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Recent Events Third Quarter 2010

The Asian American Bar Association of New York

Third Quarter 2010 

September 28, 2010AABANY member Judge Jeffrey Oing, Supervising Judge for Civil Court in Manhattan, and Judge Jaya Madhavan, Supervising Judge of Civil Court in the Bronx, testified at the First Department in public hearings organized by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to address the funding crisis facing civil legal services for the poor.

September 28, 2010AABANY member Judge Jeffrey Oing, Supervising Judge for Civil Court in Manhattan appeared at a press conference in the Community Room at Confucius Plaza to announce his nomination as a candidate for New York State Supreme Court Justice in the upcoming election in November.  On hand for the announcement were Comptroller John Liu, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senator Daniel Squadron.  Virginia Kee, founder of the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC), and Justin Yu, President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New York, were also present.  The Community Room was packed with residents of Manhattan's Chinatown and friends and supporters of Judge Oing.  AABANY was represented by its Executive Director, Yang Chen, and former AABANY President, Christopher Chan.


September 28, 2010 – Congratulations to the South Asian Bar Association of New York on its fourth annual Leadership Awards Gala, held last Tuesday, September 28, at Bridgewaters in South Street Seaport.  Congratulations to Rohan S. Weerasinghe, senior partner at Shearman & Sterling, for receiving the Corporate Leadership Award, Bobby Sharma, VP and General Counsel, NBA Development League, for receiving the Corporate Counsel Award, Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, National Security Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, for receiving the Access to Justice Award, and Manavinder Bains, Chief Counsel for Technology, NYSE Euronext, for receiving the Legal Trailblazer Award.  More than 200 attendees enjoyed the event, including the following from AABANY: Ben Chan, co-chair of the Student Outreach Committee, Vince Chang, former AABANY President, Jean Lee, Board member, Linda Lin, President-Elect, Dev Sen, Board member, and Board member Vinoo Varghese and his wife, Libby.           


September 25, 2010AABANY’s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee worked with the Indochina Sino-American Community Center (ISACC) to host a Law Day at ISACC's office in Manhattan's Chinatown to answer questions from the community about immigration law.  Over the course of the day, sixteen attorneys recruited by AABANY assisted eighty-eight people with their immigration questions.  ISACC staff and volunteers processed the community members and provided translation assistance.  Thanks to all the volunteers who helped to make this Law Day a success, and thanks to Peter Cheng, Executive Director of ISACC, for helping to spread the word about the event and working with AABANY to organize it.  Congratulations to Immigration and Nationality Law Committee co-chairs, Tsui Yee and Rio Guerrero on a successful Law Day at ISACC.  To learn more about the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee, send e-mail to or


September 18, 2010AABANY hosted its first Fall Conference on Saturday, September 18.

We had more than 150 people in attendance over the course of the day.  We offered eleven CLE programs and each one was well attended, with at least twenty-five participants in each.  The CLE programs were presented by AABANY various committees including our Communications Committee, Corporate Counsel Committee, Corporate Law Committee, Government and Public Sector Committee, Immigration and Nationality Law Committee, Litigation Committee, Professional Development Committee, Prosecutor’s Committee, Real Estate Committee, Women’s Committee and Young Lawyers Committee.  Our program on Rainmaking and Business Development had more than fifty attendees.  For all programs, we were privileged to have excellent speakers from a wide spectrum of legal practice areas, including partners and in-house counsel from major law firms and corporations.  State Assembly Member Grace Meng and City Council Member Margaret Chin spoke on the panel for APAs Who Want to Run for Elected Office.


During the luncheon, Anika Khan, an economist at Wells Fargo, gave an informative and topical presentation on the economic outlook for the U.S. economy.  Former AABANY President Hon. Denny Chin then addressed the audience with a PowerPoint presentation that reviewed the process by which he became the first Asian American appellate judge in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  Judge Chin’s presentation also reviewed some of his high-profile cases, including the Bernard Madoff case.  Judge Chin also talked about the trial re-enactments that he has put on during the last few years with AABANY and gave a preview of the upcoming Tokyo Rose trial re-enactment.  Finally, Judge Chin shared some of his family history, tracing his immigrant roots which paralleled the experience of so many Chinese-American families who came seeking a better life in America.  The room in which the luncheon was held had a limit of 100 and overflow rooms were set up so that those attendees could watch the presentations through a video link.


After a full day, many of the attendees stayed for the cocktail reception, giving everyone an opportunity to unwind, mingle, connect and re-connect with colleagues and members of the legal community in New York.  During the reception, Steve Choi, Executive Director of MinKwon Center, and Zena Kim, a staff attorney at MinKwon Center, addressed the attendees to talk about the AABANY-MinKwon partnership and the mission and work of MinKwon.


We have many people to thank for the successful conclusion of our first Fall Conference:


Thanks to all the program organizers and chairs of AABANY's committees who worked tirelessly to produce some excellent panels.


Thanks to the Fall Conference Planning Committee for coordinating, planning and organizing the Fall Conference.


Thanks to the panelists and speakers who shared their wisdom, knowledge and insights with our conference attendees.


Thanks to Anika Khan from Wells Fargo for presenting the economic outlook at the luncheon.


Thanks to former AABANY President Hon. Denny Chin for speaking at the luncheon.


We thank all the volunteers who helped to make the day go smoothly, processing the attendees at registration, checking people in and out of each program and then giving out CLE certificates at the end of the day.


We especially thank Akin Gump for hosting the Fall Conference at their beautiful and modern New York office.


