2015 NAPABA Pro Bono Award,” said NAPABA President George C. Chen. “Their remarkable effort in the aide of Dr. Ibrahim truly exemplifies the pro bono spirit, and we are delighted to honor their success in this landmark case.”

A member of the trial bar for more than 40 years, Mr. McManis is an honorary bencher of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, the oldest institution of legal education in Ireland. In addition, he is a Fellow of the Academy of Court Appointed Masters, American College of Trial Lawyers, Litigation Counsel of America, American Bar Foundation, and International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Ms. Pipkin is one of the youngest members of the Board of Trustees of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, the largest provider of free legal services for those in need in Silicon Valley. She serves on the litigation committee, which manages all impact litigation brought by the Law Foundation. Elizabeth is also a member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association (SCCBA) and the Harvard Law School Alumni Association of Northern California.

Ms. Peek is an active member of SCCBA and is currently a member of the High Technology Section. Previously, she was co-chair of the SCCBA’s Rainbow Committee and was a member of the SCCBA’s Board of Trustees, its Appellate Courts Committee and the Conference of Delegates. She also served as managing editor of the Santa Clara Law Review. Christine is also a member of California Women Lawyers and has moderated proceedings examining women lawyers’ relationship to technology and how that relationship can enhance the practice of law.

Ms. Kazi serves as president of the Asian Law Alliance (ALA), a non-profit organization that provides legal services to Santa Clara County’s low income population, particularly within the Asian/Pacific Islander community. She is also the founder of Lady Lawyers for Lunch, an informal group that meets quarterly to allow women attorneys to exchange ideas, discuss balance, and increase their networks.

Ms. Murakami is a member of SCCBA and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley. She was the editor-in-chief of the Asian American Law Journal of Berkeley School of Law and she also frequently hosts Berkeley Law Alumni events in San Jose.

McManis Faulkner, a San Jose, Calif.-based trial firm, provides a full range of services, representing both corporations and individuals through trial and appeal. The firm handles a wide range of litigation, including business, civil rights, class actions, criminal, employment, family, general civil, intellectual property, personal injury, probate, and professional negligence. With experienced, well-trained trial lawyers and staff, McManis Faulkner prides itself on its diversity – beyond ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, women comprise a majority of the firm’s management and staff.


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 approximately 70 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).

PRESS RELEASE: NAPABA Announces Lee Tran & Liang LLP as its 2015 APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year

For Immediate Release: Aug. 19, 2015

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

NAPABA Announces Lee Tran & Liang LLP as its 2015 APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has named Lee Tran & Liang LLP as the 2015 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 2015 APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award will be presented at the 2015 NAPABA Convention on Nov. 7, 2015, in New Orleans, La.

“NAPABA is proud to honor Lee Tran & Liang LLP with the Asian Pacific American-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award,” said NAPABA President George C. Chen. “We applaud the firm’s continued commitment to excellence both within and outside the legal arena.

With over 30 attorneys across three offices in California, Lee Tran & Liang LLP (LTL) is one of the largest and fastest growing APA-owned law firms in the country, and one of the largest APA-owned litigation boutiques. LTL started in 2003 as the first spin-off from trial powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP. Devoted solely to trials and litigation, the firm represents global companies and handles complex matters nationwide.

LTL was recently included on the 2014 National Law Journal Litigation Boutiques Hot List (one of ten firms nationally), and was awarded the 2013 Client Service Award by the California Minority Counsel Program. Its attorneys have been honored as among the “Top 20” in California (Daily Journal), “Super Lawyers” (Los Angeles Magazine), and one of LTL’s partners was named “Best Lawyers under 40 in America” by NAPABA (2003).


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 approximately 70 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).

Auction, Artifacts, and George Takei: How ADR Helped Preserve a Part of Japanese-American History-Theodore K. Cheng

AABANY would like to share Theodore K. Cheng’s article “Auction, Artifacts, and George Takei: How ADR Helped Preserve a Part of Japanese-American History,” published in the NYSBA Arts, Sports and Entertainment Law Journal

Theodore K. Cheng is the President of our sister affiliate APALA-NJ and current ADR Sub-Committee Chair of AABANY’s Litigation Committee, as well as a former board member of AABANY. 

Here’s a brief synopsis of his article:

Entitled, "Auction, Artifacts, and George Takei: How ADR Helped Preserve a Part of Japanese-American History,” it recounts the successful story of how treasured artifacts from Japanese-American internment camps were saved from being generally disseminated to the public through the intervention of various interest groups and, ultimately, George Takei, who brokered a deal with the Japanese American National Museum.  Along the way, Theo mentions the Heart Mount War Relocation Center and AABANY’s re-enactment (see, in particular, endnote 4).

To read the full article please CLICK HERE

NYREJ – Ling of First Nationwide Title Agency: The rule of the Four S’s

NYREJ – Ling of First Nationwide Title Agency: The rule of the Four S’s

Congratulations to APALA-NJ 30th Anniversary Gala Honoree Austin So!

Please join us in congratulating Austin So, recipient of the APALA-NJ 2015 Corporate Leadership Award.

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Austin is the Division General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Heraeus, Inc., a multi-billion dollar company headquartered in Germany with legal operations in Pennsylvania. In addition to his professional success, Austin has been a long time supporter of AABANY and mentor to many attorneys in the Asian American community. He is currently Co-Chair of the AABANY In-House Counsel Committee and Northeast Regional Governor for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Austin serves as Executive Director of the Don H. Liu Scholars Program, which seeks to identify and cultivate future Asian American leaders of the legal profession. 

He was also named one of The Legal Intelligencer’s 2015 Diverse Attorneys of the Year. A photo of Austin receiving that award can be found here.

Austin will be presented the 2015 Corporate Leadership Award by the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey at their 30th Anniversary Awards Ceremony and Installation of Officers on June 30, 2015. For more information on where to purchase tickets for the APALA-NJ 30th Anniversary Gala, click here

Photo by Corky Lee.