On September 14th, The New York Law Journal reported that Judge Denny Chin of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (and past AABANY President, 1992-93) became Fordham Law’s first ever Lawrence W. Pierce Distinguished Jurist in Residence. This distinction allows Judge Chin to continue his role as a Judge while devoting more of his time to teaching and building connections with the law students at Fordham. Judge Chin is especially excited to teach classes that deal with Asian Americans and the law saying the topic is “dear to my heart.”
To read the full article, click here (subscription required).
On September 8, 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Lucy H. Koh of California to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
If confirmed, Judge Koh would be the first female Korean American federal circuit court judge in the nation’s history.
“NAPABA congratulates Judge Lucy H. Koh on her historic nomination to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “Judge Koh is a proven entity with over a decade of state and federal judicial service, with strong bona fides in technology, intellectual property, business litigation, and criminal law.”
In 2010, Judge Koh was unanimously confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by a 90-0 vote after her nomination received wide bipartisan support. Prior to her tenure on the federal bench, Judge Koh served on the Superior Court of California for Santa Clara County, having been appointed in 2008 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Judge Koh has held various positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, notably as a special assistant to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General, as Special Counsel in the Office of Legislative Affairs, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Judge Koh has been a partner at the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery in Silicon Valley and before that, worked at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Judge Koh is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.
AABANY is proud to recognize Dean Cuison-Villazor among its membership and congratulates her on this historic appointment, just one among many of her trailblazing accomplishments. An expert in immigration and citizenship law, she is a founding director of the Center for Immigration Law, Policy and Justice at Rutgers Law School. According to Rutgers Law’s own announcement:
Cuison-Villazor teaches, researches and writes in the areas of immigration and citizenship law, property law, Asian Americans and the law, equal protection law and critical race theory. She teaches Property Law, Immigration Law, Critical Race Theory, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and the Law, Estates in Land, and Introduction to U.S. Law and recently testified before a Congressional committee on land rights. She earned her LLM from Columbia Law School, JD from American University and BA from the University of Texas.
Dean Cuison-Villazor’s scholarship regarding immigration and citizenship law has been notable, highlighting previously neglected legal history concerning property and race. Dean Cuison-Villazor’s 2010 law review article “Rediscovering Oyama v. California: At the Intersection of Property, Race, and Citizenship” inspired AABANY’s own Oyama v. California trial reenactment. Oyama v. California overturned the California Alien Land Laws which prohibited “aliens ineligible for citizenship,” i.e., Asian Americans, from owning property. The case established legal precedent for future civil rights cases, including Brown v. Board of Education. Read more about the trial reenactment here.
AABANY’s Academic Committee Co-Chairs Catherine Kim, Donna Lee, Elaine Chiu, and Thomas Lee extend a special congratulations to Dean Cuison-Villazor, stating:
AABANY congratulates and is extremely proud of Dean Cuison-Villazor’s appointment as interim co-dean of Rutgers Law School. She is an immigration, citizenship, and race & the law scholar with a national reputation, a gifted teacher, and a superb leader. Rutgers Law is fortunate to have Rose lead its Newark campus at this critical time, as is AABANY to claim her as a cherished colleague.
Please join AABANY in recognizing Dean Cuison-Villazor for her accomplishment. To learn more about the Academic Committee, visit https://www.aabany.org/page/352.
The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management is excited to announce that the Attorney General’s Honors Program (HP) and Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP) applicationis now open. The deadline for receipt of applications isWednesday, September 8, 2021, at 11:59 PM ET. Applications must be submitted via the online application. There are many exciting opportunities throughout DOJ, including entry-level attorney positions (permanent and term-limited) as well as paid summer legal internships.
Detailed information about the HP and SLIP, including offices participating and the number of available positions, can be found at:
Information about all of DOJ’s legal hiring programs, including experienced attorney hiring and volunteer internships, is online at https://www.justice.gov/legal-careers. The Department places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from qualified candidates from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.
WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Sarala Nagala on her historic nomination to become a district court judge for the District of Connecticut. If confirmed, Ms. Nagala will become the first Asian Pacific American judge to sit as an Article III judge in the District. “NAPABA applauds the Biden Administration for continuing to advance highly experienced and qualified candidates to serve on federal judiciary,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “Ms. Nagala has a demonstrated commitment to public service and protecting the rights and safety of her community.”
