NAPABA Celebrates the Confirmation of Judge Jinsook Ohta to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California and Judge Shalina D. Kumar to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

WASHINGTON – Sid Kanazawa, president of NAPABA, issued the following statement in response to the confirmations of Judge Jinsook Ohta to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California and Judge Shalina D. Kumar to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan:

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Ohta on her confirmation to become the first Asian American woman to serve as an Article III judge in the Southern District of California. She has a career in public service, serving as a judge on the California Superior Court and as a Supervising Deputy Attorney General in California. Judge Ohta has strong ties to the AAPI community as an active member of NAPABA and the Korean American Bar Association of San Diego. We thank Senators Feinstein and Padilla for recommending Judge Ohta.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Kumar on her historic confirmation to the Eastern District of Michigan. She is the first Asian American to serve as an Article III judge on the federal courts in Michigan. Judge Kumar has extensive experience on the bench, serving as Chief Judge of the Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court in Michigan covering both civil and criminal matters. We thank Senators Stabenow and Peters for recommending Judge Kumar.

“December 2021 has been a historic month with a record four AAPI women judges confirmed by the Senate. We applaud Leader Schumer for his leadership and the Senate for swiftly confirming these nominees, and we thank President Biden for his commitment to diversifying the judiciary.”

Judge Ohta served as a Superior Court Judge for the Superior Court in San Diego County. Previously, she worked in the Consumer Protection Section of the California Attorney General’s Office as Supervising Deputy Attorney General. Judge Ohta clerked for the Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California and is a graduate of Yale University and New York University School of Law.

Judge Kumar has been on the bench since 2007, and over the years, has served as a presiding judge of the Adult Treatment Court, the Chairperson of the Oakland County Criminal Assignment Committee, the bench liaison to the Oakland County Bar Association Circuit Court Committee, a member of the Michigan State Bar Professionalism Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Michigan Judges’ Association. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law.

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.

NAPABA Applauds Nomination of Jennifer Sung to the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and Shalina Kumar to the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

WASHINGTON – On June 30, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Jennifer Sung to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Shalina D. Kumar to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. If confirmed, Ms. Sung would be President Biden’s first Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) to serve on the appellate court and the first AAPI to serve on the Ninth Circuit in Oregon. Judge Kumar would be the first AAPI Article III judge on the federal courts in Michigan.

“NAPABA congratulates Jennifer Sung on her nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Judge Shalina Kumar on her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “It is indeed a historic slate for the AAPI legal community. If confirmed, Judge Kumar would be the first AAPI Article III judge in the state of Michigan. President Biden’s intent to nominate Ms. Sung is critical for our community to increase the visibility of AAPI jurists on the appellate bench. Of the 179 authorized federal appellate court judges, there are only 10 AAPIs who are actively serving.”

Ms. Sung is currently a member of the Oregon Employment Relations Board, where she adjudicates disputes involving labor relations for an estimated 3,000 Oregon employers and 250,000 workers in the public and private sector covered by collective bargaining laws. Prior to her appointment to the Board, she was a partner at McKanna Bishop Joffee, LLP in Portland. Earlier in her career, Ms. Sung was an executive board member of the New York chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Judge Kumar currently serves as Chief Judge of the Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court in Michigan. She has been on the bench since 2007, has served as presiding judge of the Adult Treatment Court, and was appointed Chief Judge by the Michigan Supreme Court in 2018. Judge Kumar previously practiced at the Weiner & Cox law firm and served on the executive board of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association and as a member of the Women’s Bar Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and her law degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 60,000 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.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO DEFEND ASIAN AMERICAN VOTING RIGHTS NY • NJ • MA • PA • NV • MI • TX • GA • LA • VA • MD • DC Asian American Poll Monitoring for Mid-Term — Tuesday, November 4, 2014

In past elections, Asian Americans have faced a series of barriers in exercising their right to vote.  When the news media reported on election results, Asian Americans were overlooked.  In response, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund along with several partners will monitor the elections for bilingual ballots under the federal Voting Rights Act and to document instances of anti-Asian voter disenfranchisement.

We need your help.  In the 2012 elections, 850 volunteers polled 9,096 Asian American voters in 14 states and Washington, DC.  Volunteers work in 3-hour shifts.  There will be a 90-minute training session for all volunteers.  (Attorneys can receive 1.5 CLE credits including 0.5 ethics credit.)  Sign up online here.  Thank you!

