On Thursday, May 19, 2022, AABANY board members, committee chairs and invitees attended a private viewing of “Photographic Justice: A Tribute to Corky Lee.” The event was well-attended by numerous EDNY judges, community members and elected officials.
“Photographic Justice” pays homage to the life and work of renowned New York City-based photographer Corky Lee, who documented the Asian American movement through the last five decades. The group photography exhibit features a selection of Lee’s works along with that of other Asian American photographers. The term “photographic justice” has been used by Lee to describe his mission to rectify the exclusion of Asian Americans in America’s visual history.
Lee’s last project was to chronicle the effort to combat anti-Asian violence before his passing from COVID-19 in 2021.
A long-time friend of AABANY, Lee was the photographer for AABANY’s Annual Dinner for many years. In 2017, AABANY co-sponsored a photo exhibit by Corky Lee in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. At the event, Lee discussed his experiences as a photojournalist over the years as and his role as the self-proclaimed “Undisputed Unofficial Asian American Photographer Laureate.”
AABANY President William Ng, in his remarks during the reception, read the dedication to Corky from AABANY’s Anti-Asian Hate and Violence Report: “Corky Lee personified the Asian-American movement, and AABANY honors his memory by carrying on his work to combat indifference, injustice and discrimination against Asian Americans.”
This exhibit is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM through November 20, at Hon. Charles P. Sifton Gallery of the United States Courthouse for the Eastern District of New York (225 Cadman Plaza East).
Thanks to AABANY board member Chris Kwok for his instrumental role in organizing and making this VIP reception possible.
The Honorable Dora L. Irizarry, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, currently is accepting applications for Spring 2022 Internships.
Must be a second or third year law student.
Must have good grades.
Must have good research, writing, and analytical skills, although participation in Law Review or a Journal is not a prerequisite.
Military and/or other life/career experience is a plus.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, interested law students should forward their application package in PDF format via email to email@example.com.
One-page cover letter briefly describing your background, why you are interested in a legal career and setting forth why you are interested in interning for Judge Irizarry specifically.
Law school transcript. Self-prepared transcripts will not be accepted.
One recent writing sample no longer than 10 pages. Journal or research articles will not be accepted.
A list of 2-3 references with their contact information. Reference letters preferably should be included with the submitted package, but also may be sent to chambers at the chambers email address above and not directly to the Judge.
The deadline for receipt of materials is November 1, 2021.
Please note that, while these are not paid internships, the Judge will participate in any appropriate sponsored program that provides academic credit or stipends for interns.
If you have further questions, please contact chambers at: 718-613-2150.
The EDNY ADR Department has developed the Pilot EDNY Mediator Incubator, a mediation mentorship program designed to offer practical experience to junior attorneys (less than 15 years of experience) with a substantiated interest in mediating federal cases, but who have little experience as a mediator. To be eligible to apply, applicants must be admitted to practice in the Eastern District of New York. Applicants are also required to be admitted to the Bar of the State of New York for at least five (5) years and must have completed a total of twenty-four (24) hours of mediation training. The required twenty-four (24) hours of mediation training may be the result of attendance at several distinct programs, or at one twenty-four (24) hour training.
After admission to the program, incubator candidates will be required to attend an initial training and orientation session, observe a minimum of three (3) EDNY mediations, and co-mediate at least three (3) EDNY mediations with an experienced EDNY Mediation Panelist. Any observations or co-mediations done through the EDNY Mediator Incubator will be done on a pro bono basis. Each incubator candidate will be matched with an experienced mentor. After successful completion of the EDNY Mediator Incubator, candidates will be eligible for, but not guaranteed, admission to the EDNY Mediation Panel. Applicants must complete the enclosed application and submit one letter of reference from a person who has direct knowledge of the applicant’s interest in and experience with mediation, and one letter of reference from a person who has direct knowledge of the applicant’s legal knowledge and areas of expertise. Applicants will be assessed based on their experience with mediation, including mediation advocacy and active participation in mediation and dispute resolution organizations and associations. Availability and commitment to the program will also be taken into consideration.
On May 20, 2020, the Judiciary Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and the Public Interest Committee of the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) co-hosted a panel on how to become a Magistrate Judge. Recently, the Eastern District of New York announced vacancies for four US Magistrate Judge positions, the first time so many opportunities have been simultaneously available since the positions were created. The webinar provided important information and advice for individuals who might be considering a career as a Magistrate Judge.
