AABANY Mentioned in Law360 Article on Bar Associations in New York Condemning Violence at the U.S. Capitol

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) was recently mentioned in a Law360 article on New York state bar associations’ reactions to the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. The article states: “The Asian American Bar Association of New York, one of the state’s most vocal attorneys group, endorsed a
statement published by its parent organization, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, decrying the storming of the Capitol as the act of militants.”

NY Lawyers Condemn Storming Of US Capitol By Mob
By Marco Poggio

Law360 (January 7, 2021, 4:34 PM EST) — Prominent New York state bar associations have condemned the violence that unfolded in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, in which a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol as the Electoral College vote certification was in progress, resulting in the deaths of four people. Read more here (subscription is required).

NAPABA | Statement On Violence at the U.S. Capitol

For Immediate Release: Date: January 6, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) strenuously condemns the violent actions and defiant breach of both security and safety at the U.S. Capitol by militants. Critical cornerstones of our Constitutional democracy are the peaceful transition of power within our government and the right of citizens to peacefully protest. Neither violence nor the threat of violence is at all acceptable and has no rightful place here. We call on the Administration, all elected officials, public servants, and all Americans to denounce the violence we witnessed today, support efforts needed to quiet the unrest, demand it cease immediately, and cause an immediate return to our foundational principles of a peaceful democracy and the rule of law.

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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.

AABANY Presents Community Webinars on Anti-Asian Violence in Mandarin and Cantonese

Mandarin Webinar
Cantonese Webinar

On Saturday, May 16, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) hosted its “Mandarin and Cantonese Community Webinar on Anti-Asian Violence,” part of a broader series aimed at addressing the rise in anti-Asian violence in light of COVID-19. The events focused on briefing individuals on how to defend themselves if an incident were to occur and also discussed relevant state laws that protect victims. The Mandarin webinar aired from 2:00-3:00 PM and the Cantonese webinar aired from 3:00-4:00 PM.

Guest speakers included moderator Kwok Kei Ng and representatives from the NYPD, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR).

William Kwok, Asian Liaison of the Immigrant Outreach Unit of the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau, discussed the practical measures by which individuals can protect themselves from immediate physical harm. Individuals are encouraged to run into public spaces such as stores or public spaces that may have police officers on duty. If they are able, victims are encouraged to call 911 or get bystanders to contact the police. There are translators on stand-by at the NYPD if needed. Most importantly, undocumented persons should not be afraid of calling the NYPD as officers are forbidden to inquire about a victim’s immigration status.

Additionally, Officer Kwok and Mr. Ng discussed specific provisions of the Hate Crimes laws that apply. New York Penal Law § 240.30-3 describes the elements of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, stating that the incident must reflect an intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or harm through physical force. New York Penal Law §485.05, the Hate Crime Law, enhances sentencing if the incident is proven to be bias-motivated. Victims and bystanders should be unafraid of reporting incidents to the authorities; any materials whether in the form of videos, audios, or testimonials can help secure a conviction. Officer Kwok and Mr. Ng presented in both the Mandarin and Cantonese webinars.

Lastly, Jiarui Li, an associate at Simpson Thacher and guest speaker for the Mandarin webinar, and Karen Yau, Co-Chair of the AABANY Pro Bono & Community Service Committee and guest speaker for the Cantonese webinar, discussed the various resources available to victims. Victims should contact the New York Office of Victim Services and the NYCCHR to see if they are eligible for compensation and legal assistance. Both New York City and New York State have dedicated Hate Crimes Task Forces that victims can contact. Victims residing in New Jersey or Connecticut can contact their own individual state Hate Crimes Task Forces.

The guest speakers reiterated the importance of reporting anti-Asian incidents to the police. Only by informing the relevant authorities can we adopt a preventative approach and stop bias incidents from occurring before individuals are harmed.

We thank the guest speakers for joining us and for their commitment to protecting the well-being of everyday New Yorkers. For more information on anti-Asian harassment and violence, email [email protected] or call our hotline at 516-690-7724.

AABANY Hosts Panel Addressing Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising From COVID-19 (Korean)

On Sunday, May 17, 2020, the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) hosted the Korean version of its webinar series, “Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The presentation addressed the increase in violent incidents against Asians in the community and included a discussion of the rights that victims and bystanders have when a racially motivated confrontation occurs, as well as what actions rise to the level of a prosecutable offense.

The webinar featured moderator, Sean Dong Min Rhee, a Northeastern University law student, as well as two panelists: Kings County Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Pak and Naomi Jeehee Yang, an Associate at Paul Weiss.

