Celebrate 2024 AAPI Heritage Month with AABANY!

In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month this year, AABANY is presenting or co-sponsoring several events this month. We hope to see you all there! Follow the links for more details, and please note the registration deadlines.

May 4, 2024

AABANY Presents: Bi-Monthly Pro Bono Clinic in Brooklyn

12:00 pm – 3:30 pm, Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. 4101 8th Avenue 4th Floor Brooklyn, New York 11232.

Registration is closed for this event.

May 7, 2024

AABANY Presents: Asian Americans and the Law: The Constitution in Action

4:30 pm – 6:30 pm, King & Spalding 1185 6th Ave New York, New York 10036.

Registration is closed for this event.

May 8, 2024

AABANY Co-Sponsors: The Asian American/ Pacific Islander LGBTQ Struggle for Justice

12:30 – 2:00 PM, QUEENS SUPREME COURT 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard, 2nd Floor Courtroom 25 Jamaica, New York 11435

Registration is closed for this event.

May 8, 2024

Crowell & Moring Hosts: Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and the Fight for Marriage Equality

5:30pm – 8:30pm, Crowell & Moring

Two Manhattan West 375 Ninth Avenue New York, New York 10001

This event is the New York premier of the latest AABANY Trial Reenactment.

Registration is closed for this event.


May 9, 2024

AABANY Solo & Small Firm Practice Committee Presents: How to Start Your Solo and Small Firm Part II

6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

33 Whitehall St. Floor 8 New York, New York 10004

Registration is closed for this event.

May 10, 2024

AABANY’s Membership Committee Presents: Movie Night: Monkey Man

05/10/2024, New York

Registration is closed for this event.

May 14, 2024

AABANY Presents: May General Counsel Breakfast (Invitation Only)

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Registration is closed for this event.

May 14, 2024

AABANY Presents: Roots to Success for Asian Small Business Ventures

6:30 – 8:30 PM, Littler Mendelson P.C. 900 Third Avenue, Fl. 8 New York, New York 10022
Registration is closed for this event.

May 14, 2024

AABANY Military & Veterans Affairs Committee Presents: Group Outing to See An American Soldier
7:00 pm, Perelman Performing Arts Center

New York, New York 10006

Registration is closed for this event.

May 14, 2024

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Multi-Bar Association Trivia Night at Jack Rabbit

6:00 pm Jack Rabbit

1010 Elmwood Ave Buffalo, New York 14222
Registration is closed for this event.

May 15, 2024

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Trivia Night at Goldie’s Tavern
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Goldie’s Tavern

135 W 30th St New York, New York 10001

Registration is closed for this event.

May 16, 2024

AABANY Real Estate Committee Presents: “Fighting Real Estate and Deed Fraud in the Big Apple”

11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Virtual Click here to register by May 14 and find event details

Registration is closed for this event.

May 16, 2024

AABANY’s Membership Committee & Phi Lambda Fraternity Present: Networking Reception & Meet & Greet

When: May 16 2024
6 :00 – 9:00 PM
Where: Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre St, New York, NY 10013

Registration is closed for this event.

May 19, 2024

March with AABANY – Third Annual NYC AAPI Heritage Parade

Noon
6th Avenue and 44th Street
New York, New York

Registration is closed for this event.

May 22, 2024

Annual Dinner 2024
Cipriani Wall Street
55 Wall Street New York, NY 10005

Registration is closed for this event.
If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

May 29, 2024

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Hon. Randall T. Eng Award
12:45 – 2:15 PM

Appellate Division, Second Department

45 Monroe Place Brooklyn, NY 11201

Click here to register and find event details.

May 29, 2024

AABANY Co-sponsors: Franklin H. Williams Commissions AAPI Heritage Month Program

5:30 – 8:00 PM

Brooklyn Law School

Subotnick Conference Center, 205 State Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Click here to register and find event details.

