In the News: AABANY President and Members, Community Partners, and Sponsors Listed Among City & State’s Power of Diversity List of New York’s Top 100 Asian American Leaders

AABANY is excited to announce that President Terrence (Terry) Shen was featured in the 2021 Power of Diversity list of New York’s Top 100 Asian American Leaders published by City & State on July 19, 2021. Terry was recognized as 53rd on the list.

City & State wrote:

As partner at the law firm Kramer Levin, Terrence Shen represents New York’s top corporate interest clients like MVC Capital in its merger with Barings BDC, which represents more than $1.5 billion of assets. Shen is also the president of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. Under his leadership, the association released Know-Your-Rights literature, hosted public forums on rising anti-Asian hate crimes and organized candidate forums for New York’s district attorney races.

Congratulations and thank you to Terry for representing AABANY among New York’s most influential Asian American leaders.

In addition to Terry, several others featured on City & State’s list have worked with or been associated with AABANY, as members, community partners, or sponsors. We extend our congratulations to them as well.

AABANY has had the pleasure of working with Grace Meng, number one on City & State’s list and New York’s first Asian American member of Congress. At the forefront of fighting anti-Asian hate by spearheading COVID-19 hate crimes legislation, she was a speaker at AABANY’s press conference following the release of our anti-Asian violence report A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions in February.

Among the others in the top 10, AABANY has worked with Ron Kim (2), State Assembly Member; John Liu (3), State Senator and first Asian American to serve on the City Council; and Margaret Chin (9), New York City Council Member.

AABANY also congratulates:

  • Sandra Ung (16), New York City Council Primary Winner for District 20 and former AABANY treasurer;
  • Shekar Krishnan (16), New York City Council Primary Winner for District 25 and former AABANY member;
  • Frank Wu (23), President of Queens College, co-author of our most performed trial reenactment, Building Our Legacy: The Murder of Vincent Chin, honoree at the 2021 Virtual Gala, and author of the foreword to our anti-Asian violence report;
  • Carmelyn Malalis (28), Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights and plenary session speaker at our Fall Conference last year;
  • Faiza Saeed (34), a Presiding Partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a Gold Sponsor of AABANY for many years;
  • John Park (35), Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, one of our longtime community partners;
  • Margaret Fung (38), Co-founder and Executive Director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, one of our longtime community partners;
  • Preet Bharara (52), as the first AAPI United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, a regular speaker at our annual Prosecutors Reception and an honoree at our Annual Dinner in 2015;
  • My Chi To (54), Executive Deputy Superintendent of the Insurance Division at the New York State Department of Financial Services and former AABANY member;
  • Ruchi Shah (65), President of SABANY, a sister bar association and longtime collaborator with AABANY;
  • Justin Yu (80), Chair of the New York Chinese Chamber of Commerce, an AABANY partner of many years for our walk-in Pro Bono Clinic; and
  • Thomas and Jill Sung (88), Chair and President/CEO, respectively, of Abacus Federal Savings Bank. Thomas’s daughter and Jill’s sister, Vera, is currently an AABANY member.

AABANY is privileged and honored to have worked closely with so many of New York’s most influential AAPI leaders. Congratulations to everyone who made the list, and we look forward to continuing our collaborations and partnerships in the future.

The full City & State article can be found here, starting on page 17.

Public Notice: One Full-Time Federal Magistrate Judge Vacancy

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York

July 7, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

There is one (1) upcoming full-time United States Magistrate Judge position vacancy at the Central Islip Courthouse of the Eastern District of New York at 1100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, effective February 24, 2022. The duties of the position are demanding and wide ranging, and will include: (1) conduct of preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; (2) trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases; (3) conduct of various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings on delegation from the judges of the district court; (4) trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants; and (5) assignment of additional duties not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

The basic jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate Judge is specified in 28 U.S.C., section 636. To be qualified for appointment, an applicant must: (a) be a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands for at least five years; (b) have been engaged in the active practice of law for a period of at least five years (with some substitutions authorized); (c) be competent to perform all the duties of the office, of good moral character, emotionally stable and mature, committed to equal justice under the law, in good health, patient and courteous, and capable of deliberation and decisiveness; (d) be less than 70 years old; and (e) not be related to a judge of the district court. An applicant should have federal court experience and be knowledgeable in federal civil and criminal practices and procedures.

