NAPABA Applauds the Historic Nomination of Tana Lin to Serve the U.S. District Court for Western District of Washington

For Immediate Release: Date: April 29, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden nominated Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. If confirmed, Lin will be the first Asian American in the state of Washington to be a sitting Article III judge.

“NAPABA congratulates Tana Lin on her historic nomination to be the first Asian American district court judge on the federal bench in the state of Washington,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “She has a demonstrated commitment to her community, including as an active member of our NAPABA affiliate, the Asian Bar Association of Washington. We applaud President Biden for continuing to nominate judicial candidates who will better reflect the diversity of the communities and nation they are being called to serve.”

Ms. Lin has a strong record of public service beginning her career with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, handling cases at both the trial and appellate stages. She then joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where she enforced federal anti-discrimination laws as a trial attorney with the Employment Litigation Section. She continued her public service at the Chicago office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she investigated and litigated employment discrimination cases, enforcing civil rights statutes including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Between 2001-2004, she was the litigation coordinator for the Michigan Poverty Law Program. Ms. Lin is currently of Counsel at Keller Rohback LLP where she handles a variety of complex litigation matters. Her pro bono work there includes securing a nationwide preliminary injunction against the suspension of follow-to-join refugee admissions which was part of the Muslim travel ban. With 30 years of legal experience, she has been named to the Super Lawyers List for Washington from 2012, and 2014-2020.

Ms. Lin immigrated to the United States from Taiwan when she was 3-years old, and worked her way through high school and also while attending Cornell University and the New York University School of Law.

NAPABA urges the Senate to swiftly confirm Tana Lin for District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

In the News: Judge James Cho and President Terry Shen in NYLJ

AABANY President Terry Shen was quoted in a New York Law Journal article published on April 6, 2021 titled “Former Federal Prosecutor Named US Magistrate Judge in Brooklyn.” The article highlights AABANY Past President James Cho, who was sworn in on Monday, April 5 as the Eastern District of New York’s newest magistrate judge and the district’s first Korean American judge. 

In the article, Terry Shen was quoted praising the appointment as “another important step” toward more diversity on the bench. Speaking more about Judge Cho, Terry said: “In his time as president of AABANY, Judge Cho displayed a combination of insightful leadership, work ethic, and commitment to public service that will undoubtedly equip him to be an exceptional federal judge. We congratulate Mr. Cho on this outstanding achievement.” 

To read the full article on Law.com, please click here (subscription may be required).

NAPABA Congratulates Katherine Tai on Confirmation as U.S. Trade Representative

For Immediate Release: Date: March 18, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) celebrates Katherine Tai’s confirmation to be U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in the Biden-Harris administration. Tai is the first Asian American woman and woman of color to lead the agency.

“We congratulate Katherine Tai on her historic confirmation today,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Ambassador Tai’s confirmation by a 98 to 0 vote to lead the Biden-Harris administration’s trade policy shows that she is the most qualified person for this position. We look forward to Ambassador Tai serving as a voice for our community in the Cabinet, especially in the wake of increased acts of hate against Asian Americans.”

Tai formerly served as Chief Trade Counsel and Staff Director of the Trade Subcommittee in the Ways & Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and clerked for Judge John D. Bates, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Tai is the first AAPI to be confirmed to serve in President Biden’s Cabinet. She was first nominated December 2020. NAPABA advocated for Ambassador Katherine Tai’s nomination. We thank President Biden and the Senate for nominating and confirming her.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession. 

NAPABA Congratulates Katherine Tai on Nomination for U.S. Trade Representative

For Immediate Release: December 10, 2020

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Katherine Tai on her nomination to be U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in the Biden-Harris administration. If confirmed, Tai will be the first woman of color to lead the agency.

“Katherine Tai has been a valued member of our NAPABA community, and we are thrilled that President-elect Biden has nominated her to be U.S. Trade Representative,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Her background is a story that many AAPIs can relate to—like many of us, Katherine is the daughter of immigrants who came to this country to embark on a better life. Since then, she has excelled in her illustrious career, counselling our nation’s leaders on trade policy in past administrations and in Congress. NAPABA congratulates Katherine and urges the Senate to confirm her as Trade Representative.”

Tai is currently Chief Trade Counsel and Staff Director of the Trade Subcommittee in the Ways & Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. She formerly served as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and clerked for Judge John D. Bates, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

NAPABA advocated for Katherine Tai’s nomination. We thank President-elect Biden for nominating her to the position.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

NAPABA and GAPABA Celebrate the Appointment of Judge Carla Wong McMillian to the Supreme Court of Georgia

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA) celebrate the appointment of Judge Carla Wong McMillian to the Supreme Court of Georgia. Appointed by Governor Brian Kemp on March 27, 2020, Judge McMillian will be the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the state’s highest court when sworn in.