May 29, 2024

AABANY Litigation Committee’s Quarterly Dinner

6:30 PM

Buddha Bodai

5 Mott St, New York, NY  10013

Click here to register and find event details.

May 30, 2024

AABANY Litigation Committee’s Quarterly Meeting

12:00 – 1:00 PM

Via Zoom

Click here to register and find event details.

May 30, 2024

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Trial Reenactment: From ‘Tokyo Rose’: to the China Initiative”

6:00 – 9:00 PM

A&O Shearman

599 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022

Click here to register and find event details.

May 30, 2024

AABANY IP Committee Co-Sponsors: Fireside Chat with In-House Counsel

5:30 PM

Desmarais LLP

230 Park Ave, 25th Floor, New York, NY  10169

Click here to register and find event details.

May 31, 2024

AABANY Trusts & Estates Committee Presents: Monthly Meetings

5:30 – 7:30 PM

Via Zoom
Click here to register by May 29 and find event details.

AABANY Co-Sponsors: The Center on Asian Americans and the Law Second Annual Summer Scholarship Conference at Fordham Law School

On July 20th, 2023, Fordham Law School Professor Thomas H. Lee and 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Denny Chin, Co-Directors of the Center on Asian Americans and the Law (CAAL) at Fordham University, presented the Second Annual Summer Scholarship Conference. Both Professor Lee and Judge Chin are AABANY members and leaders. Professor Lee is a Co-Chair of AABANY’s Academic Committee, while Judge Chin served as AABANY’s President from 1992 to 1993 and has, with his wife Kathy Hirata Chin, led AABANY’s Trial Reenactments project. 

The Center on Asian Americans and the Law is a “first-of-its-kind institution,” dedicated to civic education, scholarship and AAPI legal studies, as well as outreach and public advocacy, according to the CAAL website. Serving as a center of academic excellence, CAAL also strives to empower AAPI communities through education, research, outreach, and advocacy. By bringing together scholars, legal practitioners, students, as well as other community leaders, it creates a vibrant and diverse community that can collectively address the challenges facing AAPI individuals with a unified voice.

The event began with attendees introducing themselves over pastries and coffee, enjoying breakfast and each other’s company. Next, Professor Lee and Judge Chin led a masterclass on Asian Americans and the law, giving attendees a snapshot of AAPI legal history. This masterclass allowed attendees to sample the robust curriculum that Professor Lee and Judge Chin have brought to prestigious institutions such as Fordham, Harvard, and Yale Law. They discussed important but little-known cases related to naturalization, historical discrimination, and espionage and race and national origin, thoroughly captivating their audience. 

After a lunch break, with sandwiches and light refreshments, a panel discussion featuring instructors who have taught Asian Americans and the Law was held. Instructors discussed a multitude of topics, such as integrating technology into the classroom, topical issues related to the curriculum, and ways to engage the student population with the coursework provided. Sharing their own experiences in the classroom, the panelists provided noteworthy tips and advice. 

Following the panel, works in progress related to Asian Americans and the Law were presented. These works featured “Immigration and the Lived Experience” by Professor Catherine Kim, “Birthright Citizenship” by Chris Kwok, and “Disrupting Racism” by Peter Huang. Feedback was provided by Professor Elaine Chiu, Professor Thomas Lee, and Professor David Law. Their expertise offered crucial guidance to the presenters, encouraging further development of their research. The engagement between the panelists and presenters enriched the spirit of academic growth and intellectual exploration that is vital to CAAL. 

Finally, an off-the-record Round Table discussion about Asian Americans and Affirmative Action was held. The insights shared during the discussion were thought-provoking and diverse. Participants engaged in candid conversations, offering varying perspectives on the complex intersection of race-conscious admissions policies and the experiences of Asian American students in higher education.

After the panels were done, the event concluded with a reception. Attendees and panelists mingled, getting to know each other while sharing their thoughts and insights from the discussions of the day.