A Merit Selection Panel (appointed by Administrative Order 2021-16) composed of attorneys and residents of the district will review all applications and recommend in confidence to the judges of the district court the five persons whom it considers best qualified for each vacancy. The Court will make the appointments following FBI and IRS investigations of the appointees. An affirmative effort will be made to give due consideration to all qualified candidates, including women and members of minority groups. The salary of the position is, as of this notice, $201,112 per annum. The term of office is eight years.

Please note that the application form can be accessed on-line at the district’s website: www.nyed.uscourts.gov. Application forms also may be obtained from the Clerk of Court at 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York 11201. Applications must be personally prepared by potential nominees and must be received no later than August 8, 2021. A submission can be made by email in PDF format sent to NYED-APPLICATIONS@nyed.uscourts.gov or submitted online at this linked address. Instructions are available on the court website.

AABANY Congratulates Grace Jamgochian on Her Election as a Partner at Shearman & Sterling

Grace Jamgochian was elected to Partner at Shearman & Sterling on June 16th, 2021. She currently practices in Shearman’s New York office and, as stated in the Shearman & Sterling announcement, she “represents all aspects of mergers, acquisitions and investments for corporates and private capital investors. Her experience includes domestic and cross-border public company mergers, complex private transactions, and activism/defense, particularly in the TMT, infrastructure, and consumer products sectors.” Grace has also been a member of AABANY since 2019 and she currently serves as a Vice Chair of the Women’s Committee.

Please join AABANY in congratulating Grace Jamgochian and wishing her much success in all her future endeavors.

AABANY Releases Report on Anti-Asian Hate Amid COVID-19

An eight-fold increase in reported hate crimes against Asians, racist rhetoric such as “the Chinese virus,” and insufficient media coverage of anti-Asian violence — these were among the timely issues discussed at a press conference hosted by the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) on February 11. The press conference centered around AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ co-authored report: A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions. Speakers of note included:

  • Chris Kwok, Board Director, Issues Committee Chair
  • Karen King, Vice Chair, Pro Bono & Community Service Committee; Counsel, Paul, Weiss
  • U.S. Rep., Grace Meng (D-NY)
  • Prof. Russell Jeung, Stop AAPI Hate
  • President Frank Wu, Queens College, CUNY
AABANY President Sapna Palla and Executive Director Yang Chen were joined by executive editors of the report Chris Kwok and Karen King, professors Russell Jeung and Frank Wu, and Congresswoman Grace Meng.

The report’s primary finding is that anti-Asian hate and violence surged in 2020. Between March and September of that year, the number of reported anti-Asian hate incidents related to COVID-19 exceeded 2,500. 

At the press conference, Rep. Meng kickstarted the discussion of this grim reality by situating it against a backdrop of long-standing intolerance toward the AAPI community, which motivated the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Meng condemned some of the nation’s top government officials and social institutions for fanning the flames of this deep-rooted racism. As noted in the report, the xenophobic rhetoric of elected officials, paired with misinformation spread by the media, normalizes and fuels disease-based stigma against Asians. The subsequent uptick in violence against Asian communities motivated Meng to propose and help pass House Resolution 908 in 2020 denouncing all forms of anti-Asian sentiment. While Meng described the bill as largely symbolic, it has since been incorporated into President Biden’s presidential memorandum, which includes concrete measures to disseminate COVID-19 resources in different languages and improve the collection of data on hate crimes. Meng’s fight to amplify voices within the AAPI community thus lights the path forward. “We’ve taken a positive step — an initial step — but we must continue to speak out whenever and wherever anti-Asian sentiment rises,” said Meng. 

A similar desire to spotlight the plight of AAPIs motivated Chris Kwok to serve as an executive editor for the report on anti-Asian violence. Since the onset of the pandemic, Kwok noted at the conference, there has not been a single prosecution or civil resolution for any incident of anti-Asian bias. A key purpose of the report is thus to show that Asian invisibility in the political and legal space has real-life consequences. Moving forward, Kwok hopes to inspire a constructive dialogue among Asians and other Americans alike. To that end, the report highlights seven initiatives that will help policyholders at all levels keep communities safe and hold perpetrators of violence accountable. These initiatives range from broad prescriptions, such as public education campaigns and collaboration among minority groups, to specific remedies, such as clear reporting mechanisms for victims and the more consistent prosecution of hate crimes. 

