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Recent Events 1st Quarter 2014

Quarterly Report for February 2014 through April 2014

AABANY's first quarter, covering the months from February through April has proven to be an exciting and productive time period for AABANY, filled with a slew of festive events and important milestones, including the 25th Anniversary Annual Dinner and addition of a full-time staff member. We recognize the following updates to the AABANY family:

  • Headed by Naf Kwun, the Newsletter committee produced the Banquet Edition of The Advocate, AABANY’s quarterly publication. To read this issue of the Advocate, featuring Margaret Fun (Director of AALDEF), click here.
  • We were pleased to announce the creation of a LGBT Committee, chaired by Glenn Magpantay, which is AABANY’s professional network for LGBT individuals and allies in the Asian Pacific American legal community. 
  • Margaret Ling, who already actively serves as AABANY’s Real Estate Committee Co-Chair, has been re-appointed on AABANY’s Board of Directors for a term of two years. Christina Lee, of AIG Property Casualty, has been newly appointed onto AABANY’s Board of Directors for a one-year term.
  • We welcomed Simone Nguyen to the AABANY family, in the newly formed full-time Program Associate position.

AABANY recognizes and congratulates the many members of its community, achieving great success and garnishing many awards across different fields of law. We congratulate these members and many more:

  • Hon. Justice Doris Ling-Cohan, a member of AABANY’s first Board elected in 1991, for her appointment to the Appellate Term of the First Department. Justice Ling-Cohan is the first Asian Pacific American woman to serve on an appellate panel in New York State.
  • Hon. Danny Chun, for his appointment by Chief Administrative Judge Gail Prudenti to the position of Deputy Administrative Judge for Criminal Matters in Kings County.
  • Sapna Palla, Women’s Committee Co-Chair, for her joining Wiggins and Dana as Partner in the Intellectual Practice Group in the firm’s New York Office.
  • Karen Lim, AABANY Director and founding co-chair of the Intellectual Property Committee, for being named a Partner at Fross Zelnick.
  • Rio Guerrero, founding Chair of AABANY’s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee, on recently being appointed to serve as a Co-Chair of the NAPABA Immigration Committee. Also, as a 1998 Brooklyn Law School alumnus, Rio was invited as a guest speaker for the April 4th APALSA 25th Annual Dinner at Brooklyn Law School.
  • Eve Guillergan was among six distinguished women honored Saturday, April 5th, at New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer’s Annual Open House Celebrating Women’s History Month.
  • Margaret Ling, for her appointment as Co-Chair of the Asia Practice Committee on the New York County Lawyers’ Association.
For a running status update about AABANY members "In the News" for 2014, click here. To read AABANY's full quarterly report in PDF, click here. Below are just some of the highlights from our busy first quarter. 



Real Estate Committee & AREAA Lunar New Year Event
Membership Happy Hour
Mentor-Mentee Happy Hour
Annual Dinner


Citizen & Immigration Clinic in Manhattan Chinatown
On the Shoulders of Giants: New Horizons for Asian Americans in Law and Politics
Co-Sponsored: "Achieving Diversity in the ADR Field: Overcoming Old Challenges and Seeking New Opportunities”
Your Virtual Law Firm: Mobile Apps to Improve Your Practice CLE
Co-Sponsored: “The NYC’s Department of Education’s Specialized High Schools Admissions Test: Perspectives from the Asian American Community”


Co-Sponsored: 14th Annual Korematsu Lecture Featuring Prof. Kenji Yoshino
1,000 Member Celebration
New York Cares Day: Community Outreach by Young Lawyers Committee
Labor & Employment Law Committee Happy Hour
How to Become a State Court Judge – from an APA Perspective
New York State’s Hate Crimes Statute: A Panel Discussion on its Application and Impact since 2000


On February 6, the AABANY Real Estate Committee co-partnered with Asian Real Estate Association of America - New York East Chapter to present a Lunar New Year/Year of the Horse Dinner. The Dinner took place at Mudan Banquet Hall in Flushing, New York and was attended by over 175 real estate attorneys, bankers, and realtors. AABANY was well represented by Francis Chin, a Director on AABANY’s Board and Chair of the Professional Development Committee, and Margaret Ling, Co-Chair of the AABANY Real Estate Committee. Margaret Ling was Mistress of Ceremonies and the celebration even included a Lion Dance by the Chinatown Community Young Lions.

