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Recent Events First Quarter 2011

The Asian American Bar Association of New York

Recent Events 

AABANY Quarterly Report for February 2011 through April 2011

With President Linda Lin and new officers taking office on February 1, AABANY leaped into the Year of the Rabbit with a bang. At the start of February, AABANY co-sponsored a presentation on the current political climate for LGBT and Asian American/South Asian communities on the East Coast. On February 23, 2011, AABANY held its 22nd Annual Lunar New Year Dinner. AABANY honored several distinguished members of the legal community at this flagship event, which turned out to be among the biggest and best Annual Dinners that AABANY has held to date. In March, former AABANY President, the Hon. Denny Chin, gave the Korematsu Lecture at New York University School of Law. March saw the launch of AABANY’s newest committee, the Intellectual Property Committee, which seeks to promote the skills and knowledge of, and opportunities for, practicing and aspiring intellectual property lawyers in New York. Also in March, AABANY’s Prosecutors’ Committee and the New York County District Attorneys’ Office hosted a screening of the documentary “Vincent Who?”, featuring a Q&A session with filmmaker Curtis Chin. Finally, AABANY co-sponsored CLE programs, panel discussions and free legal clinics with several other organizations, including the MinKwon Center, KALAGNY and the Joint Minority Bar Judicial Internship Program.

LGBT Asian American South Asian Lawyers Sullivan & CromwellOn February 7, 2011, AABANY, along with SABANY, the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL), Muslim American Bar Association of New York, Q-WAVE (Queer Women & Trans. Asian. Visible. Empowered), South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association, and Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York, co-sponsored a LGBT Asian American/South Asian Lawyers Presentation and Cocktail Reception at Sullivan & Cromwell. More than 50 attorneys attended, with law students from Hofstra Law School volunteering at the event. Ben de Guzman from the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance traveled from the nation’s capital to share insights into the current political climate for the LGBT and Asian American/ South Asian communities in Washington, DC and its implications for the Big Apple. We thank Glenn Magpantay, AALDEF Staff Attorney and former AABANY Director, for helping to organize the event.

On February 23, 2011, AABANY held its 22nd Annual Lunar New Year Banquet.  Cipriani Wall Street provided a wonderful setting for this event and a silent auction of great products and services was also featured for our attendees to make bids on. AABANY exceeded last year’s attendance of 500 with approximately 560 attorneys, judges, prosecutors, in-house counsel and dignitaries in attendance. During the event, Immediate Past President Robert Leung presented the Corporate Leadership Award to Timothy B. Goodell, General Counsel of Hess Corporation, who also gave the keynote speech. President Linda Lin presented the Emerging Leader Award to Irene Chiu, Managing Director and General Counsel of NAL Pharmaceuticals Ltd, and President-Elect Jean Lee presented the Women’s Leadership Award to Diane Yu, Chief of Staff and Deputy to the President of New York University, and a former Board member of AABANY. In addition, AABANY inducted this year’s Officers and Directors of the Board and also awarded the AABANY MVP Award to Recording Secretary William Ng for his dedication and hard work for AABANY in the past year.

At the Annual Banquet, David Lat, founder of the blog Above the Law served as the Master of Ceremonies and comedian Dan Nainan provided the entertainment. We thank all the sponsors, including many leading firms and corporations in New York, for their contributions that make it possible for AABANY to offer its programming and events to members and the community. Many law student volunteers also donated their time to help us before and during the dinner, and we were appreciative of their much needed assistance. This year’s Annual Lunar New Year Banquet was a resounding success and AABANY hopes to continue in this fashion in the future.

AABANY IP Committee Launch Denny ChinOn March 3, 2011, AABANY officially launched a new committee, the Intellectual Property Committee with a CLE presentation by former AABANY President Hon. Denny Chin on the many noteworthy Intellectual Property cases that he handled and decided while he was a United States District Court judge in the Southern District of New York. All of the attendees enjoyed a wonderful reception with many IP law practitioners, current and prospective. The Intellectual Property Committee seeks to promote the skills and knowledge of, and opportunities for, practicing and aspiring intellectual property lawyers in the New York area; to provide information to artists, authors, and inventors within the community about the protection and use of intellectual property; and to serve as a forum for U.S.-Asia intellectual property issues. The co-chairs of the Intellectual Property Committee are Karen Lim, an associate at Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, PC, an IP boutique in New York City, and Jane Chuang, a partner at Yim & Chuang. Possible future events will include more CLE programs, legal clinic opportunities, and networking gatherings.

