AALDEF Theater Party – “Soft Power”

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is excited to host its next theater party on Saturday, October 5, 2019.

Join AALDEF for a performance of “Soft Power,” the new musical by playwright David Henry Hwang, a 1987 AALDEF Justice in Action Award recipient, at the Public Theatre.

For AALDEF ticket holders, David will do a post-show talkback after the performance.

Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. SOFT POWER is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all – why do we love democracy? And should we?” – Public Theatre

“Soft Power is based on a brilliant concept from which intelligent insights into race and culture naturally spring.” – The Hollywood Reporter

Join AALDEF for a special evening at the theater! Tickets are $90 and include the performance and post-show talkback. Call 212-966-5932 Ext. 208 to purchase your tickets today.

AABANY Pro Bono Clinic Leaders Meet Taipei Commissioner of Law

On Tuesday, September 3, 2019, AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Chair Karen Kithan Yau and Vice-Chair Kwok Ng had an opportunity to meet with the Commissioner of Law from Taipei City, Hsiu-Hui Yuan, and her staff in a meeting arranged by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of NY Inc., a  long-time community partner for the Monthly Pro Bono Legal Advice and Referral Clinic in Manhattan at Confucius Plaza. Commissioner Yuan and her team had expressed interest in learning from the AABANY Pro Bono Clinic’s experience to best meet the legal needs of the ordinary citizen. In addition to meeting with AABANY, Commissioner Yuan and her team will also met with Pro Bono Net, New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), and Office of Legal Policy for US Department of Justice.

Commissioner Yuan and her staff members asked Karen and Kwok, members of the Clinic’s leadership team, about the Clinic’s history, challenges, and successes in serving limited English proficient, low-income community members. The discussion was substantive and far-reaching, ranging from overcoming barriers to justice that community members experienced, to legal policies and mechanisms to encourage positive use of the law, effective distribution of legal resources, use of mediation to protect consumers, and ways to encourage more volunteerism among extraordinarily busy lawyers.

AABANY thanks the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of NY and Commissioner of Law Yuan of Taipei City for this wonderful opportunity to exchange information and experience. To read about the meeting in the World Journal, click here (in Chinese). To learn more about AABANY’s Pro Bono Clinic, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/648

New CJA Panel Applications Being Accepted

The Criminal Justice Act Committee of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York is soliciting applications from highly qualified and experienced criminal defense attorneys for membership on the CJA Panel for the District.

Applications will be accepted from attorneys who are available for case assignments in either the Brooklyn or Central Islip Courthouses, or both. The Committee is also seeking applications from practitioners whose experience is uniquely suited to handling petitions for post-conviction relief.

Assignments to the Panel will be for a three-year period, beginning January 1, 2020.

Applications are available at the Clerk’s Offices at the Courthouses in Brooklyn and Central Islip. The form of the application has also been posted at the Court’s website at:


Your application must be received by October 11, 2019. Please mail it to:

Douglas C. Palmer, Clerk of Court
United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
225 Cadman Plaza
East Brooklyn, NY 11201

Or submit via E-Mail at: clerk-of-court@nyed.uscourts.gov

2019-20 NAPABA Board of Governors Election Results

NAPABA congratulates the newly-elected officers of the NAPABA Board of Governors for the 2019-20 board year. They will be sworn into office at the Welcome Reception on Thursday, Nov. 8 during the 2019 NAPABA Convention in Austin, TX.

The following individuals were elected by the NAPABA membership.

President-Elect | A.B. Cruz III

Vice President for Finance and Development | Bruce L. Ishimatsu

Vice President for Membership | Bridgett Y. Ahn

Vice President for Programs and Operations | Charles H. Jung

Vice President for Communications | Avanti Bakane

Treasurer | Gary Zhao

Secretary | Jeffrey Javinar

Thank you to our September Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

September’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic, held on Wednesday, September 11 at 33 Bowery Street in Confucius Plaza, brought out 31 volunteers who volunteered their time to help 23 clients.

