National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006

November 13, 2013

Contact: Azizah Ahmad
(202) 775-9555


WASHINGTON — Over 1,200 Asian Pacific American (APA) judges, attorneys, law professors, and law students attended the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) 25th Annual Convention in Kansas City, MO, from November 7-10, 2013. The Annual Convention’s MOmentum theme highlighted and celebrated the monumental achievements of APA attorneys over the past 25 years at the highest levels of the legal profession while also encouraging attendees to collaborate for future progress and successes.

The four-day convention included an annual International Law Symposium, Pro Bono & Public Interest Summit, and over 50 panels and plenaries with some of the brightest minds in the legal profession. Special events included a lunch plenary with special guests Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Representative Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), who talked about their experiences as APA women in Congress. The Convention’s sold-out annual basketball tournament tested the talents of attorneys and law students against the Benchwarmers—an all-star line-up of APA judicial luminaries, including Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court.

The Honorable Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit gave the keynote address during the 25th Anniversary Gala and Installation Dinner on Saturday, November 9, 2013. During the Gala, Judge Alok Ahuja of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District swore in the following members of the 2013-2014 NAPABA Board of Governors:

Executive Committee

President: William J. Simonitsch, Partner, K&L Gates LLP

President-Elect: George C. Chen, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP

Vice President for Communications: Cyndie M. Chang, Partner, Duane Morris LLP

Vice President for Finance & Development: Alexander M. Lee, Principal, Law Offices of Alexander M. Lee

Vice President for Membership: Brad Yamauchi, Partner, Minami Tamaki LLP

Vice President for Programs and Operations: Jin Y. Hwang, Assistant General Counsel, Verizon Enterprise Solutions

Secretary: Tacie Yoon, Associate, Crowell & Moring LLP

Treasurer: Pankit J. Doshi, Associate, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Immediate Past President: Wendy C. Shiba, retired (former Executive VP, General Counsel & Secretary, KB Home)

Regional Governors

Central Region: David S. Kim, Attorney, Armstrong Teasdale LLP

Northeast Region: Judy H. Kim, Associate Counsel, New York Liquidation Bureau

Northeast Region: Sophia Lee, Chief Counsel – Litigation, Sunoco, Inc.

Northwest Region: Trung D. Tu, Partner, McEwen Gisvold LLP

Southeast Region: John Truong, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Columbia

Southwest Region: Eileen Sullivan, Principal, Sullivan Law Firm, PC

Northern California Region: Quyen Ta, Partner, Keker & Van Nest LLP

Eastern California/Nevada Region: Marlo Nisperos, Deputy District Attorney, Solano County District Attorney Office

Central California Region: Audra Mori, Partner, Perkins Coie

Southern California Region: Lloyd S. Costales, Partner, Page, Lobo, Costales & Preston, A.P.C.

At-Large Members

Curtis Hom, Principal, Innova Legal Group, PLLC

Steven Y. Reeves, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

Janet Shih Hajek, Of Counsel, Holland & Hart LLP

Marla Tun Reschly, Of Counsel, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Please join us next year in Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, from November 6-9, 2014, for the 26th Annual NAPABA Convention, Convergence.


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.

Update on the Penn APALSA Conference

Penn APALSA has made updates to its website for its February 2 Conference.
The website is fully updated to reflect the schedule of 3 panel sessions, a lunch keynote with Don Liu (General Secretary of Xerox), and a dinner keynote with David Lat and four federal judges. The backgrounds of some of the speakers include: HBS, DHS, FTC, UVA Law, South Korea Ambassador, Asian Pacific American Justice Center, Columnist, NASA, and more. 
Registration includes access to all panels and speakers, three full meals, entry to our Cocktail reception (with hors d’oeuvres and open bar) and the afterparty. Group rates are available! More information on the speakers and registration can be found here:
Please contact Christina Wong at [email protected] if you have any questions.