Professor Russell Jeung continued the discussion of possible solutions to anti-Asian hate incidents while echoing his concern about the divisive effects of COVID-19. Drawing from data he helped collect for Stop AAPI Hate, Jeung said that among United States cities, New York City reported the second-highest number of hate incidents in the past year. Assessing the range of anti-Asian hate incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate, the report notes a concerning number of incidents involving verbal harassment, physical assault, and being coughed and spat on. Worse still, the youth and the elderly are the most common victims of racist attacks and consequent racial trauma. Among its federal recommendations to address this issue, Stop AAPI Hate proposes to expand civil rights protections for AAPIs experiencing discrimination, end the racial profiling of Chinese researchers, and mobilize a federal interagency response to anti-Asian hate amid the pandemic. As Jeung is quick to emphasize, this fight for the civil rights of Asian Americans is a fight to expand protections for all Americans. “Please stand up, speak out, build bridges, and together we can make good on the promise of a diverse democracy,” said Jeung.

In promoting the proposals of Stop AAPI Hate and the report, for which he wrote the foreword, Queens College President Frank Wu highlighted the importance of building multi-racial coalitions. Wu identified Black, Latinx, and other underrepresented communities as allies to the AAPI community. As emphasized in the report, stronger collaboration among such minority groups is especially critical in communities like New York City, whose diversity heightens the danger that hate incidents exacerbate racial politics. “It would be a mistake of principle and pragmatism to point the finger at another group and suggest that others are guilty by association,” said Wu. Instead, we must look to universal values and American ideals as forces for national unity. As Wu writes in the foreword to the report, “To be Asian American is to be American, to express confidence enough in an experiment of self-governance to participate wholeheartedly.”

President Frank Wu, Queens College, CUNY, wrote the foreword of the report.

Rep. Meng concluded the press conference by calling on all Americans, especially those raised in the United States, to identify and combat racism when it occurs within their own circles. Meng stated that too often, stories of victims from the AAPI community are left out of mainstream media and the public consciousness. Along with implementing the aforementioned policy recommendations, therefore, Meng emphasized the need for racial solidarity. Only then can Americans progress toward the shared goal of dismantling systemic racism in this country and advancing justice for all. 

ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF REPORT ON RISE OF ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE IN NEW YORK DURING COVID-19

NEW YORK – February 10, 2021 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) is proud to announce the release of its report co-authored with Paul, Weiss, ​A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions​. Executive editors of the report were Chris Kwok, AABANY Board Director and Issues Committee Chair, and Karen King, Vice Chair of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee and Counsel at Paul, Weiss. The report is dedicated to Corky Lee, who passed away on January 27, 2021 due to COVID-19. Corky was a revered photographer in the Asian American community who had been documenting the effort to combat anti-Asian violence and harassment in the wake of COVID-19. Read more here.

To read A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions, click here.

COVID Alert NY App Ready for Download

On October 1, 2020, New York launched COVID Alert NY – the official Exposure Notification App created by the New York State Department of Health in partnership with Google and Apple. The app’s purpose is to help anyone 18+ living and/or working in New York fight against COVID-19 by getting exposure alerts, without compromising their privacy or personal information.

The COVID Alert NY app notifies users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Upon receiving an exposure notification, the app will encourage users to contact their physician or the State Health Department hotline (1-833-227-5045) to get more information about quarantining and testing.

Anyone who downloads the app does not have to worry about being tracked, identified or having their personal information shared. The app is completely anonymous and does not track location or movement; no personal data is collected. The app instead uses Bluetooth proximity-enabled exposure notification technology provided by Apple and Google which is safe and secure.

The more New Yorkers using the COVID Alert NY app, the more effective it will be as a tool to fight against COVID-19. The COVID Alert NY app puts the power in the hands of New Yorkers to protect their neighbors, friends, family and community at large. Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.

The free smartphone app is now available for download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

To learn more about COVID Alert NY, visit ny.gov/covidalerts.

From the Chinese-American Planning Council: Applications for New York COVID-19 Rental Relief Program Now Open Until July 30, 2020

Founded in 1965, the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) is the largest Asian American social service organization in the nation. With the aim to promote the social and economic empowerment of Chinese American, immigrant, and low-income communities of New York City, the CPC responds to critical needs of community members during COVID-19. In line with its mission, CPC is providing critical up-to-date information and resources in various languages. CPC now shares news of an emergency Rental Relief Program (RRP) introduced by New York State to provide one-time rental assistance to New Yorkers burdened by rent during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Someone may qualify for the COVID-19 Rental Relief Program if the four specifications below are met: 

  • You are a renter living in NY State. 
  • You have lost income between April 1, 2020 and July 30, 2020.
  • You paid more than 30% of your household income for rent before March 1st. 
  • Your household income (including unemployment benefits) is below 80% of HUD’s area medium income. 

