On Tuesday, January 24, forty AABANY members, family and friends celebrated Lunar New Year at Madison Square Garden as the Knicks took on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The night was filled with memorable moments: The New Asia Chamber Music Society performed the national anthem and there was a special lion dance performance during halftime. Two of our members caught t-shirts that were fired into the crowd by cannons and during the third quarter AABANY even got a shoutout on the Garden Vision big screen. And to cap it all off, the Knicks won a nail biter by a score of 105-103.
The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (APABA Los Angeles County), California Asian Pacific American Bar Association (Cal-APABA), Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA), Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado (APABA Colorado), Japanese American Bar Association (JABA), Korean American Bar Association of Southern California (KABA SoCal), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (SABA-SC), Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association (SCCLA), Thai American Bar Association (TABA), and Vietnamese American Bar Association of Southern California (VABASC), join together to mourn the lives lost, help the people injured, and support a community as it recovers from tragedy. On the eve of Lunar New Year on January 21, 2023, during a time of celebration, a shooter opened fire on members of our community in Monterey Park, resulting in the murder of eleven people and injuring many more.
“APABA Los Angeles County wholeheartedly condemns this horrific act of violence. Our thoughts, prayers, and sympathies are with those affected, including our own families and friends who call Monterey Park home, and we are working with our partners to support the community during this traumatic time,” said Erica Yen, president of APABA. “APABA has had a close connection with Monterey Park since our founding 25 years ago. We have held our monthly pro bono volunteer legal assistance clinic at the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library for almost a decade – our second home for many years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Later this week on Saturday, January 28, 2023 from 10-12 pm, we will return with renewed determination to help those in need with the re-opening of our in-person pro bono volunteer legal clinic in the Library Friends Room.”
“We are deeply saddened by the violence and loss of life in Monterey Park,” said Asit Panwala, president of Cal-APABA. “After more than two years of trauma, many Asian American families looked forward to this Lunar New Year as a time to come together in joy and celebration. But today we grieve with the families of the victims. We stand with you in love, solidarity, and strength.”
“KABA SoCal is deeply saddened by the tragic mass shooting in Monterey Park that took place on the eve of Lunar New Year,” said Monica Min, president of KABA SoCal. “We mourn the families of the victims and the communities that have been affected by this heartbreaking tragedy. Our thoughts, support, and love are with you.”
“NAPABA stands shoulder to shoulder with the families and communities impacted by this tragic act on what should have been a night of joyful celebration and hopeful possibility,” said Sandra Leung, president of NAPABA. “For many of our members, Monterey Park is home – a place where they grew up, spent time with friends, or visited family. On behalf of our members across the country, NAPABA reaffirms its commitment to assisting communities affected by violence and lends our support to the victims and their families.”
“SCCLA stands united with its sister bar organizations – and the strong community of Monterey Park – in condemning this senseless act of violence,” said Nina Hong, President of SCCLA. “We grieve with the victims, their loved ones, and this wonderful city that many of us call home. We are resolved to stand together to keep the Chinese and AAPI communities safe.”
Our partners at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Southern California are coordinating a coalition of organizations, including our bar associations, to provide services to the victims and their families. More information about these services can be found here. You can support the official verified fundraiser for the victims and the Monterey Park community, which is endorsed by our organizations, by making a donation on GoFundMe online. One hundred percent (100%) of donations will go toward supporting the victims and their families.
A memorial honoring the victims has been established at Monterey Park City Hall at 320 West Newmark Avenue, Monterey Park, CA 91754. The City of Monterey Park will host a public vigil at City Hall on Tuesday, January 24 beginning at 5:30 pm.
A Survivors Resource Center has been established at Monterey Park’s Langley Senior Center at 400 N. Emerson Ave., Monterey Park, CA 91754. There are mental health resources available for anyone who needs support.
If you have information relating to the ongoing investigation, please call the Los Angeles Sheriff Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5550.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA 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 all backgrounds in the legal profession.
New York State Senators John Liu (11th District, Queens), Andrew Gounardes (22nd District, Brooklyn), Brian Kavanagh (26th District, Manhattan) and Toby Stavisky (16th District, Queens) hosted a Lunar New Year virtual celebration Tuesday evening, February 16, featuring performances from AAPI youth and community honorees. The event was well-attended by city, state and federal elected officials, as well as community leaders and their organizations.
