AABANY Presents Robe to Hon. Michael H. Park

AABANY presented Hon. Michael H. Park with a robe on Thursday, July 25, at his chambers, at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse.  President Brian Song, joined by Judiciary Committee Co-Chairs Will Wang and Rena Malik, were on hand for the presentation.

On July 11th, AABANY co-sponsored the robing ceremony for the Hon. Michael H. Park with KAAGNY and KALAGNY at the Museum of Korean American Heritage. Click here for more details and photos. AABANY congratulates Judge Park again on his historic appointment to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  

NAPABA Congratulates APA Nominees to the Second and Ninth Circuits

On Wednesday, President Trump announced his intent to nominate three Asian Pacific Americans to serve on the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Michael H. Park was nominated to serve as a judge on the Second Circuit. Patrick J. Bumatay and Kenneth K. Lee were nominated to serve as judges on the Ninth Circuit. If they are confirmed, the number of active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judges would increase to a historic ten. Six Asian Pacific Americans have been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals this year, which is the highest number to ever have been nominated to federal appellate courts during a single presidential term. This is also the first time that three Asian Pacific Americans have been nominated to federal appellate court judgeships in a single day.

Michael H. Park is a partner at Consovoy McCarthy Park, where he focuses on litigation and securities enforcement. He has experience in both private practice and government, including in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. He clerked for then-Judge Samuel Alito on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and later clerked for Justice Alito on the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School. If confirmed, Park would be the second Asian Pacific American to serve on the Second Circuit.

Patrick J. Bumatay is an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. He is currently on detail to the Office of the Attorney General in the Department of Justice. Bumatay has held numerous positions in public service throughout the Department of Justice. 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, its affiliated bar—the National Filipino American Lawyers Association—and the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association. If confirmed, Bumatay would be the first Filipino American to serve as an Article III federal appellate judge.

Kenneth Kiyul Lee is a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, where his practice focuses on internal investigations and appellate litigation before multiple U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is also member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and maintains a robust pro bono practice. Lee has worked in private practice and as Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush. He clerked for Judge Emilio M. Garza of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. If confirmed, Lee would join Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, the only other active Asian Pacific American judge on the Ninth Circuit.

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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On July 16th, NYCLA and AABANY honored Glenn Lau-Kee for his historical accomplishment of becoming the 117th President of the New York State Bar Association and the first Asian-American to hold this position.

Margaret Ling, Chair of NYCLA’s Asian Practice Committee and co-chair of AABANY’s Real Estate Committee, began the program by introducing Presiding Justice of the Second Department, Hon. Randall T. Eng, to present the first remarks of the evening.

Margaret then introduced representatives from the many organizations Glenn has impacted or been part of, many of whom shared personal stories of their work with or connection to Glenn. Among the speakers were Lewis Tesser, President of NYCLA, Bridgette Ahn, Vice President of Programs and Committees for KALAGNY, Nadine Fontaine, Immediate Past President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, Rosevelie Marquez Morales, Co-Chair of NYSBA’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Alex Lee, Vice President of Finance and Development for NAPABA, and Clara Ohr, President of AABANY.

NYCLA’s Solo and Small Firm Committee was a co-sponsor of the event, and Co-Chairs Tsui Yee and Paige Zandri offered remarks on behalf of that committee. Tsui also co-chairs AABANY’s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee. Vince Chang, a Past President of AABANY, presented remarks on behalf of NYCLA’s Federal Courts Committee, another co-sponsor of the event.

Representatives from Federal, State and City government were on hand to honor Glenn. The Governor’s Office, represented by Mecca Santana, Chief Diversity Officer, presented a greeting letter from the Governor to Glenn. Sandra Ung, Chief Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Grace Meng, presented a commendation to Glenn from Congresswoman Meng’s office. Jimmy Yan, Chief Deputy General Counsel for New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, offered congratulations on behalf of the Comptroller.

All of the speakers extolled Glenn for his outstanding record of leadership and status as a significant role model for Asian American, minority and under-represented groups.

After all the speeches were given, Glenn’s father, Norman Kee, a trailblazer in his own right, introduced Glenn. Glenn expressed his gratitude for the honors bestowed upon him at the reception. He urged everyone, especially young lawyers, to get involved in bar associations – any bar association – as a way to develop as lawyers and serve the profession.

Congratulations to Glenn on his historic achievement, and thanks to Margaret Ling for organizing the reception and NYCLA for hosting it. Thanks to all the government officials, bar leaders, friends and family who came out to celebrate.