We are asking every member to actively support AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic by making donations that are vital to its continuing operation. In a few short years, with the tireless and generous assistance of our volunteers, we have helped hundreds of low-income clients with free legal advice and referrals to high-quality, culturally sensitive, and linguistically competent legal services. Together we have helped expand access to justice for underserved Asian American New Yorkers.

If you know family members, friends, or businesses, such as your firm, who would like to support the Clinic, please help us connect with them by contacting Karen Yau at karen.yau@aabany.org.

Or please urge them to make a donation directly. They can visit the website of Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY), AABANY’s 501(c)(3) affiliate: https://www.asianamericanlawfund.org/donate/

AALFNY is accepting charitable donations on the Clinic’s behalf and can issue any donor a tax receipt. Any contribution, large or small, would help. Please be sure to indicate in the memo field that the donation is intended for the Pro Bono Clinic.

Thank you to all of the September Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!


Yvetta Scott
Julia Elhai
Breanna Andree-Couturier
Kelly Diep
Anna Jinhua Wang
Mayumi Cindy Iijima
Bart Wu
Samantha Sumilang
Shengyang (John) Wu
Annie Tsao
Beatrice Leong
Kevin Hsi
Jonathan Li
Christopher Chin
Karen Lin
Jonathan Hernandez
Francis Chin


Henry Man
Vivian Chen
Teresa Wai Yee Yeung
Alicia Chen
Weixi He
Xiaoxiao Pan
Ruth Poon

Special thanks to Coordinator Johnny Thach, Coordinator Jenny Lam, Technology Coordinator Roger Chen, Vice Chair Kwok Kei Ng, and Vice Chair Zhixian Liu for coordinating the clinic, and the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Co-Chairs Pauline Yeung-Ha, Karen Kithan Yau, Asako Aiba, and Judy Lee for their leadership. AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic occurs every second Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. The next clinic will take place on October 9, 2019. If you are interested in volunteering at future Pro Bono Clinics, please contact Asako Aiba at asako.aiba@aabany.org.

Law Student Mixer at District Social

AABANY’s Student Outreach Committee was pleased to host the Annual Law Student Mixer at District Social in midtown Manhattan on Thursday, September 6, 2019. Local APALSA leaders, law students, and AABANY members gathered to mingle and foster new connections. Following in the footsteps of last year’s Law Student Mixer, the entire private cellar of the venue was specifically reserved for this event. Despite the weather, there were 60 attendees present, filling out the venue space. Attendees were treated to an assortment of delicious gastropub foods including flatbreads, sliders, and parmesan fries.

The event was co-sponsored by AABANY’s Asia Practice, Membership, Student Outreach and Young Lawyers Committees. The committees were successful in introducing law students to AABANY at what was the first AABANY event for many of them.

Thank you to the co-chairs of the four committees for co-hosting this successful event. If you are not already a member, we hope your attendance brings you closer to becoming a member or renewing your membership, and thank you to all of the members who came out. We encourage everyone to attend the next AABANY mixer on October 30.

NAPABA Connects Law Firm One-on-One Meetings: Application Deadline Extended until Monday, Sept 9

Overview Become a Convention sponsor to take part in this year’s NAPABA Connects Program! NAPABA Connects is an opportunity for law firm Convention sponsors at the solo and small firm ($3,000) level and silver ($10,000) or higher level to foster relationships with in-house counsel (IHC). All participants are invited to exclusive touch points intended to provide Connects participants with exclusive networking opportunities in an informal social setting during the Convention. Solo and small firm sponsors and gold or higher level sponsors may participate in formal one-on-one meetings to discuss potential work opportunities. All program participants must be registered and attending the NAPABA Convention.    

Law Firm One-on-One Meeting Application | Deadline: Monday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. ET
Solo and small firm and gold or higher level sponsors are invited to submit an application for one-on-one meetings with in-house counsel participants at NAPABA Convention.

Solo and small firm and gold sponsors will have access to a maximum of two meetings. Platinum and higher level sponsors will have access to unlimited meetings. 