On March 8, 2011, the Hon. Denny Chin gave the Korematsu Lecture at New York University School of Law. While speaking to a full house, Judge Chin discussed major trials in Asian Pacific American history, covering the Yasui, Vincent Chin, Massie and Tokyo Rose trials. The Korematsu Lecture was started by law students at NYU in 2000 to provide a forum for discussion of legal issues affecting Asian Americans. Past lecturers include Hon. Doris Ling Cohan, Hon. Kiyo Matsumoto and the AABANY team that re-enacted the Trial of Minoru Yasui. Thanks to all the AABANY members who attended the Korematsu Lecture.

Vincent Who?On March 18, 2011, AABANY’s Prosecutors’ Committee co-sponsored a screening of the documentary “Vincent Who?” at the New York County District Attorneys’ Office. The film was made during the 25th anniversary of the killing of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American man who was murdered on the eve of his wedding because two Detroit autoworkers blamed Japanese auto manufacturers for taking away their jobs and chose to take out their hatred on him. The killers were acquitted and have never served a single day in jail. The film documents how the Asian American community was galvanized into action by the murder and how the struggle continues to this day, in the face of a new generation of Asian Americans who do not know who Vincent Chin is. A lively discussion followed this early afternoon screening, and filmmaker Curtis Chin was present to answer questions and engage in conversation with a diverse audience of prosecutors. We commend the Prosecutors’ Committee of AABANY for hosting this screening of an important film for our community and those interested in furthering civil rights.

On March 23, 2011, AABANY co-sponsored a Judicial Clerkship Panel at EDNY to inform law students of color about the process for applying to clerkships, why they should do it and what they can expect from the experience. Approximately 70 attendees came to hear the panel. We thank the panelists: Hon. Denny Chin, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Hon. Dora Irizarry, United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, Hon. Ronald Ellis, United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York, Susan Shin, Partner, Arnold & Porter, and Zainab Ahmad, Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York. We thank Theo Cheng, co-chair of AABANY's Judiciary Committee for making the welcome remarks and Lily Lu, Partner, Arnold & Porter, for moderating the discussion. We also thank the co-sponsors of this event: the Dominican Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and the South Asian Bar Association of New York.

Also on March 23, AABANY co-sponsored a CLE program on Summary Jury Trials with the Network of Bar Leaders, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and the Muslim Bar Association of New York. The program was presented by the Hon. Lucindo Suarez, Statewide Coordinating Judge for Summary Jury Trials.

On March 24, 2011, five of AABANY’s committees (Women’s, Real Estate, Young Lawyers’, Student Outreach and Immigration), in conjunction with the Society of Young Lawyer Entrepreneurs, co-sponsored a program on Jump Starting Your Legal Career to offer a broad perspective on how to navigate today’s job market. This program was very beneficial for law students, recent graduates and those in transition, to help figure out their options in the current legal job market.

On March 26, 2011, AABANY and the MinKwon Center teamed up to present a free legal clinic to members of the Asian American community. Immigration, labor, housing and foreclosure were also among the issues for which legal expertise and advice were given. We thank all of those who volunteered their time to members of the community with their legal questions.

Japan Fundraiser Gstaad March 29, 2011On Tuesday, March 29, AABANY together with the Asian American Law Fund of New York, Association of Black Women Attorneys, Black Bar Association of Bronx County, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law APALSA, Dominican Bar Association, King’s County District Attorney’s Office, Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York, Metropolitan Black Bar Association, Muslim Bar Association of New York, Network of Bar Leaders, New York County Lawyers Association, Puerto Rican Bar Association and the South Asian Bar Association of New York hosted a fundraiser at Gstaad on West 26th Street in Manhattan to benefit the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11.

Many who were not able to attend the fundraiser in person donated on-line. Nearly $4000 was raised in total. The proceeds will go to the Red Cross and Japan Society to provide
disaster relief. AABANY thanks everyone who contributed.  On April 6, 2011, AABANY co-sponsored with KALAGNY, Wells Fargo and the Landstar Title Agency, Inc. a free CLE program entitled “Estate Tax Update: Impact on Domestic and International Planning” at the offices of Wells Fargo Securities in midtown Manhattan. The panelists were Pauline Yeung-Ha and Timothy Wong, co-chairs of the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee. AABANY’s Real Estate Committee also participated in organizing this program.

On April 8, 2011, AABANY issued a press release applauding the designation of the Hon. Jeffrey K. Oing to the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court. Justice Oing is the first Asian American judge to hold this position.

On April 14, 2011, Parkin Lee, Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of the Rockefeller Group International, Inc., spoke on the panel of the New York State Bar Association’s Smooth Moves program at the Stanley Kaplan Penthouse in Lincoln Center. This free CLE event, "Creating a Professional Home Where All Can Thrive: Diversity Best Practices in the Legal Profession," provided career strategy advice for attorneys of color.

