NAPABA APPLAUDS NOMINATION OF THEODORE CHUANG TO SERVE AS DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2013

Contact: Emily Chatterjee
(202) 775-9555

NAPABA APPLAUDS NOMINATION OF THEODORE CHUANG TO SERVE AS DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama nominated Theodore Chuang to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. If confirmed, Chuang will be the first person of Asian descent to serve as a federal judge in the state of Maryland, and the first person of Asian descent to serve as an Article III judge in any of the courts covered by the Fourth Circuit.

“We commend Theodore Chuang on his historic nomination to the federal bench,” said Tina Matsuoka, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Mr. Chuang is exceptionally qualified to serve on the federal judiciary in Maryland. We also applaud President Obama’s ongoing commitment to nominating qualified Asian Pacific Americans to serve on the federal courts.” If all of the current Asian Pacific American judicial nominees are confirmed by the Senate, President Obama will have more than tripled than the number of Asian Pacific American federal judges since he first took office.

Mr. Chuang currently serves as Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he has worked since 2009. Previously, Chuang was the Chief Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in 2009 and Deputy Chief Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from 2007 to 2009. From 1998 to 2004, Chuang served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts. Prior to becoming a federal prosecutor, Chuang was a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Chuang also has been active in community service. He has held leadership positions with the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, District of Columbia Bar, and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington D.C. Area.

NAPABA commends President Obama for nominating Theodore Chuang to the bench and Senators Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin of Maryland for their support of his nomination.

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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 66 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service 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.

INDIRA TALWANI NOMINATED TO SERVE AS DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400 
Washington, DC 20006


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
September 24, 2013

Contact: Emily Chatterjee 
(202) 775-9555

INDIRA TALWANI NOMINATED TO SERVE AS DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama nominated Ms. Indira Talwani to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. If confirmed, Talwani will be the first person of Asian descent to serve as a federal judge in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the first person of Asian descent to serve as an Article III judge in the First Circuit, and only the second female Article III judge of South Asian descent nationwide.

“We applaud Indira Talwani’s historic nomination to the federal bench,” said Wendy C. Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Ms. Talwani has the right experience, intellect, integrity, and temperament to serve with distinction on the federal judiciary in Massachusetts. We hope that the Senate votes to confirm her swiftly.”

Since 2003, Talwani has served as a partner with the Massachusetts law firm of Segal Roitman. Previously, Talwani was a partner with the San Francisco law firm of Altshuler Berzon LLP. After graduating from Harvard/Radcliffe College and University of California Berkeley School of Law, she began her legal career by serving as a law clerk for the Honorable Stanley A. Weigel on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Talwani has received numerous awards for her professional accomplishments, including: Best Lawyers in America (2013); Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2012); Top 10 Lawyers of the Year, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (2010); and Chinese Progressive Association’s Workers Justice Award (2012).

NAPABA commends President Obama for nominating Indira Talwani to the bench and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts for her support of the nomination. Talwani along with fellow Asian Pacific American nominees Vince Chhabria and Manish Shah await Senate confirmation votes. If all three are confirmed to the bench, President Obama will have tripled the number of Asian Pacific American Article III judges on the federal judiciary from eight to twenty-four.

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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 66 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service 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.

NAPABA Press Release: Manish Shah Nominated to Serve as District Court Judge

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400 
Washington, DC 20006


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
September 19, 2013

Contact: Emily Chatterjee 
(202) 775-9555

MANISH SHAH NOMINATED TO SERVE AS DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama nominated Manish Suresh Shah to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. If confirmed, Shah will be the first person of South Asian descent to serve as an Article III judge in the state of Illinois.

“We applaud Manish Shah’s historic nomination to the federal bench,” said Wendy C. Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Mr. Shah has devoted his career to public service in the U.S. Attorney’s office, and his deep experience in criminal law will be an asset to the Northern District of Illinois. We hope that the Senate votes to confirm him swiftly.”

Since 2001, Shah has worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. Since July 2012, he has served as Chief of the Criminal Division, and previously served as Chief of Criminal Appeals. During his time as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, he has also worked in the General Crimes, Narcotics & Gangs, and Public Corruption units. Shah attended the University of Chicago Law School and Stanford University, and went on to clerk for Judge James B. Zagel of the Northern District of Illinois.

NAPABA commends President Obama for nominating Mr. Shah to the bench and Senators Kirk and Durbin of Illinois for their support of his nomination.