Ms. Nagala currently serves as the Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut where she is responsible for overseeing prosecutions involving human trafficking, child exploitation, hate crimes, and government program fraud and has served as the District’s Hate Crimes Coordinator. Ms. Nagala is a graduate of Stanford University and University of California Berkeley School of Law. She clerked for the Honorable Judge Susan P. Graber on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 60,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.
On May 25, the Asian American Judges of the Eastern District of New York celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a presentation titled “Photographic Justice: The Retelling of Asian American History in the United States.” Through the photography of Corky Lee, the presentation chronicled Asian Americans’ involvement in U.S. history, which has mostly been omitted from American history books.
The presentation began with a retelling of the Golden Spike ceremony in 1869 that celebrated the completion of the transcontinental railroad. While the majority of the railroad construction workforce was comprised of Chinese immigrants, the photograph taken to commemorate the railroad completion did not include any of the Chinese workers. At the 100-year anniversary of the ceremony in 1969, speakers still ignored the contribution of the Chinese workers. Corky Lee, a renowned photographer, believed in photographic justice and in 2014, he gathered the descendants of the Chinese workers to reenact the Golden Spike ceremony photograph. He said, “Some people would say we are reclaiming Chinese American history. In actuality, we’re reclaiming American history and the Chinese contribution is part and parcel of that.”
The presentation continued by recognizing the contributions of Asian Americans to the American war effort during World War 2, many of whom fought on battlefields overseas. These individuals include the decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Philippine Scouts, and WASP aviators Maggie Gee and Hazel Ying Lee. The third part of the presentation focused on the numerous laws passed in U.S. history that prohibited Asians from immigrating to America such as the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the 1907 Gentlemen’s Agreement. For years, immigration and access to citizenship was based on race. That situation remained unchanged until 1965 when the Immigration and Nationality Act finally abolished national origin, race, and ancestry as basis for immigration to the U.S. This resulted in increased immigration from China, India, Japan, and the Philippines.
The final segments of the presentation focused on the Asian American Movement and how Asian Americans have come together to address racism and inequality. Addressing the anti-Asian hate and violence occurring today, the presentation concluded that “the current climate of violence against Asian Americans must not stand in the way of Asian Americans being seen, being heard, and being respected in America.”
Thank you to Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara, District Judge Pam Chen, Magistrate Judge James Cho, District Judge Diane Gujarati, Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo, and District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto for the important presentation on Asian American history and for celebrating AAPI Heritage Month. To view the full presentation, click here.
WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden nominated Seema Nanda as Solicitor of Labor in the U.S. Department of Labor. If confirmed, Nanda will be the first AAPI and woman of color to lead the department as its chief legal officer.
“NAPABA congratulates Seema Nanda on her nomination to be Solicitor of Labor of the U.S. Department of Labor,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Seema is an experienced litigator who has extensive experience as a labor and employment attorney. She has been a critical leader in the Department of Labor and Department of Justice under the Obama-Biden administration, advocating for underserved and underrepresented communities like ours. We urge the Senate to quickly confirm Seema.”
Seema Nanda is currently a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program. She has served as CEO of the Democratic National Committee and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Nanda served in the Obama-Biden administration as Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff and Deputy Solicitor of Labor at the Department of Labor; Deputy Special Counsel and Senior Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division; and as a supervisory attorney on the National Labor Relations Board. She is a graduate of Brown University and Boston College Law School.
NAPABA has advocated for Seema Nanda and thanks the Biden-Harris administration for her nomination.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.
On May 20, 2020, the Judiciary Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and the Public Interest Committee of the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) co-hosted a panel on how to become a Magistrate Judge. Recently, the Eastern District of New York announced vacancies for four US Magistrate Judge positions, the first time so many opportunities have been simultaneously available since the positions were created. The webinar provided important information and advice for individuals who might be considering a career as a Magistrate Judge.