Brooklyn Law School APALSA Dinner 2011Also on April 14, AABANY Director and past Membership Secretary, Will Wang received the alumni award at the 22nd Annual Alumni Dinner of the Brooklyn Law School APALSA. We congratulate Will on this well-deserved honor in recognition for his successes as a young attorney who has found time despite his demanding schedule to give back to the community in many different ways, as a role model, mentor and leader. Also speaking at the dinner were Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China, and Kevin Kim, the first Asian American candidate to win a Democratic primary in District 19 covering Northeastern Queens. Congratulations to the Brooklyn Law School APALSA on a great year.

On April 16, AABANY co-sponsored a Citizenship Clinic with MinKwon Center in Flushing, Queens, to help Asian Americans in the community with their questions about the process of applying for citizenship.

On April 19, former AABANY president Chris Chan gave his popular and highly effective exam writing workshop at Fordham Law School. That school’s APALSA hosted numerous students from Fordham, New York Law and Cardozo who were in attendance. Over the years, Chris Chan has successfully taught generations of law students the right way to prepare for and take a law school exam. We wish all area law students success in their upcoming law school exams and anticipate that those who took Chris Chan’s workshop will have a slight edge.

Joint Minority Bar Judicial Internship Program Launch 2011On April 20, AABANY co-sponsored the launch reception for the 2011 Joint Minority Bar Judicial Internship Program (JMB JIP) at Kaye Scholer. Partner and former AABANY Director Ben Hsing gave welcoming remarks to the judges and law students who are participating in the JMB JIP this year who were in attendance, together with bar leaders and supporters of JMB JIP. AABANY President Linda Lin introduced the speaker for the reception, the Hon. Denny Chin, who shared some thoughts on how the JMB JIP judicial interns can make the most of their experience this summer clerking for judges from state and Federal courts in New York. SABANY President Rahul Agarwal gave closing remarks thanking everyone for their attendance and support of the program.  In addition to AABANY and SABANY, the other co-sponsors of the 2011 JMB JIP are the Asian American Law Fund of New York, the Association of Judges of Hispanic Heritage, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Nigerian Lawyers Association and the Puerto Rican Bar Association.


On Tuesday, April 26, former AABANY President and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Denny Chin delivered the 48th Annual Charles Evan Hughes Memorial Lecture at the New York County Lawyers' Association (NYCLA).  The Lecture is named after former Supreme Court Justice Charles Evan Hughes, one of the founders of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, and is sponsored by that firm.  Past speakers have included such notables as the Hon. Jack Weinstein, the Hon. José Cabranes and Preet Bharara.  Judge Chin was the first speaker in the history of the Hughes Lecture to use a PowerPoint presentation, which was well-received by the standing-room only audience of well over 200 people.  Judge Chin’s presentation on “My Path to the Bench” touched upon many of Judge Chin’s cases, from which he elicited a number of more general observations about adjudicating federal cases.  In attendance, among other AABANY members, were Parkin Lee, Gordon Eng, Vincent Chang, and, Judge Chin’s wife, Kathy Chin.

On April 26, the Prosecutors Committee and the Government and Public Sector Committee of AABANY presented a panel on “Life After Public Service (part 2)” at McCarter & English. The conference room was filled to capacity as the attendees listened and interacted with the panelists: James Cho, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Civil Division, Eastern District of New York, Richard Chin, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Dan Chu, New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, and Carol Kanarek, a provider of career-related services to major law firms. Many stayed on after the panel discussion to network and pose questions one-on-one to the panelists.

On April 27, AABANY’s Intellectual Property Committee, in partnership with the Asian American Arts Alliance (a4) and the Asian/Asian American Research Institute at CUNY, presented “IP 101 for Visual and Performing Artists,” a program open to both attorneys and non-attorneys designed to give a basic primer on the law of copyright, trademarks, licensing and digital media. This well-attended and informative program is one of many that AABANY plans to work on with a4 this year.

On April 27, AABANY members proved that “A Fashionable Attorney is Not Just a theory” by taking part in a private sale at the theory store in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District to benefit the Joint Minority Bar Judicial Internship Bar (JMB JIP). Attendees obtained a significant discount on their purchases with a portion of the evening’s proceeds going to fund stipends for the law students who are clerking for judges participating in this year’s JMB JIP.

This first quarter of 2011 has already been packed with activities, events and programs. The first month of the next quarter will be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and AABANY is looking forward to a full slate just for the month of May alone. In addition, AABANY’s committees will be starting their planning for the second AABANY Fall Conference, set for September 17.  Another busy and active quarter is taking shape.