Membership Happy Hour

The AABANY Membership Committee, headed by Irene Tan, hosted a Membership Happy Hour on February 12th at 121 Fulton Street in the Financial District. This Happy Hour was instrumental in increasing membership; in one week, the active paid member count jumped from 897 to 955, which led to achieving the membership goal of 1,000 paid members by the Annual Dinner. 

Mentor-Mentee Happy Hour

As part of the mentor initiative, AABANY hosted a Mentor-Mentee Happy Hour for mentors and mentees at Paulaner Brauhaus. As part of the festivities, mentors and mentees caught up with one another and met fellow AABANY members.

On its 25th Anniversary Annual Dinner, celebrated February 26, AABANY celebrated past and present accomplishments while looking forward to the next quarter-century. Over 850 attendees gathered at Cipriani Wall Street, a new record to parallel AABANY’s accomplishment of over 1,000 paid members. With about 30 honorees from past annual dinners in attendance, the AABANY community offered warm congratulations to this year’s recipients: AALDEF, recipient of the Public Advocacy Award; Randal Milch, GC of Verizon, recipient of the Corporate Counsel Leadership Award; and Vernon Jordan, recipient of the I4 (Icon, Ideals, Impact, Inspiration) Leadership Award. Julie Kwon, our Mentor-Mentee coordinator, won the AABANY MVP award at this year’s Annual Dinner. Mike Huang, in his Outgoing President’s Speech, publicly announced the Don Liu scholarship to award $15,000 to Asian Pacific American law students. AABANY was pleased to be joined by federal and state court judges, bar association leaders, representatives of elected officials and dignitaries, attorneys from large and small firms, corporate law departments, prosecutors’ offices, and government agencies, and law students. MSNBC reporter Richard Lui presided over the proceedings as MC. For more 2014 Annual Dinner highlights and photographs, click here.


Citizen & Immigration Clinic in Manhattan Chinatown

In conjunction with the MinKwon Center and Open Hands Legal Services, AABANY members provided free legal assistance in immigration matters in Manhattan Chinatown. A total of 26 walk-in and by-appointment members of the community were serviced. 

At the third annual Columbia Asian Pacific American Law Students Association Conference on March 28, “On the Shoulders of Giants: New Horizons for Asian Americans in Law and Politics,” held on March 8th, AABANY Immediate Past President Mike Huang, President Clara Ohr, and Board Member Karen Lim, joined Helen Wan (author, The Partner Track) and Vivia Chen (blogger, The Careerist) on a panel entitled "Navigating the Career Ladder: Professional Development Strategies for Asian American Attorneys.” The event focused on Immigration Reform, Minority Identity, and Professional Development. The keynote speaker was former New York City Comptroller John Liu. 

On March 25, AABANY co-sponsored the New York State Bar Association’s "Achieving Diversity in the ADR Field: Overcoming Old Challenges and Seeking New Opportunities." A panel of renowned ADR providers, scholars, and administrators discussed their practices for recruiting and selecting neutrals, the efforts they have undertaken to diversify their rosters of neutrals, and their efforts to further expose the users of their ADR services to racially and ethnically diverse panels of arbitrators and mediators. Another panel, moderated by AABANY member Theo Cheng, and comprising distinguished ADR neutrals, provided perspectives on how to navigate a successful career as a neutral; recommended specific networking, marketing, and promotional activities; discussed how best to leverage diversity issues; and provided practical tips for increasing the opportunities for being selected as a neutral. Finally, there was a discussion about strategies for addressing cross-cultural issues in dispute resolution, followed by a networking reception. The CLE offered 2.5 credits.

Your Virtual Law Firm: Mobile Apps to Improve Your Practice CLE

Organized by the Solo & Small Firm Practice Committee and the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee, AABANY ran a fun and interactive panel on March 26 on apps to run a legal practice from a Tablet or smartphone, including apps for document review, note-taking, depositions, trial presentations, legal research, case management, time tracking, HR, and referral marketing, among others. Presenters included John Ware Upton, Pauline Yeung-Ha (Co-Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee), Tsui Yee (Co-Chair of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee), and Vikram Rajan. This CLE was free for AABANY members.

