In the News: Karen King Writes on her 9-0 Victory at the United States Supreme Court in Golan v. Saada

On October 7, 2022, Law360 published a piece written by AABANY Member Karen King titled “Key to a 9-0 Court Win: Look for a Common Ground.” Karen argued before the Supreme Court in March 2022 in Golan v. Saada, in which the Court decided in favor of Karen’s client in an unanimous 9-0 decision. Karen is a Partner at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, Co-Chair of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, and an active member of AABANY’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force. 

Karen has had an impressive and storied career, with accomplishments reaching back to before her time as a litigator. She was president of the debate team in high school and at Yale University, where she majored in philosophy and political science. After Yale, Karen received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and started her career at Cravath. Two decades later, Karen continues to appear in federal and state courts on behalf of corporate clients while also taking on pro bono clients, being named a “Notable Woman in Law” by Crain’s New York Business and receiving both the Federal Bar Council’s Thurgood Marshall Award for Exceptional Pro Bono Service and the National Asian Pacific Bar Association’s Pro Bono award. Her pro bono clients include victims of discrimination, survivors of domestic violence, students with learning disabilities, victims of gun violence, and prisoners in civil rights issues. 

In the article, Karen writes about the strategies and steps her team undertook to prepare for arguing Golan v. Saada before the Court. 

The case concerned an Italian citizen who filed a petition with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to return his child to Italy through the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Narkis Golan, the child’s mother, petitioned the court to prevent the child’s return to Italy, as the father’s history of abuse would put the child at a risk of psychological harm. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the District Court for the Eastern District of New York agreed that the child could be required to return to Italy by finding “ameliorative measures” to prevent such harm to the child. When Karen brought the case to the Supreme Court for Golan, the issue was whether, under the Hague Convention, courts must consider all possible “ameliorative measures” which would lead to the return of a child to their country of habitual residence. The Court ruled in favor of Karen’s client, finding that courts are not obligated to find options that will enable the child’s safe return before denying return based on a risk of harm. Karen describes in her article how she and her team navigated the diverse judicial philosophies of the Court’s justices to achieve a 9-0 victory. 

Karen and her team took a keen interest in the judicial philosophies and oral argument preferences of justices on the Court to draw broad support from the bench. For example, Karen argued that the Second Circuit’s requirement to consider “ameliorative measures” which would favor return was an outcome not grounded in the text of the Hague Convention—an approach smartly tailored for textualist justices. Karen also writes that this case demonstrated how oral arguments offer not just opportunities for petitioners and respondents to emphasize certain legal points, but also chances to shape the justices’ thinking on the case. 

In addition to demonstrating shrewd foresight through a textualist argument, Karen also underscored the importance of children’s interests in the Hague Convention text. These approaches to Karen’s oral argument performance were reflected in the Court’s opinion, where Justice Sotomayor remanded the case back to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The justice drew upon the textualist ideas and child interest issues which Karen had brought forth during oral argument. 


Karen’s article also reflected on the challenges she faced in preparing for oral argument at the Court for this case, as COVID-19 restrictions and partisan tensions reached new heights during preparations. 

Lastly, Karen’s presence alongside two other Asian American litigators at oral argument before the Court places this case in Asian American legal history. The strategies Karen outlined for stellar advocacy go far beyond Golan v. Saada. As an Asian American community leader, Karen advocates for greater diversity in courtrooms and law firms, guides young litigators, and gives back to communities through pro bono work. AABANY is proud to see the inspiring work Karen King has done inside and outside of her role as a litigator, and we are excited to see how else she will continue to be a leading example for the Asian American community. 

The full article can be found at:

https://www.maglaw.com/media/publications/articles/2022-10-07-morvillo-abramowitz-partner-karen-king-mentioned-in-law360-article

AABANY Joins NAPABA’s Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court Opposing the Addition of a Proposed Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census.

On April 1, 2019, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), joined by Sixty-four (64) bar associations and AAPI-serving community organizations, submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Department of Commerce v. New York (18-966) opposing the addition of a proposed citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

In a press release, NAPABA stated:

On April 23, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal in Department of Commerce v. New York (18-966).  In January, the Southern District of New York found that the Administration’s decision to add the question was ‘arbitrary’ and ‘capricious,’ and that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act. In a related challenge, California v. Ross, the Northern District of California found the Administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Enumeration Clause of the Constitution. A decision is pending in a third challenge, involving AAPI and Hispanic plaintiffs, in the District of Maryland.

The AAPI organizations urge the Court to uphold the district court’s ruling to enjoin the addition of the citizenship question: Amici agree with the district court ’s finding that the addition of a citizenship question will likely lead to an undercount of noncitizen households of at least 5.8 percent. . . . This chilling of participation in the 2020 Census will have a disproportionate effect on the AAPI community. . . . These heightened concerns for the AAPI community come at a crucial moment, because Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the country and stand to make substantial gains in political representation based on that population growth.

AABANY is pleased to announce that it is a co-signatory to NAPABA’s amicus brief in the Supreme Court opposing the addition of a proposed citizenship question to the 2020 census. The addition of the citizenship question will negatively impact the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. It will depress response rates from Asian Americans, the fastest growing racial group and the largest segment of new immigrants in the country, and impact our ability to protect our rights and ensure political representation.

To read the full press release and the amicus brief, click here.

Hon. Kiyo Matsumoto Participates in Honoring Justice Sonia Sotomayor at the New York City Bar

On March 7, 2019, Hon. Kiyo Matsumoto, District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, participated in honoring Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at the New York City Bar Association for her commitment to upholding the rule of law and for being a role model to young students all across America.

At the event, Justice Sotomayor was honored with the unveiling of her portrait that will hang in the New York City Bar’s Great Hall and presented with the New York City Bar Association Medal. The Association Medal is a very prestigious honor that has only been conferred upon a total of 25 people in the last 67 years prior to Justice Sotomayor.

The awardees are chosen by the New York City Bar’s Executive Committee acting upon the nomination of the New York City Bar’s Honors Committee. Judge Matsumoto, a long time member of AABANY, is the chair of the Honors Committee.

The event was covered by the New York Law Journal. To read the article, click here.

PRESS RELEASE | NAPABA Statement on the Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court – National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

PRESS RELEASE | NAPABA Statement on the Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court – National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

An Unsung Hero in the Story of Interracial Marriage – The New Yorker

An Unsung Hero in the Story of Interracial Marriage – The New Yorker

NAPABA Expresses Disappointment That an Asian Pacific American Was Not Nominated to the United States Supreme Court; Vows to Support the President’s Nominee

For Immediate Release
March 16, 2016

For More Information, Contact​​:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
202-775-9555; bschuster@napaba.org

WASHINGTON — Today,
President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Judge Merrick
Garland to serve on the United States Supreme Court. The National Asian
Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Judge Garland on
his nomination.

“We
urge the Senate to hold a fair hearing and a timely vote on the
President’s nominee, Judge Garland. It is critical to the stability of
our judicial system that the Supreme Court’s vacant seat be filled
promptly,” said Jin Y. Hwang, president of NAPABA. “Although we are
disappointed that the President missed an opportunity to make history by
nominating the first Asian Pacific American to the Supreme Court, we
celebrate the fact that Judge Sri Srinivasan was interviewed and vetted
for a possible nomination, which represented the first time that an
Asian Pacific American has ever been interviewed and put on ‘the short
list’ for the Supreme Court.”

NAPABA
congratulates Judge Garland and urges the United States Senate to
fulfill its constitutional responsibility and proceed with a timely vote
to confirm him to the Supreme Court.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.