We thank Judge Denny Chin and Professor Thomas H. Lee for leading the Summer Scholarship Conference. To learn more about the Center on Asian Americans and the Law, please click here.

AABANY Descends on Las Vegas for the NAPABA Convention

From Nov. 3 through 6, NAPABA held its National Convention in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, for three days of programming, meetings, plenary sessions and the 34th anniversary Gala capping things off on Saturday night.

AABANY members and friends once again came out in large numbers, with nearly 100 people signed up for AABANY’s WhatsApp group, organized by Co-VP of Programs and Operations Beatrice Leong. The group’s members updated each other on programs they planned to attend, made lunch and dinner plans, and connected with each other about various receptions, parties and events around Las Vegas.

Many bonds were made and strengthened among AABANY attendees over the course of the Convention, and many new connections were made with the approximately 2800 registered attendees from around the country.

We congratulate all the awardees and honorees recognized at the Convention, with special shout-outs to the following AABANY honorees:

  • Kathy Hirata Chin, Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award
  • Jeffrey Mok, Best Under 40
  • Christina Lee, Partners Network In-House Counsel Network Diversity Leadership Award

We also congratulate AABANY Platinum Sponsor Allen & Overy on receiving the Law Firm Diversity Award.

The AABANY Trial Reenactment Team presented its latest production, “From ‘Tokyo Rose’ to the ‘China Initiative’: Espionage and AAPIs” on Friday afternoon, Nov. 4, to a capacity audience. We were privileged to be joined by Brian Sun, attorney for Wen Ho Lee, who shared his personal recollections from that landmark case in which a Chinese-American scientist was wrongly accused by the US government of divulging US nuclear secrets to China.

Many AABANY members and leaders spoke on several programs throughout the Convention. If you are among them, thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise. Please send us your photos and, if possible, a short recap about your program. You can send it to [email protected].

Congratulations to Sandra Leung, NAPABA’s new President, and Anna Mercado Clark, NAPABA’s new President-Elect. Both were sworn in by the Hon. Denny Chin, together with the entire NAPABA Board, during Saturday night’s Gala.

Thanks to NAPABA for putting on a great Convention, which included many first-time attendees. By all accounts, everyone had a wonderful time, learned a lot, forged new connections and renewed existing ones. We look forward to more great things to come in the next year!

Center on Asian Americans and the Law & Fordham Law School Present a Screening of the Documentary “Free Chol Soo Lee”

On September 29, 2022, Fordham Law School Professor Thomas H. Lee and 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Denny Chin presented a screening of the documentary “Free Chol Soo Lee” at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus. Professor Lee currently co-chairs AABANY’s Academic Committee. Judge Chin served as AABANY’s President from 1992 to 1993. 

Judge Chin and Professor Lee hosted the screening in collaboration with Fordham Law School’s Center on Asian Americans and the Law. Judge Chin, Kathy Hirata Chin, Professor Thomas H. Lee, and other Fordham faculty members worked together to establish this new center earlier in 2022. The Center on Asian Americans and the Law is dedicated to promoting public education on the legal history of AAPIs, serving as a research hub for AAPI legal issues, and coordinating public advocacy and outreach efforts through law firms, corporations, and the public to advance justice for the AAPI community as a whole. 

The 2022 documentary “Free Chol Soo Lee,” by Julie Ha and Eugene Yi, tells the story of the pan-Asian, grassroots movement which mobilized in the ‘70s and ‘80s to assist Chol Soo Lee, a Korean immigrant who was wrongfully convicted for the 1973 murder of San Francisco Chinatown resident Yip Yee Tak. “Free Chol Soo Lee” follows the formation of the defense committee which came to Lee’s aid, along with the efforts of community members and attorneys who worked tirelessly to free Lee from prison. 

