2019 NAPABA Convention Review

Here’s a recap of everything you might have missed!

Looking at social media posts from the Convention, we were pleased to see so many attendees share our feeling that NAPABA is a family, a group of friends and colleagues, and most importantly, a community. No matter the field, the level of experience, or geographic location, we are one NAPABA.

We’re excited to head into 2020 with you all, but first let’s look back at this year’s Convention!

New Year, New Leadership 

Bonnie Lee Wolf was sworn in as NAPABA’s president. We are inspired by her vision for NAPABA and look forward to supporting her leadership! 

Using History to Inform Our Future

Through a re-enactment and historical materials, we revisited the importance of Korematsu v. United States, when Fred Korematsu challenged Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Individuals who played key roles in the successful effort to overturn Korematsu’s conviction in the 1983 case brought his story to life, connecting his values of equity and human rights to the issues we face today.

During the Saturday plenary, an inspiring group of LGBTQ attorneys reflected on the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas that opened the door for inclusion for diverse communities and laid the groundwork for marriage equality to become a right across the country. However, true inclusion is still a work in progress. Panelists offered their look at the future of diversity and inclusion for the LGBTQ community.

Celebrating 31 Years

At our Anniversary Gala, we celebrated 31 years of NAPABA by looking to the future with a swearing-in of the 2019-20 NAPABA Board of Governors. Comedian, actor and writer Sheng Wang hosted the gala and Chef Kristen Kish and food critic Soleil Ho had a great conversation about identity, self-worth and success.

2019 Award Winners

We were honored to recognize this year’s award winners at the 2019 NAPABA Convention. We’re proud to have so many distinguished members, who inspire our work every day.

Trailblazer Awards

The Honorable Richard J. Chin. To see the award video, click here.
Julia Markley. To see the award video, click here.
Byung “BJay” Pak. To see the award video, click here.
Debbie Leilani Shon. To see the award video, click here.

Affiliate of the Year Award

To see the award video, click here.

APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award

To see the award video, click here.

Law Firm Diversity Award

To see the award video, click here.

Military and Veteran Service Award

Captain Lia Mitoko Reynolds. To see the award video, click here.

President’s Award

Dale Ho. To see the award video, click here.

Pro Bono Award

Karen King. To see the award video, click here.

Women’s Leadership Award

Debbie Leilani Shon. To see the award video, click here.

 Best Under 40

Vanessa E. Candelaria | Attorney, Law Offices of Vanessa Candelaria
Christina Chan | Assistant Attorney General, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Nooree Lee | Associate, Covington & Burling LLP
Cindy Lin | Partner, King & Spalding LLP
Laurie Rose Lubiano | IP & Product Counsel, The Climate Corporation
Catherine Y. Lui | Partner, Orrick LLP
Jessica Nguyen | General Counsel, PayScale, Inc.
Marc A. Pilotin | General Counsel, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency
Sid Shenoy | Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
Christopher Thana Sukhaphadhana | Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property, Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc.
Jerry Vattamala | Democracy Program Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Johnny Wang | Partner, Stinson LLP
Jovita T. Wang | Partner, Richardson Wright LLP
Bryant Y. Yang | Assistant U.S Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office
Bilal Zaheer | Partner, Locke Lord LLP 

Partners Network In-House Counsel Awards

Diversity Leadership Rising Star Award 

Laurie Rose Lubiano

Diversity Leadership Award

Michael C. Wu

NAPABA Gives Back

Thanks to everyone who joined us at our Community Service Project and Farewell Breakfast! We assembled over 200 care packages for the Asian Family Support Services of Austin. AFSS Austin is a nonprofit that helps Asian, immigrant and refugee survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault & trafficking. 

A Message from NAPABA Law Foundation

The NAPABA Law Foundation thanks everyone who donated during convention to support NLF’s fellowships, scholarships, and the Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition.  

Whether by buying a Fred Korematsu or Judge Denny Chin bobblehead, wagering at Casino Night, bidding on silent auction items, or using text-to-give during the Gala, these proceeds will be used to advance access to justice for our communities.
 
Speaking of the text-to-give, congratulations on breaking the system! It appears that so many people were jumping on their smartphones to donate that our vendor’s system crashed! 
 
If you were unable to make a gift at Convention, you may donate via NLF’s website by clicking here. Remember, Harry Gee, Jr., and his family are matching the first $150,000 raised! Every dollar you donate will have double the impact!

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Thank you to the amazing sponsors who supported the 2019 NAPABA Convention.

Premier Sponsor
Walmart

Jade Sponsors
Littler
Microsoft
Prudential

Platinum Sponsors
Akin Gump
Apple
Baker Botts
Comcast NBC Universal
Goodwin
Google
McGuireWoods
Nationwide
Paul Weiss
Seyfarth Shaw

For a full list of our 2019 sponsors, click here.

Save the Date

Join us for the 2020 NAPABA Convention 
November 5 – 9, 2020
Los Angeles, California 

AABANY Celebrates 2nd Annual Fred Korematsu Day in New York City

On Wednesday, January 30th, AABANY celebrated Fred Korematsu’s 100th birthday and New York City’s 2nd annual Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. The historic event was presented by the Asian Practice Committee of the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA), the New York Day of Remembrance Committee, AABANY and numerous community groups. The event was hosted by NYCLA, at 14 Vesey Street, and over 150 individuals braved the freezing cold and attended to honor Fred Korematsu and his legacy.

