AABANY and KALAGNY File Amici Brief Addressing Implicit Racial Bias in N.Y. Judicial System

An Allen & Overy cross-practice team acted as pro-bono counsel for the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) in filing an appellate brief amici curiae to the New York Appellate Division, Third Department. 

Following his mostly unsuccessful personal injury case brought against the State of New York (Byung Choon Joe v. New York), Plaintiff, Byung Choon Joe, appealed the trial judge’s decision to the Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department. A&O, on behalf of AABANY and KALAGNY, filed a brief amici curiae in support of Mr. Joe, urging the appellate court to consider whether the trial court’s decision was negatively influenced by implicit racial bias.

Terry Shen, President of AABANY, said, “As the largest affinity bar association in New York and the United States, AABANY is devoted to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. When we learned about the case of Byung Choon Joe, we were concerned about the trial court’s irrelevant reference to his Korean ethnicity in the context of a finding of a lack of trustworthiness, recalling age-old negative stereotypes of Asian Americans. We therefore joined with KALAGNY to file an amici brief to call attention to the fact that judges and the judicial system are not immune to implicit bias.”

The New York State Bar Association and several affiliates of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association also supported AABANY and KALAGNY’s brief including: the Asian American Bar Association of Chicago, the Asian American Bar Association of Houston, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Jacksonville Asian American Bar Association, the Network of Bar Leaders (a coalition of more than fifty bar associations in the Greater New York area), the South Asian Bar Association of New York, and the Thai American Bar Association.

The A&O pro-bono team for this case was led by Sapna Palla (AABANY member and Immediate Past President) along with associates Rebecca Cecchini and Ben Minkoff.


To view the entire press release, please click here.

NAPABA Welcomes End of Discriminatory “China Initiative”

Released February 24, 2022

Contact: Mary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

WASHINGTON –NAPABA welcomes the announcement that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be ending the “China Initiative.” The program created an environment that placed heightened scrutiny on persons of Chinese ancestry in academic and research environments. For the past seven years, NAPABA has expressed concern about the profiling of Chinese American researchers and scientists and worked with partners in Congress to speak out against impermissible racial profiling.

“NAPABA applauds the end of the China Initiative,” said A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA. “We are pleased that the Department of Justice heard the concerns of members of the Asian American community, researchers, and scholars, that the program was creating a chilling effect and air of suspicion around scholars of Chinese ancestry. While NAPABA recognizes legitimate national security risks exist, with the increase in anti-Asian hatred, ending programs that create an impression of anti-Asian discrimination is even more important. We thank the Administration for putting an end to this counter-productive program and Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Ted Lieu, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus for their leadership on this issue.”

During a speech on Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen announced changes that the DOJ is making to end the “China Initiative.” The China Initiative was established in 2018 to bring the DOJ’s economic espionage and national security investigations involving China and persons of Chinese ancestry under one umbrella. The program resulted in a number of cases in which charges were dropped or dismissed by the Courts, including the cases of Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, Sherry Chen, and Dr. Anming Hu.

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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 2022-23 Leadership Advancement Program Now Accepting Applications Until March 30th

2022-23 NAPABA Leadership Advancement Program

August 2022 through February 2023

Application Deadline: March 30, 2022

NAPABA is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 Leadership Advancement Program (LAP) for August 2022 to February 2023. LAP is a year-long experiential program, meant to equip mid-career attorneys with a skill set that will transform them into leaders, professionally and personally, while cultivating close-knit friends and resources.  Attorneys in the program will: 

  • Assess leadership and communications styles and use exercises to gain better self-awareness
  • Train to be more effective communicators and listeners
  • Learn how to set goals and ground their career vision
  • Become better at anticipating the oppositions faced in challenge
  • Grow their executive presence 
  • Leave with a cohort of 24 advisors and friends 

This cohort of 24 individuals will launch in a virtual environment, with the possibility of concluding with in-person workshops.

Grace Jamgochian, a Partner at Shearman & Sterling, a member of AABANY and Vice Chair of its Women’s Committee, and a former participant in the LAP Program described her experience as follows:

“Although I participated in the Leadership Advancement Program almost 5 years ago, I still have constant contact with my LAP community across the nation; we regularly seek advice from each other on all kinds of matters from parenting to random legal musings. The perspective you get from a small (but not too small) group of seasoned attorneys is really incredible!”

