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.

Press Release: NAPABA AND AAJC APPLAUD LORNA SCHOFIELD’S CONFIRMATION TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2012

NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555
AAJC Contact: Kimberly Goulart (202) 499-7027

NAPABA AND AAJC APPLAUD LORNA SCHOFIELD’S CONFIRMATION TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

WASHINGTON – Today the United States Senate confirmed Lorna Schofield by a 91-0 vote to a seat on 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.

“NAPABA congratulates Lorna Schofield on her confirmation as a federal district judge on the Southern District of New York and is proud to have supported her nomination and confirmation,” said Wendy Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We applaud President Obama and Senator Schumer for nominating Judge Schofield to this critical court, and continuing their commitment to nominating well-qualified, diverse candidates to the federal bench.”

Prior to joining the bench, Judge Schofield practiced law at the New York law firm 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. Prior to joining Debevoise, she was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (Criminal Division) for four years. Ms. Schofield was 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.

“We congratulate Lorna Schofield on her confirmation and commend President Obama and Senator Schumer for their commitment to diversifying the bench with exceptionally well-qualified judicial nominees,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “The community is hopeful that our Senate leaders will work to confirm Pamela Chen, President Obama and Senator Schumer’s nominee to the Eastern District of New York this year. Ms. Chen’s confirmation on the heels of the Judge Schofield’s would be celebrated by all in New York City, as well as Asian Americans across the nation.”

With her confirmation today, Judge Schofield will join Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the Eastern District of New York as the only judges of Asian descent serving on 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 the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York are Asian Pacific Americans. The nomination of another well-qualified Asian Pacific American, Pamela Ki Mai 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 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 64 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent 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 federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

The Asian American Justice Center (www.advancingequality.org), a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, works closely with its affiliate organizations – the Asian American Institute in Chicago (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) in San Francisco and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org) in Los Angeles – to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.

Congratulations to Justice Hinds-Radix and Justice Clark

AABANY joins the MBBA in congratulating Justice Hinds-Radix and Justice Clark on their elevation to the Appellate Division.

Dear MBBA Members and Supporters:

On behalf of the Officers and Directors of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (“MBBA”), we are pleased to announce that the Honorable Sylvia Hinds-Radix has been appointed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Department.

It is our pleasure to have the opportunity to extend our sincere congratulations to Justice Hinds-Radix, who is currently the Administrative Judge for Civil Matters in Kings County and a member of the MBBA’s Board of Directors.  We are certain that she will bring to the bench a wealth of experience as a committed and active jurist and legal practitioner.  She has repeatedly demonstrated a strong commitment to the principles of fairness and justice, the improvement of the legal system, and the advancement of the members of our diverse community.   Justice Hinds-Radix’s record of achievement shows that she possesses all of the attributes necessary to succeed in this position and her reputation is widely respected by us all.

We also extend our congratulations to the Honorable Darcel Clark, Past President and Chair of the Board of the Black Bar Association of Bronx County, who has also been appointed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department.  Justice Clark has served a Supreme Court Justice in Bronx County since 2006.   She too has demonstrated a commendable record of achievement, public service, and dedication to the pursuit of justice duly warranting her appointment.

We offer our best wishes to both justices for their accomplishments and the continuation of their exemplary legal careers.

For additional information, please see Governor’s Andrew M. Cuomo’s press release at https://www.governor.ny.gov/press/10012012-appointments

Best regards,

R. Nadine Fontaine
MBBA President

Honorable Alvin M. Yearwood
Chair of the Board

AABANY Applauds the Appointment of Randall T. Eng as Presiding Justice, App. Div., 2nd Dept.

AABANY Applauds the Appointment of Randall T. Eng as Presiding Justice, App. Div., 2nd Dept.

Call for Senate Hearing on Hate Crimes

NAPABA Policy Director Emily Chatterjee passes along this request from Rajdeep Singh of the Sikh Coalition calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the proliferation of hate crimes and hate groups in this country:

Dear Colleagues:

Please find attached our group letter here, urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings next month on hate crimes.  A grand total of 154 organizations endorsed the letter.  Thank you for your tireless efforts to spread the word about this letter through your networks!

During the next few days, as the Judiciary Committee reviews our letter, please consider taking the additional steps:

1. Contact the Senate Judiciary Committee directly and urge them to prioritize hearings.
2. Ask your members to contact the offices of Judiciary Committee members by phone and email.
3. Create awareness about this issue through community advisories, blog posts, Facebook, and Twitter.
4. Issue press releases to your media contacts to generate public awareness about this issue.
5. Write op/eds about the need for increased focus by policymakers on hate crimes in America

Let’s hope for the best.  Again, we are grateful for your support and look forward to working with you again soon.

