NAPABA Congratulates Regina M. Rodriguez and Zahid N. Quraishi on their Historic Confirmations by the U.S. Senate as United States District Court Judges

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Regina M. Rodriguez and Zahid N. Quraishi on their historic confirmations by the U.S. Senate as United States District Court Judges.

Rodriguez will become the first Asian Pacific American (APA) judge to sit on the District Court for the District of Colorado, and the first to serve as an Article III judge within the 10th Circuit.  Quraishi, already a federal magistrate judge, will become the first APA to serve as a district court judge in New Jersey and the first Muslim American Article III judge in the country.

“Regina Rodriguez and Zahid Quraishi represent the promise of justice, equity, and opportunity that is so critical for the success of our federal judiciary,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “NAPABA applauds the Senate for the strong bipartisan confirmation of these two highly qualified and experienced nominees.” 

Regina M. Rodriguez has a distinguished reputation as one of Colorado’s most accomplished attorneys with deep experience in both the public and private sectors and a demonstrated commitment to serving the public interest. Rodriguez served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, rising to become Deputy Chief and later Chief of the Civil Division, where she oversaw all civil litigation for the District.  She was the youngest person and the first of Japanese and Mexican descent to hold that role. She received her J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law and her B.S. with honors from the University of Iowa. Rodriguez is endorsed by NAPABA’s affiliate, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado. 

Judge Quraishi has a distinguished legal career with extensive experience as a prosecutor, in the private sector, and serving his country in uniform. In 2019, Judge Quraishi was appointed as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey. His previous government service includes over five years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and as a decorated military prosecutor with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Judge Quraishi is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He received a J.D. from Rutgers Law School in Newark. Quraishi is endorsed by NAPABA’s affiliate, the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey. 

NAPABA thanks President Biden for nominating Rodriguez, Quraishi, and other highly qualified judicial candidates to the federal bench.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 60,000 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 Applauds the Historic Nominations of Judge Zahid N. Quraishi, Judge Florence Y. Pan, and Regina M. Rodriguez to the U.S. District Court

For Immediate Release: Date: March 30, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Zahid N. Quraishi to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Judge Florence Y. Pan to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and Regina Rodriguez to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

If confirmed, Judge Quraishi will be the first AAPI to serve as a federal district court judge in New Jersey and the first American Muslim to serve as an Article III judge in the United States; Judge Pan will be the first AAPI woman to serve as a federal district court judge in the District of Columbia; and Rodriguez would be the first AAPI to serve as an Article III judge in the 10th Circuit.

“NAPABA offers its congratulations to Judge Quraishi, Judge Pan, and Gina Rodriguez on their historic nominations,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “We applaud President Biden for nominating these well-qualified candidates and taking action to nominate a representative judiciary. These nominations are particularly meaningful to our community, especially in the wake of anti-Asian violence. It is particularly notable that Judge Quraishi would become the first Muslim American Article III judge, and that Judge Pan and Ms. Rodriguez will both have groundbreaking roles if confirmed. We urge the Senate to quickly confirm them.”

Judge Zahid N. Quraishi

In 2019, Judge Quraishi was appointed as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey becoming the first AAPI to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey. Prior to his appointment, he was Chair of Riker Danzig’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group and his firm’s first Chief Diversity Officer. Previously he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and Assistant Chief Counsel and trial attorney with the Department of Homeland Security. A U.S. Army veteran, Quraishi served as a military prosecutor and achieved the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal; Army Combat Action Badge; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service & Expeditionary Medals; Army Commendation and Achievement Medals, among other awards for his service. Judge Quraishi is a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Rutgers Law School. Judge Quraishi is endorsed by NAPABA’s affiliate APALA-NJ and is the recipient of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey Professional Achievement Award in 2019.

Judge Florence Y. Pan

In 2009, Judge Pan was nominated by President Obama to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and was confirmed by unanimous consent by the Senate. She was the first judicial nominee to be confirmed under the Obama Administration. In 2016, Judge Pan was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Previously, she served for 10 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including two years as the deputy chief of the appellate division. She also held positions in the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Justice, notably in the Office of the Solicitor General. Judge Pan taught at Georgetown University Law Center and American University, Washington College of Law, and is active in her community having served as the Secretary of NAPABA’s Judicial Council. She formerly served as a law clerk for the Honorable Ralph K. Winter, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Michael B. Mukasey of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Pan is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford Law School. Judge Pan is endorsed by NAPABA’s affiliate APABA-DC.

Regina M. Rodriguez

Regina M. Rodriguez is a partner at WilmerHale where she handles complex litigation matters and serves as co-chair of the trial practice group. Previously she worked as a partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP and at Faegre & Benson LLP. Earlier in her career, Rodriguez served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, where she served as the Deputy Chief of the Civil Division and later as Chief of the Civil Division. She received her J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law and her B.S. with honors from the University of Iowa. Rodriguez is endorsed by NAPABA’s affiliate APABA-CO. She is also active with the Hispanic National Bar Association and serves as a member on its Law Enforcement Reform & Racial Justice Committee.

NAPABA Congratulates President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on Historic Election

For Immediate Release: November 7, 2020

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

Harris is the first Black, Asian American and Female to be elected to the Executive Office

WASHINGTON — Today, American voters elected Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris as 49th Vice President. The Biden|Harris presidential ticket included Harris as the first woman of color to be nominated and elected on a presidential ticket for a major party. Vice President-elect Harris will be the highest ranking Asian and Pacific Islander American (AAPI) ever in line for presidential succession.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is a non-partisan organization comprised of lawyers and leaders in both major political parties. As an organization, NAPABA has worked diligently with presidents, administrations and congressional members of both parties, on behalf of millions of AAPIs nationwide.

Amid a global pandemic and a contentious election, our nation has been tested. As members of the legal profession, we have a special responsibility to ensure the continuity of our best legal traditions, and to defend and uphold our commitments to justice, fairness, equity and the Rule of Law under our Constitution. We must work together to unite our membership and our nation to find common ground for a better path forward. NAPABA embraces the solidarity and strength of our robust and diverse community and is committed to our mission to serve as the voice of the AAPI legal profession.

We congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their historic win. NAPABA is committed to working with the Biden administration and the new Congress to advance the representation and interests of the AAPI community. 

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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 Applauds Nomination of Senator Kamala Harris

For Immediate Release:
Date: August 19, 2020

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) recognizes the historic significance of Sen. Kamala Harris’ nomination as vice president on the Democratic ticket. Harris is the first woman of color to be nominated on a presidential ticket for a major party. If elected, she would become the highest ranking Asian Pacific American ever in line for presidential succession.

“Sen. Harris has defined herself as a leader and legislator in the U.S. Senate,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, president of NAPABA. “Her nomination is not only historic, but deeply meaningful to the Asian Pacific American community. Sen. Harris is the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, and she understands the priorities and concerns of Asian Pacific American and Black communities, which have been underrepresented at all levels of government. Since her tenure in the Senate, Sen. Harris has shown a strong commitment to diversity—including having one of the most diverse staff in the Senate and elevating people of color to leadership positions.”

“As a non-partisan organization, NAPABA works with presidential administrations and members of Congress from both parties to advance the interests of the Asian Pacific American community. NAPABA applauds Sen. Harris’ nomination and looks forward to greater representation and diversity of political candidates, executive branch appointees, and judges.”

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.