The event featured panelists Hon. Sanket Bulsara, Hon. Peggy Kuo, and Linda Lin. Judge Bulsara was appointed as a Magistrate Judge of EDNY on August 28, 2017, and previously served as Acting General Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Judge Kuo was appointed on October 9, 2015, and prior to her appointment, she served as the Acting Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Division Criminal Section at the U.S. Department of Justice; litigation counsel at Wilmer Hale, LLP; Chief Hearing Officer at the New York Stock Exchange; and Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel of the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. Linda Lin is the General Counsel of Business Unit Support at QBE North America and a member of the EDNY Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel. Austin D’Souza, Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Faviola A. Soto at the New York Court of Claims and Vice President of Public Relations at SABANY, served as the moderator.
Judge Bulsara and Judge Kuo discussed their responsibilities as Magistrate Judges. They emphasized that though their docket is heavily civil, varying between 400-500 cases per judge, they also play an important role on the criminal side. Magistrate Judges are on criminal duty approximately once every ten weeks, during which they preside over arraignments, initial appearances, and bail hearings. They also conduct jury selection in felony cases. Judge Bulsara noted that his favorite part of being a Magistrate Judge is presiding over naturalization ceremonies and interacting with wonderful colleagues.
Linda Lin described the application process and how potential candidates are evaluated. Members of the Selection Panel independently review the applications and decide on which candidates to interview. Prior to the interview, the panel conducts due diligence and may reach out to references beyond those mentioned in the candidate’s application. The Selection Panel also requests writing samples, preferably those that demonstrate analysis and are centered around advocacy and litigation. Finally, five names are presented to the Board of Judges, who decide whom to appoint as a Magistrate Judge. While reviewing applications, members of the Selection Panel look for the following qualities: scholarship, from academic records to achievements; active practice of the law, including breadth and depth of experience, professional competence, and pro bono and public service activities; knowledge of the court system and recent experience in front of the federal bench; and personal attributes, or judicial temperament.
Judge Kuo advised individuals applying to become a Magistrate Judge to prepare for their interviews by going back and reading their application and writing samples, looking up the biographies of members of the Selection Panel, and reviewing the Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Bulsara urged candidates to take advantage of the mock interviews offered by AABANY and sit in on proceedings in court.
We thank our panelists for speaking on the program and sharing insightful advice about the process of becoming a United States Magistrate Judge. Thanks also to Austin D’Souza for serving as an excellent moderator. For more information on AABANY’s Judiciary Committee, please see https://www.aabany.org/page/115.
On Thursday, May 23, 2019, AABANY and SABANY co-sponsored a trial reenactment of two Supreme Court cases, Takao Ozawa v. United States (1922), and United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923) at the Ceremonial Courtroom in 225 Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn. These cases revolved around the fight of two Asian Americans to become naturalized U.S. citizens.
Takao Ozawa, was born in Japan but moved to the United States at a young age in 1914. He attended the University of California, became a businessman, converted to Christianity, got married and had children in the United States. He sought to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, but his application was denied. His fight for citizenship went all the way to the Supreme Court, where he argued that people of Japanese descent should be classified as “free white persons” under the Naturalization Act of 1906. However, Justice Sutherland, writing for a unanimous Court, held that a person of Japanese descent could not be classified as “white.” In reaching that decision, the court relied on scientific evidence and found that the term “white persons” in the Naturalization Act of 1906 only includes persons of the “Caucasian race.”
Bhagat Singh was born in India and received his bachelor’s degree there before moving to the United States, seeking higher education in 1913. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of California and went on to give lectures in metaphysics. He also joined the U.S. Army during World War I and became the first turbaned Sikh man to serve alongside American soldiers. After the war ended, he was honorably discharged and applied for citizenship. His petition for citizenship was granted initially in Oregon, but government attorneys initiated proceedings to have it canceled on the grounds that he was not “white.” His case went to the Supreme Court, where he presented scientific evidence asserting that South Asians, such as himself, were actually of Aryan descent and therefore of the Caucasian race and thus he should be granted citizenship.
However, the Supreme Court held that even though it “may be true that the blond Scandinavian and the brown Hindu have a common ancestor in the dim reaches of antiquity … the average man knows perfectly well that there are unmistakable and profound differences between them today.” The court backtracked on the rationale it used in Ozawa, where it relied on scientific evidence to find that Takao Ozawa could not be classified as Caucasian, and therefore was ineligible for citizenship.
As a result of the Supreme Court’s rulings in Ozawa and Thind, many Asians were stripped of their citizenship retroactively, leading a man named Vaishno Das Bagai to take his own life. He left a note that read: “But now they come and say to me I am no longer an American citizen. What have I made of myself and my children? We cannot exercise our rights, we cannot leave this country. Humility and insults… blockades this way, and bridges burned behind.”
These two Supreme Court decisions are a stain on our great nation’s history. They set the precedent that being an American was not enough, that to be a real American you had to be “white” based on society’s perception of what qualifies as “white” during a given period of time in history.
The reenactment serves as a reminder of the struggles that Asian Americans had to endure in the past, and it highlights why we must continue to strive to create change for the future generations of Asian Americans.