Senator Kavanagh presented May Wong, Esq., and Olympia Moy with a certificate of commendation to recognize the work of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee in providing invaluable legal assistance to the AAPI community during the pandemic. May Wong and Olympia Moy were proud to accept the certificate on behalf of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. In their acceptance speech, they detailed the committee’s success in creating a one-day “in-person” clinic in July 2020 to assist tenants with paper applications for the COVID Rent Relief Program. When the COVID Rent Relief Program was extended to February 2021, law students volunteered again to establish a two-week remote hotline service to assist non-English speaking tenants apply via telephone. They were able to assist callers in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish with the help of the committee’s community partners, Chinatown CLT and GOLES. May Wong and Olympia Moy concluded their speech by expressing gratitude towards the State for its effort in addressing the State’s housing and poverty crisis and strongly encouraged the State to “direct emergency financial relief to tenants and property owners in meaningful programs that can provide permanent rental assistance and increased access to rental subsidies.”
Thank you to all the attorney volunteers and law students who helped AABANY and the community, especially May Wong, William Lee, Karen Lin, Nicholas Loh, Xinyi Shen, and Olympia Moy.
Congratulations to the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee on this well-deserved recognition! To learn more about the Committee and all its wonderful work, go to probono.aabany.org. They are always looking for more volunteers so email them at email@example.com if you can help.
On February 12, 2021, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly virtual Membership Mixer, with 18 participants in attendance. This week AABANY held a virtual Lunar New Year celebration to welcome the Year of the Ox.
Participants were asked: “What is your favorite New Year superstition or favorite memory?” Participants answered that they followed the superstitions not to wash hair, sweep the floor, wear head to toe red clothing, and not arguing on the third day of the new year. Their favorite memories were seeing the Dragon dancers in the Chinatown parade, getting red envelopes, and eating a feast with their family.
Congratulations to Long Dang, who won a $100 red envelope.
Our weekly Friday mixers are open to everyone, but only members who register for the weekly mixers through the calendar entry on the AABANY website have a chance at winning a prize. Thank you to the In-House Counsel Committee for co-sponsoring this week’s mixer prize.
On February 20, 2020, Margaret Ling, AABANY Development Director, hosted the New York Law School AALSA Alumni Lunar New Year Reception at New York Law School. Margaret is a New York Law School Alumni, Class of 1983, and is also a Board Director of the New York Law School Alumni Association. She mentors many of the Asian Law students and took this opportunity to connect them with alumni. The event was also attended by Dean Anthony Crowell and Elizabeth Briand of Development Affairs. Many thanks to AABANY for their support and Nancy Yang, AALSA President and Class of 2020.
On January 28, 2020, Margaret Ling, AABANY Real Estate Committee Co-Chair, hosted and organized the Lunar New Year Celebration and Networking Event at Chase Bank located at 41-22 Bell Bvd, Bayside, New York.
Over 50 attorneys attended the reception. A lovely buffet was served, and entertainment was provided by master paper cutting artist Mr. Hou-Tien Cheng. AABANY’s Real Estate Committee collaborated with the following organizations to present this event: Queens County Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee; KALAGNY; Big Apple Abstract Corporation; Chase Bank; and Forchelli, Deegan and Terrana, LLP. Margaret Ling, who is both the Co-Chair of the AABANY Real Estate Committee and the Co-Chair of the Queens County Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee, will continue to organize these joint collaborative bar events in the near future.
We thank everyone that attended and wish everyone a prosperous Lunar New Year!
On January 22, 2020 AABANY co-hosted a Lunar New Year party with the Financial Services Network of NAPABA at the offices of Mayer Brown. Over 50 attendees enjoyed food, wine and drinks. Kendrick Nguyen, founder of Republic Bank, spoke briefly about his journey from being a lawyer to CEO of a start-up with 60 employees.
We thank Mayer Brown and all who attended this event.
On February 21, 2019, the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA) at St. John’s University School of Law recognized Michael J. Rhee as the 2019 APALSA Honoree during their Lunar New Year Reception at China Blue-Tribeca. AABANY congratulates Michael J. Rhee on his recognition as the 2019 APALSA Honoree.
Michael J. Rhee received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1998 and went on to lead a remarkable legal career. Mr. Rhee had served as a Special Counsel in the real estate department at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Currently, Mr. Rhee is Vice President and General Counsel of the Durst Organization, one of the most prominent real estate companies in New York City. As Vice President and General Counsel, Mr. Rhee advises on leasing, acquisitions, construction and development activities, as well as the corporate and legal needs of the company. Mr. Rhee also oversees insurance and collections and manages outside counsel.
Michael J. Rhee is not only a distinguished member of the legal community, he is also an active one. He has been an AABANY member since 2015, and he is a member of the In-House Counsel Committee. Mr. Rhee is also a member of the Leadership Advisory Council of the Korean American Lawyers Associations of Greater New York. Please join AABANY in congratulating Mr. Rhee on this well-deserved recognition.