NAPABA Congratulates Angel Kelley on her Nomination to serve on the District Court for the District of Massachusetts

For Immediate Release: 
Date: May 12, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, as part of the third slate of judicial nominees sent to the Senate, President Joe Biden nominated Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Angel Kelley to become a federal district court judge for the District of Massachusetts.  If confirmed, Judge Kelley would become only the second African American woman judge and second Asian American judge to serve on the Massachusetts district court, following Judge Indira Talwani who was confirmed in 2014. 

NAPABA applauds the Biden Administration for continuing to nominate experienced individuals  with diverse professional and personal backgrounds who reflect the diversity of the country. The daughter of a Japanese immigrant mother who found work as a meat packer, and an African American father originally from Selma, Alabama who was a truck driver, Judge Kelley began her legal career as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society working in the Juvenile Rights Division in Brooklyn, New York, served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, and began her judicial service on the Massachusetts state court in 2009.

Judge Kelley received her LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University in 2003, her J.D. from Georgetown University in 1992, and her B.A. from Colgate University in 1989. 

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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.

NAPABA | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20006 | www.napaba.org

Volunteer to be a Judge with Empire Mock Trial

Empire Mock Trial is a nonprofit that brings together extraordinary high school students from across the U.S. plus 6 countries. Over the past 6 months, the nonprofit has worked hard to plan a mock trial program for them that is fun, safe, and educational during the age of COVID-19 — this fall, it is finally happening.

Volunteer to judge a mock trial on October 28-31 or November 14-16 (attorneys can judge one trial or multiple). All trials will be held online via Zoom. For most of the students, this is the first time they’ve been able to participate in mock trial in 2020, with COVID having canceled their last season. 

Attorneys can learn more about the competitions and sign-up to judge here

The format of each trial depends on which competition you sign-up to judge. Here is a description of each:

  • Empire @ Home on October (28-31) –  students compete from the comfort of their own homes (i.e. you’ll see 12-14 students separately connect to your virtual courtroom). It’s called ‘Empire Chicago’ because we are hosting Chicago themed events for the kids;
  • Empire One (November 14-16) – one mock trial team assembles in one room to compete against another team (i.e. you’ll see only 2 teams separately connect to your virtual courtroom). It’s called ‘Empire New York’ because we are hosting New York themed events for the kids.

Attorneys can earn up to 3 CLE credits for judging. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Empire Mock Trial via phone or email on their website.

Public Announcement: Four United States Magistrate Judge Vacancies to be Filled

From Douglas C. Palmer, Clerk of Court, United State District Court, Eastern District of New York:

The application period for any one of four vacancies being filled at this time has been extended to May 29th, 2020. I have attached a link to the public announcement seeking applicants for currently vacant positions and upcoming vacancies. This is perhaps a unique time in the history of the federal court in this, the Eastern District of New York; I do not have any record of this number of opportunities being available at the same time since the US Magistrate Judge positions were created.

Please view the Announcement.

The application can be found HERE.

Congratulations to Hon. E. Grace Park on Her Induction to NYC Civil Court

On December 19, 2019, many were on hand to celebrate E. Grace Park being sworn in as a judge in the Manhattan 4th Municipal Court District of the Civil Court of the City of New York.

Judge Park was born in Seoul, Korea where she lived through the second grade when she immigrated to the United States to join her mother in Chicago, Illinois. Thereafter, Judge Park moved to Boston, Massachusetts for her high school years.  She attended Dartmouth College, where she received her B.A. magna cum laude in Government & Asian Studies. Judge Park holds two Master’s degrees: the first in Regional Studies – East Asia from Harvard University and the second in Public Administration from Columbia University.  Judge Park received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1999, where she served as Senior Editor of the Journal of Constitutional Law as well as President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.  After graduating from law school, Ms. Park clerked for the Hon. Jacob Mishler in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, followed by five years in private practice.  Judge Park then embarked on a career in public service with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, representing children in Family Court.

Congratulations, Judge Park, for your hard fought election and well deserved induction ceremony. AABANY wishes you the best of luck in your new career on the bench.