“NAPABA extends congratulations to Judge Carla Wong McMillian on her appointment to the Supreme Court of Georgia,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, NAPABA President. “A leader in her community and past president of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Judge McMillian will bring her record of legal excellence to the bench. During this challenging time, it is uplifting news to celebrate Judge McMillian blazing the trail as the first AAPI nominated to Georgia’s highest court.”

”GAPABA is thrilled that our own Judge Carla Wong McMillian has been appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court,” said Angela Hsu, GAPABA President. “Currently, there are no other AAPI serving on the highest courts of any state in the South, the Southeast or the Midwest. In addition to the historic nature of this appointment, Judge McMillian is a jurist, a colleague and a friend who has the love and respect of the entire legal community.”

“We are extremely proud to hear that Judge Carla McMillian has been elevated to the Supreme Court of Georgia,” added Judge Benes Aldana (ret.), chair of the NAPABA Judicial Council.

“Justice McMillian is an active member of the NAPABA Judicial Council and has been a trailblazer and an inspiration to our community.  Her elevation to the highest court in Georgia makes her the first and only Asian Pacific American to serve on a state supreme court in the South. This is such welcome news during these difficult times for our nation, as we see a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans.” 

Judge McMillian has served on the Court of Appeals of Georgia since 2013. In 2014, she became the first and only Asian American elected to statewide office in Georgia. Prior to joining the Court of Appeals, she served as a state court judge for Fayette County. Before her appointment to the bench, Judge McMillian was a partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP (now known as Eversheds Sutherland). A current board member and past president of GAPABA, she is also a past recipient of NAPABA’s “Best Lawyers Under 40” Award. Judge McMillian is a graduate of Duke University and received her law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law.

First General Interest Meeting Held for Proposed Family and Elder Law Committee

Over 20 people attended the first general interest meeting of the proposed Family and Elder Law Committee on January 21 at Kleyman Law Firm. The Family and Elder Law Committee seeks to provide legal practitioners and the community with valuable resources, networking opportunities, and CLE workshops that address issues related to divorce, custody, support, child abuse/neglect, domestic violence, long-term care planning, advanced directives, and guardianship.

The Family and Elder Law committee hopes to provide an outlet to support the members that practice in these fields and provide guidance to other attorneys who do not. Participating members of the committee can learn from experienced family, matrimonial and elder law attorneys regarding these issues. There will be many opportunities to advocate, volunteer, take on pro bono cases and network with legal professionals in these fields.

We were honored to have Alvin Tsang, who wrote and directed his documentary film about immigration and divorce, Reunification, join us. We hope to co-sponsor the screening of his film in March/April. We discussed many great ideas of having mediation trainings, holding workshops on Know Your Rights, and  reaching out to other not-for-profit organizations for sponsorship and collaboration. Your inputs are greatly appreciated and we hope to implement them moving forward.

For more information, please contact Yan Sin – sinsengyan(a)gmail.com; Beatrice Leong – leongbeatrice(a)gmail.com; and May Wong – maywong.esq(a)gmail.com.

Last but not least, many thanks to Beatrice Leong and her firm, Kleyman Law Firm, who lent us the space for this inspirational meeting and Yan Sin for providing the Maury show souvenirs for our raffle winners!  

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 the Pending Nomination of Shireen Matthews to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

For Immediate Release
August 29, 2019
For More Information, Contact:
Navdeep Singh, Policy Director
202-775-9555; nsingh@napaba.org

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the announcement that President Trump intends to nominate Shireen Matthews to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. If confirmed, Matthews will be the first Asian Pacific American woman and first Indian American to serve as an Article III federal judge in the Southern District.

Matthews is currently a partner at Jones Day. A former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, she served as the Criminal Health Care Fraud Coordinator. Her work has been recognized by the Federal Bar Association, the U.S. Attorney, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Social Security Administration, and the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services. She has extensive trial experience, and she has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Outside of the courtroom, Matthews has demonstrated a commitment to the profession and the community. She recently served as a lawyer representative for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and provides pro bono legal assistance to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. She is an advocate for diversity within the profession, serving on Jones Day’s Diversity, Inclusion and Advancement Committee, as the Hiring Partner for Jones Day’s San Diego office, and on the board of the South Asian Bar Association of San Diego, a NAPABA affiliate.

She clerked for Judge Irma E. Gonzalez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. She is a graduate of Georgetown University (magna cum laude) and the Duke University School of Law (cum laude).