Please note, the deadline to apply for the program is Thursday, July 30, at 6 PM ET. For further program overview and eligibility information, please see here

Below is an information flyer in simplified Chinese answering frequently asked questions about New York State’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. Applications are also available in Traditional Chinese, Korean, Bengali, Spanish, Russian, and Haitian-Creole.

From KALAGNY: New York Court Restrictions and Protocols, COVID-19 Update

Thanks to KALAGNY for sharing these important court updates for New York courts.

New York State Unified Court System

March 20, 2020 Executive Order No. 202.8 from Governor Cuomo (Link)

“[A]ny specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding, as prescribed by the procedural laws of the state, including but not limited to the criminal procedure law, the family court act, the civil practice law and rules, the court of claims act, the surrogate’s court procedure act, and the uniform court acts, or by any other statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or part thereof, is hereby tolled from the date of this executive order until April 19, 2020”

Executive Order 202.8 directs a 100% in-person workforce reduction as of March 22, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. for “non-essential” services. Law firms have not been identified on the Executive Order or the Governor’s guidances as “essential.” Please see the NYSBA’s summary of the Executive Order here.

March 22, 2020 Administrative Order from Chief Administrative Judge Marks.

“[E]ffective immediately and until further order, no papers shall be accepted for filing by a county clerk or a court in any matter of a type not included on the list of essential matters attached as Exh. A. This directive applies to both paper and electronic filings.”

March 19, 2020 Memo from NY State Court Regarding Essential Services (Link)

For information, please see: https://www.nycourts.gov/

United States District Court, Southern District of New York

March 11, 2020 Memo Re: COVID-19 Protocols (Link)

For more information, please see: https://nysd.uscourts.gov/covid-19-coronavirus

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York

March 18, 2020 Administrative Order 2020-06 from Chief Judge Mauskopf (Link)

March 18, 2020 Administrative Order 2020-11 from Chief Judge Mauskopf (Link)

For more information, please see: https://www.nyed.uscourts.go

United States District Court, Northern District of New York

March 13, 2020 General Order #58 in Response to Coronavirus COVID-19 Public Emergency (Link) For more information, please see: https://www.nynd.uscourts.gov/public-emergency

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Effective March 23, 2020, oral arguments will be held by teleconference. For more information, please see: http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/

SheLovesTech New York Semi-Final Pitch Competition

SheLovesTech, partnered with SupChina, houses the world’s largest pitch competition for early-stage female-led/female-related tech startups. Thousands of eligible startups from around the world have applied at 20+ local rounds internationally.

SheLovesTech 2019 Global Pitch Competition — New York Semi-Final Round

Agenda:

2:30 – 3:30: Check-in, Networking & Guest Speakers

3:30 – 5:30: Pitch Competition

5:30 – 6:00: Workshop with SheLovesTech Leadership Coach

6:00 – 7:30: Winner Announcement & Networking

Listen to semi-finalists pitch in front of our curated judge panel and an audience interested in female entrepreneurship or female-related businesses, network with investors and entrepreneurs who believe in the power of female entrepreneurs, and participate in our workshop on unconscious gender biases.

Visit shelovestech.org for more information.

About She Loves Tech: Founded in 2015, SheLovesTech is a nonprofit and a global platform committed to building an ecosystem for technology, entrepreneurship and innovation that creates opportunities for women. The organization houses the world’s largest tech startup competition focused on women-led or women-related businesses.

By special arrangement with our friends at Supchina, we are able to offer AABANY members a code for free tickets to the event. If you are interested, please email main@aabany.org to get the code.

New York Day of Remembrance 2019

On February 23, 2019, please join the New York Day of Remembrance Committee in remembering the concentration camps and to discuss our community’s role in standing up for human rights in the current political climate.

The program will feature Frank Abe speaking about the first Day of Remembrance in Seattle, Tribute to Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga, video presentation from the New York Japanese American Oral History Project, Candlelighting Ceremony to remember camp survivors, and a Community Potluck.

The program will be held at the Japanese American United Church, 255 7th Avenue, from 1pm to 4pm.

The Day of Remembrance Committee was a co-organizer of New York City’s Second Annual Korematsu Day Celebration, at which AABANY presented its Korematsu trial reenactment. Read more about the event here https://blog.aabany.org/2019/02/04/aabany-celebrates-2nd-annual-fred-korematsu-day-in-new-york-city0/

To learn more and to RSVP, click here.