After the movie screening, Professor Thomas H. Lee held a Q&A session with Judge Chin. Judge Chin first spoke to the grim ending of the documentary, which covers the post-release struggles which faced Chol Soo Lee in his adjustment to freedom. Judge Chin noted that, “In recent years, a lot of re-entry courts have popped up. We started a re-entry court [The RISE Court] in the Southern District of New York in 2019 …. It’s such a terrific program. We had our second session of this group just yesterday, and we had three graduates talk to these guys [the enrollees of the current RISE Court cohort presided over by Judge Chin]. We’re up to five RISE courts in the New York City area.” Judge Chin stressed the important role which systems of support must play even after a person has been released from prison. 

Professor Lee capped off the event by asking Judge Chin a question geared towards law students and practicing attorneys: “How can law students and lawyers get involved [in issues of wrongful conviction such as that in the documentary]?” 

Judge Chin responded by reflecting on the effects of the movement around Chol Soo Lee on Asian American communities: “The real positive for this was the community. Ranko [Yamada] went to law school. Jeff Adachi became pretty high up in the legal field. Many of them [individuals involved with the defense committee for Chol Soo Lee] were inspired to go to law school…I think the law gives you tools to do a lot of different things. But whatever you do, you find some way to give back…For example, [trial] reenactments with AABANY, which have proven to be a great educational tool…Whether you realize it, lawyers do have power. When you’re learning the trade, you’re really learning how to make a change.” 

Judge Chin’s reference to AABANY’s trial reenactments recalls AABANY’s Trial Reenactment Team performing “Alice in Chinatown: Chol Soo Lee and His Fight for Freedom” at the 2018 NAPABA convention in Chicago. AABANY’s Trial Reenactment Team has scripted and performed scripted a number of other famous cases such as “Korematsu v. United States,” and the trial following the murder of Vincent Chin. Anticipating the foundational mission of Fordham Law School’s Center on Asian Americans and the Law, the AABANY Trial Reenactment Project was created to educate audiences about Asian American contributions to the development of American law and society. 

We are grateful to Judge Chin and Professor Lee for hosting this film screening, and thank Fordham Law School’s Center on Asian Americans and the Law for organizing this event.

AABANY Co-Sponsors Historic Reenactment: “Kung Flu”: A History of Violence and Hostility Against Asian Americans

On March 24, 2022 AABANY co-sponsored a reenactment on the history of anti-Asian violence and hostility at the New York City Bar Association in midtown Manhattan. The script was written by Kathy Hirata Chin and her husband, the Hon. Denny Chin, longtime leaders and supporters of AABANY, who spearheaded the AABANY Trial Reenactment project. “Kung Flu” marks the Trial Reenactment Team’s 14th production. “Kung Flu” was first performed to a standing room only audience at the NAPABA National Convention in Washington, DC, in December 2021.

The program examined the history of anti-Asian violence and hostility through narration, reenactment of court proceedings, and historic photos.  Asian Americans did not hesitate to fight for their rights in the courts, and these cases raised issues that were — and still are — important to all Americans.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 10,000 incidents of violence and hostility against Asian Americans nationwide.  But this is nothing new, for there is a long and little-known history of anti-Asian violence in this country — from the lynching of 15 Chinese in Los Angeles in 1871 to the expulsion of all the South Asian residents of Bellingham, Washington in 1907 to five days of rioting and attacks against Filipino men in Watsonville, California in 1930.  

​​Likewise, the recent rhetoric about the “China virus” and “Kung Flu” is not the first time Asian Americans have been targeted over purported health concerns.  In 1870, San Francisco passed two health ordinances that were enforced only against the “Chinese and Asiatics.”  In 1900, amidst fears of the bubonic plague, San Francisco required “the inoculation of all Chinese residents” and quarantined Chinatown. The ordinances were not applied to members of any other groups.

The reenactment acknowledges the challenges Asian Americans have faced in the past and  reminds us that much is still to be done. 