For more information, contact: AALDEF Staff Attorney Jerry Vattamala or Voting Rights Organizer Judy Lei at 800-966-5946 or votingrights@aaldef.org

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AALDEF 2014 Poll Monitoring Trainings
Lite Lunch/ Dinner will be provided.  
Advanced Registration required.  Sign up here.

Tues., Oct. 14 – Boston
8:30 a.m. – Mintz Levin, 1 Financial Center, Boston, MA 02110
12 noon – Ropes & Gray, 800 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199
6 p.m. – Edwards Wildman, 111 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02199

Wed, Oct. 15 – New York City
12 noon – Shearman & Sterling, 599 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022

Thurs, Oct. 16 – New York City
12 noon – Weil Gotshal, 767 5th Ave, New York, NY 10153
6 p.m. – Wilson Elser, 150 East 42nd Street New York, NY 10017

Fri, Oct. 17 – Las Vegas
12:30 p.m. – Ballard Spahr,  100 North City Parkway, Suite 1750, Las Vegas, NV 89106
6 p.m. – Location TBD

Mon, Oct. 20- Washington DC
12 p.m. – Finnegan, I St NW # 700, Washington, DC 20005
6 p.m. – Crowell & Moring, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Tues, Oct. 21 – Atlanta
12 noon – Ballard Spahr, 999 Peachtree Street, Suite 1000, Atlanta, GA 30309
6 p.m. – CPACS, 3510 Shallowford Rd NE, Chamblee, GA 30341

Wed, Oct. 22 – Houston
12 noon – Fullbright & Jaworski, 1301 McKinney St #5100, Houston, TX 77010
6 p.m. – OCA-Greater Houston, 9800 Town Park #142, Houston TX 77036

Thurs, Oct. 23- New Orleans
2 p.m. – Cotton, Schmidt & Abbot, 650 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130
6 p.m. – VAYLA, 13235 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70129

Thurs., Oct, 23 – Ann Arbor/Detroit
12 noon – Detroit, location TBD
6 p.m. –  University of Michigan Law School, 625 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (tentative location)

Mon, Oct. 27 – Newark, NJ
12 noon – McCarter & English, 100 Mulberry St, Newark, NJ 07102

 Tues, Oct. 28 – Manhattan
12 noon – Baker Hostetler, 45 Rockefeller Plaza #10, New York, NY 10111
6 p.m. – Debevoise & Plimpton, 919 Third Ave, New York, NY 10022

Wed, Oct. 29 – Philadelphia
12 noon – Ballard Spahr, 1735 Market St #5100, Philadelphia, PA 19103
6 p.m. – BPSOS – South Philly, 600 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (tentative location)

Wed, Oct. 29 – Brooklyn
12:45pm – Brooklyn Law School, 250 Joralemon St, Room 500, New York, NY 11201

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AALDEF 2014 Poll Monitoring Co-Sponsors
List as of September 17, 2014.

NATIONAL CO-SPONSORS
Alliance of South Asian American Labor
APIAVote
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
North American South Asian Bar Association
OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates
South Asian Americans Leading Together

LOCAL CO-SPONSORS
APIA Vote – Michigan
Asian American Society of Central Virginia
Boat People SOS Delaware Valley – PA
Center for Pan Asian Community Services – GA
Chhaya CDC – NY
Chinese Community Federation of Atlanta – GA
Chinese Progressive Association – MA
Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia
Hunter College/CUNY, Asian American Studies Program – NY
Korean American Civic Empowerment of NY/NJ
MinKwon Center for Community Action – NY
OCA Georgia Chapter
OCA Greater Houston Chapter
OCA Las Vegas Chapter
Princeton Asian American Students Association – NJ
University of Maryland, College Park, Asian American Studies Program
University of Massachusetts Boston, Asian American Studies Program
Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans – LA

LEGAL CO-SPONSORS
Asian American Bar Association of Houston
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia
Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas – NV
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Washington, DC
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Assoc. of New Jersey
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center – DC
Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Greater Boston Legal Services: Asian Outreach Unit – MA
Korean Amer. Bar Assoc. of the Washington DC Area
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater NY
Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Pace Law School, Public Interest Law Center – NY
Suffolk U. Law School, Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service – MA
and Asian Pacific American Law Student Association chapters across the country.