We are very grateful to Wells Fargo for sponsoring the luncheon at the Fall Conference.


We hope everyone who came found the Fall Conference useful and enjoyable.  If you have any feedback that you would like to share about the event, please send your comments to


August 25, 2010AABANY held its End of Summer Celebration at Metro 53 in midtown Manhattan on August 25.  We saw many familiar faces and quite a few new ones, with attendees representing a wide cross-section of the APA legal community.  We had private practitioners, in-house lawyers, prosecutors, government lawyers, judges and law students.  We were honored to be joined by Hon. Doris Ling Cohan, Hon. James D'Auguste and Hon. Robert Reed.  We were pleased to see some members of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, including President-elect Nadine Fontaine.  At the event, we distributed the brochures for the upcoming Fall Conference.  Hard to believe that summer 2010 is nearly over.  It was a good way to bid this summer a fond farewell, and we hope everyone had a good time.


August 6, 2010AABANY, together with the Diversity Outreach Committee of the New York County District Attorney's Office and the National Black Prosecutors Association, co-sponsored a City Wide Summer Intern Diversity Reception on the Rooftop of the Empire Hotel on New York's west side.  A healthy contingent of Asian American law students and summer interns were in attendance, including many from Fordham Law School (which coincidentally was about a block away from the venue).  The event provided a good opportunity to network with prosecutors and other practicing attorneys in a lively outdoor setting overlooking Lincoln Center.  Thanks to everyone who joined AABANY at the event.


July 28, 2010 – Clifford Chance held its annual Asian Heritage Event at the Museum of Chinese in America on Wednesday, July 28, and among the many attendees from AABANY were Judge Gil Hong, Irene Chiu, and Rio Guerrero and Tsui Yee, the co-chairs of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee.  In addition to getting to know the attorneys from Clifford Chance and other firms, the attendees could take part in guided tours of the museum.  Thanks to Clifford Chance for inviting AABANY to this terrific event.


July 27, 2010AABANY’s Women’s Committee held a successful Spa and Finance Event on Tuesday, July 27.  The attendees enjoyed the services of the Queen Jane Spa and received expert financial advice from a financial advisor.


July 27, 2010AABANY’s Student Outreach Committee conducted its Interview Skills Workshop at New York Law School on Thursday, July 27.  Twenty-four students from various law schools, including law schools in Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, California and Washington, DC, participated.  Thirteen attorneys volunteered their time to engage in mock interviews with the students.  Each student was able to get two or three interviews to sharpen his or her technique and get feedback from the attorney interviewers.  Special thanks go to Chia Kang, Sung-Hee Suh, Stephen Kim, Don Nguyen and Sam Yee who kindly donated their time to serve on the panel before the mock interview sessions.  Congratulations to Student Outreach Committee co-chairs Ben Chan and Will Ng for organizing another successful Interview Skills Workshop.


July 21, 2010AABANY’s Real Estate Committee presented a CLE entitled “Green Light Go - Clearing the Bank and Title Issues of a Real Estate Transaction” on July 21.  The CLE took place at Mudan Banquet Hall at Queens Crossing in Flushing.  It was well-attended, drawing many practitioners from Queens.  Margaret Ling, Chair of the Real Estate Committee, not only organized the event, she did double duty as one of the speakers on the panel, together with Richard H. Lee.  Thanks also go to Wells Fargo for being a major sponsor and making the delicious dinner buffet possible.


July 13, 2010AABANY, together with AALFNY, held its annual Summer Reception at the offices of Edwards Angell in New York on July 13.  A large group of Asian American trailblazers, attorneys, judges, law students and pre-law students were in attendance.  Former AABANY President, Sylvia Chin, Partner at White & Case, addressed the audience before the presentation of awards.  AALFNY’s Community Service Scholarship Awards were presented to John Ting of CUNY Law School and Trinh Tran of Hofstra Law School.  Don Liu, General Counsel of Xerox, presented the awards to this year's participants in the Joint Minority Bar Judicial Internship Program.  Congratulations to all the awards recipients!


July 1, 2010AABANY’s Prosecutors Committee held its second anniversary celebration in the New York State Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street.  The Rotunda was filled to capacity and played host to prosecutors from all across New York City and Long Island.  The District Attorney of New York, Cyrus Vance, was present, along with the District Attorney of Bronx County, Robert Johnson, the District Attorney of Queens County, Richard Brown, the District Attorney of Richmond County, Daniel Donovan, the District Attorney of Nassau County, Kathleen Rice, and New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Bridget Brennan.  The honoree was Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  Congratulations to the Prosecutors Committee on a highly successful event.


July 2010 – Congratulations to former AABANY Board member John Bajit, the Court Attorney for Hon. Lucy Billings, Supreme Court, New York County, who was elected in June as the President of the Association of Small Claims Arbitrators, an organization with 500 members and nearly 2000 volunteer attorneys who serve as Arbitrators in New York's Small Claims Court.  The Association holds training sessions for attorneys who wish to learn how to arbitrate cases in Small Claims Court, to help that court relieve its congested docket of  thousands of cases each year.  John has been an active AABANY member, having served as a Director on the Board and as a co-chair of the Litigation Committee.  Please join us in congratulating John on this major honor and achievement.


July 2010AABANY is the community sponsor for a film in the Asian American International Film Festival entitled “9500 Liberty,” a documentary about a local law in Virginia that allows police to question anyone that they have “probable cause” to believe to be illegal immigrants.