On February 3, AABANY co-sponsored the SDNY Chapter of the Federal Bar Association’s third edition of the Talking with Trailblazers series. The series presents conversations with legal professionals who were the first to break representational ceilings in their field. The February 3 edition featured the first Federal judges of Asian descent in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. The panelists, all AABANY members, were:
Hon. Ona T. Wang, the first Asian-American Magistrate Judge in the SDNY.
Hon. Diane Gujarati (EDNY), the first Indian-American to serve as an Article III judge in New York.
Hon. Sanket Bulsara (EDNY), the first Indian-American judge within the Second Circuit.
Attendees were welcomed to join both in-person at the offices of Dunnington Bartholow & Miller in midtown Manhattan and on Zoom. All three judges were present in person, surrounded by an audience of lawyers and law students. The moderator was Padmaja Chinta, who is a partner at Chinta & Fratangelo LLP and the SDNY Chapter’s Chief Diversity Officer.
The panelists discussed a variety of subjects, from how they started their careers to the impact of mentorship. The judges had joined the legal industry from unexpected backgrounds. For example, prior to attending law school, Judge Wang had first obtained a Ph.D. in Zoology from Duke University. The judges also discussed the challenges they faced climbing the upper rungs of their careers. Finally, the conversation closed with a reflection on how the judges’ experiences shape their philosophies and practices on the bench.
Following the moderated panel, attendees both in-person and virtual were eager to ask questions. The event was expected to end at 7:00 pm, but due to the number of questions and the liveliness of the discussion, it did not formally end until 7:30 pm. At closing, in-person attendees also took the opportunity to meet the judges and members of the SDNY Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Thanks to Judge Wang, Judge Gujarati, and Judge Bulsara for sharing their stories and their insights. Thanks also to the Federal Bar Association’s SDNY Chapter for organizing this series and including AABANY as a co-sponsor.
The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) congratulates Won S. Shin, AABANY Board Director, on his recent promotion from an Assistant United States Attorney to Chief of Appeals at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division, Southern District of New York.
Before his promotion, Won S. Shin served as an Assistant United States Attorney at the same office. In that role, Mr. Shin oversaw briefing and argument in criminal appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and advised other prosecutors on legal issues arising in their investigations and prosecutions. He was previously a member of the office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit and is a recipient of the FinCEN Director’s Law Enforcement Award for Cyber Threats.
Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Shin was an Assistant Solicitor General at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where he briefed and argued appeals on behalf of the state in the Second Circuit and New York state appellate courts. Before entering public service, he was a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, DC. He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Mr. Shin received his A.B., magna cum laude, in biochemical sciences from Harvard College, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Mr Shin’s dedication to public service and his record of leadership is well-known and appreciated by all of us at AABANY. Please join us in congratulating Mr. Shin on this well deserved promotion.
Preet Bharara starts from “first principles: Are we doing the right thing, and are we doing it for the right reasons?” – Joon Kim, Acting US Attorney, SDNY.
At the 2015 AABANY Annual Dinner, Charting New Frontiers, we presented the Public Service Leadership Award to Preet Bharara, for his extensive and well-known dedication and commitment to public service as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and in the many years before then. In accepting the award, Preet gave a moving and inspiring speech filled with good humor and the spirit of pride and professionalism in public interest and public service that has characterized his distinguished and storied career. Our usually raucous crowd listened in rapt silence for the entire length of his remarks and rose up in an enthusiastic standing ovation at their conclusion.
Preet, thank you for your leadership and your service, for Charting New Frontiers, for daring to Speak Up, Rise Up and Lift Up, and for serving as an exemplary role model as we seek to Take Charge, Lead Change in the coming weeks and months.
U.S. District Court Judge Lorna G. Schofield, New York City In a four-minute, first-person video, U.S. District Court Judge Lorna G. Schofield, New York City, tells her story of growing up the daughter of a Filipina war bride living in the Midwest. She worked hard to meet the high standards of excellence set by her mother. As a child, she had to adapt to long stays with other families when her mother was frequently hospitalized for treatment of a chronic illness. As a teen, she shouldered adult responsibilities. Judge Schofield’s message to young people: “You have to have faith in yourself that you can make a life that you want.”
Judge Schofield’s video is part of a series called Pathways to the Bench, produced by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. In the videos, judges talk about the personal, character-building challenges in their lives that prepared them to serve on the bench. Each judge has a motivational message for young people that adults find inspiring, as well.
Judge Schofield made history as the first Filipina American Article III judge in the United States.
The Pathways to the Bench series also created a video about the Hon. Denny Chin, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is available from our blog here.
Thanks to Rebecca Fanning, National Outreach Manager for the Federal Courts, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, for sharing this video with us.
The Board of Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has adopted Local Civil Rule 83.10, which governs how certain 1983 cases against the City of New York are managed.
Initially a pilot program implemented in 2011, the goal of the Local Rule is to improve the administration of justice by standardizing discovery and the dates of production, resulting in more material being produced earlier in the process so as to aid in the required early mediation or settlement conference. The 1983 Plan is responsible for the settlement of 70% of Plan-eligible cases in the first six months after the filing of a complaint.