The NYC’s Department of Education’s Specialized High Schools Admissions Test: Perspectives from the Asian American Community

On March 30, along with the Coalition for Asian American Children & Families, AABANY co-sponsored “An Endangered Species – The NYC Department of Education’s Specialized High Schools Admissions Test: Perspectives from the Asian American Community,” organized by AABANY members Chris Kwok and Nelson Mar. At the Flushing Library, members of the Asian American and Specialized High Schools (SHS) community, including education activists, SHS alum, parents, and students, met to address the NAACP complaint leveled against the single test criteria for admission to the NYC high-performing Specialized High Schools, backed by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. This discussion brought together the community by giving voice to all sides of the argument and illuminating the depth of the issue in New York public schools.



14th Annual Korematsu Lecture Featuring Prof. Kenji Yoshino 

In his “Uncovering Talent: The Case of Asian Americans,” part of the 14th Annual Korematsu Lecture Series held on April 1, presented by the NYU Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law Kenji Yoshino spoke about the phenomenon of ‘covering,’ discussed at length in his first book, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights. The Korematsu Lecture Series, since 2000, has recognized Asian Americans whose work challenges legal boundaries and serves as an inspiration to all people of color. AABANY has been featured as one of the guests of this lecture series and continues to support all partners involved in making the education and access to Asian American history possible.

In celebration of reaching our goal of 1,000 paying members by the time of AABANY's Annual Dinner, the Membership Committee headed by Irene Tan hosted a 1,000 Members Happy Hour at People Kitchen & Lounge on April 10, attended by new members and veterans alike. AABANY raffled Yankee tickets, symphony tickets, Beats headphones, and much more to new members.

New York Cares Day: Community Outreach by Young Lawyers Committee

On April 12, AABANY’s Young Lawyer Committee teamed up with New York Cares on New York Cares Day to clean up invasive species in New York’s beloved Van Cortlandt Park. Members Vanessa Fang, Beatrice Bong, Jay Min, Gracie Zhou, and fearless leader Gabe Arce-Yee cleared away invasive Oriental Bittersweet, helping to restore the natural ecosystem of native plant species. After a grueling day battling poison ivy and thorns with shovels and loppers, the YLC planted its very own sapling named Yang Jr., after AABANY’s own Executive Director.

One of AABANY's newest committees, the Labor and Employment Law Committee, held a Labor & Employment Law Happy Hour, taking place at Pranna on April 15. The networking event was open to both attorneys and professionals working in the labor and employment field, those who may be interested in learning more about this practice area, and law students thinking about working in the field. The event included a diverse mix of private and public sector practitioners.

How to Become a State Court Judge, from the APA Perspective

On Tuesday, April 29, AAJANY (Asian American Judges Association of New York) held a panel on “How to Become a State Court Judge, from the APA Perspective.” Hon. Doris Ling Cohan served as moderator. On the panel were the Hon. Lillian Wan, Hon. Gilbert Hong and Hon. John Lansden. All the judges present spoke about their individual paths to the judiciary and the challenges encountered along the way. Judge Ling Cohan posed questions to the panelists about the process of becoming a judge and how those who aspire to become judges can navigate their careers to reach their goal. Following the discussion, the panel took questions from the attendees. After the formal program concluded, everyone was invited to stay for a reception to network and to ask questions directly to the panelists. 

On Tuesday, April 29, 2014, AABANY’s Prosecutors Committee presented “NYS’ Hate Crimes Statute: A Panel Discussion on Its Application & Impact Since 2000,” a CLE hosted at the King’s County District Attorney’s Office. ADA James Lin moderated a panel exchanging war stories and philosophical notions about animus, victimization, bigotry, hate, and the law. Panelists included Professor Bennet Capers (Brooklyn Law School, Former AUSA, Southern District of New York), Michael Brovner (Supervising DA, Gang Violence and Hate Crimes Bureau, Queen’s County District Attorney’s Office), Charles M. Guria (Chief, Civil Rights Bureau, Kings County District Attorney’s Office), and Mark A. Palladino (Deputy Chief, Investigations Bureau, Richmond County District Attorney’s Office). The event was attended by over 40 people and 1 CLE Credit in Areas of Professional Practice was granted. 



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