NAPABA Celebrates the Confirmation of Lucy H. Koh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

WASHINGTON- On Dec. 13, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Lucy H. Koh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Koh is the first Korean American female federal appellate judge in the nation’s history.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Koh on her historic confirmation to the Ninth Circuit to become the first Korean American female federal appellate judge in the United States,” said Sid Kanazawa, president of NAPABA. “Judge Koh is a devoted public servant, a trailblazer, a mentor to young lawyers, and a dear friend. She has and continues to make us so proud.

“Thank you, Senators Feinstein and Padilla for recommending Judge Koh. Thank you, President Biden for nominating her. And thank you Leader Schumer for announcing, during our annual NAPABA Convention, that Judge Koh would receive a floor vote.”

In 2010, Judge Koh made history, becoming the first Korean American federal district court judge when she was unanimously confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Prior to the federal bench, Judge Koh has served on the Superior Court of California, in the U.S. Department of Justice, as special counsel in the Office of Legislative Affairs, and as an assistant U.S. attorney. Her nomination had strong bi-partisan support, including from former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Judge Koh is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

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 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 and Florida Affiliates’ Statement in Response to Florida Supreme Court’s Ruling Against Diversity and Inclusion Requirements in Continuing Legal Education

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), together with the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Tampa Bay (APABA-TB), the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida (APABA-SF), the Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association (GOAABA), and the Jacksonville Asian American Bar Association (JAABA) (collectively, the “Florida Affiliates”) express their strong disappointment with the Florida Supreme Court’s decision reaffirming its own ban on Florida lawyers receiving credit for continuing legal education (CLE) courses that employ certain diversity requirements on their panels. In June, NAPABA and the Florida Affiliates filed comments before the Florida Supreme Court urging the court to recognize that advancing diversity through these requirements fosters inclusivity, and does not exclude any viewpoint. Unfortunately, the court continued to mischaracterize these efforts as harmful and discriminatory. The diversity requirements championed by NAPABA, our Florida Affiliates, the American Bar Association, and dozens of other organizations are additive and not subtractive. They do not discriminate against any person or group, but rather they uplift voices long silenced. As we have noted previously, the stated goal of the policy was to eliminate bias, increase diversity, and implement tactics aimed at recruiting and retaining diverse attorneys.

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 Nomination of Judge Kenly Kiya Kato to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

WASHINGTON –Today, President Biden nominated Judge Kenly Kiya Kato to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Kato on her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. She is an experienced jurist and has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge on that court since 2014,” said Sid Kanazawa, president of NAPABA. “Judge Kato’s life experience, as a daughter whose parents and family were incarcerated during World War II solely because they were of Japanese descent, has shaped her interest in constitutional protections and her work to ensure access to justice. Active in the AAPI community in Riverside, CA, she is a member of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers of the Inland Empire.

“We thank President Biden for nominating Judge Kato, and Senators Feinstein and Padilla for recommending her. With only 30 out of the 673 district court judges being AAPI, we urge the Senate to quickly confirm Judge Kato.”

Judge Kato serves as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she maintained a private practice and has served as a deputy federal public defender. Judge Kato was a law clerk to the late Judge Robert M. Takasugi of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and Harvard Law School.

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 Partners with Queens-Based Main Street Patrol to Encourage Young Adults to Get Vaccinated Against COVID

Hailing from Flushing, Queens, Main Street Patrol protects elders from hate and abuse as they go about their daily routines. They have partnered with NAPABA to encourage young adults to get vaccinated against COVID. Check out their fun and informative PSA on keeping us all safe—not only in the streets, but in life. Get vaccinated!

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 Celebrates the Historic Confirmation of Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

On Oct. 21, the U.S. Senate confirmed Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. 

“NAPABA congratulates Tana Lin on her historic confirmation to become the first Asian American Article III district court judge in the state of Washington,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “She is a devout public servant who has an exemplary legal career as a civil rights attorney and former public defender who’s enforced civil rights statutes, federal anti-discrimination laws, and a variety of other complex litigation matters.

“In addition to her impeccable qualifications, Judge Lin has a life experience that many in our community can relate to. She immigrated to the United States from Taiwan when she was three years old, worked her way through school, and is a leader in the community. Judge Lin has also served as a past board member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington, where she continues to be an active member.”

AAPIs represent nearly 10% of the population and constitute the largest community of color in the state of Washington. President Biden has nominated two AAPIs to the Federal courts in Washington State.

With 30 years of legal experience, Judge Lin has been named as a Super Lawyer for Washington for her practice at Keller Rohrback LLP. She has worked at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Michigan Poverty Law Program. Judge Lin is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and Cornell University. 

