NYC Bar Association’s Letter to the Editor at Law.com

Law.com published New York City Bar Association Executive Director Bret Parker’s Letter to the Editor on March 31, 2020. Mr. Parker wrote the letter in response to an editorial in The American Lawyer on the law firm’s role in the time of crisis. The editorial noted that in times of crisis, clients will undoubtedly turn to their law firms for help.

However, at the same time, Mr. Parker stressed that it is important for law firms, attorneys, and members of the legal profession to also have a place to turn. That is where bar associations come in.

Although the New York City Bar Association’s building is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Association is still very active and continuing its Lawyer Assistance Program for those in the legal community suffering from mental health or substance issues. The Association is also working on pro bono projects for small business and continuing its legal referral service remotely.

Mr. Parker’s Letter to the Editor noted that during this challenging time, many bar associations are working hard to provide their members with a place to engage, learn, and collaborate. For example, he mentioned the efforts of the Asian American Bar Association of New York to combat the rise in anti-Asian rhetoric and bias incidents that have resulted from the labeling of the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus.”

To read the full letter, click on the link below.

https://www.law.com/americanlawyer/2020/03/31/nyc-bar-association-we-are-still-here-to-help/?slreturn=20200306115020

Hon. Kiyo Matsumoto Participates in Honoring Justice Sonia Sotomayor at the New York City Bar

On March 7, 2019, Hon. Kiyo Matsumoto, District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, participated in honoring Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at the New York City Bar Association for her commitment to upholding the rule of law and for being a role model to young students all across America.

At the event, Justice Sotomayor was honored with the unveiling of her portrait that will hang in the New York City Bar’s Great Hall and presented with the New York City Bar Association Medal. The Association Medal is a very prestigious honor that has only been conferred upon a total of 25 people in the last 67 years prior to Justice Sotomayor.

The awardees are chosen by the New York City Bar’s Executive Committee acting upon the nomination of the New York City Bar’s Honors Committee. Judge Matsumoto, a long time member of AABANY, is the chair of the Honors Committee.

The event was covered by the New York Law Journal. To read the article, click here.

ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION CONGRATULATES PAST PRESIDENT SUSAN L. SHIN ON RECEIVING THE NEW YORK CITY BAR ASSOCIATION DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION CHAMPION AWARD

NEW YORK – June 27, 2018 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) congratulates Susan L. Shin, Partner at Arnold & Porter LLP and former AABANY President (2016-17), on being named one of three recipients of the New York City Bar Association’s prestigious 2018 Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award. This award, created in 2006, recognizes the efforts that attorneys dedicate to creating and sustaining a more inclusive environment within their organizations and the legal community at large. Susan and her fellow awardees will be honored at the New York City Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Celebration Dinner on June 27, 2018.

A partner at Arnold & Porter, Susan is a talented lawyer and complex commercial litigator who represents a range of corporate clients including financial institutions and public companies in litigated disputes, class actions, and arbitrations. Since becoming partner at the firm in 2011 after working as a litigation associate, Susan has handled complex cases involving loan servicing, accounting, compliance, disclosure, derivatives, and mortgage and asset-backed securitizations, among other issues. Susan has also served as trial counsel in five trials to verdict in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, where she often served as lead trial counsel. In 2014, Arnold & Porter’s partnership elected Susan to the Policy Committee, the firm’s governing board.

Susan’s dedication to her community can be seen through her strong leadership and involvement in various committees and organizations. She served as the President of AABANY from 2016 to 2017 and is currently an active member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s CLE Selection Committee. Her dedication is also reflected by her frequent CLE talks on legal ethics and her extensive pro bono experience representing New York City charter schools. Susan has won a number of awards that highlight both her impressive legal career and her unwavering efforts to promote inclusion and access to justice within her community, including the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York’s  2018 Trailblazer Award.

Before beginning her legal career, Susan was an Associate at J.P. Morgan in the investment management division. While attending Columbia Law School she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Raymond J. Dearie with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 2002 to 2003.

“We are extremely excited and pleased that Susan is receiving this prestigious honor from the New York City Bar Association,” stated James R. Cho, AABANY President. “Having known Susan for many years and having served with her on the AABANY Board, I have observed first-hand her dedication to enhancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. We commend the New York City Bar Association and the Selection Committee on recognizing Susan’s efforts and achievements with the Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award. We extend our congratulations to her and her co-honorees, Sheila Kearney Davidson, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and General Counsel, New York Life Insurance Company; and John Mbiti, Director & Counsel, Credit Suisse Asset Management LLC.”

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, or direct any inquiries to main@aabany.org.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is a New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

###

Additional information about AABANY is available at www.aabany.org

Follow our blog at www.blog.aabany.org

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aabany

Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aabany

New York City Bar Association Announces 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award Winners

New York City Bar Association Announces 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award Winners

Governor Cuomo Announces First-in-the-Nation State Partnership with National Organizations to Expand Successful Pro Bono Clemency Initiative

For Immediate Release
8/21/2017

                                                                    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

State Partners with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and Other Organizations to Expand Capacity to Provide Clemency Applicants with Pro Bono Legal Assistance

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a first-in-the-nation partnership between a state and a coalition of legal organizations to expand New York’s pro bono clemency program.

This partnership with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, with support from the Foundation for Criminal Justice, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and other organizations is modeled after a successful federal program that has since been discontinued since the Trump administration. This new partnership greatly expands the Governor’s clemency initiative founded in 2015 that provided pro bono clemency petition services to individuals with criminal records or incarcerated in state prison.

