Commission on Judicial Nomination is Seeking Applications for Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals and State of New York

July 29, 2022

Contact: Henry M. Greenberg, Counsel

Phone: (518) 689-1492

e-mail: greenbergh@gtlaw.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Yesterday, the Commission on Judicial Nomination was formally notified by the Clerk of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York of the coming vacancy on the Court created by the resignation of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, effective August 31, 2022.  Accordingly, the Commission is taking up the task of seeking recommendations and applications of persons who may be qualified to serve as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, as well as Chief Judge of the State of New York. 

Candidates for Chief Judge DiFiore’s vacancy may download an application from the Commission’s website (www.nysegov.com/cjn) or contact the Commission’s Counsel, Henry M. Greenberg, c/o Greenberg Traurig, LLP, 54 State Street, 6th Floor, Albany, New York 12208 [Tel.: (518) 689-1492; e-mail: greenbergh@gtlaw.com; Fax: (518) 689-1499].  Applications may be filed electronically by e-mailing them to CJN_Applications@gtlaw.com or submitted by mail to the Commission’s Counsel.  Applications must be submitted to the Commission no later than August 29, 2022.

The Commission was created by Article 6, § 2 of the New York State Constitution.  Consistent with its mandate, the Commission is entrusted with responsibility for evaluating, and then recommending to the Governor, candidates to fill vacancies on the Court of Appeals.  The Commission vigorously seeks out, carefully evaluates and then shall nominate to the Governor seven well-qualified candidates for the office of Chief Judge from the extraordinary, diverse community of lawyers admitted to practice in New York State for at least ten years.  The Governor’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the New York State Senate.

To fill past judicial vacancies on the Court, the Commission has nominated to the Governor a wide variety of lawyers, including private practitioners, public interest attorneys, law professors, government officials and sitting Federal and State judges. While prospective candidates must file an application with the Commission, recommendations may be made by anyone who believes that a prospective candidate could be an excellent Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York.  Recommendations of qualified candidates for a vacancy are encouraged and may be made to the Commission’s Counsel.  

If any person or organization wishes to receive copies of future Commission press releases, please provide an e-mail or mailing address to the Commission’s Counsel.  The Commission will register the address and make every effort to distribute future press releases in the designated manner.  Persons interested in learning more about the Commission are encouraged to visit its website: www.nysegov.com/cjn.

NAPABA Applauds the Nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court

Released: February 25, 2022

ContactMary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

WASHINGTON –Today, President Biden announced the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Jackson clerked for Justice Breyer and currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA, released the following statement:

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Jackson on her historic nomination to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a brilliant legal scholar and is well qualified to serve on the Court.

“President Biden’s promise to appoint the first Black woman to the Supreme Court underscores his commitment to diversifying our judiciary. Notably, women and persons of color, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, continue to be underrepresented on our courts.

“If confirmed, Judge Jackson will be the sixth woman and third black Justice in our nation’s history to have served on the Court.

“We thank President Biden for nominating Judge Jackson and we urge the Senate to confirm her swiftly.

“NAPABA thanks Justice Stephen Breyer for his service on the Court and his mentorship of many NAPABA members who will continue his legacy in the legal profession and on the courts.”

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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.

NAPABA Celebrates the Confirmation of Lucy H. Koh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

WASHINGTON- On Dec. 13, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Lucy H. Koh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Koh is the first Korean American female federal appellate judge in the nation’s history.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Koh on her historic confirmation to the Ninth Circuit to become the first Korean American female federal appellate judge in the United States,” said Sid Kanazawa, president of NAPABA. “Judge Koh is a devoted public servant, a trailblazer, a mentor to young lawyers, and a dear friend. She has and continues to make us so proud.

“Thank you, Senators Feinstein and Padilla for recommending Judge Koh. Thank you, President Biden for nominating her. And thank you Leader Schumer for announcing, during our annual NAPABA Convention, that Judge Koh would receive a floor vote.”

In 2010, Judge Koh made history, becoming the first Korean American federal district court judge when she was unanimously confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Prior to the federal bench, Judge Koh has served on the Superior Court of California, in the U.S. Department of Justice, as special counsel in the Office of Legislative Affairs, and as an assistant U.S. attorney. Her nomination had strong bi-partisan support, including from former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. 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.

NAPABA Celebrates the Confirmation of Jennifer Sung to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate confirmed Jennifer Sung to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Sung is the first AAPI to serve on the Ninth Circuit in Oregon—a state where Asians are the fastest-growing group and now make up six percent of the state’s population.