The Board of Judges extended the pilot program in 2013, and it adopted the plan into the courts Local Rules after soliciting public feedback on the program. The rule will become effective upon approval by the Second Circuit Judicial Council. Prior to the revised rule taking effect, the public is invited to comment. Comments are to be submitted in writing on or at the close of business on Friday, July 20, 2014 to:
Edward A. Friedland District Court Executive U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York 500 Pearl Street, Room 820 New York, NY 10007-1312
A complete version of the Plan and the codified Local Rule follows this notice and can be found at the court’s website at http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov.
SDNY BOARD OF JUDGES ADOPTS A SCHEDULE FOR THE PREPARATION OF PRE-SENTENCE INVESTIGATION REPORTS, EFFECTIVE JUNE 2
The Board of Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York have adopted a standing order that standardizes the timetable for the completion of Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) Reports. The new schedule takes effect June 2.
Highlights of the new schedule include:
On the day of a guilty plea or verdict, judges will direct defense counsel to promptly schedule a Pre-Sentence Interview of the defendant with the SDNY Probation Department;
The Probation Department will complete its Pre-Sentence Interview of the defendant within 28 days of the plea or verdict;
Within 14 days of the Probation Department’s initial disclosure of the Pre-Sentence Investigation Report, the parties must provide the Probation Department with objections.
Please see the standing order that is attached to this notice for a complete schedule.
“The court’s new schedule for Pre-Sentence Investigation Report ensures that defendants can be sentenced no later than 90 days after a guilty plea or the delivery of a guilty verdict,” said Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska. “It improves efficiency, provides some flexibility in scheduling sentencings, and reduces the number of sentencing adjournments—it’s a win-win for all parties.”
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK SEEKING CANDIDATES FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT MENTORING PROGRAM
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is seeking candidates for its Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Mentoring Program. Ideal candidates are attorneys with five or more years of experience litigating in state court, with fifteen felony trials to verdict as lead counsel or comparable in-court experience under their belt. Under the supervision of a member of the CJA Panel, CJA Mentees would represent defendants in federal court who qualify for appointed representation under the Criminal Justice Act.
The purpose of the CJA Mentoring Program is to diversify the composition of the CJA Panel—a roster of private attorneys who are authorized to serve as appointed defense counsel pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3006A—and to expose experienced state court practitioners to federal practice. While the mentee’s initial 15 hours of service will be done pro bono, mentees may earn a reduced rate of $65 per hour for their services after the pro bono requirement has been fulfilled.
Candidate interviews will be conducted in early June. To apply for the program, please e-mail your resume by June 4 to:
“The CJA Mentoring Program offers attorneys a unique opportunity to expand their practice and learn from some of the top criminal defense attorneys in the nation,” said Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska. “The Court is fortunate to benefit from such an excellent program and grateful for the time and attention contributed by the mentor lawyers.”
The mentorship program is open to anyone who qualifies, and women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply. Participation in the mentorship program does not guarantee appointment to the CJA Panel.
MEDIA ADVISORY/NOTICE TO THE BAR CONTACT: Edward Friedland, 212-805-0513
Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska has announced that the United States District Court for the Southern District Court (SDNY) will hold a special session on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 to commemorate the first session of the Court held 225 years ago. President George Washington appointed James Duane, who had been a member of the Continental Congress and first mayor of New York City following the evacuation of British forces, as the Court’s first judge. Judge Duane held the first session on the first Tuesday of November, 1789, making it the first Court to convene under the new United States Constitution. For this reason, it is frequently referred to as the “Mother Court.”
The anniversary celebration will continue through 2015 with re-enactments of historic trials, lectures on some of the Court’s most notable jurists, and exhibits featuring art and historic artifacts such as the Silver Oar of the British Vice Admiralty Court for the Province of New York, the symbol of an admiralty court’s authority. A full calendar of events, under the co-chairmanship of District Judges Deborah A. Batts and P. Kevin Castel, will be published later this year.
Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska said of the anniversary commemoration:
“The history of this Court reflects the history of the nation. The Court has been the venue for civil war prize cases, litigation over the sinking of the Titanic and Lusitania, and the attack on the World Trade Center. It has seen criminal prosecutions from the Tea Pot Dome scandal to Watergate. Today its docket includes white collar and terrorism prosecutions. We are honored and delighted to mark this Court’s 225th year of continued service.”
Currently there are 28 active and 22 senior District Judges on the Southern District bench, in addition to 15 Magistrate Judges and 9 bankruptcy judges.
SDNY ECF SYSTEM UPGRADE: SERVICE INTERRUPTION NOTICE FOR APRIL 25-27, 2014
For the purposes of upgrading the Southern District of New York’s Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system, ECF will be unavailable beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 25, 2014. Service will be restored by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, 2014.
During this time, users will be unable to file documents on the court’s ECF system or view documents through the PACER electronic public access service. Filers are directed to section 23.7 of the court’s ECF Rules & Instructions for information regarding technical issues that prevent timely filing.
This time will be used to upgrade the court’s ECF system to version 5.1.1. Notable changes include:
Changes to Nature of Suit Codes: To more accurately record the filing of civil actions, thirteen codes have been eliminated and seven new codes added. As a result, a revised civil cover sheet (form JS44C/SDNY) will be required beginning Monday, April 28, 2014. The new form will be made available beginning on April 27, 2014.
ECF Password Strength Requirement: Users accessing the ECF system after April 27, 2014 will be prompted to adopt a new, more secure password.
Details on the Nature of Suit code changes, password changes and the Release Notes detailing additional features available to the public and the bar in ECF version 5.1.1 may be found at http://nysd.uscourts.gov/ecf.php.