We thank Judge Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin for leading the AABANY Trial Reenactment Team and all the participants for giving their time to raise awareness on anti-Asian violence and hostility. We thank the New York City Bar Association for co-sponsoring and allowing us to perform “Kung Flu” in the Great Hall. President Sheila Boston presented opening remarks at the start of the program and performed as Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald. To learn more about AABANY’s reenactments project, please visit https://reenactments.aabany.org/.

In the News: The Hon. Denny Chin Inducted as the First Lawrence W. Pierce Distinguished Jurist in Residence

On September 14th, The New York Law Journal reported that Judge Denny Chin of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (and past AABANY President, 1992-93) became Fordham Law’s first ever Lawrence W. Pierce Distinguished Jurist in Residence. This distinction allows Judge Chin to continue his role as a Judge while devoting more of his time to teaching and building connections with the law students at Fordham. Judge Chin is especially excited to teach classes that deal with Asian Americans and the law saying the topic is “dear to my heart.” 

To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

Congratulations to Hon. Denny Chin on Receiving the Honorable Harold Baer Jr. Award from the Network of Bar Leaders

On January 27, 2020, the Honorable Denny Chin, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, received the Honorable Harold Baer Jr. Award from the Network of Bar Leaders. In his remarks, Judge Chin emphasized that the legacy of Judge Baer lives on in initiatives such as the SDNY’s Re-entry through Intensive Supervision and Employment (RISE) Court. Judge Chin presided over the first RISE Court, where he met with at-risk individuals on supervised release to encourage them to seek and maintain employment. Judge Chin was happy to report that at least ten of the individuals in the program were set to successfully graduate from the inaugural program. 

Congratulations, Judge Chin, on the well-deserved recognition and thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for the legal profession. For more information about Judge Chin and the award, read the press release here.

In the News: AABANY Co-Sponsors Reenactment of Supreme Court Cases Ozawa & Thind

On May 23, 2019 AABANY co-sponsored a reenactment of the Supreme Court cases Takao Ozawa v. United States (1922) and United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923) in the Ceremonial Courtroom at 225 Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn. The two historical cases describe the exclusionary immigration policies that prevented Asian immigrants from becoming naturalized citizens. The reenactment scripts were written by longtime AABANY members Kathy Hirata Chin and her husband, the Hon. Denny Chin. The event was jointly sponsored by the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) and was held in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, during the month of May. The event was covered by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on the history of these reenactments, “The Chins began writing and performing these reenactments 12 years ago, and every year they create a new performance based on a different case. Judge Chin explained that they look for cases of importance historically and that still resonate today.”

To read the full article, please click here.

AABANY Co-Sponsors: A Reenactment of Ozawa & Thind

On Thursday, May 23, 2019, AABANY and SABANY co-sponsored a trial reenactment of two Supreme Court cases, Takao Ozawa v. United States (1922), and United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923) at the Ceremonial Courtroom in 225 Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn. These cases revolved around the fight of two Asian Americans to become naturalized U.S. citizens.

Takao Ozawa, was born in Japan but moved to the United States at a young age in 1914. He attended the University of California, became a businessman, converted to Christianity, got married and had children in the United States. He sought to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, but his application was denied. His fight for citizenship went all the way to the Supreme Court, where he argued that people of Japanese descent should be classified as “free white persons” under the Naturalization Act of 1906. However, Justice Sutherland, writing for a unanimous Court, held that a person of Japanese descent could not be classified as “white.” In reaching that decision, the court relied on scientific evidence and found that the term “white persons” in the Naturalization Act of 1906 only includes persons of the “Caucasian race.”

Bhagat Singh was born in India and received his bachelor’s degree there before moving to the United States, seeking higher education in 1913. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of California and went on to give lectures in metaphysics. He also joined the U.S. Army during World War I and became the first turbaned Sikh man to serve alongside American soldiers. After the war ended, he was honorably discharged and applied for citizenship. His petition for citizenship was granted initially in Oregon, but government attorneys initiated proceedings to have it canceled on the grounds that he was not “white.” His case went to the Supreme Court, where he presented scientific evidence asserting that South Asians, such as himself, were actually of Aryan descent and therefore of the Caucasian race and thus he should be granted citizenship.

