In the News: The Hon. Denny Chin Inducted as the First Lawrence W. Pierce Distinguished Jurist in Residence

On September 14th, The New York Law Journal reported that Judge Denny Chin of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (and past AABANY President, 1992-93) became Fordham Law’s first ever Lawrence W. Pierce Distinguished Jurist in Residence. This distinction allows Judge Chin to continue his role as a Judge while devoting more of his time to teaching and building connections with the law students at Fordham. Judge Chin is especially excited to teach classes that deal with Asian Americans and the law saying the topic is “dear to my heart.” 

To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

NAPABA Applauds Nomination of Lucy H. Koh to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

On September 8, 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Lucy H. Koh of California to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

If confirmed, Judge Koh would be the first female Korean American federal circuit court judge in the nation’s history.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Lucy H. Koh on her historic nomination to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “Judge Koh is a proven entity with over a decade of state and federal judicial service, with strong bona fides in technology, intellectual property, business litigation, and criminal law.”

In 2010, Judge Koh was unanimously confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by a 90-0 vote after her nomination received wide bipartisan support. Prior to her tenure on the federal bench, Judge Koh served on the Superior Court of California for Santa Clara County, having been appointed in 2008 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Judge Koh has held various positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, notably as a special assistant to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General, as Special Counsel in the Office of Legislative Affairs, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Judge Koh has been a partner at the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery in Silicon Valley and before that, worked at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Judge Koh is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA 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 all backgrounds in the legal profession.

Press Release: NAPABA Celebrates the Confirmation of Patrick Bumatay to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

For Immediate Release December 10, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, Patrick J. Bumatay was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“NAPABA congratulates Patrick Bumatay on his historic confirmation to serve on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuits,” said NAPABA President Bonnie Lee Wolf. “Judge Bumatay is the first Filipino American to serve as a federal appellate judge and the first openly gay judge on the Ninth Circuit. We are proud to have supported Judge Bumatay’s nomination.”

Patrick J. Bumatay is an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. He currently serves in the Office’s Appellate Section, representing the United States before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Bumatay has held numerous positions in public service throughout the Department of Justice, including the top three leadership offices. He clerked for Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and Judge Sandra L. Townes of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. He is an active member of NAPABA, our affiliated bar—the National Filipino American Lawyers Association, and the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association.

NAPABA thanks President Trump for nominating Patrick Bumatay to the bench.

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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.

NAPABA | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20006 | www.napaba.org

NAPABA Applauds Nomination of Neomi Rao to D.C. Circuit

On November 14, 2018 the White House nominated Neomi Rao to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The nomination follows President Trump’s announcement of Rao during the White House Diwali celebration yesterday. If confirmed, Rao would be the first Asian Pacific American woman and the second South Asian American to sit on the D.C. Circuit. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the announcement and encourages the Senate to swiftly confirm her. 

“Neomi Rao is an experienced public servant and legal thinker,” said Daniel Sakaguchi, president of NAPABA. “Respected amongst her peers, she has the temperament to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Her nomination represents a historic step forward for representation of Asian Pacific Americans and women on the bench.” 

Rao is currently the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. A national expert in the area of administrative law, she is a tenured professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School and founder of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State. She previously served in the Office of the White House Counsel and as a staffer for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Funeral Arrangements for Retired Court of Appeals Judge George Bundy Smith

Thanks to MBBA for sharing this information.

Funeral Arrangements for Retired Court of Appeals Judge George Bundy Smith are as follows:

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2017, at Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Dr, and 120th Street, Entrances at 490 Riverside Drive & Claremont Avenue, NYC

The viewing is from 9AM to 10AM and services will begin immediately thereafter at 10AM.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Justice Bundy Smith’s honor to:

Phillips Academy
ATTN: Kathleen O’Sullivan
180 Main Street
Andover, MA 01810


Donations to the MBBA’s Honorable George Bundy Smith Scholarship fund:

Friends of the MBBA, Inc.
275 Madison Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10016


Links:

George Bundy Smith Bio on New York Historical Society of the New York Courts

Retired NY appeals court judge George Bundy Smith dies at 80


MBBA Members and Supporters:

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of the Honorable George Bundy Smith who was an excellent jurist and giant in our profession.  He will be profoundly missed by his MBBA family, and the legal profession generally. 

The Honorable George Bundy Smith, served on the MBBA Board and founded its original scholarship fund. Appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo, Judge Smith served on the New York State Court of Appeals from 1992 to 2006. He also served as a judge on the Civil Court of New York City from 1975-1986 and as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of New York from 1987-1992. A former law professor at Fordham Law School, Judge Smith was also a former Freedom Rider and a graduate of Yale University (B.A. 1959), where he was just one of three African Americans in his class, and Yale Law School (LL.B 1962). He also received a Ph.D from New York University and an LL.M from University of Virginia School of Law.

In 2014, The Metropolitan Black Bar Association established The Honorable George Bundy Smith Scholarship Fund to offer three scholarships to students who demonstrate qualities of leadership, a passion for the arts and sciences, or a commitment to diversity and academic excellence. The fund is in honor of Judge Smith, who for many years provided board leadership and guidance to the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, including starting the organization’s first scholarship fund. Above all, Judge Smith valued education and consistently leveraged his successes to the benefit of the African-American community.

Statement from Chief Judge Janet DiFiore on behalf of the New York Court of Appeals: The Court of Appeals is saddened by the death of George Bundy Smith, who served with great distinction as an Associate Judge of the Court from 1992 to 2006. A freedom rider during the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, Judge Smith remained soft-spoken, self-effacing, and completely dedicated to fairness and justice for all people throughout his career. As then-Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye said of him in 2005, “George is a man of few words, but they are absolutely the right words.” He leaves our nation a better place than he found it. We will miss him deeply.