During the presentation, Stephanie Pak explained what actions would constitute a hate crime (P.L. §240.30) and aggravated assault (P.L. §485.05) as set forth in New York Penal Law. She also gave examples of actions that would rise to a criminal level so that community members would be able to recognize incidents which they should report to law enforcement agencies or their local District Attorney’s office. Furthermore, Stephanie emphasized that when Korean victims are called Chinese during an assault, this does not invalidate the action from being prosecuted as a hate crime but rather makes the issue ripe for prosecution.

The other panelist, Naomi Jeehee Yang, shared information on who to contact during or after these incidents, as well as a few helpful tips that can help prosecutors and law enforcement. She stressed the importance of recording an incident because the evidence is often a key component in successfully prosecuting assailants. If this is not an option, it is important to call 911, as phone calls to police are recorded and can also be used as evidence during a criminal trial. Most importantly, Naomi spoke on the significance of reporting these anti-Asian episodes. If incidents are reported there will consequently be a more accurate number of cases in which Asians are being victimized in the community. This, in turn, increases the visibility of this issue and will spur action by government officials and policymakers – bringing about legislation or resources that can be helpful to the Asian community.

Thank you to our panelists, the excellent attorneys at Paul Weiss for their pro bono assistance, and our volunteers at the Pro Bono Committee for planning and organizing our Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic webinars. We will have more community presentations on topics related to COVID-19 and its impact on the AAPI community this month. For more information on anti-Asian harassment and violence, email [email protected], call our hotline at 516-690-7724, and check out the resources that AABANY has compiled at https://www.aabany.org/page/covid19.

View the video of the webinar by clicking on the image above.

AABANY Clinic Hosts COVID-19-related Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Webinar

On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, the Asian American Bar Association’s (AABANY) Pro Bono & Community Service Committee hosted the webinar, “Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” This event addressed the increase in violent incidents against the Asian American community, and the relevant State and Federal laws for victims and witnesses of these hate crimes who seek to report them.

The webinar featured panelists David Chiang, Supervising Assistant District Attorney, Queens District Attorney’s Office; Joe Gim, Deputy Chief, Nassau County District Attorney; and Julia Kerr, Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Eugene Kim, a volunteer at AABANY’s Pro Bono Clinic, moderated the panel.

David Chiang, Supervising Assistant District Attorney, Queens District Attorney’s Office, discussed New York Penal Law § 240 and § 485, both of which elevate sentencing for bias incidents to the criminal level. Section 240, covering Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, states that threats of physical violence based on the perception of race are considered as misdemeanors. Section 485, the Hate Crime Law, enhances sentencing for incidents proven to be motivated by bias.

Joe Gim, Deputy Bureau Chief, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, advised victims and bystanders of anti-Asian hate crimes to record the crime by taking a video of the incident with their phones or calling 911. Doing so would not only preserve the evidence necessary to strengthen the case against the perpetrator but also publicize these hateful acts to highlight the prevalence of anti-Asian violence. Even if the victim is not willing to come forward, whether due to language barriers or distrust of law enforcement, bystanders can still report the crime. After preserving evidence and notifying the police, the police will file a Complaint Report, and the case will either result in an arrest or be handed off to prosecutors and end up in trial.

Julia Kerr, Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, concluded the webinar by encouraging individuals to report incidents of anti-Asian violence to both government and non-governmental organizations to prevent future hate crimes. In addition to calling 911, victims and bystanders can also reach out to the New York State and New York City Hate Crime Task Forces, MTA Hotline, local District Attorney, and NY Attorney General’s Office. Other resources include AABANY, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Communities Against Hate, Equality Watch, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Anti-Defamation League. 

We thank the panelists for joining us for this CLE program and Eugene for serving as the moderator. Look forward to more community presentations on COVID-19 and its impact on the APA community this month. For more information on anti-Asian harassment and violence, email [email protected] or call our hotline at 516-690-7724.

View the video of the webinar by clicking on the image above.

Celebrate APA Heritage Month with AABANY

Despite the restrictions against public gatherings during COVID-19, AABANY has remained active and busy for APA Heritage Month, hosting multiple community presentations about anti-Asian harassment and violence on May 13, 16, and 17, in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean.

We will continue to celebrate APA Heritage Month during the remainder of May, and we hope you will join us at the following events. Please follow the links for further details and to register.