“NAPABA congratulates Jennifer Sung on her historic confirmation to the Ninth Circuit to become the first AAPI to serve in Oregon,” said Sid Kanazawa, president of NAPABA. “Judge Sung has a long career serving as an advocate for AAPIs and workers across the nation. We are thankful to Leader Schumer for bringing her nomination for a floor vote, Senators Wyden and Merkley for recommending Judge Sung, and President Biden for nominating her.

“Today there are twelve AAPI federal appellate court judges out of 179 and there has never been a AAPI on the U.S. Supreme Court. The confirmation of Judge Sung highlights an important and urgent need for greater representation of our community on the courts.”

Judge Sung is a member of the Oregon Employment Relations Board and was previously an executive board member of the New York chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. She was a partner at McKanna Bishop Joffe, LLP in Portland. Judge Sung is a graduate of Oberlin College and Yale Law School.

Judge Sung’s confirmation follows the confirmation of Judge Lucy H. Koh to the Ninth Circuit on Monday.

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.

NAPABA Applauds the Historic Judicial Nominations of John H. Chun, Dale E. Ho, Jinsook Ohta, and Loren L. AliKhan

WASHINGTON – On September 30, 2021, the White House announced its eighth slate of judicial nominees to serve on the Federal and Washington, D.C. benches, with four Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) candidates including several with strong ties to the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). President Biden has nominated: Judge John H. Chun to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington; Dale E. Ho to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; Judge Jinsook Ohta to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California; and Loren L. AliKhan to serve on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

“NAPABA offers its congratulations to Judge Chun, Dale Ho, Judge Ohta, and Loren AliKhan on their nominations,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “We applaud President Biden for putting forth a strong and historic slate of highly qualified AAPI candidates and for continuing to broaden the diversity of backgrounds and professional experiences to the bench. We urge the Senate to swiftly confirm them.”

Judge John H. Chun
Judge John H. Chun currently sits as a Judge on the Washington State Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, after previously serving as a judge on the King County Superior Court from 2014-2018. If confirmed, Judge Chun would be the first AAPI man to preside in the Western District of Washington. He has been recognized as a top Washington “Super Lawyer.” Judge Chun previously served as the President of the Korean American Bar Association of Washington and is also a member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington and NAPABA. He previously clerked for the Hon. Eugene A. Wright on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Chun is a graduate of Columbia University and Cornell Law School.

Dale E. Ho
Dale E. Ho currently serves as director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Voting Rights Project and supervises the ACLU’s voting rights litigation across the country. Notably, Ho has argued two crucial cases before the Supreme Court challenging the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census and the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from the population count to determine apportionment for the House of Representatives. If confirmed, Ho would be the only active AAPI judge in the district. In 2019, Ho was the recipient of the NAPABA President’s Award and in 2017, was named one of the best Asian American Lawyers Under 40 by NAPABA. He is endorsed by the Asian American Bar Association of New York. Ho previously clerked for the Hon. Barbara Jones on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Robert S. Smith of the New York Court of Appeals. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School.

Judge Jinsook Ohta
Judge Jinsook Ohta currently sits as a judge on the California Superior Court in San Diego. Previously Judge Ohta served as a Supervising Deputy Attorney General with the California Attorney General’s Office. If confirmed, she would be the first AAPI female judge to preside in the Southern District of California. Judge Ohta is a member of NAPABA and the Korean American Bar Association of San Diego. Judge Ohta previously clerked for the Hon. Barry Ted Moskowitz on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. She is a graduate of Yale University and the New York University School of Law.

Loren L. AliKhan
Loren L. AliKhan currently serves as the Solicitor General of the District of Columbia where she directs the District’s appellate litigation and has overseen more than 1,800 appeals before the D.C. Court of Appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States. If confirmed, AliKhan would be the first AAPI judge to sit on the D.C. Court of Appeals. She is endorsed by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Region. Alikhan has been recognized with the Public Sector Trailblazer Award by the South Asian Bar Association of Washington D.C., and previously clerked for the Hon. Thomas L. Ambro on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Hon. Louis Pollack on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. AliKhan is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and the Georgetown University Law Center.

NAPABA thanks Senators Schumer and Gillibrand of New York, Senators Feinstein and Padilla of California, Senators Murray and Cantwell of Washington, and Delegate Norton of Washington D.C. for their support of these nominees.

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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.

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