NAPABA commends President Biden for nominating Judge Lin to the bench and thanks Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for their support of her nomination. Judge Lin’s confirmation increases the number of active AAPI Article III judges to 40 nationwide: 10 federal appellate court judges and 30 federal district court judges.


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 Receives Grant from American Arbitration Association’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution Foundation to Combat Anti-Asian Bullying in Schools

In recognition of October as National Bullying Prevention month, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is proud to announce that the American Arbitration Association’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA-ICDR) Foundation has awarded it grant funding under its Rapid Response Fund which focuses on conflict-resolution initiatives helping Asian American/Pacific Islander communities combat the surge in anti-Asian hate across the United States. 

“NAPABA is grateful to the AAA-ICDR Foundation for its generous support on this critical project,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “With thousands of cases of anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents—and seemingly no end in sight—we must do all we can to protect the most vulnerable victims of hate—children, and stand up for them harnessing the power of our nationwide network of affiliates as trained advocates.”  

The award, made through the NAPABA Law Foundation, will be used, in part, to develop a toolkit to combat COVID-19-driven anti-Asian bullying in schools as well as for other anti-bullying advocacy efforts. The toolkit will seek to equip and train NAPABA affiliates on legal and non-legal responses alike and provide best practices on how to interact with school officials. The toolkit is aimed at educating not only NAPABA lawyers on conducting best advocacy practices, but also to help families, students, educators, and communities understand the availability of remedies including appropriate alternative dispute resolution approaches to addressing anti-Asian bullying. For more on the AAA-ICDR Foundation and its Rapid Response efforts to combat the surge in anti-Asian hate, please visit here

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 Historic Judicial Nominations of John H. Chun, Dale E. Ho, Jinsook Ohta, and Loren L. AliKhan

WASHINGTON – On September 30, 2021, the White House announced its eighth slate of judicial nominees to serve on the Federal and Washington, D.C. benches, with four Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) candidates including several with strong ties to the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). President Biden has nominated: Judge John H. Chun to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington; Dale E. Ho to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; Judge Jinsook Ohta to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California; and Loren L. AliKhan to serve on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

“NAPABA offers its congratulations to Judge Chun, Dale Ho, Judge Ohta, and Loren AliKhan on their nominations,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “We applaud President Biden for putting forth a strong and historic slate of highly qualified AAPI candidates and for continuing to broaden the diversity of backgrounds and professional experiences to the bench. We urge the Senate to swiftly confirm them.”

Judge John H. Chun
Judge John H. Chun currently sits as a Judge on the Washington State Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, after previously serving as a judge on the King County Superior Court from 2014-2018. If confirmed, Judge Chun would be the first AAPI man to preside in the Western District of Washington. He has been recognized as a top Washington “Super Lawyer.” Judge Chun previously served as the President of the Korean American Bar Association of Washington and is also a member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington and NAPABA. He previously clerked for the Hon. Eugene A. Wright on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Chun is a graduate of Columbia University and Cornell Law School.

Dale E. Ho
Dale E. Ho currently serves as director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Voting Rights Project and supervises the ACLU’s voting rights litigation across the country. Notably, Ho has argued two crucial cases before the Supreme Court challenging the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census and the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from the population count to determine apportionment for the House of Representatives. If confirmed, Ho would be the only active AAPI judge in the district. In 2019, Ho was the recipient of the NAPABA President’s Award and in 2017, was named one of the best Asian American Lawyers Under 40 by NAPABA. He is endorsed by the Asian American Bar Association of New York. Ho previously clerked for the Hon. Barbara Jones on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Robert S. Smith of the New York Court of Appeals. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School.

Judge Jinsook Ohta
Judge Jinsook Ohta currently sits as a judge on the California Superior Court in San Diego. Previously Judge Ohta served as a Supervising Deputy Attorney General with the California Attorney General’s Office. If confirmed, she would be the first AAPI female judge to preside in the Southern District of California. Judge Ohta is a member of NAPABA and the Korean American Bar Association of San Diego. Judge Ohta previously clerked for the Hon. Barry Ted Moskowitz on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. She is a graduate of Yale University and the New York University School of Law.

Loren L. AliKhan
Loren L. AliKhan currently serves as the Solicitor General of the District of Columbia where she directs the District’s appellate litigation and has overseen more than 1,800 appeals before the D.C. Court of Appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States. If confirmed, AliKhan would be the first AAPI judge to sit on the D.C. Court of Appeals. She is endorsed by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Region. Alikhan has been recognized with the Public Sector Trailblazer Award by the South Asian Bar Association of Washington D.C., and previously clerked for the Hon. Thomas L. Ambro on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Hon. Louis Pollack on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. AliKhan is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and the Georgetown University Law Center.