PRESS RELEASE: NAPABA Celebrates Historic Milestone with Chuang Confirmation to the Federal District Court for Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2014

Contact: Emily Chatterjee
(202) 775-9555

NAPABA CELEBRATES HISTORIC MILESTONE WITH CHUANG CONFIRMATION TO THE FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT FOR MARYLAND

WASHINGTON — Today, with the confirmation of Theodore Chuang to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the Obama Administration has tripled the number of Asian Pacific American judges on the federal bench, going from 8 judges to 24 active Article III APA judges since 2008. Judge Chuang is the first Asian Pacific American judge to serve on the federal judiciary in Maryland or in any of the states in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

“Theodore Chuang’s confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland is a historic occasion on many fronts,” said William J. Simonitsch, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Judge Chuang has a long history of public service and will be the first Asian Pacific American federal judge to ever sit on the bench in Maryland, breaking yet another barrier in the legal profession. He has long been an active member of NAPABA and the Asian Pacific American community, and we are proud to have supported his nomination. We applaud Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin of Maryland for putting Judge Chuang’s name forward.”

“Judge Chuang’s confirmation today also sets a new high for the number of Asian Pacific Americans to serve on the federal bench, and is a fantastic way to begin Asian Pacific American Heritage Month,” added Simonitsch. “President Obama and his administration have demonstrated unwavering support and dedication to the appointment of well-qualified, diverse nominees to the bench, making genuine progress in building a judiciary that looks like our great nation. We also thank all of the U.S. Senators who have supported diverse candidates like Judge Chuang to the bench, and look forward to working with the Senate to do even better in years to come.”

Before his service on the bench, Judge Chuang served as Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he worked since 2009. He was previously 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. Prior to that, Chuang served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts and as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Chuang has held leadership positions with the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, the District of Columbia Bar, and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington D.C. Area.

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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 68 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: NAPABA Celebrates Confirmation of Vince Chhabria to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 March 5, 2014

Contact: Emily Chatterjee                                                   (202) 775-9555

NAPABA Celebrates Confirmation of Vince Chhabria
to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

WASHINGTON — On March 5, 2014, the Senate confirmed Vince Chhabria by a 58-41 vote to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. He is the first person of South Asian descent to serve as an Article III judge in California’s history, and only the third South Asian American federal district court judge nationwide.

“NAPABA congratulates Vince Chhabria on his historic confirmation and is proud to have supported him in the nomination and confirmation process,” said William J. Simonitsch, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We applaud President Obama, Senator Boxer, and Senator Feinstein for their continued commitment to diversity on the federal judiciary, and their support of this nomination.”

Since 2005, Judge Chhabria has served as a deputy city attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, where he is the co-chief of appellate litigation. Prior to public service, Judge Chhabria spent several years working in the private sector in San Francisco. After law school, he clerked at all three levels of the federal courts, including clerkships with Judge Charles R. Breyer on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge James R. Browning on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Chhabria has distinguished himself during his career, receiving honors from the California Daily Journal, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, and NAPABA. He is a longstanding member of SABA-NC, an affiliate of NAPABA, which has strongly supported Chhabria’s nomination.

Judge Chhabria’s confirmation increases the number of active Asian Pacific American Article III judges to 22 nationwide: 4 federal appellate court judges and 18 federal district court judges.

Three more Asian Pacific American Article III judicial nominees are pending in the U.S. Senate: Manish Shah, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; Indira Talwani, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts; and Theodore Chuang, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. NAPABA urges the Senate to move quickly to confirm these well- qualified individuals.

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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 67 national, 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.

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On January 31, AABANY’s Judiciary Committee co-organized a community celebration in New York’s Chinatown in honor of the Hon. Randall T. Eng to recognize his historic elevation to Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department, the first Asian American to be appointed to this position. About 250 attendees filled Delight 28 located at 28 Pell Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown, next door to the building that Presiding Justice Eng and his family first moved into upon arriving in the United States from Hong Kong.

Many AABANY members were present, including President Jean Lee, Immediate Past President Linda Lin and past presidents James Chou, Vincent Chang, Yang Chen and Glenn Lau-Kee. The Prosecutors’ Committee also turned out in force, having honored Presiding Justice Eng as a trailblazer in 2011. Rosemary Yu, ADA from the New York County DA’s office, was one of the organizers of the event, together with Mark Fang, who came to know Justice Eng through the JAG Corp.

Presiding Justice Eng’s parents, wife, sister and in-laws also came out to celebrate along with many community members and leaders, not just in Chinatown but from Westchester as well.

We thank everyone who attended for making this a truly memorable and special occasion.

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.