However, the Supreme Court held that even though it “may be true that the blond Scandinavian and the brown Hindu have a common ancestor in the dim reaches of antiquity … the average man knows perfectly well that there are unmistakable and profound differences between them today.” The court backtracked on the rationale it used in Ozawa, where it relied on scientific evidence to find that Takao Ozawa could not be classified as Caucasian, and therefore was ineligible for citizenship.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s rulings in Ozawa and Thind, many Asians were stripped of their citizenship retroactively, leading a man named Vaishno Das Bagai to take his own life. He left a note that read: “But now they come and say to me I am no longer an American citizen. What have I made of myself and my children? We cannot exercise our rights, we cannot leave this country. Humility and insults… blockades this way, and bridges burned behind.”

These two Supreme Court decisions are a stain on our great nation’s history. They set the precedent that being an American was not enough, that to be a real American you had to be “white” based on society’s perception of what qualifies as “white” during a given period of time in history.

The reenactment serves as a reminder of the struggles that Asian Americans had to endure in the past, and it highlights why we must continue to strive to create change for the future generations of Asian Americans.

We thank Judge Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin for leading the reenactment program and thank our judicial all-star cast which included: EDNY Chief Judge Hon. Dora Irizarry, Hon. Kiyo Matsumoto, Hon. Pamela Chen, Hon. Peggy Kuo, Hon. Sanket Bulsara, and Hon. Faviola Soto.

Thanks to SABANY for performing this re-enactment. AABANY was proud to be a co-sponsor, presenting 1.5 CLE credits in the Diversity & Inclusion category.

AABANY Co-Sponsors a Book Release Event: Practical Equality, by Robert Tsai

From left to right: Chris Kwok (Mediator at JAMS), Prof. Suzanne Kim (Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School), Prof. Robert Tsai (Professor of Law at American University and the author of Practical Equality), Hon. Denny Chin (Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit), Yang Chen (Executive Director of AABANY)

On March 11, AABANY co-sponsored a book release of Robert Tsai’s new book, Practical Equality. The event was held at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and was also co-sponsored by UCLA Alumni New York Tri-State Network and Association of Asian American Yale Alumni.

Robert L. Tsai is a professor of law at American University. He is the author of Practical Equality and America’s Forgotten Constitutions and his essays have appeared in Boston Globe, Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, Politico, Boston Review, and Slate.

Professor Tsai’s new book discusses a practical approach towards fighting for equality through the lens of legal ideas. It proposes that arguments not directly relevant to equality may achieve the goals of equality. It offers an alternative and more practical approach to the fight for justice.

The event mainly featured a panel discussion of the book. We were honored to have on the panel Hon. Denny Chin, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Suzanne Kim, Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School and Judge Denny Chin Scholar, and Professor Robert Tsai, the book’s author. The panel discussion featured many subjects, including Judge Chin and Prof. Kim’s thoughts on the book, people of colors’ historic struggles for justice, and contemporary political issues. The panel ended with a Q&A session, during which the audience engaged the panelists with questions raised by the panel discussion and the issues addressed in the book. Afterwards, the audience got to mingle among each other and with Professor Tsai, who also signed copies of the book which were made available for sale.

Panel discussion with Judge Chin (left), Prof. Tsai (middle) and Prof. Kim (right).

AABANY would like to congratulate Professor Tsai on the release of his new book. We thank Judge Chin, Professor Tsai, and Professor Kim for participating in the event. We thank Chris Kwok, Chair of the Issues Committee, for organizing the event. We also thank Seyfarth Shaw LLP for hosting the event at their office, and UCLA Alumni New York Tri-State Network and Association of Asian American Yale Alumni for co-sponsoring the event.