You must become a member of NAPABA to take advantage of this exclusive opportunity

If you have any questions or wish to apply, please visit the NAPABA website for more details or contact Maureen Gelwicks, Operations Director.

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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 Nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court

Released: February 25, 2022

ContactMary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

WASHINGTON –Today, President Biden announced the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Jackson clerked for Justice Breyer and currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA, released the following statement:

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Jackson on her historic nomination to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a brilliant legal scholar and is well qualified to serve on the Court.

“President Biden’s promise to appoint the first Black woman to the Supreme Court underscores his commitment to diversifying our judiciary. Notably, women and persons of color, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, continue to be underrepresented on our courts.

“If confirmed, Judge Jackson will be the sixth woman and third black Justice in our nation’s history to have served on the Court.

“We thank President Biden for nominating Judge Jackson and we urge the Senate to confirm her swiftly.

“NAPABA thanks Justice Stephen Breyer for his service on the Court and his mentorship of many NAPABA members who will continue his legacy in the legal profession and on the courts.”

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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 Mourns Passing of Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz

Released February 7, 2022

Contact: Mary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) mourns the passing of Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz, who died Saturday morning from injuries sustained after a driver struck her while she was walking in a crosswalk.

“Judge Mroz’s tragic passing is an immense loss for the Arizona community and the legal community at large,” said NAPABA President A.B. Cruz III. “Judge Mroz made history as the first Asian American female judge of the Superior Court of Arizona and served in the role for nearly two decades. She was someone who not only had an outstanding list of accomplishments but was also a role model and mentor for others. We will remember and honor her for always fighting for justice and leading with great compassion. We send condolences to her loved ones during this difficult time.”

Arizona Asian American Bar Association President John Gray states, “For decades, Judge Mroz was a pillar of the Asian American community and of the legal community more generally. Yet, we still lost her far too soon. She showed countless women and people of color what is possible—that anyone can ascend to the highest and most respected positions of our profession with integrity and grace. Since Judge Mroz took the bench, fortunately, many more Asian Americans and women have held the gavel in our state, which is a testament to her pioneering spirit, mentorship, and leadership.”

Judge Curtis Kin, President of the NAPABA Judicial Council, states, “We are saddened by the news of Judge Mroz’s tragic death. She was a true trailblazer for APAs in the legal profession, and our Judicial Council family expresses its deep condolences and sympathies to Judge Mroz’s family.”

Judge Mroz served as Superior Court judge for the fourth largest court system in the nation and presided over more than one thousand family, civil, and criminal cases. She was a member of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association for three decades and was active in several professional and community activities.

NAPABA honored Judge Mroz with the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award in 2020, a lifetime achievement award that recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of lawyers who have paved the way for the advancement of other AAPI attorneys. In her awardee video, Judge Mroz described being a first-generation immigrant and offered advice for young lawyers.

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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.

2L Law Students: Apply for 2022 Liberty Mutual Summer Clerkship by March 1

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association is pleased to partner with The Liberty Mutual Insurance Group Legal Department to provide an exciting opportunity for one enthusiastic 2L law student who is interested in making an immediate and valued contribution. 

The clerk will provide technical support to staff litigation attorneys, perform legal research, and assist in drafting and filing legal trial documents. NAPABA and Liberty Mutual will select one Law Clerk for one of Liberty’s more than 60 litigation offices for a 10- to 12-week summer clerkship offering competitive pay. Due to the pandemic, this position may be remote. Liberty’s Field Legal operation has thrived with technology and innovation, promising to make a remote clerkship opportunity robust and meaningful. 

Deadline to apply: March 1, 2022 at 5:00 pm ET

If you have any questions, please contact Sumbal Abid, Operations Coordinator. All correspondence must include “Liberty Mutual Summer Law Clerk Program” in the subject line.

For more information and to apply, please visit the NAPABA website here.

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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 Celebrates American Bar Association 2022 Spirit of Excellence Award Honoree Kay H. Hodge


For Immediate Release:
 
Date: February 10, 2022
ContactMary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

WASHINGTON –The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) celebrates Kay H. Hodge who will be honored today with the 2022 American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Award. The Spirit of Excellence Award is an annual award that recognizes leaders who have achieved excellence and supported others within their legal careers.

