AABANY Celebrates 30th Birthday at NAPABA Convention

On Thursday evening, Nov. 7, AABANY celebrated its 30th birthday at Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, just around the corner from the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas, at which the NAPABA Convention was taking place. AABANY members who were attending the Convention came out in force and brought friends from various affiliates from around the country. Over 60 attendees filled a section of one of the event rooms on the second floor. Among the attendees were members who were there at the start of AABANY, including Rocky Chin, Hon. Marilyn Go, Hon. Denny Chin (who served as President from 1992-93) and his wife Kathy Hirata Chin. Past Presidents Vincent Chang, James Chou, and Dwight Yoo also attended, as did current President Brian Song. Membership Director Beatrice Leong organized the celebration; she secured the venue and placed the food order, and she also ordered the cake. The authentic
Texas barbecue fare was a big hit, and the cake came out with sparklers.

Thanks to all our members and friends for coming out to celebrate with us in Austin!

AABANY Reenacts Korematsu v. United States at NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas

On Friday, Nov. 8, during the Plenary Lunch Session at the NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas, AABANY’s Trial Reenactment Team performed “Fred Korematsu and His Fight for Justice,” reenacting Korematsu v. United States. AABANY had performed an earlier version of this reenactment at the NAPABA Convention in Washington, DC, in 2017, to mark the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 which sent some 120,000 Japanese American citizens to internment camps without any due process. This year, to mark Fred Korematsu’s 100th birthday, AABANY’s Trial Reenactment Team performed an updated script which took into account the developments that occurred since 2017. The Korematsu case was nominally overruled in a footnote by Chief Justice Roberts in Trump v. Hawaii (2018), which upheld the Muslim Travel Ban in part. This reenactment included modifications that featured text from the majority and dissenting opinions in that case, and concluded with words from an Op-Ed written by Fred’s daughter Karen, lamenting that the United States Supreme Court had replaced one bad precedent with another.

This updated Korematsu reenactment was made special by the participation of new cast members, including Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, Peggy Nagae, and Hon. Edward Chen, members of the legal team that brought the coram nobis proceeding which overturned the wrongful conviction of Fred Korematsu. Dale, Don, Peggy, and Judge Chen played themselves. Also playing herself was Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, the United States District Court Judge who presided over the case. Karen Korematsu played herself and closed the show with moving and inspiring words from her June 28, 2018 New York Times Op-Ed article.

The 2019 Korematsu reenactment played to an audience of 900 at the NAPABA Convention Friday Plenary Lunch session, and it is easily the largest single audience for any AABANY Trial Reenactment. Judge Chin moderated a panel discussion about this case and its continuing relevance immediately after the lunch session, featuring a panel that included Don Tamaki, Dale Minami, Karen Narasaki, Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel, Hon. Edward Chen and Karen Korematsu.

Thanks to everyone who took part in performing in this historic reenactment, especially those who were part of Fred Korematsu’s Fight for Justice. We are grateful for the leadership of Kathy Hirata Chin and Hon. Denny Chin for leading AABANY’s Trial Reenactment Team. To learn more about AABANY’s Trial Reenactments, visit the reenactments website at reenactments.aabany.org.

NAPABA 2019-20 Board of Governors

NAPABA congratulates the newly-elected officers, regional governors, and at-large members of the 2019-20 NAPABA Board of Governors. They will be sworn into office during the 2019 NAPABA Convention in Austin, TX.

Officers:

  • President I Bonnie Lee Wolf, Nationwide
  • President-Elect I A.B. Cruz III, U.S. Navy, Retired
  • Vice President for Finance and Development I Bruce Ishimatsu, Ishimatsu Law Group
  • Vice President for Membership I Bridgette Ahn, Law Office of Bridgette Ahn 
  • Vice President for Programs and Operations I Charles Jung, Nassiri & Jung LLP
  • Vice President for Communications I Avanti Bakane, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP
  • Treasurer I Gary Zhao, SmithAmundsen
  • Secretary I Jeffrey Javinar, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Immediate Past President I Daniel Sakaguchi, Alto Litigation

Regional Governors:

  • NE Regional Governor I Brendan Wong, Bordner Ladner Gervais LLP
  • NE Regional Governor I David Sohn, Kings County District Attorney’s Office
  • Central Regional Governor I Gregory Schwartz, Billion Armitage
  • SE Regional Governor I Christine Han, U.S. Department of Labor
  • SW Regional Governor I Lance Ream, Xcel Energy 
  • NW Regional Governor I Craig I. Nakanishi, Cades Schutte LLP
  • Central California Regional Governor I Christopher Sukhaphadhana, Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. 
  • Southern California Regional Governor I Thy Bui, Constangy Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP
  • Eastern California/Nevada Regional Governor I Gino Barrica, Barrica Law LLP
  • Northern California Regional Governor I Hogene Choi, Baker Botts LLP

At-Large Board Members:

  • Kristy Gonowon, Allstate
  • Kristin Haugen, KC Haugen Law LLC
  • Peter Sabido, Chernoff Vilhauer LLP
  • Jen Won, Larson O’Brien LLP

Register for the 2019 NAPABA Convention

The advance rate deadline is just around the corner! Save up to $150 when you register in advance. Advance rates will only be available until Oct. 28 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

To register, click here.

NAPABA Announces 2019 Award Winners

NAPABA is proud to announce our distinguished award winners, who will be recognized at the 2019 NAPABA Convention in Austin, TX.

TRAILBLAZER AWARDS

The Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award, NAPABA’s highest honor, recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of lawyers who have paved the way for the advancement of other Asian Pacific American attorneys. Trailblazers have demonstrated vision, courage, and tenacity in their practice. They have also made substantial and lasting contributions to the Asian Pacific American legal profession, as well as the broader Asian Pacific American community.

The Honorable Richard J. Chin | Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court (retired)
Julia Markley | Partner, Perkins Coie 
Byung “BJay” Pak | United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, United States Attorney’s Office
Debbie Leilani Shon | Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP

PRESIDENT’S AWARD 

The NAPABA President’s Award is given to NAPABA members who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to NAPABA, the legal community, and the greater Asian Pacific American community.

Dale Ho | Director, ACLU Voting Rights Project

AFFILIATE OF THE YEAR AWARD

The NAPABA Affiliate of the Year Award recognizes outstanding NAPABA affiliates for their best practices and accomplishments in their local communities. 

Asian American Bar Association of New York

APA-OWNED LAW FIRM AWARD

The NAPABA APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award recognizes our membership’s law firms—solo, small, and large—that have achieved prominence and distinction, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to the Asian Pacific American community. The Award celebrates law practices that embrace the Asian Pacific American community while maintaining the highest ethical and legal standards in our profession. The Award also recognizes firms that have advanced the goals and ideals of NAPABA and Asian Pacific American legal advocacy groups.

Willenken LLP

LAW FIRM DIVERSITY AWARD

The NAPABA Law Firm Diversity Award honors law firms that actively, affirmatively, consistently, and enthusiastically recruit, retain, and promote Asian Pacific American lawyers to equity partnership and firm leadership. It celebrates law firm successes in recognizing the potential, supporting the promise, and raising the influence of Asian Pacific American lawyers.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

BEST UNDER 40

The NAPABA Best Lawyers Under 40 Award recognizes talented individuals within the Asian Pacific American legal community under the age of 40 who have achieved prominence and distinction in their fields of endeavor—be it the practice of law, academia, business, civic and charitable affairs, the judiciary, or politics—and who have demonstrated a strong commitment to Asian Pacific American civic or community affairs.

Vanessa E. Candelaria | Attorney, Law Offices of Vanessa Candelaria
Christina Chan | Assistant Attorney General, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Nooree Lee | Associate, Covington & Burling LLP
Cindy Lin | Partner, King & Spalding LLP
Laurie Rose Lubiano | IP & Product Counsel, The Climate Corporation
Catherine Y. Lui | Partner, Orrick LLP
Jessica Nguyen | General Counsel, PayScale, Inc.
Marc A. Pilotin | Counsel, Wage and Hour/President, Filipino Bar Association of Northern California, Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
Sid Shenoy | Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
Christopher Thana Sukhaphadhana | Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property, Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc.
Jerry Vattamala | Democracy Program Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Johnny Wang | Partner, Stinson LLP
Jovita T. Wang | Partner, Richardson Wright LLP
Bryant Y. Yang | Assistant U.S Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office
Bilal Zaheer | Partner, Fisher & Phillips LLP

MILITARY AND VETERAN SERVICE AWARD

The NAPABA Military and Veteran Service Award recognizes individuals within the Asian Pacific American legal community serving the United States Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, including Reserve and National Guard) as uniformed personnel or as civilians or as veterans of the Armed Forces whose outstanding achievements (1) greatly enhanced the mission of the Armed Forces; (2) contributed to the advancement of rights for service-members, their families, and/or veterans; or (3) furthered the administration of justice. The NAPABA Military and Veteran Service Award is meant to acknowledge APA attorneys who exhibit the highest integrity, competency and commitment to serving others, the APA community, and their country and whose character and commitment reflect the highest standards of the Armed Forces.

