NAPABA Applauds the Confirmation of Judge Roopali H. Desai to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

For Immediate Release:
Date: August 5, 2022

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Roopali H. Desai to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Confirmed in record time, Judge Desai is the first South Asian American judge to serve on the Ninth Circuit.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Desai on her confirmation to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,” said A. B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA.” Judge Desai is a trusted legal expert with a broad coalition of bipartisan support. Her experience, legal acumen and background brings much needed representation and legal diversity to the Ninth Circuit.”

Previously Judge Desai served as partner at Coppersmith Brockelman. She served as a law clerk for The Honorable Mary Schroeder, Chief Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and is a graduate of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, and the University of Arizona.

NAPABA thanks President Biden for nominating Judge Desai and Senator Sinema and Senator Kelly for recommending and supporting her nomination.

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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 Commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the Oak Creek Gurdwara Shooting

For Immediate Release:
Date: August 5, 2022

Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today marks the 10th anniversary of the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wis., which resulted in the death of seven worshipers: Paramjit Kaur Saini, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suveg Singh Khattra, Satwant Singh Kaleka, and Baba Punjab Singh. NAPABA, alongside the Oak Creek Sikh American community and Sikh communities across the nation, remembers and honors the lives lost and forever altered. We grieve with their families and stand with our community deeply impacted by this act of hatred.

“Every individual in our country has the right to live and thrive in a nation that feels safe and inclusive,” said NAPABA Executive Director Priya Purandare. “This year’s Oak Creek commemoration is centered around the message ‘Heal, Unite, Act’ — Together, we will continue to heal from the loss of loved ones, unite to confront hate-motivated violence, and further our long-standing commitment to act towards building a safe, diverse, and inclusive America.”

The 10-Year Remembrance Vigil at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin will be livestreamed on YouTube on Friday, August 5, 2022, at 6 p.m. CDT. For more information regarding Oak Creek remembrance events, please visit oakcreek10.squarespace.com.

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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 Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Affirmative Action Case

For Immediate Release:
Date: August 3, 2022

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) filed an amicus brief in the cases challenging affirmative action before the Supreme Court, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina. We were joined on the brief by the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association.

In the brief, the bars reiterated their support for the principles laid out in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), which allowed the consideration of race as a factor in college admissions as part of a holistic admissions process. The brief lays out the importance of diversity in the legal profession and the impact overturning holistic admissions in college on current efforts to diversify the legal pipeline. The brief did not address the second question posed by the Court about the practices and policies implemented by either Harvard or the University of North Carolina.

NAPABA has consistently supported the principle of holistic admissions since it first submitted an amicus brief in Grutter with a coalition of Asian Pacific American organizations. NAPABA was joined by other diverse bars reiterating their support for affirmative action and the impact on the legal profession in both Fisher v. Texas (2013) and Fisher v. Texas (2016). This principle was codified and most recently affirmed by the NAPABA Board of Governors as the organization’s standing policy in 2015.

NAPABA thanks Dan Bromberg, Appellate Practice leader, and Shelby Dyl of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, for serving as pro bono counsel on this brief. We thank Albert Giang of King & Spalding LLP and Radha Pathak of Stris & Maher LLP, for their leadership as Co-Chairs of NAPABA’s Amicus Committee and contributions to the brief. A special thanks to Kevin Fong, former NAPABA Amicus Chair, for his advice and contributions.

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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 the Nominations of Justice Myong J. Joun and Judge Rita F. Lin to the U.S. District Court

For Immediate Release: 
Date: July 29, 2022

ContactPriya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON—Today, President Joe Biden nominated Justice Myong J. Joun to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and Judge Rita F. Lin to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. If confirmed, Justice Joun would be the first Asian American male to serve on the federal bench in Massachusetts and Judge Lin would be the first Chinese American female to serve on a district that includes San Francisco and San Jose.

“NAPABA congratulates its members, Justice Myong Joun and Judge Rita Lin,” said A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA. “Justice Joun is the second former Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts president to be nominated to an Article III judgeship and Judge Lin is a past NAPABA Best Under 40 awardee. Both are exceptionally well qualified. We applaud President Biden for nominating them and we urge the Senate to swiftly confirm them.”

Justice Myong J. Joun
In 2014, Justice Joun was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to the Boston Municipal Court. Previously, he was in private practice where he specialized in criminal defense and plaintiff’s civil rights litigation in state and federal courts. A former president of NAPABA’s affiliate, the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts, Justice Joun is active in the greater legal community. He currently serves as treasurer of the Harry J. Elam Judicial Conference and has served on the Executive Management Board of the Massachusetts Bar, the board of directors for the National Lawyers Guild and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association. Justice Joun is a veteran of the United States Army and the Massachusetts National Guard. He received his J.D. from Suffolk Law School and his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts.