Fred Korematsu was a Japanese American man who lived during the era of Japanese internment. Under FDR’s Executive Order 9066, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were sent to concentration camps without any hearing or due process. Fred Korematsu challenged the order by refusing to go to the concentration camp he was assigned to; his case made it all the way to the Supreme Court in Korematsu v. United States. The Court, however, deferred to the Executive Order and ruled in a 6-3 landmark decision that internment was based on “military necessity.” Korematsu’s conviction was eventually overturned in 1984 in a coram nobis proceeding in which the court found that the government deliberately misstated facts or provided misleading information in obtaining the conviction of Fred Korematsu.

At the celebration, AABANY members performed “Fred Korematsu and His Fight for Justice,” a reenactment of legal proceedings in Korematsu v. United States. The reenactment was led by Hon. Denny Chin, United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Kathy Hirata Chin, Partner at Crowell & Moring, who reprised their roles as Narrators 1 and 2. Also part of the cast were many veterans of the reenactment team, including Hon. Kiyo Matsumoto, Vincent Chang, Vinoo Varghese, Francis Chin, Clara Ohr, Andrew Hahn, Yang Chen and David Weinberg.

A panel discussion on “Why the Korematsu Case Still Matters Today” followed the reenactment. The panelists were Prof. Rose Cuison Villazor of Rutgers Law School and Afaf Nasher, Executive Director for the New York Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, and Chris Kwok, AABANY Board Director and Issues Committee Chair, moderated the discussion. The panelist remarked on the importance of Korematsu in Asian Pacific American History, connecting his legacy to APA community outreach and condemning the parallels between Korematsu’s case and the current Administration’s stances on immigration, deportation, and detention.

AABANY was proud to be part of this historic celebration of Korematsu Day in New York. We were particularly pleased to be joined by Koji Abe, Deputy Chief of Mission, Jin Hashimoto, Political Consul, Yuki Kaneshige, Public Affairs Specialist from the Consulate General of Japan, and City Councilman Daniel Dromm who introduced the New York City Council resolution that established Jan. 30th as the Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in New York City.

The celebration was covered by NHK World Japan and WNYC News. To learn more click on the following links.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190131_24/

https://www.wnyc.org/story/japanese-american-internment-dramatized/

We invite everyone to learn more about Fred Korematsu and his legacy by visiting the Korematsu Institute website. http://www.korematsuinstitute.org/homepage/

In the News: AABANY’s trial reenactment of “Fred Korematsu and His Fight For Justice”

On January 30th, AABANY co-sponsored and celebrated New York City’s 2nd annual Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, hosted by the New York County Lawyers Association at 14 Vesey Street. The event was covered by NHK World Japan.

Lawyers in New York have reenacted the legal battle of a second-generation Japanese-American who challenged the constitutionality of the US internment policy during World War Two.

To see the video and to read the full article, click on the image below.


PRESS RELEASE | NEW YORK COUNTY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION HOSTS SECOND ANNUAL FRED KOREMATSU DAY CELEBRATION IN NEW YORK CITY, JOINED BY ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK, NEW YORK DAY OF REMEMBRANCE COMMITTEE AND COMMUNITY GROUPS

NEW YORK, January 25, 2019 – New York City will celebrate its 2nd annual Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, hosted by the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) at 14 Vesey Street from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. This event marks Korematsu’s 100th birthday. The Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution is already officially recognized in four states and was first officially celebrated in New York City in 2018. Spearheaded by the Asian Practice Committee of NYCLA, the Asian American Bar Association of New York joins the New York Day of Remembrance Committee and numerous community groups to organize this historic event.

At the celebration, Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) members will perform “Fred Korematsu and His Fight for Justice,” a reenactment of legal proceedings in Korematsu v. United States. Judge Denny Chin, United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Kathy Hirata Chin, Partner at Crowell & Moring, will narrate the reenactment.

“Why the Korematsu Case Still Matters Today,” a panel discussion, will follow the reenactment. The panelists are Prof. Rose Cuison Villazor of Rutgers Law School and Afaf Nasher, Executive Director for the New York Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, and Chris Kwok, AABANY Board Director and Issues Committee Chair, will be the moderator.

Fred T. Korematsu was a national civil rights hero. In 1942, at the age of 23, he refused to go to the government’s incarceration camps for Japanese Americans. After he was arrested and convicted of defying the government’s order, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, the Supreme Court ruled against him, arguing that the incarceration was justified by military necessity.

In 1983, in light of new evidence of government misconduct, Korematsu’s 40-year-old case was reopened. On November 10, 1983, Korematsu’s conviction was overturned in a federal court in San Francisco. It was a pivotal moment in civil rights history.

Korematsu remained an activist throughout his life. In 1998, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Bill Clinton.

“AABANY is proud to help celebrate Fred Korematsu’s 100th birthday, on the occasion of the second annual Korematsu Day in New York City,” states Yang Chen, AABANY’s Executive Director. “AABANY was among the groups in New York that testified before the New York City Council in 2017 in support of commemorating January 30th each year as the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in New York City. We were there last year for the inaugural celebration, and we are honored to be able to present one of our trial reenactments to recount the story of Fred Korematsu and his struggle for justice. The only way we can ensure that we as Americans never again repeat the gross injustice Japanese Americans suffered during World War II is to tell his story and share its many lessons with the general public.”

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, or 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).

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