Wednesday, May 20
AABANY Members Invited: Lowenstein Cooks for a Cause
5:00-6:30 PM
Zoom Conference
To register: https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1379391

Thursday, May 21
AABANY Co-Sponsors: General Counsel Virtual Panel
4:30-6:00 PM
Zoom Conference
To register: https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1374410

Thursday, May 21
White & Case Presents a Virtual Screening of Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066
4:15 PM
Zoom Conference
To register: https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1379976

Wednesday, May 27
AABANY Co-Sponsors: COVID-19: Relief for Small Businesses Webinar Series Part 1 (Labor and Employment Law)
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Webinar
To register: https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1380520

Thursday, May 28
AABANY Co-Sponsors: A Virtual Trial Reenactment: Remembering the Murder of Vincent Chin
3:00-5:00 PM
To register: https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1380200

Thursday, May 28
AABANY Co-Sponsors: COVID-19: Relief for Small Businesses Webinar Series Part 2 (Restructuring and Bankruptcy Law)
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Webinar
To register: https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1380546

AABANY Hosts Webinar on Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic

On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, the Asian American Bar Association (AABANY) hosted a webinar titled “Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” This webinar examined the recent trends and data gathering of Anti-Asian violence incidents, as well as the legal framework of hate crimes under New York and Federal law. The nearly 100 attorneys who attended were given resources to advise the community as to their rights, along with opportunities to volunteer with AABANY. 

The panel included Joe Gim, Deputy Bureau Chief, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office; Sheryl Koretz, Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP; Jia Lynn Yang, Deputy National Editor, The New York Times; John Yang, Executive Director, Asian American Advancing Justice (AAJC); and Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation. Karen R. King, Counsel at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and a Vice Chair on the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee, moderated the panel.

Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation, began by sharing some statistics to give some context about the Asian American community both in New York City and in the United States. She highlighted that Asian Americans are the fastest growing population within New York City and across the country, currently composing 60% of the overall population in New York City. Approximately one in four Asian New Yorkers live in poverty, which is the highest of any racial groups in the city. Yoo noted the Asian American Federation’s aggressive media strategy in sharing stories from the Asian American community on different media outlets in hopes of combating the Asian American community’s continued invisibility and marginalization. She noted that a rise in anti-Asian discrimination started when Asian Americans began to wear masks back as early as January, a practice that is not considered strange in Asia due to experiences with previous outbreaks such as SARS in 2002. 

Joe Gim, Deputy Bureau Chief, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, discussed the elements of a hate crime under NY Penal Law § 485.05. Gim explained that § 485.05 elevates the level of punishment that a defendant would receive for a crime that already exists on the books. Among the hate crimes or bias incidents in connection with the pandemic that are the topic of this discussion, there are only a few that would fall under this statute. A second statute that is particularly important to know for community outreach on this issue is aggravated harassment in the second degree under NY Penal Code § 240.30, which deals with verbal or nonverbal threats that fall under misdemeanors or hate crimes.

John Yang, Executive Director of Asian American Advancing Justice, touched on the different channels available to witnesses or victims and the proper actions to take when put in such a situation. A reluctance to report hate crimes has always been an issue for all minority groups. The panelists reinforced the point that bystanders are crucial to these acts of discrimination coming to light. While it may not be safe to directly intervene in these situations, simply calling law enforcement, documenting or recording the crimes, or consoling the victim helps tremendously. Even without knowing the person harassed, as long as someone has proof of the crime being committed, it is possible to prosecute the person responsible entirely by the bystander. There is currently AAAJ/Hollaback bystander training available to help prepare for such situations. 

Jia Lynn Yang, Deputy National Editor for The New York Times, explained the thought process and impact of writing her article “Who Belongs in America,” which argues that the fight of Asian Americans for our place in the United States is far from over. Despite the historical struggle for racial equality through US immigration law, there are still those who deny the presence of Asians with legal status in the country. She found that people felt more comfortable with talking about their own experiences of harassment after her article affirmed the severity of these crimes.

Sheryl Koretz, Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, highlighted the importance of identifying those responsible for the hate crimes, seeking reimbursement for the victims, and spreading the awareness of these cases. In New York, there are newly formed hate crime task forces such as the Asian hate crimes hotline launched by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Victims don’t necessarily need a physical injury to seek compensation. The police have reaffirmed that people reporting hate crimes will never be questioned about immigration status. 

Before wrapping up the CLE program, Karen King asked the attendees to consider signing up to be a part of the Community Response Task Force (CRTF), which AABANY uses to communicate with volunteers when there are pressing legal matters affecting the Asian community, including Ant-Asian Violence. Here is the link:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdumGO2c9heuQoMifYIWUdZsg3qmimijswUYmOFznXs9ROAww/viewform.   