AABANY turned out in force for the 24th Annual NAPABA Convention held at the JW Marriott and hosted by APABA-DC, from November 15-18.  The theme was “Reaching Monumental Heights."  Five AABANY members were recognized as being among this year’s class of NAPABA Best Lawyers Under 40: Steve Choi, Rio Guerrero, Blossom Kan, Teena-Ann V. Sankoorikal and Vinoo Varghese. (Read the press release here on this blog.)  Membership Secretary Judy Kim was officially sworn in as Northeast Regional Governor. (Read that press release here on this blog.)

Many AABANY members and leaders took part as moderators and speakers on various panels, including: Vincent Chang, Yang Chen, Hon. Denny Chin, Francis Chin, Kathy Hirata Chin, Eve Guillergan, Alexander Lee, Lauren U. Y. Lee, Vinny Lee, Robert Leung, Michael Lewis, Peter Ligh, Linda Lin, Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan, Don Liu, Tony Lu, Glenn Magpantay, Hugh Mo, Kin Ng, Chul Pak, Maria Park, Teena-Ann V. Sankoorikal, Vinoo Varghese, Jessica Wong, Michael Yap. (Apologies if we left anyone out.)

The slideshow above includes shots from the Heart Mountain re-enactment and the Saturday evening gala at which NAPABA’s Best Lawyers Under 40 were honored.

Approximately 1800 attendees took part in the NAPABA Convention. The keynote speaker at the Gala on Saturday evening was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in a conversation co-moderated by the Hon. Denny Chin, past AABANY president who was a colleague of Justice Sotomayor when they both served in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Congratulations to everyone who participated! Thanks for helping AABANY to reach monumental heights at the NAPABA Convention!

AABANY at NAPABA National Convention 2011

NAPABA’s 23rd Annual National Convention: Sustainability took place last week in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Omni CNN Center from November 17 through 20.  Among the more than 1100 attorneys from around the country was our contingent from New York.

AABANY was well-represented at the NAPABA National Convention. 

Judge Denny Chin, past AABANY President and currently the only active APA Federal appellate circuit judge, was the keynote speaker at Saturday night’s installation banquet.  Judge Chin shared his experiences as a district court judge, regaling the capacity crowd with fascinating, funny and sometimes touching stories from the wide variety of cases he presided over in his fifteen years on the bench as a United States District Court Judge.

Don Liu, General Counsel of Xerox and AABANY member, introduced Friday’s plenary luncheon speaker, Yale Law School Professor and best-selling author Amy Chua.  Don himself was honored with NAPABA’s prestigious Trailblazer Award on Friday evening.  In a moving and heartfelt acceptance speech, Don honored his recently-deceased father as a trailblazer in his own right.

At Saturday night’s installation banquet, NAPABA presented its Best Under 40 award recipients, and AABANY was represented by Director Bobby Liu, General Counsel at MD Sass, and Pauline Yeung-Ha, Co-Chair Solo and Small Firm Committee and name partner at Grimaldi & Yeung.  Also honored was My Chi To, Secretary of AALFNY (Asian American Law Fund of New York) and partner at Debevoise & Plimpton.

On Thursday, at the NAPABA Bar Leadership Institute, AABANY Executive Director Yang Chen was the luncheon speaker, talking about AABANY’s experience as the first affiliate with a full-time executive director.

On Friday, Judge Chin led the AABANY re-enactment team in a program entitled “Race, Color and Citizenship: Ozawa and Thind,” which re-created two Supreme Court cases from the 1920s in which the Court upheld the denial of naturalization to two Asian Americans on the basis of race and color.  The cast, led by Judge Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin, was comprised of AABANY members, including many AABANY Directors: Vincent Chang, Yang Chen, Francis Chin, Lauren Lee, Susan Moon, Esther Nguonly, Liza Sohn, Vinoo Varghese, Jessica Wong and Michael Yap.

Throughout the conference, many other AABANY members, including many past AABANY leaders, spoke on or moderated various panels, including: Sylvia Fung Chin, John Flock, Parkin Lee, and Hon. Doris Ling Cohan.

Congratulations also to Hofstra Law School which was recognized on November 18 as the NAPALSA (National Asian Pacific American Law Students Association) Affiliate of the Year.  NAPALSA held several programs and meetings during the NAPABA National Convention.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the NAPABA 2011 National Convention, and congratulations to all the honorees.  You do AABANY proud!