“We extend our congratulations to Kay H. Hodge, who exemplifies brilliance in her field and NAPABA’s values of diversity, having empowered lawyers and communities of color throughout her five-decade career,” said A.B. Cruz III, acting NAPABA president. “Kay began her career when there were relatively few Asian American or women lawyers who could serve as role models for her, so she had to become that mentor for others. She has shattered ceilings at the state, local, and national bar levels, and continues to inspire us with her ongoing service and work in the community.”

Hodge has been an equity partner at the Boston law firm of Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP since 1982, where she represents public and private sector management in labor, employment, and employee relations matters. Hodge has been selected as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and for membership in the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.

Additionally, Hodge is the Massachusetts State Delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, a past member of the ABA Board of Governors, and a past chair of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. She is also Chair of the ABA Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities and is a member of the Board of Directors, and past chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. She is also a past President of the Massachusetts Bar Association and the National Conference of Bar Presidents.

The American Bar Association is also honoring Gabriel S. Galanda, Chief Justice Steven C. González, Justice Adrienne C. Nelson, and Hon. Carlos E. Moore with the 2022 Spirit of Excellence Award. The ceremony streamed virtually, on February 10 at 6:00 pm EST.

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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 COVID-19 Rapid Needs Assessment

Survey participation needed to better understand community needs during the pandemic

NAPABA has partnered with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) and the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health (CSAAH) to conduct a survey to learn more about the ongoing experiences and needs of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders living in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Input from this survey will help develop resources and programs to support these communities. You can take the survey here and it will remain open until 1,000 responses are collected. 

Purpose of the survey: We are trying to learn more about the current and ongoing experiences and needs of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility: (a) aged 18 or above; (b) self-identify as a(n) Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander; and (c) be a person living in the United States.

Survey languages available: Currently the survey is available in English. Languages coming soon: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Chuukese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Marshallese, Native Hawaiian, Nepali, Punjabi, Samoan, Tagalog, Tongan, Urdu, Vietnamese.

You will receive an Amazon gift card as a token of thanks for your participation after the survey has been completed. If you are interested in receiving the gift card, you will be asked to complete a short form at the end of the survey link. No survey information will be linked with your personal information.

If you have questions or concerns about the study, please reach out to Navdeep Singh, Interim Policy Director, at policy@napaba.org. Feel free to share this link with your family and friends, but we ask that you refrain from posting on your social media.

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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 Nusrat Choudhury, Robert S. Huie and Nina Y. Wang to U.S. District Courts

WASHINGTON –Today [January 19th], the Biden administration announced the nominations of three AAPIs to the following U.S. District Courts: Nusrat Choudhury to the Eastern District of New York, Robert S. Huie to the Southern District of California, and Judge Nina Wang to the District of Colorado.

“NAPABA applauds the Biden administration for honoring its commitment to nominate a more representative judiciary,” said A.B. Cruz III, Acting President of NAPABA. “To date, there are a total 45 AAPI Article III judges, ten of whom were confirmed within President Biden’s first year in office.

“Ms. Choudhury, Mr. Huie and Judge Wang have impeccable careers, serving our nation in government and civil rights. We thank Senators Schumer, Feinstein, Bennet, Gillibrand, Padilla and Hickenlooper for recommending them and NAPABA urges the Senate to quickly confirm them.”

Nusrat Choudhury is the Roger Pascal Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois where she oversees a team advancing civil rights and civil liberties. She has more than a decade of experience advocating for underserved communities in her previous roles at the ACLU Foundation in New York. Choudhury clerked for the Honorable Barrington D. Parker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for the Honorable Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She received her B.A. from Columbia University, M.P.A. from Princeton University and J.D. from Yale Law School. If confirmed, Choudhury would be the first Bangladeshi American to serve as an Article III judge.

Robert S. Huie is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of California where he served as deputy chief of the Major Frauds and Public Corruption Section. He has also served in the U.S. Department of Justice as a resident legal advisor and diplomat in the U.S. Embassies in North Africa and Eastern Europe. He currently serves as counsel at Jones Day San Diego. Huie clerked for the Honorable José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and is a graduate of Calvin College and Yale Law School.

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 AAPI community, Judge Wang is a recipient of NAPABA’s Best Under 40 Award and served as president of NAPABA’s Colorado affiliate APABA Colorado.

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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.