We thank Judge Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin for leading the reenactment program and thank our judicial all-star cast which included: EDNY Chief Judge Hon. Dora Irizarry, Hon. Kiyo Matsumoto, Hon. Pamela Chen, Hon. Peggy Kuo, Hon. Sanket Bulsara, and Hon. Faviola Soto.
Thanks to SABANY for performing this re-enactment. AABANY was proud to be a co-sponsor, presenting 1.5 CLE credits in the Diversity & Inclusion category.
The EDNY ADR Department is currently accepting applications for a new pilot program entitled the EDNY Mediator Incubator.
The Mediator Incubator is designed as a means to recruit and train junior attorneys (less than 10 years of experience) to serve as mediators on the EDNY Mediation Panel. Incubator candidates will participate in an initial orientation and training session, and then be permitted to observe three EDNY cases and co-mediate three EDNY cases under the supervision and guidance of experienced EDNY mediators. Upon completion of their observations and co-mediations, incubator participants will be eligible to apply for membership to the EDNY Mediation Panel. Additional information about the Mediator Incubator is available here: https://www.nyed.uscourts.gov/mediator-incubator
As this is a pilot program,
the initial class will be very small (most likely 4 candidates). Below
is the link to the application which is due on April 1, 2019:
The U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of New York serves a wide variety of litigants, including
persons of varying age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual
orientation, physical or mental ability, religion, socioeconomic and family
status. The Court’s ADR Department recognizes that mediators and arbitrators
with a wide variety of cultural and life experiences enrich the program
by bringing diverse perspectives to resolving disputes. To that end, applicants
of all diverse backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply.
AABANY President James Cho alerted us to this wonderful training opportunity for junior lawyers:
EDNY Bankruptcy Court Announces Junior Lawyer Workshop at the Brooklyn Courthouse on November 27,2018, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Register Today! [Follow the link in the title]
The EDNY Bankruptcy Court will conduct a workshop for junior lawyers at the Brooklyn Courthouse on November 27 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. The workshop will give junior and less experienced lawyers the opportunity to gain experience and training in courtroom skills by arguing motions that were filed in chapter 7,11 and 13 cases. The motions will be argued without opposition. They will be on a teaching calendar called and argued in Court with an EDNY Bankruptcy Judge presiding. Participating lawyers will each be assigned a motion in advance, will argue it and receive feedback from the Bankruptcy Judge and more experienced bankruptcy lawyers present who are members of the EDNY Chapter 11 Lawyers’ Advisory Committee. Approximately ten minutes will be set aside for each participant to present argument and receive individual feedback. After the motions on the calendar have been argued, there will be time for questions and discussion.
The workshop will not be a competition or moot court exercise. It is designed to provide a “safe” environment for junior and less experienced lawyers to practice argument and improve their courtroom skills.
The workshop is offered to help implement the policy recently adopted by the Court that, “where junior lawyers are familiar with the matter under consideration, but are not experienced in arguing before a court, they should be encouraged to participate.” In these circumstances, “where it creates an opportunity for a junior lawyer to argue, this Court is amenable to permitting more than one lawyer to argue for a party.” The new policy is highlighted on the Court’s web site: http://www.nyeb.uscourts.gov/news/edny-bankruptcy-court-policy-provide-opportunities-courtroom-skills-development
There will be a limited number of lawyers in the workshop. The Bankruptcy Judges are volunteering their time to prepare for and preside at the workshop. Please register only if you are able to commit to participate. The deadline to register is November 9, 2018.
Junior lawyers, including first year associates who have taken the Bar exam as well as lawyers who have practiced for a number of years but have limited or no courtroom experience, may register for the workshop by following the link posted in the “News & Announcements” section of the Court’s web site home page. The participants will receive detailed instructions for the workshop and their assigned motion a few weeks in advance of the workshop.
Participants will receive by November 16 the assignments of the motions they will argue and will be contacted one week before the workshop to answer any questions they may have and confirm their appearance. If you must cancel your appearance, give at least 48 hours advance notice to the EDNY Chapter 11 Lawyers’ Advisory Committee by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
In addition to junior and less experienced lawyers, all members of the Bar are invited to register attend the workshop as an observer by following the link posted in the “News & Announcements” section of the Court’s home page.
The Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) Committee of the Eastern District of New York is implementing a new Mentoring Program for criminal practitioners who are interested in gaining federal criminal experience and participating in the CJA Panel. Although one objective of the Mentoring Program is to encourage increased diversity among our Panel members, all interested, qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.
Please circulate the Program description and Mentee application to any members of your organization who may be interested in applying. Applications are available on the EDNY webpage and must be submitted to the Clerk of Court on or before November 23, 2016.