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

AABANY Congratulates Honorable Shahabuddeen Ally on His Historic Induction

On December 20, 2018, wearing his signature bow tie, Shahabuddeen (Shah) Ally made history by being the first Muslim male and the first Indo-Caribbean to be elected to New York state court. In a packed court room at 111 Centre Street, family, friends and supporters of Shah Ally witnessed a lively, emotional and inspiring induction ceremony. This may very well have been the first judicial induction to feature South Asian drumming and dancing in the courtroom and curry at the reception.

Hon. Shahabuddeen Ally was sworn in by his wife, Hon. Alicea Elloras-Ally, as Judge of the New York City Civil Court, as their son, Ryan Elloras, and colleagues from the New York State bench and Manhattan Community Board 12 looked on with pride.

In his remarks, Judge Ally talked about his humble beginnings, which included immigrating to the United States from Guyana and growing up poor in the South Bronx, and how his induction is proof the “American Dream” is still alive and well. He thanked everyone that supported and stood by him to make his “American Dream” a reality.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) congratulates Hon. Shahabuddeen Ally on his induction to the Civil Court in New York County and all his well deserved success. We also thank Hon. Shahabuddeen Ally for recognizing AABANY and its Judiciary Committee at his induction.

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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Congratulations to Hon. Lillian Wan, first Asian American woman in the New York State Court of Claims, confirmed by the New York State Senate on the evening of June 20, 2018. AABANY congratulates Judge Wan on this historic appointment. Please join us in wishing her every success in this next phase of Judge Wan’s judicial career.

Congratulations also to all the appointees confirmed by the New York State Senate on June 20:

  • JOEL M. COHEN 
  • JOHN R. HIGGITT 
  • FRANCIS A. KAHN III 
  • Hon. CHRIS ANN KELLEY 
  • DAVID L. LEWIS 
  • JAMES A. McCARTY, Jr. 
  • MICHELE SHARON RODNEY

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NAPABA Applauds Nomination of Jill Otake to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii

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For Immediate Release
Dec. 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — Today, President Trump nominated Jill A. Otake to the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. If confirmed, Otake will be the 21st active Asian Pacific American federal district judge and the third active Asian Pacific American judge serving in the District of Hawaii. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds this decision.

“Jill Otake is a well-qualified and dedicated public servant who will ably serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii,” said Pankit J. Doshi, president of NAPABA. “She is recognized for her skill as a prosecutor and as a longtime leader in the legal community. I urge the Senate to confirm her to the bench.”

Otake is the acting chief of the Special Crime Section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii, having previously served as deputy chief since 2014. She spent nine years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington. Prior to that she was a deputy prosecuting attorney in King County, Washington. Throughout her career, she has been recognized for her stellar work in the legal system, including awards and accolades by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Justice.

She is a leader in her community, both in Hawaii and Washington. Otake is co-chair of the Hawaii State Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee and was a fellow of the bar’s Leadership Institute. Otake has served as co-president of the Asian American Bar Association of Washington — a NAPABA affiliate, as the judicial evaluations chair, and on the board of directors and chair of the Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee in Washington. In addition to her service to the Asian Pacific American community, Otake has contributed to the advancement of women in the legal field and her community as a mentor for Hawaii Women Lawyers and volunteer attorney for Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii.

Otake serves as an instructor on issues related to trial practice. She was an instructor for the inaugural Hawaii Federal Trial Academy, sponsored by the U.S. District Court and the Federal Bar Association. She was an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at the Seattle University Law School and a speaker during the Hawaii Supreme Court’s Mandatory Bar Professionalism Course.

A graduate of the Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii, she received her degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Washington School of Law. She clerked for the Honorable Associate Justice Simeon R. Acoba, Jr., of the Supreme Court of Hawaii.

NAPABA thanks President Trump for nominating Jill A. Otake to the bench and Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz for recommending her to the White House. NAPABA recommended Otake earlier this year.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, 202-775-9555, bschuster@napaba.org.  

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 almost 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American 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 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.

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