To submit an application by Sept. 9, 5 p.m. ET, email Meetings Manager Pang Moua at pmoua@napaba.org

Not a sponsor yet? Click here to learn more about partnering with us!

Touch Points
Solo and small firm and silver or higher level sponsors are invited to participate in the exclusive touch points below, taking place at the 2019 NAPABA Convention:

  • Friday VIP Sponsor Breakfast | 8-9 am
  • Saturday NAPABA Connects Reception | 5-6 pm

NAPABA Applauds the Pending Nomination of Shireen Matthews to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

For Immediate Release
August 29, 2019
For More Information, Contact:
Navdeep Singh, Policy Director
202-775-9555; nsingh@napaba.org

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the announcement that President Trump intends to nominate Shireen Matthews to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. If confirmed, Matthews will be the first Asian Pacific American woman and first Indian American to serve as an Article III federal judge in the Southern District.

Matthews is currently a partner at Jones Day. A former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, she served as the Criminal Health Care Fraud Coordinator. Her work has been recognized by the Federal Bar Association, the U.S. Attorney, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Social Security Administration, and the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services. She has extensive trial experience, and she has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Outside of the courtroom, Matthews has demonstrated a commitment to the profession and the community. She recently served as a lawyer representative for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and provides pro bono legal assistance to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. She is an advocate for diversity within the profession, serving on Jones Day’s Diversity, Inclusion and Advancement Committee, as the Hiring Partner for Jones Day’s San Diego office, and on the board of the South Asian Bar Association of San Diego, a NAPABA affiliate.

She clerked for Judge Irma E. Gonzalez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. She is a graduate of Georgetown University (magna cum laude) and the Duke University School of Law (cum laude).

“Shireen Matthews is experienced attorney, both in the public and private sectors. She will be a well-qualified addition to the bench in the Southern District of California,” said NAPABA President Daniel Sakaguchi. “Shireen is a past president of the San Diego chapter of the South Asian Bar Association, a local affiliate of NAPABA. She has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving her community and promoting diversity in the legal profession. NAPABA applauds the announcement of her pending nomination and urges the Senate to quickly confirm her to the court.”

NAPABA commends President Trump for announcing his intent to nominate Shireen Matthews. NAPABA extends its gratitude to Senators Feinstein and Harris for recommending her to the White House.


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.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

IP Committee Dinner at Mama Fina’s House of Filipino Sisig

On August 28, 2019, IP Committee members gathered for a Filipino dinner at Mama Fina’s House of Filipino Sisig. 

A mix of old and new members attended.  Some were just learning about IP, while others had years of experience in the industry.  We dined on delicious dishes such as pork sisig, crispy pata, and kare-kare as we networked.  

We also previewed the IP Committee’s upcoming NAPABA Northeast Regional/AABANY Fall Conference panel: Far From Home: Cultural and Legal Considerations When Bringing Your Brand To New Territories.   

To learn more about the IP Committee and to get involved, please go to https://www.aabany.org/page/145

Congratulations to the Network of Bar Leaders

AABANY extends its congratulations to the Officers and Executive Council of the Network of Bar Leaders. They were installed on August 20, at the New York County Lawyers Association, in a ceremony officiated by Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, Hon. Paul G. Feinman. AABANY is a proud long-standing member of the Network of Bar Leaders.

AABANY’s own Board Officer, Margaret Ling, began the evening by welcoming everyone to NYCLA. Immediate Past President of the Network of Bar Leaders, Bridgette Y. Ahn (also a member of AABANY) introduced Judge Feinman. Judge Feinman swore in all the Executive Council members, including Margaret and Bridgette, followed by the Officers, and after them, Judge Feinman swore in Meredith Miller as President.

A reception followed the installation, at which all attendees got to congratulate Meredith and the newly installed Officers and Executive Council members. Attendees also had the opportunity to take photos with them and enjoyed networking over delicious Chinese food as well as wine and refreshments. Thanks to Margaret for all her hard work planning and organizing the reception.

For some great photos from the event, check out the album here.