“These nationally recognized organizations have already proven successful in helping incarcerated individuals get access to the resources they need to apply for clemency, make the case for their rehabilitation and have the opportunity to contribute to and re-enter society,” Governor Cuomo said. “I’m proud to partner with them to expand the work of this administration and its partners and take one more step toward a more just, more fair and morecompassionate New York for all.”

By engaging more pro bono lawyers, this partnership will provide a steady supply of high-quality clemency applications for the Governor’s Counsel’s Office to review. The NACDL will work with the Executive Clemency Bureau to identify those deserving of a second chance, and make clemency a more accessible and tangible reality in New York.

The Governor launched his clemency review initiative in 2015 with the assistance of the New York City Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society, Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and other state organizations. Governor Cuomo engages in a careful, holistic review of clemency applications and the assistance that these volunteer attorneys provide has resulted in an increase in the number of strong petitions for the Governor to review. Three individuals represented by pro bono counsel through the program were granted clemency in 2016.

Approximately 1,700 potential applicants for clemency have identified under this program and this new partnership with New York will increase the number of volunteer attorneys in the initiative to assist more applicants in need.

Under the now-defunct federal program, which was launched by the Obama Administration in 2014, these organizations trained nearly 4,000 volunteer lawyers from diverse practice backgrounds and completed screening of the more than 36,000 federal prisoners who requested volunteer assistance.

For more information about the NACDL/FAMM State Clemency Project, including how to sign up to volunteer, visit the project website, https://stateclemency.org.

Although individuals may apply for clemency without the assistance of an attorney, assistance from a pro bono attorney will enhance the quality of an inmate’s application and present his or her best case to the Governor.

Since 2011, Governor Cuomo has commuted the sentences of 10 individuals, and granted pardons to 114 individuals as a part of an ambitious clemency agenda that seeks to identify individuals demonstrating evidence of rehabilitation and self-development amounting to a true change in character or circumstance since incarceration, to help ensure that clemency is a more accessible and tangible reality. He used his pardon power to provide first in the nation relief for New Yorkers convicted of a misdemeanor or non-violent felony at 16 or 17 years old who have been crime-free for ten years, issuing the first conditional pardons to more than 100 New Yorkers in December 2016.

Individuals interested in applying for clemency should visit Governor Cuomo’s clemency website,www.ny.gov/clemency. The website is a central resource for those seeking to learn more about clemency, eligibility requirements, and the application process, including submitting application materials electronically. Family members and friends of individuals serving prison sentences are encouraged to visit the website and apply for clemency on behalf of their family member or friend.
 
Norman Reimer, Executive Director of NACDL said, “NACDL is proud to work with its partners, the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ) and Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), in a coordinated effort to recruit, train, and support pro bono counsel for all prisoner applicants for clemency. We salute Governor Cuomo and his administration for recognizing that people are capable of redemption and rehabilitation, and may have earned a fresh start in life.”

Bret Parker, Executive Director of the New York City Bar Association, said, “The New York City Bar Association looks forward to continuing its work with the Governor’s office on this worthy initiative that treats the incarcerated as individuals who in many cases deserve a second chance. We welcome NACDL’s participation in streamlining the process for all involved.”

Jennifer L. Van Ort, the Executive Director of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said, “By working with our colleagues in state government, we can more effectively offer pro bono legal assistance to individuals who are incarcerated in New York prisons. This partnership is a welcome expansion to the existing project, as it will bring more lawyers together with applicants without the resources to pay for representation. With more training, mentoring, and electronic access to client materials, this partnership will help our members better represent reformed and rehabilitated applicants in the State’s process to apply for clemency. I thank the Governor for expanding this successful program and for being a staunch ally of incarcerated New Yorkers.”
 
David Loftis, Attorney-In-Charge of Post-Conviction and Forensic Litigation at the Legal Aid Society said, “We have been pleased to work with the Governor’s office on clemency cases. In particular, we have been gratified that, over the past year, the Governor has commuted the sentences of worthy applicants represented by The Legal Aid Society and our pro bono partners. We were excited to learn that NACDL will be joining the clemency effort, and The Legal Aid Society looks forward to partnering with them to bring candidates deserving a second chance to the Governor’s attention.”

New York City Bar 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Champion Awards

The New York City Bar Office for Diversity and Inclusion is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Champion Awards, which
will be presented at the Diversity and Inclusion Celebration Dinner on Tuesday, June 27, 2017.

The award recognizes the critical role individual attorneys have
played in initiating and sustaining change within their organizations
and the overall New York legal community. The award recipients embody
the New York City Bar’s Statement of Diversity
Principles, which defines diversity as an inclusive concept,
encompassing race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender
identity and expression, religion, nationality, age, disability and
marital and parental status. 

The 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award recipients are: 

  • Ricardo A. Anzaldua
    Executive Vice President & General Counsel, MetLife
  • Zachary W. Carter
    Corporation Counsel, New York City Law Department
  • Carmelyn P. Malalis
    Chair and Commissioner, New York City Commission on Human Rights 
  • Richard E. Meade
    Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, International Law Compliance and Business Ethics, Prudential Financial, Inc. 

The Celebration Dinner is sold out. To request tickets or inquire about Sponsorship opportunities, please contact Gabrielle Brown at gbrown@nycbar.org.

For more information about the award and the winners, please visit: http://www.nycbar.org/serving-the-community/diversity-and-inclusion/champion

NYC Bar 2015 Diversity Benchmarking Report

NYC Bar 2015 Diversity Benchmarking Report