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.

THE ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK, THE KOREAN AMERICAN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF GREATER NEW YORK, AND THE SOUTH ASIAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK JOIN IN A STATEMENT CONDEMNING ANTI-SEMITISM AND ALL FORMS OF HATE

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY), and the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) stand in solidarity with the American Jewish community and unequivocally condemn anti-semitism and all forms of bigotry, hatred, and discrimination. We join in this statement at the start of a New Year for Jewish people around the world, in hopes that together we can bring about greater understanding, peace and harmony in all our communities.

AABANY, KALAGNY, and SABANY recognize that there has been a staggering rise of hate crimes and intolerance against Jewish people. In recent months, we’ve seen attacks on Jewish communities and Jewish-owned places of business, and senseless violence against Jewish people. Many of our friends, family, and colleagues have been victims of such anti-semitism and bigotry.

As anti-semitism surges in the United States, we must do all that we can to put a stop to these hateful incidents. We are compelled to act now. As members of the bar and officers of the court, we strive to work together with our allies to eliminate anti-semitism and to enhance awareness of this injustice.

We are deeply concerned about the increase in anti-semitic sentiment, threats, and violence against our Jewish neighbors, friends, and community. We urge U.S. legal, political, civic, and faith leaders to denounce the use of hateful, anti-semitic rhetoric, which not only endangers the Jewish community, but also damages our national social fabric.

We will continue to strengthen the alliances between our nation’s Jewish and Asian communities, fight against all forms of bigotry and hatred, and stand together with communities facing discrimination.

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Press Release: Joint Minority Bar Judicial Screening Panel

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