Judge Rita F. Lin
In 2018, Judge Rita Lin was appointed by Governor Edmund Brown, Jr. to the Superior Court of San Francisco. Previously, she was an assistant U.S. attorney of the Northern District of California and a partner at Morrison and Foerster, where she focused on complex civil cases and financial services. At the firm, she had an active pro bono practice, including successfully challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Judge Lin clerked for the Honorable Sandra Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In 2017, NAPABA honored her with its Best Under 40 award. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. from Harvard College.

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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.

2022 NAPABA GECC Summit

Registration Now Open
September 9, 2022 | 1:00-3:10 pm ET, Virtual

Are you a government, public interest, or public sector attorney, or thinking about becoming one? Join the NAPABA Government Enforcement & Compliance Committee (GECC) in partnership with the Health Law Committee virtually on Friday, September 9 for the 2022 NAPABA GECC Summit!

This year’s Summit will include a CLE eligible session focused on practical skills training in healthcare fraud and use of data in complex civil and criminal litigation and a second session with tips on how to navigate career transitions.

Registration is now open and is complimentary. The deadline to register is September 9 at 11:00 am ET.

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Learn more about the GECC Summit here. We look forward to connecting with you virtually on September 9!

NAPABA Applauds the Confirmation of Judge Nina Y. Wang to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado

For Immediate Release: July 19, 2022
Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Nina Y. Wang to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Nina Y. Wang on her confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado,” said A.B. Cruz III, Acting President of NAPABA. “Judge Wang’s childhood experience of navigating the immigration system for two years to correct an administrative error gave her an understanding on the importance on how courts affect the lives of individuals. We are proud to see her represent our community and bring not just her vast knowledge as a magistrate judge and as a federal litigator, but her personal experience that makes her an inspiration for our community.”

Judge Nina Y. Wang is a U.S. magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Previously, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Colorado and was a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. Judge Wang clerked for the Honorable Peter J. Messitte of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and is a graduate of Washington University and Harvard Law School. Active in the APA community, Judge Wang is a recipient of NAPABA’s Best Under 40 Award and served as president of NAPABA’s Colorado affiliate APABA Colorado.

NAPABA thanks President Biden for nominating Judge Nina Y. Wang and Senator Bennet and Senator Hickenlooper for recommending and supporting her nomination.

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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 the Nominations of Cindy K. Chung to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Judge Mia Roberts-Perez to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

For Immediate Release: July 12, 2022
Contact: Mary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

WASHINGTON—Today, President Joe Biden nominated Cindy K. Chung to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Judge Mia Roberts-Perez to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. If confirmed, Chung would be the first Asian American appellate judge on the Third Circuit and Judge Roberts-Perez would be the first Asian American district judge on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

“NAPABA offers its congratulations to Cindy K. Chung and Judge Mia Roberts-Perez on their nominations,” said A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA. “We applaud President Biden for nominating a strong and historic slate of highly qualified Asian American candidates and for continuing to broaden the diversity of backgrounds and professional experiences to the bench. We urge the Senate to swiftly confirm them.”

Cindy K. Chung
In 2021, Chung was nominated by President Biden to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania and was confirmed by a voice vote. She is the first Asian American U.S. Attorney in Pennsylvania and the only Asian American currently leading any prosecutors’ office in Pennsylvania. Active in the Asian American community, Chung has participated in community briefings and events addressing anti-Asian hate incidents.

Previously, Chung served as a trial attorney in the Criminal Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where she prosecuted the first case under the Shepherd-Byrd Hate Crimes Act. She also served as an assistant district attorney at the District Attorney’s Office, New York County, and investigation counsel in the Official Corruption Unit. Chung began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge Myron Thompson on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A. from Yale University.

Judge Mia Roberts-Perez
In 2015, Judge Roberts-Perez was elected to the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. Previously, she was in private practice at Perez Law LLC, where she specialized in criminal defense and family law. Judge Roberts-Perez started her career at Defender Associations of Philadelphia where she served as public defender in the major trials division. She received her J.D. from Temple University, Beasley School of Law and her B.A. from Tufts University.

NAPABA thanks President Biden for nominating Cindy K. Chung and Judge Mia Roberts-Perez and Senator Casey and Senator Toomey for recommending and supporting their nominations.

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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 Announcement: NAPABA Community Service Corps Makes History at Unity March

NAPABA is proud to have been an organizational partner for the Unity March this past Saturday [June 25], the first large mobilization of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) on the National Mall that brought people of all backgrounds together who care about advancing socioeconomic and cultural equity, racial justice, and solidarity. Executive Director Priya Purandare was quoted in the Washingtonian for this historic event. We thank our members who attended and volunteered in the summer heat. Your presence contributed to a larger movement, and we are grateful for all you do! If you missed the event or any remarks, a full livestream of the Unity March is available for viewing here.