SDNY NOTICE: SDNY Accepting Applications for Magistrate Judge

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has announced a vacancy for a full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge position in the White Plains courthouse.  The SDNY’s public notice, which contains additional information about the position and the application, is available on the court’s website at www.nysd.uscourts.gov.  AABANY encourages all qualified attorneys with an interest in serving in the federal judiciary to submit an application, which is due no later than September 30, 2013.  If you have any questions about the position or would like assistance in connection with your application, please contact any of the Co-chairs of AABANY’s Judiciary Committee: 

AABANY asks: Have you served as a judicial clerk?

Clerking is an invaluable experience that not only provides excellent practical skills training but also enables you to build close relationships with judges and fellow clerks. For the benefit of our members, AABANY will be holding two information sessions on judicial clerkships in October 2013, possibly one focusing on federal clerkships and the other on state clerkships (more details to come). We would like these sessions to be as robust as possible, and to that end, we’d like to compile a list of all AABANY members who are former clerks to create an informal mentoring circle and to invite to speak at the sessions. If you have clerked for a either a state or federal judge (not an internship/externship), please contact Lina Zhou at lina.zhou@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for your help!

NAPABA CELEBRATES CONFIRMATION OF RAYMOND T. CHEN TO THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400 
Washington, DC 20006


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
August 1, 2013

Contact: Emily Chatterjee 
(202) 775-9555

NAPABA CELEBRATES CONFIRMATION OF RAYMOND T. CHEN TO THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT

President Obama Doubles the Number of Asian Pacific American 
Circuit Court Judges in History

WASHINGTON—Today, the Senate confirmed Raymond T. Chen to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit by a unanimous vote. He is the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the court since Judge Shiro Kashiwa retired from the Federal Circuit in 1986.

“NAPABA celebrates Ray Chen’s nomination to the Federal Circuit, which we are proud to have supported,” said Wendy Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “He has superb credentials to serve on this court, and we commend President Obama for nominating him. NAPABA also thanks Senator Mazie Hirono for her support of his nomination in the Senate.”

Since 2008, Chen has served as the Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He began his tenure at the office in 1998 as an Associate Solicitor. During his time there, he has received numerous awards for his service, including: the Gold Medal Award, U.S. Department of Commerce (2011); the Bronze Medal Award, U.S. Department of Commerce (2005); and Attorney of the Year, Office of the Solicitor. Chen previously worked as a technical assistant at the Federal Circuit from 1996 to 1998. Prior to government service, Chen worked as an associate at the law firm Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear from 1994 to 1996 and as a scientist at Hecker & Harriman (now Hecker Law Group) in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and the University of California, Los Angeles.

With Chen’s confirmation, President Obama has doubled the number of Asian Pacific American circuit court judges in our nation’s history. Despite the tremendous progress made during the Obama Administration, however, Asian Pacific Americans continue to be significantly underrepresented in the federal judiciary. Only four out of over 180 federal appellate court judges in the entire nation are held by individuals with Asian Pacific American heritage. NAPABA salutes President Obama for his continued commitment to nominating well-qualified, diverse nominees to the federal judiciary.

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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 66 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service 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.

Press Release: AABANY WELCOMES AND APPLAUDS THE CONFIRMATION OF LORNA G. SCHOFIELD TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Yang Chen, Executive Director, (718) 228-7206

NEW YORK – December 14, 2012 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) welcomes and applauds the historic confirmation of Lorna G. Schofield to the Southern District of New York.  On December 13, the United States Senate confirmed Lorna Schofield by a 91-0 vote to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  She is the first person of Filipino descent to serve as an Article III judge in American history.

“AABANY congratulates Ms. Schofield on her historic confirmation as a federal judge for the Southern District of New York and is proud to have supported her candidacy,” said Jean Lee, President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York.  “We applaud President Obama and Senator Schumer for nominating such a highly-qualified jurist and continuing their commitment to a well-qualified and diverse federal bench.” Ms. Schofield’s life story is the epitome of the “American Dream.”  Growing up in New Haven, Indiana, she was the only child of a Filipina war bride who married an American service man.  She was raised by her mother, who came to the United States and became a pharmacist, stressing hard work, achievement, independence and self-sufficiency.  Ms. Schofield lived in a predominantly Caucasian and blue collar community, where there was little ethnic diversity.  Despite the odds against her, Ms. Schofield went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Indiana University.  Thereafter, she graduated from New York University School of Law, where she was an editor of the Law Review and a Pomeroy Scholar.  Ms. Schofield’s achievements clearly did not stop there.