Best regards,
Raj

– 
Rajdeep Singh
Director of Law and Policy
The Sikh Coalition
Phone: (202) 747-4944
Email: rajdeep@sikhcoalition.org
Website: www.sikhcoalition.org
Donate: www.sikhdonate.org

AABANY STATEMENT REGARDING MEDIA COVERAGE OF RECENT STOP & FRISK DECISIONS

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) joins the New York County Lawyer’s Association in their support of New York’s judiciary, judicial independence, and against the improper personal attacks leveled by the New York Post and the Daily News against judges for their decisions in recent stop and frisk cases.

In recent weeks, judges who have ruled on stop and frisk cases have been derided, vilified, and subjected to improper personal accusations. In the face of the judiciary’s attempt to meet its constitutional responsibilities, the New York Post and Daily News have described the decisions as “judicially mandated lawlessness,” accused the judges of bias against the NYPD, called certain judges “insane,” and engaged in fear-mongering tactics such as asserting a descent into “anarchy.” In particular, Justices Peter Tom, Nelson Roman, and Karla Moskowitz, as a result of their Appellate Division decision in the Matter of Darryl C., have been the subject of repeated, unfair, and jarring personal attacks. One Daily News, July 4, 2012 editorial headline went as far as calling the decisions a “death sentence for N.Y.” Furthermore, a July 16, 2012 Daily News editorial suggests that a dissenting opinion, written by Justice Peter Tom, in a stop and frisk judicial decision, urged individuals to “punch a cop, win case.” This is simply a misrepresentation of the opinion cited by the editorial and omits many important facets to the logic and reasoning behind the dissenting opinion. While the issue is hotly contested and reasonable minds will differ with the judicial decisions rendered in the area, these inflammatory attacks are unfair, baseless, and threaten judicial independence.

An independent, well-functioning judicial system, accessible to all, is a bedrock principle of our democracy. Personal attacks against judges, distortions of the facts and context of judicial decisions, and sensationalistic journalism designed to inflame the public threaten judicial independence and the credibility of our democracy. Judges make difficult decisions everyday and while public criticism of the judiciary is an integral part of our democratic society, attacks of this nature threaten the integrity of the
judicial system and our government as a whole.


The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) 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 the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). To learn more about AABANY, visit www.aabany.org.

© 2012 Asian American Bar Association of New York. All rights reserved.

AABANY APPLAUDS THE APPOINTMENT OF LILLIAN WAN TO SERVE AS A JUDGE IN THE NEW YORK CITY FAMILY COURT

NEW YORK – July 11, 2012 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) applauds the appointment of Lillian Wan as a New York City Civil Court judge, with an assignment to the Family Court.  Judge Wan was approved by the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary, the New York City Bar’s Judiciary Committee and the Mayor’s office.  “AABANY is delighted that Lillian Wan has been appointed a Civil Court judge.  Her assignment to serve in the Family Court is well-deserved recognition of her experience and demonstrated commitment to the children and families of New York State,” said Jean Lee, President of AABANY.

Asian Pacific Americans remain significantly under-represented in the New York State Judiciary, where there are only currently twenty-three (23) Asian Pacific American judges out of about 1,200 judges across the state.  Although, according to the 2010 Census, approximately 8.3% of the population of New York State and approximately 14.0% of the population in New York City consist of Asian Pacific Americans, Judge Wan will be one of four Asian Pacific American judges serving in Family Court in the entire state of New York.  Even with the addition of Judge Wan to the bench, less than 2% of the New York judiciary are Asian Pacific Americans.  

“With her appointment, Judge Wan will be the only Asian Pacific American female jurist serving in  New York City Family Court,” said James P. Chou, Co-Chair of AABANY’s Judiciary Committee.  “We applaud Mayor Bloomberg for his continued commitment to diversifying the judiciary in our City.”

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Wan served as a Court Attorney-Referee at the Kings County Surrogate’s Court where she handled adoptions, guardianships, wills, trusts, and estates matters. Before joining Surrogate’s Court, Judge Wan was an attorney for the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in the Manhattan Family Court Unit for nine years, where she litigated and supervised hundreds of child abuse and neglect proceedings.  Judge Wan is the in-coming chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Family Court and Family Law Committee.  She is also a member of AABANY, where she is the co-chair of the Government and Public Sector Committee.  Judge Wan was recently elected to the board of directors for the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association.  Judge Wan is also a member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) and Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program, Inc. (PALS).  Judge Wan graduated summa cum laude from Binghamton University in 1997 and then attended Albany Law School where she served on the Albany Law Review as an Associate Editor and graduated magna cum laude in 2000.

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The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) 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 the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).  To learn more about AABANY, visit www.aabany.org

© 2012 Asian American Bar Association of New York. All rights reserved. Logo is a registered trademark of the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

Commission Currently Soliciting Candidates for Upcoming Vacancy on the Court of Appeals

Commission Currently Soliciting Candidates for Upcoming Vacancy on the Court of Appeals