The event featured panelists Hon. Sanket Bulsara, Hon. Peggy Kuo, and Linda Lin. Judge Bulsara was appointed as a Magistrate Judge of EDNY on August 28, 2017, and previously served as Acting General Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Judge Kuo was appointed on October 9, 2015, and prior to her appointment, she served as the Acting Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Division Criminal Section at the U.S. Department of Justice; litigation counsel at Wilmer Hale, LLP; Chief Hearing Officer at the New York Stock Exchange; and Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel of the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. Linda Lin is the General Counsel of Business Unit Support at QBE North America and a member of the EDNY Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel. Austin D’Souza, Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Faviola A. Soto at the New York Court of Claims and Vice President of Public Relations at SABANY, served as the moderator.
Judge Bulsara and Judge Kuo discussed their responsibilities as Magistrate Judges. They emphasized that though their docket is heavily civil, varying between 400-500 cases per judge, they also play an important role on the criminal side. Magistrate Judges are on criminal duty approximately once every ten weeks, during which they preside over arraignments, initial appearances, and bail hearings. They also conduct jury selection in felony cases. Judge Bulsara noted that his favorite part of being a Magistrate Judge is presiding over naturalization ceremonies and interacting with wonderful colleagues.
Linda Lin described the application process and how potential candidates are evaluated. Members of the Selection Panel independently review the applications and decide on which candidates to interview. Prior to the interview, the panel conducts due diligence and may reach out to references beyond those mentioned in the candidate’s application. The Selection Panel also requests writing samples, preferably those that demonstrate analysis and are centered around advocacy and litigation. Finally, five names are presented to the Board of Judges, who decide whom to appoint as a Magistrate Judge. While reviewing applications, members of the Selection Panel look for the following qualities: scholarship, from academic records to achievements; active practice of the law, including breadth and depth of experience, professional competence, and pro bono and public service activities; knowledge of the court system and recent experience in front of the federal bench; and personal attributes, or judicial temperament.
Judge Kuo advised individuals applying to become a Magistrate Judge to prepare for their interviews by going back and reading their application and writing samples, looking up the biographies of members of the Selection Panel, and reviewing the Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Bulsara urged candidates to take advantage of the mock interviews offered by AABANY and sit in on proceedings in court.
We thank our panelists for speaking on the program and sharing insightful advice about the process of becoming a United States Magistrate Judge. Thanks also to Austin D’Souza for serving as an excellent moderator. For more information on AABANY’s Judiciary Committee, please see https://www.aabany.org/page/115.
WASHINGTON – Today,
Patrick J. Bumatay was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Patrick Bumatay on his historic confirmation to serve on the U.S. Courts of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuits,” said NAPABA President Bonnie Lee Wolf. “Judge
Bumatay is the first Filipino American to serve as a federal appellate judge and
the first openly gay judge on the Ninth Circuit. We are proud to have supported
Judge Bumatay’s nomination.”
Patrick J. Bumatay is
an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the
Southern District of California. He currently serves in the Office’s Appellate
Section, representing the United States before the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals. Bumatay has held numerous positions in public service throughout the
Department of Justice, including the top three leadership offices. He clerked
for Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth
Circuit and Judge Sandra L. Townes of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law
School. He is an active member of NAPABA, our affiliated bar—the National
Filipino American Lawyers Association, and the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association.
President Trump for nominating Patrick Bumatay to the bench.
The National Asian
Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian
Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students.
NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national,
state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners,
large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys,
and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative
and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments,
and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large.
NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress,
and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil
rights, and diversity in the courts.
NAPABA | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20006 | www.napaba.org
For More Information, Contact: Navdeep Singh, Policy Director 202-775-9555; firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) extends its sincere condolences to the family of retired United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who passed away on July 16th in Florida at the age of 99. He was the longest-lived Supreme Court justice in United States history. Justice Stevens was appointed by President Gerald Ford in 1975 and served until 2010. His thirty-five year tenure on the bench made him the third-longest-serving Justice in the history of the Court.
“Justice Stevens had a significant impact on the United States and our understanding of the law and its evolution,” said NAPABA President, Daniel Sakaguchi. “He was part of and authored decisions in landmark cases that came before the Supreme Court. He will be remembered for his impartial commitment to the rule of law, his efforts to safeguard principals of liberty and equality and his dedicated service to the country, both on the bench and as veteran of World War II.”
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.