NAPABA thanks Senators Schumer and Gillibrand of New York, Senators Feinstein and Padilla of California, Senators Murray and Cantwell of Washington, and Delegate Norton of Washington D.C. for their support of these nominees.

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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.

Register for the 2021 NAPABA Convention: One Spectacular Convention, Two Ways to Participate


Click here to register.

The 2021 NAPABA Convention is offering more than 50 programs, including networking receptions, CLE sessions, Thursday specialty programming, and plenaries featuring high-profile experts on today’s top issues. 

Have it your way and attend either in-person at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC, December 9-12 or with our virtual pass where you can tune in live for our plenary sessions, the Trailblazer Award Reception, and 33rd Anniversary Gala, and watch CLEs on-demand all from the comfort of your home or office. With the flexibility of attending in-person or virtually, NAPABA can provide a personal experience based on your professional needs. Whether you’re looking to earn CLE credit, grow your business, or connect with others, you can customize your Convention experience to match your goals.

Register by the early bird deadline of Friday, October 8, and be entered into a raffle to win free registration for the 2022 NAPABA Convention.


Thursday Specialty Programming

Developed by NAPABA committees and networks, we are proud to present specialty programming on Thursday of Convention week. This series of workshops is designed to provide experiential learning opportunities in an immersive and interactive environment. Specialty programming allows participants to delve more deeply into issues with experts in the field beyond what may be possible during a general CLE session.

International Law Symposium | 1:00 – 3:45 pm
 
This year’s International Law Symposium will focus on how to succeed in an international legal career and the cultural issues in international dispute resolution.

Solo & Small Firm Boot Camp | 1:00 – 3:45 pm
The Solo & Small Firm Boot Camp provides programming that is specifically tailored to the needs of solo and small firm practitioners, as well as those interested in starting a solo or small firm practice. This year’s programming will focus on social media marketing tips for small firms and how automating law practices will reduce stress and deliver exceptional customer service.

Women’s Leadership Workshop | 1:00 – 5:00 pm 
The 2021 Women’s Leadership Workshop will explore the potential pitfalls of the new hybrid workplace, how to mitigate the fall out, and how to make the benefits of a hybrid office work for you. We will focus on skills and perspectives necessary for women who have just started out their careers, women changing jobs and navigating a new organization remotely, and those responsible for leading teams remotely. Get what you need to shine on-line and in person in this new hybrid work world!

To learn more about what these specialty programs have in store for you at the Convention, click here!


Special Note
NAPABA is strongly committed to the safety and well-being of our members and guests at the Convention. Please review our full COVID-19 Safety Protocol including requirements for entry into the Convention. Additionally, please review our full cancellation and registration transfer policy. Registration for the Convention will close on Monday, December 6, 2021, at 11:59 pm ET. Registrations after this date, including walk-in or onsite registration, will not be permitted under any circumstance.   

Announcing NAPABA’s 2021-22 Board of Governors

NAPABA is proud to announce the 2021-22 Board of Governors—comprised of officers, directors, regional governors, and at-large board members—who will be sworn in virtually this November. NAPABA is committed to cultivating a Board as diverse as the members we serve—leveraging their skills, expertise, and community connections in advancement of NAPABA’s vision to achieve optimal representation and influence of Asian American and Pacific Islander attorneys in every facet and level of the legal profession and beyond. Congratulations to our newly elected and appointed Board members!

Executive Committee

President

Sidney Kanazawa | California

President-Elect
Sandra Leung | New York

Treasurer
Hogene Choi | California

Secretary

Judy M. Lam | California

Immediate Past President
A.B. Cruz III | Texas


Directors

Marty Lorenzo | California
Kristin Haugen | Minnesota

Regional Governors
Central Regional Governor
Johnny Wang | Missouri

Central California Regional Governor
Jen Won | California

Eastern California /Nevada Regional Governor
Albert Montefalcon | California

Northeast Regional Governor
Anna Mercado Clark | New York

Northeast Regional Governor
James Y. Lee | New York Regional Governors

Northern California Regional Governor
Mark Punzalan | California

Northwest Regional Governor
Elaine Pascua | Washington

Southeast Regional Governor
Zarra Elias | Florida

Southern California Regional Governor
Denise Crawford | California

Southwest Regional Governor
Stacey Cho Hernandez | Texas

At-Large Board Members
Sanjeev Bhasker | North Carolina
Angela Lim | California
Kevin Lyn | North Carolina
Terri Ann Motosue | Hawai’i
Vincent Roldan | New Jersey
Eileen Sullivan | Arizona