Captain Lia Mihoko Reynolds | Capt., JAGC, USN, Region Legal Service Office Hawaii Commanding Officer, United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corp Region Legal Service Office Hawaii.

PRO BONO AWARD

The NAPABA Pro Bono Award recognizes an attorney or a team of attorneys for outstanding achievements in pro bono service that (1) involved impact litigation to advance or protect civil rights or (2) provided direct legal services to individuals in the furtherance of the administration of justice.

Karen King | Counsel, Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP AWARD

The NAPABA Women’s Leadership Award recognizes the accomplishments of women lawyers and is presented to an individual who has achieved excellence in her field or who has demonstrated leadership and advancement of women or women’s issues. 

Debbie Leilani Shon | Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP

So You Want to be a Prosecutor—Upholding Truth, Justice, and the American Way

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work as prosecutor at the federal, state or local level? Do you have what it takes to be an elite trial lawyer or argue in front of Supreme Court Justices? Have you ever wanted to work at place where the job description is to pursue justice? Do you want to help keep your community safe? Do you want to be the voice for individuals who can’t speak for themselves? If your answer is “yes” to any of the questions above, join us for a candid discussion with prosecutors from around the country as they discuss their on the job experiences and share their secrets on how to put together a competitive resume and ace the interview process.

Informational session (elimination of bias credit pending in CA)

2017 NAPABA Convention
Friday, Nov. 3, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.
Room: Supreme Court

Scheduling Interviews

To schedule interviews with individual offices, please click here. Interviews will be conducted on-site during the NAPABA Convention on Saturday, Nov. 4.

About the NAPABA Convention

The NAPABA Convention is an annual gathering of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and more than 80 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Join us as we celebrate our 29th Convention and convene over 2,000 attendees in Washington, D.C.!

Click here for more information about the Convention.

Supporting Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan

AABANY is sharing the following information in response to the many inquiries we have received asking how to help her during this difficult time. 

The Manhattan Democratic Committee (for the first time ever) voted in August to withhold their support for an incumbent: Justice Doris Ling-Cohan.  

The MDC Screening Panel has since recognized that Justice Doris was not evaluated according to the rules that apply to incumbent judges.  As reported in the press, the process was inappropriately swayed by a selected few who had direct non-disclosed conflicts and special interests.

Pursuant to the applicable rules, Justice Doris can rejoin the November ballot only by being nominated as a democratic candidate from the floor at the Manhattan Democratic Judicial Convention on Thursday, September 22.
Justice for the Justice will only be served if the judicial delegates vote in the majority to support Justice Doris for reelection at the Convention. The rumors that the Manhattan Democratic Committee has reversed its decision of non-support are false.  Our fight continues.

There is absolutely no question that Justice Doris is qualified, competent and works hard in her position as an Associate Justice on the Appellate Term of the First Department.  Click here are a one-pager on Justice Doris’ credentials (Bio Ling-Cohan.pdf). Click here for a summary of her notable decisions (Noteworthy Decisions Ling-Cohan.pdf), which includes a groundbreaking 2005 decision in Hernandez v. Robles, which held that same-sex couples have a right to marry.

To defend her job and her honor, Justice Doris has consequently had to hire campaign staff and has been running a re-election campaign. There are two things you can do to help.   

Make a Donation:  Any amount is appreciated.  Please fill out the contribution form (Contribution Form Ling-Cohan.pdf) and send your check to: 

Re-Elect Justice Ling-Cohan c/o Lisa Kaplan52 East 1st Street #2A New York, NY 10003 (INCLUSION OF THE COMPLETED FORM IS VERY IMPORTANT)

Attend the Convention:  The Manhattan Democratic Judicial Convention will take place on Thursday September 22 beginning at 5:30pm at Harlem Hospital’s Herbert G. Cave Auditorium at 506 Malcolm X Boulevard.  The more of us who show up to show our support, the greater chance the delegates will be persuaded to put Judge Doris back on the ballot.   Please click here to RSVP.

For additional information contact Lily Fan at lilymfan@gmail.com or Eve Guillergan at eve@knowyourvisa.com

The Bamboo Closet: To Stay In Or Not?

The Bamboo Closet: To Stay In Or Not?