Prior to joining the bench, Judge Schofield practiced at the New York law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton for over 20 years.  In 1991, she became the firm’s first partner of color, and, for the past year, has served as Of Counsel to the firm.  Before joining Debevoise, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (Criminal Division) for four years.  Ms. Schofield was also the first Asian Pacific American to chair the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, and she previously served as a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.  In 2008, the National Law Journal named Ms. Schofield one of the nation’s 50 most influential minority lawyers.

“With her confirmation, Ms. Schofield joins the growing number of distinguished Asian Pacific Americans who have been recognized for service on our federal courts,” said Theodore K. Cheng, Co-chair of AABANY’s Judiciary Committee.  “Although Asian Pacific Americans remain significantly under-represented at all levels in the Federal Judiciary, President Barack Obama should be commended for his tireless dedication to increasing diversity on the federal bench, and we thank Senator Charles E. Schumer for recommending her to the President.”

Judge Schofield is only the second Asian Pacific American to serve on the Southern District bench, and she will join Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto of the Eastern District of New York as the only Article III judges of Asian descent serving anywhere in the federal district courts of New York.  While Asian Pacific Americans make up approximately 14 percent of New York City’s population, only two of the over 90 active and senior Article III judges currently serving in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York are Asian Pacific Americans.  The nomination of another well-qualified Asian Pacific American, Pamela K. Chen, awaits a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.  Senator Schumer recommended Ms. Chen for a seat on the Eastern District of New York, and President Obama nominated her in August 2012.

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The Asian American Bar Association of New York was formed in 1989 as a not-for-profit corporation to represent the interests of New York Asian-American attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, paralegals and law students.  The mission of AABANY is to improve the study and practice of law, and the fair administration of justice for all by ensuring the meaningful participation of Asian Americans in the legal profession.

NYCLA Task Force Issues Report on Impact of Budgets Cuts on SDNY

Here’s the text from NYCLA’s press release on this important issue:

CONTACT: Anita Aboulafia 212 267-6646 ext. 225 aaboulafia@nycla.org

NYCLA Task Force Concludes Judicial Budget Cuts on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York May Heighten Security Risks 

NYCLA Task Force suggests lack of funding has negative effects on court operations.  

 New York, NY – August 26, 2011 – The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) Task Force on Judicial Budget Cuts, focusing on the effects of budget cuts on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, released a Preliminary Report that concludes security may be at risk at the Daniel P. Moynihan Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street and overall courthouse operations will be affected as a result of anticipated personnel reductions. 

 “The NYCLA Preliminary Report documents the effect that budget cuts had on the court this current year and will have in fiscal year 2012,” said NYCLA President Stewart D. Aaron. “The Southern District of New York is the Mother Court, the oldest district court in the country.  It is important that the Congress and President Barack Obama pay particular heed to the effect of budget cuts in the Southern District, not only because of the impacts on that court, but also because they are emblematic of the issues faced by federal courts around the country.”

 The Preliminary Report, released on August 25, includes a detailed letter from Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York, Hon. Loretta A. Preska, noting that fundamental security issues identified in September 2002 have never been addressed due to budgetary considerations. According to the Report, “The courthouse is an obvious terrorist target and has an average of 2,500 visitors or more per day.”

 Highlights from the report include:

  • Lack of funding has resulted in delays in construction of a visitor’s screening pavilion outside the Moynihan Courthouse public entrance and delays in the relocation and protection of the air intakes.
  • Fiscal year 2011 saw budget cuts of 7.6%, resulting in reductions in non-personnel spending.
  • Further budget reductions are anticipated for fiscal year 2012, which may require non-judicial personnel reductions of up to 15%. 
  • In the event of a shutdown, “non-essential” personnel would be furloughed. 

“Security at the Courthouse and the safety of Court personnel, attorneys and the public are matters of paramount concern that should be addressed immediately,” said Michael McNamara, chair of the Task Force’s Federal Courts Subcommittee.

 Hon. Stephen G. Crane and Michael Miller, co-chairs of the Task Force, stated, “As this report demonstrates, the Federal Court has not been immune to budget cuts.” The Task Force plans to conduct a more in-depth investigation over the next several months, which will include sponsoring a public hearing at NYCLA in the fall, and the preparation of a more comprehensive report on the impact of the budget cuts on the administration of justice. 

About the New York County Lawyers’ Association

The New York County Lawyers’ Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.

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