Community Service Corps | #NAPABAinAction

The mobilization came at the 40th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s murder, a critical turning point for the AAPI community. Chin’s murder, and the fact that his killers faced no jail time, highlighted the lack of a strong national voice for AAPIs within this country’s legal system. The case galvanized the community to action and this led to NAPABA’S founding in 1988 to give voice to values of justice, equity, and opportunity for AAPIs. Since that time, NAPABA has been strongly committed to civil rights advocacy.

We now stand at another turning point in history with the current rise in hate crimes targeting diverse communities. To take action and harness the power of our membership, we launched the NAPABA Community Service Corps to provide opportunities for NAPABA members to act for impact at the local and national levels. NAPABA Community Service Corps opportunities include hate crimes assistance and election protection efforts to fill the needs of the community.

NAPABA needs your help to form a national infrastructure of members committed to strengthening our communities. Will you join #NAPABAinAction? Learn more here and sign up on the Volunteer Now tab!

NAPABA Establishes New NLF Community Law Fellowship Focused on Anti-Hate Advocacy

$130,000 Investment will build the pipeline of future leaders in our community.

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2022
Contact: Mary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

WASHINGTON – NAPABA and the NAPABA Law Foundation are proud to announce the expansion of the NLF Community Law Fellowship program to include a new two-year fully funded fellowship placement at NAPABA. The Community Law Fellow will work to serve the AA & NHPI community and build NAPABA’s capacity to support the membership’s commitment to public service and advocacy.

“We are excited to offer this opportunity to build the pipeline of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander attorneys with expertise and skill to create change in our communities through advocacy and policy,” said NAPABA Acting President A.B. Cruz III. “This fellowship is another example of the ways that NAPABA and NLF, along with our members and supporters, can create an active legal community that is willing, ready, and able to serve.”

Established by a generous gift from Paul W. Lee of Goodwin Procter LLP the NAPABA Law Foundation Partners and In-House Counsel Community Law Fellowship was launched in 2004 to address the need for attorneys working on behalf of the AA & NHPI populations. NAPABA’s support of the program will establish the 12th Fellowship.

“The Community Law Fellowship is one of the premier ways that the NAPABA legal community can make an investment in the future of public service,” said Juliet K. Choi, Chair of the NLF Fellowship and Scholarship Selection Committee and first NLF Community Law Fellow (2004). “We are proud that we can we leverage the power of NAPABA and NLF to serve the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community.”

The NLF Community Law Fellow placement at NAPABA is a two-year fellowship program designed for a recent law school graduate who is interested in pursuing a career in public interest law and policy. The Fellow will directly support NAPABA’s advocacy and policy program with a focus on supporting and leading initiatives within our anti-hate project. The Fellow will also support other NAPABA community engagement programs, educational programs, and legislative advocacy.

We encourage all interested applicants to apply and for others to share this with any prospective candidates.

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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 Honors the Legacy of Vincent Chin 40 Years after His Death

NAPABA Community Service Corps works to preserve the memory of Chin

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association commemorates the 40th anniversary of the murder of Vincent Chin. On June 19, 1982, Vincent Chin, a Chinese American industrial draftsman, was brutally beaten in a racially motivated attack during a wave of anti-Japanese sentiment and died as a result of his injuries a few days later. Vincent Chin’s death and his killers’ lenient sentences marked a turning point in Asian Pacific American civil rights advocacy in the United States.

“With the dramatic spike in hate violence perpetrated against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, honoring Vincent Chin serves as a poignant reminder that more still needs to be done to rid our society of xenophobic hate and ensure our community’s voice is heard,” said A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA. “Mr. Chin’s senseless death and subsequent trial underscored the importance of the Asian Pacific American community standing together in the fight against racism and advocating in the courts. We must continue to build on this legacy by continuing to oppose hate and violence in all forms.”

Chin’s murder and the sentences of his killers highlighted the lack of a strong national voice for Asian Pacific Americans within this country’s legal system. Recognizing the need to establish such representation, NAPABA was founded in 1988 to give voice to values of justice, equity, and opportunity for Asian Pacific Americans. Since that time, NAPABA has been strongly committed to civil rights advocacy.

With the current rise in hate crimes targeting diverse communities, the NAPABA Community Service Corps works to provide opportunities for its members to take action for impact locally and nationally. NAPABA is a co-sponsor of the first-ever Unity March on June 25, 2022, an Asian American multicultural event to advance socioeconomic and cultural equity, racial justice, and solidarity. NAPABA Community Service Corps opportunities to engage in the Unity March and other projects to protect and advocate for civil rights honors the memory of Vincent Chin.

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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.