AABANY President and Immediate Past President Listed Among City & State’s 100 Most Influential Asian Americans in New York Politics and Policy

Sapna Palla (top) and Brian Song (bottom)
Sapna Palla (top) and Brian Song (bottom)

AABANY is excited to announce that Immediate Past President Brian Song and President Sapna Palla have been included in the 2020 Power List of the 100 Most Influential Asian Americans in New York Politics & Policy, released by City & State. Song and Palla are jointly recognized as 52nd on the list. 

City & State wrote: 

The Asian American Bar Association’s mission is to ensure “the meaningful participation of Asian-Americans in the legal profession.” It has made strides under Sapna Palla, a partner at Wiggin and Dana LLP, who is the president for the 2020-2021 term, and under her immediate predecessor, Brian Song, a partner at the top law firm Baker & Hostetler LLP. The organization recently surpassed 1,400 paid members.  

Congratulations and thanks to Brian and Sapna to bringing AABANY to these new heights.

In addition to Brian and Sapna, several others among the honorees have worked with or been associated with AABANY, as members, community partners, or sponsors, to whom we also wish to extend our congratulations.

Among the top 10, AABANY has worked with Grace Meng, New York’s first Asian American US Congress Member; John Liu, State Senator and first Asian American to serve on the City Council; Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition; Ron Kim and Yuh-Line Niou, both state Assembly Members; and Margaret Chin, New York City Council Member.

From the top 11-50, AABANY congratulates:

  • Wayne Ho, President and CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council, which has partnered with AABANY on the Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic;
  • Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation, one of our community partners;
  • Frank Wu, President of Queens College, who co-authored our most performed trial reenactment, Building Our Legacy: The Murder of Vincent Chin
  • Preet Bharara who, as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was a regular speaker at our annual Prosecutors Reception and an honoree at our Annual Dinner in 2015; 
  • John Park, Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, one of our community partners; 
  • Margaret Fung, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, one of our community partners; 
  • Faiza Saeed, a Presiding Partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a Gold Sponsor of AABANY for many years;
  • Honorable Denny Chin, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and past AABANY President (1992-93), who currently helps lead our trial reenactments project.

From 51 – 100 on the list, we extend our congratulations to 

  • Jayasri Ganapathy, President of the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY), one of our sister bar associations and past AABANY member; 
  • My Chi To, Executive Deputy Superintendent of the Insurance Division at the New York State Department of Financial Services, and past AABANY member; 
  • Nancy Yao Maasbach, President of the Museum of Chinese America, one of our community partners; 
  • Wendy Cai-Lee, President and CEO of Piermont Bank, a Bronze Sponsor of the 2019 NAPABA Northeast Regional/AABANY Fall Conference; and 
  • Justin Yu, Chair of the New York Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which has partnered with us for many years for our walk-in Pro Bono Clinic.

AABANY is privileged and honored to have worked closely with so many of New York’s most influential Asian American in politics and policy. Congratulations to everyone who made the list, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration and to partner in the future.

AABANY Hosts First Membership Mixer via Zoom on April 1

On April 1, 2020, AABANY held its first Monthly Membership Mixer virtually on Zoom. Over 25 people joined Brian Song, who became the Immediate Past President, and Sapna Palla, who officially became the President of AABANY on the same day.

Brian remarked how it had been a tremendous honor for him to serve as President of AABANY for the past year. He was amazed at how the year went by so quickly and thanked everyone for their support and dedication in making 2019 a successful year for AABANY.

Sapna next spoke about how pleased she was to be taking on the Presidency and how AABANY’s theme of “Stronger Together: Unity in Diversity” is extremely fitting in the current situation. Sapna noted that AABANY is an exceptional community, and by sticking together, we will definitely get through this tough situation. She also encouraged people to reach out to each other professionally and socially via online platforms like Zoom until things return to normal.

Chris Kwok informed attendees about an upcoming webinar he is working on with NAPABA taking place on April 3. The webinar will discuss the rise in racist attacks against Asian Americans fueled by misinformation surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and what we can do to counter them.

Yang Chen and Chris Kwok also discussed the stimulus bill that recently passed to provide economic support to millions of Americans and businesses that are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. AABANY is working on distilling the bill down to clarify who it covers and the type of relief they are eligible for under the new bill.

Lastly, the virtual floor was opened up to all attendees for a free discussion. Members discussed the current situation and what AABANY can do to engage its members and serve the overall Asian American community in this new normal.

Overall, our first meeting on Zoom was very lively and went smoothly. In the coming weeks, AABANY is planning on hosting more and more programs online, including CLEs and informative webinars. Stay tuned!

Thanks to everyone that attended the mixer.

Jan. 22: AABANY and NYCLA present “Patents 101”

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On January 22, 2014, the AABANY Intellectual Property Committee and the NYCLA Entertainment, Media, Intellectual Property and Sports Committee presented a CLE entitled “Patents 101: What Can be Protected by Patent Rights."  Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP hosted the event at their office at 601 Lexington Avenue.  Wan Chieh (Jenny) Lee moderated the panel featuring: Sapna Palla (Counsel at Kaye Scholer), and Annie Huang (Counsel at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP).  The panelists addressed the developing Supreme Court jurisprudence on the requirements for patent eligible subject matter, particularly focusing on the impact of the recent Myriad decision on the life science industry, and the highly anticipated Alice v. CLS case relating to patent eligibility of computer implemented inventions, for which oral arguments will be heard by the Supreme Court at the end of March this year.  The presentation was well-received, and the audience members actively engaged in questions and discussions with the panelists.  Despite the weather condititions, a total of 13 attorneys attended this event.  Attendees received 1.0 credit in Areas of Professional Practice.