“Shireen Matthews is experienced attorney, both in the public and private sectors. She will be a well-qualified addition to the bench in the Southern District of California,” said NAPABA President Daniel Sakaguchi. “Shireen is a past president of the San Diego chapter of the South Asian Bar Association, a local affiliate of NAPABA. She has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving her community and promoting diversity in the legal profession. NAPABA applauds the announcement of her pending nomination and urges the Senate to quickly confirm her to the court.”

NAPABA commends President Trump for announcing his intent to nominate Shireen Matthews. NAPABA extends its gratitude to Senators Feinstein and Harris for recommending her to the White House.

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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.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

NAPABA Applauds the Nomination of Judge Anuraag “Raag” Singhal to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

For Immediate Release
August 15, 2019
For More Information, Contact:
Navdeep Singh, Policy Director
202-775-9555; nsingh@napaba.org

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the nomination of Judge Anuraag “Raag” Singhal to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by President Trump. If confirmed, Judge Singhal will be the first Asian Pacific American and Indian American to serve as an Article III federal judge in the Eleventh Circuit (Alabama, Georgia, and Florida).

Judge Singhal is a Circuit Court Judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida. Prior to his appointment, he practiced criminal defense law and was a prosecutor in the Office of the State Attorney. He is a graduate of Rice University and Wake Forest University School of Law.

He has demonstrated a commitment to service and diversity through his involvement in the legal community. Judge Singhal has supported numerous bar associations in South Florida, including the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida, the South Asian Bar Association of South Florida, the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association, the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association, and the Broward County Bar Association. He is the recipient of the 2018 Stephen R. Booher Award, presented by the Broward County Bar Association, which recognizes jurists who display humanity, integrity, and dedication to the Bench, Bar, and Community.

“Judge Raag Singhal is an experienced jurist and will be a strong addition to the bench in the Southern District of Florida,” said NAPABA President Daniel Sakaguchi. “An active supporter of our local affiliate bar association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida, Judge Singhal has deep connections to the community. NAPABA applauds his historic nomination and urges the Senate to quickly confirm him to the court.”

NAPABA commends President Trump for nominating Judge Singhal. NAPABA extends its gratitude to Senators Rubio and Scott for recommending Judge Singhal to the White House.

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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.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

AABANY CONGRATULATES JUDGE LILLIAN WAN ON HER HISTORIC APPOINTMENT AS THE FIRST ASIAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO SERVE ON THE NEW YORK COURT OF CLAIMS

NEW YORK – June 25, 2018- The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”)
congratulates the Honorable Lillian Wan on being confirmed by the New York State Senate on
June 20, 2018, to sit as a judge on the New York Court of Claims, where she will rule on cases
involving claims against the state or its agencies. As Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Brooklyn) stated
at the confirmation, Judge Wan will be “making history” by serving as the first Asian American
woman on the Court of Claims. 

Prior to her confirmation, Judge Wan served as a Judge on the Kings County Family Court after
being appointed in 2012 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, where she heard a number of
complex cases pertaining to child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency, and family offenses. She
also presided over “crossover youth” cases, which involve children who enter the juvenile justice
system after spending time in the state’s child welfare system or in foster care. 

Before being appointed to the bench, Judge Wan led a successful legal career as an experienced
trial attorney for the Administration for Children’s Services (“ACS”) in the Family Court Legal
Services Division, where she litigated cases on neglect and abuse. Judge Wan also served as a
Court Attorney-Referee in Kings County Surrogate’s Court, where she participated in settlement
conferences and held hearings related to guardianship, kinship, adoption, and estates. Judge Wan
received her B.A. from Binghamton University and her J.D. from Albany Law School, where she
served on the Albany Law Review and graduated within the top five of her class. 

Judge Wan is an active member of various organizations and committees dedicated to the
advancement of justice, including the Encourage Judicial Service Committee and the New York
State Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics. She currently serves as a board member for the
Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and the New York State Family Court Judges Association,
and has served as the former Co-Chair of the Government and Public Sector (now the
Government and Public Interest) Committee for AABANY. Judge Wan is active within her local
community, taking part in outreach programs such as the National Association of Women Judges
“Color of Justice” Program, which aims to introduce students to the legal profession. 

“AABANY is immensely proud of Judge Wan. Her experience in the courtroom, compassion,
and unwavering dedication make her an unparalleled candidate to serve as a judge on the Court
of Claims,” said James Cho, President of AABANY. “Judge Wan’s confirmation also reminds us
of the progress we have made in advancing diversity and inclusion on the bench; Asian Pacific
Americans and other minority communities continue to be underrepresented on the bench, but
we are gratified to see that New York is appointing minority judges like Judge Wan. Her
appointment marks a historic and significant step forward in making the judiciary more diverse
and inclusive.” 

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-
2478, or direct any inquiries to main@aabany.org. 

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of
attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated
in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also
to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is a New York
regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). 

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