If anyone is interested in bystander intervention training, here is the link to efforts on this front by Hollaback!:  https://www.ihollaback.org/bystanderintervention/.

We thank all the panelists for joining us for this timely and vital CLE program, and we thank Karen for organizing it and serving as moderator. Be on the lookout for upcoming community presentations on this topic during APA Heritage Month in May. We hope to be able to count on attorney volunteers to assist victims of anti-Asian violence. If you are interested in volunteering, let us know by filling out the CRTF form using the link above. 

The video of the webinar is embedded in this blog post and you can view it by clicking on the image above.

Statement of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the National Bar Association (NBA), the National LGBT Bar Association (LGBT Bar), and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) on the Recent Increase in Hate-Motivated Violence and Harassment

For Immediate Release
Nov. 30, 2016

For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
[email protected], 202-775-9555

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of this particularly divisive presidential election, there has been a surge of bias-motivated and hate violence across the nation targeting many groups, including Muslims, immigrants, women, members of the LGBTQ community, and African Americans. We call on lawyers across the country and our elected officials to denounce and take action against this hate.

The FBI recently released its annual hate crime statistics for 2015, which demonstrated a six percent increase in hate crimes and an alarming 67 percent surge in hate crimes targeting the Muslim American community in the past year. The Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded almost 900 cases of hate-based harassment and intimidation that occurred following the election including a large number targeting immigrants and taking place in schools and on college campuses.

As diverse bar associations, we have a unique opportunity to serve as voices for individuals and communities who are targeted based on race, religion, gender, gender identity, immigration status, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. The recent increase in reported hate crimes is a salient reminder that we must work together to speak out against hate in all forms. As bar associations representing the interests of diverse lawyers around the country, we embrace the solidarity and strength of our robust communities and we are committed to our collective mission to serve as the voice of minority communities in the legal profession.

To assist our members who may be part of or work with communities affected by hate violence, we have created a Hate Crimes Resources Toolkit, which has information about reporting incidents, supporting community organizations, offering legal services, and coordinating with government agencies.

We call on our elected officials, in a letter to the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives, to denounce the rising tide of hate. We encourage them to take steps to combat these incidents and promote an inclusive America where all receive equal protection under the law.

As members of the legal profession, we have a special responsibility to ensure the continuity of our best legal traditions, and to defend and uphold our commitments to justice, fairness, equality, and the rule of law under our Constitution. As national diverse bar associations, we remain steadfast in our commitment to expanding equal rights, fighting discrimination and combating hate crimes to protect minority and underserved communities.

The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 50,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding three decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.

NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 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.

The mission of the National Association of Women Lawyers is to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocate for the equality of women under the law. Since 1899, NAWL has been empowering women in the legal profession, cultivating a diverse membership dedicated to equality, mutual support, and collective success. If you are not already a member, please considering joining. NAWL welcomes the membership of individual attorneys, including private practice, corporate, academic, government and non-profit attorneys, and groups, including law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations. Learn more at www.nawl.org.

Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit www.nationalbar.org.

Founded in 1973, the NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.

NAPABA APPLAUDS U.S. SENATE BIPARTISAN PASSAGE OF THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN REAUTHORIZATION ACT

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400 
Washington, DC 20006


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
February 13, 2013

Contact: Emily Chatterjee 
(202) 775-9555

NAPABA APPLAUDS U.S. SENATE BIPARTISAN PASSAGE 
OF THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN REAUTHORIZATION ACT

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, in a vote of 78-22, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the expansions made in the Senate legislation, reintroduced by Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) in the new Congress. Some of these expansions include ensuring better access to services for victims of sexual and domestic violence in communities of color, and for the first time extending protections to victims in Native American and LGBT communities.

“NAPABA commends the bipartisan group of senators who voted in support of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act,” said Wendy Shiba, president of NAPABA. “In the United States, three women die each day because of domestic violence. We can wait no longer for reauthorization of this critical legislation. NAPABA urges the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Senate version of VAWA without any further delay.”

The Senate version of the reauthorization bill no longer includes a NAPABA-supported provision that would have increased the number of U-Visas for immigrant victims of sexual and domestic violence. Last year, members of the U.S. House of Representatives pointed to this provision as a cause for rejecting the bill. Senator Leahy plans to include a similar provision in forthcoming comprehensive immigration reform legislation and NAPABA applauds his continued efforts and commitment to protect immigrant victims of sexual and domestic violence.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 62 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of people of color in the legal profession.