We will provide you with information about services and memorials as we receive them.

In Service,

President Paula T. Edgar and the Board and Officers of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association

NAPABA Submits Testimony in Support of the Nomination of  Judge Amul Thapar for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

For Immediate Release
April 26, 2017

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

WASHINGTON — Today,
Judge Amul R. Thapar sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a
hearing on his nomination to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Sixth Circuit.

“Today’s hearings demonstrate that Judge Amul Thapar is
a highly qualified nominee,” said Cyndie M. Chang, National Asian
Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) president. “He is an experienced and fair jurist who was confirmed by the Senate by voice vote to his current position on the bench. Judge Thapar is a trailblazer and role model for many in our community, as the first South Asian American to serve on the federal bench.”

“The
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association extends its strong
support for Judge Thapar’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Sixth Circuit. NAPABA urges the Senate to hold a prompt vote and
swiftly confirm Judge Thapar.”

Judge
Amul Thapar was confirmed by the Senate by voice vote to the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky in 2007. NAPABA
supported his nomination to the bench at that time. He has a long record
of public service, including serving as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern
District of Kentucky. If confirmed, Judge Thapar would become the second
South Asian American to serve as a federal Article III appellate judge
and the fifth currently active Asian Pacific American federal Article
III appellate judge.

NAPABA
provided testimony in support of Judge Thapar, stating: “Judge Thapar
would make an immediate contribution as a federal circuit court judge.
His qualifications, integrity, intellect, and commitment to the justice
system are unquestionable. He brings dedicated talent and understanding
of the issues before the court, and a willingness to tackle complex
issues, that is inspiring… [T]he swift confirmation of Judge Thapar is
important to NAPABA and the Asian Pacific American community.”

Read NAPABA’s statement on the nomination of Judge Thapar here. Read NAPABA’s testimony here.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

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 75 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.

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).

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, D.C. 20006 | www.napaba.org

NAPABA Congratulates Judge Amul R. Thapar on Pending Nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

For Immediate Release
March 21, 2017

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

WASHINGTON — On Monday, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Judge Amul R. Thapar to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. If confirmed, Judge Thapar would be the second South Asian American judge to ever serve on a federal appeals court and the fifth active Asian Pacific American federal appellate Article III judge.

“We congratulate Judge Thapar on the announcement of the President’s intent to nominate him to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit,” said Cyndie M. Chang, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Judge Thapar has a long record of dedicated public service and, during his nine years on the bench, has demonstrated his excellence as a fair jurist who has the integrity and intellect to serve ably on the appellate court.”

After his confirmation by voice vote to his current seat in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Judge Thapar became the nation’s first South Asian American Article III judge in 2008. He was the first, and still is, the only Asian Pacific American Article III judge in the courts encompassed by the Sixth Circuit.

Judge Thapar is a 2015 recipient of the NAPABA Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award. He served as the keynote speaker at the 2007 NAPABA Convention and received the NAPABA Best Under 40 Award. Prior to his service on the bench, Judge Thapar was the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky and an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He began his legal career in private practice following clerkships with Judge S. Arthur Speigel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and Judge Nathaniel R. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He is a graduate of Boston University and the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.

NAPABA commends President Trump for announcing his intent to nominate Judge Thapar to the Sixth Circuit. NAPABA thanks Senators McConnell and Paul for recommending Judge Thapar to the White House.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

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 almost 50,000 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).

Press Release from the State of New York Commission on Judicial Nomination

Press Release from the State of New York Commission on Judicial Nomination

PRESS RELEASE | NAPABA Supports Judges Lucy Koh and Florence Pan at Nomination Hearing

NAPABA Supports Judges Lucy Koh and Florence Pan at Nomination Hearing

WASHINGTON — Today, Judges Lucy H. Koh and Florence Y. Pan sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing on their nominations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, respectively.

“Today’s hearings demonstrate that Judge Lucy Koh and Judge Florence Pan are two highly qualified nominees,” said Jin Y. Hwang, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) president. “Both are experienced and fair jurists who were unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate for their current positions, and they continue to receive strong bipartisan support. It is also important that these two nominees have been and would be trailblazers for Asian Pacific American women in the federal judiciary.

“NAPABA urges for a prompt vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee and for the Senate to swiftly confirm Judge Koh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge Pan to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.”

Judge Lucy H. Koh was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, 90-0, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 2010. She enjoys bipartisan support, including former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appointed her to the Superior Court of California – County of Santa Clara. If confirmed, Judge Koh would become the first Korean American woman to be a circuit court judge and only the second Asian Pacific American woman to serve as a federal appellate court judge.

Judge Florence Y. Pan was confirmed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by unanimous consent by the Senate in 2009, following her nomination by President Obama. She enjoys bipartisan support for her nomination, including former Attorney General Michael Mukasey. If confirmed, Judge Pan will be the first Asian Pacific American woman to serve on the federal district court bench in the District of Columbia.

NAPABA provided testimony in support of Judges Koh and Pan, stating: “Judge Koh and Judge Pan would both make an immediate contribution as a federal circuit court judge and a federal district judge, respectively. Their qualifications, integrity, intellect, and commitment to the justice system are unquestionable. They bring a talent and understanding of the issues before the court, and a willingness to tackle complex issues, that is inspiring… [T]he swift confirmation of both Judge Koh and Judge Pan is important to NAPABA and the Asian Pacific American community.”

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.