Press Releases

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  • 16 Jan 2018 5:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    January 17, 2018 

    San Francisco, CA - The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) congratulates Alex G. Tse on being named Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of California. Mr. Tse became the Acting United States Attorney on January 7, 2018, upon the resignation of Brian Stretch, in accordance with the Vacancy Reform Act.

    Mr. Tse, who is an AABA member, served as the First Assistant United States Attorney since February 2016. Prior to that position, he served as the Chief of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office from 2012 to 2015.  

    Mr. Tse began his career at two large law firms based in San Francisco. In 1994, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office as an AUSA in the Civil Division. In 2001, he was promoted to Deputy Civil Division Chief. Between 2006 and 2012, Mr. Tse worked at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. Mr. Tse is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Hastings College of the Law.

    “AABA congratulates Alex Tse for his new role as Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California,” said Miriam Kim, Co-President of AABA. “As a veteran federal prosecutor, Mr. Tse has provided valuable support to AABA’s efforts to diversify the federal bar. We congratulate him on this opportunity to lead the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

  • 05 Jan 2018 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    January 5, 2018

    San Francisco, CA - The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) congratulates Danny Y. Chou on his recent appointment to the San Mateo Superior Court.  Chou serves on AABA’s Public Law Leadership Advisory Council and was a co-chair of the AABA Judiciary Committee from 2013-2016.  He will be the second Asian American judge to serve on the bench in San Mateo County.


    Since 2012, Chou has been Assistant County Counsel for Santa Clara, supervising the Health and Hospital, Impact Litigation and Social Justice and Probate teams.  Prior to this, he served as the Chief of Complex and Special Litigation at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office from 2008 to 2012, where he was Chief of Appellate Litigation from 2006 to 2008. 

    Chou has deep experience working for the judiciary.  He was a supervising staff attorney and judicial staff attorney at the California Supreme Court from 2005 to 2006 and 1999-2004, respectively, a staff attorney at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1989 to 1999, and a law clerk for the Honorable Stanley A. Weigel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California from 1994 to 1995.  Chou was a litigation associate at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk and Rabkin from 1995 to 1998.  Chou earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University.   

    "AABA applauds Governor Brown for appointing Danny Chou to the San Mateo Superior Court,” said Miriam Kim, Co-President of AABA.  “Chou is highly regarded by others for his intellect, professionalism, and judgment, and he will be an excellent addition to the bench.”
  • 28 Nov 2017 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    November 28, 2017

    The Bay Area Asian American General Counsel (BAAAGC), the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Silicon Valley (APABA-SV) are hosting a celebratory event recognizing the region’s more than 100 Asian American general counsel. A reception will be held on November 29, 2017 in Palo Alto, California, where California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin H. Liu will be the keynote speaker.

    "When we founded BAAAGC six years ago, there were about thirty Asian American general counsel in the Bay Area,” said Andrew Kim, one of the three co-founders of BAAAGC and senior vice president and general counsel for NETGEAR. “Reaching the milestone of a hundred general counsel is a significant achievement, but there’s still a lot more work to be done to diversify the top echelons of the profession.”

    The event will also raise awareness that Asian Americans continue to be significantly underrepresented in the upper levels of the legal profession, as revealed by a recent report entitled A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law (Portrait Project), which was coauthored by Justice Liu and funded by Yale Law School and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).  Asian Americans have been the fastest-growing minority group in the legal profession for the past thirty years, but they continue to be significantly underrepresented in the leadership ranks of law firms, government and academia.

    “The Portrait Project report is incredibly eye-opening and confirms what we have been feeling,” said John W. Kuo, co-founder of BAAAGC and senior vice president and general counsel for Varian Medical Systems.  “This phenomenon is also present in the corporate world, as evidenced by the fact that only a small percentage of Fortune 500/1000 companies have Asian American General Counsel/Chief Legal Officers at the helm of their legal functions.”

    Two years ago, NAPABA, which represents the interests of over 50,000 lawyers, launched an initiative to land at least 20 Asian American general counsel in Fortune 500 companies by 2020. “NAPABA is pushing to diversify corporate legal departments,” said Pankit Doshi, President of NAPABA and a partner at DLA Piper. “The fact that we have a hundred Asian American general counsel in the highly competitive Bay Area market reaffirms that there are highly qualified Asian American candidates who should be considered for general counsel positions at Fortune 500 companies across the country.”

    “While we are proud to have over a hundred Asian American general counsel in the Bay Area, the Portrait Project findings remind us that we have to help more lawyers advance to the highest ranks,” said Julian Ong, co-founder of BAAAGC and vice president and general counsel for NIO U.S., a start-up developing a next-generation autonomous electric vehicle platform.

    To help address the issue, BAAAGC recently launched a general counsel fellowship program in partnership with AABA. 

    “We congratulate the over a hundred general counsel on this incredible milestone,” said Miriam Kim, President of AABA and a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson. “AABA looks forward to continuing to work with BAAAGC to empower the next generation of Asian American general counsel.”

    “These general counsel reflect the best of our profession,” said Hogene Choi, President of APABA-SV and a partner at Baker Botts. “We congratulate them on reaching this milestone and thank them for their leadership.” 

    Premier sponsors of the event include: Alston & Bird; Baker Botts; Boies Schiller Flexner; Cooley; Covington & Burling; DLA Piper; McDermott, Will & Emery; Morrison & Foerster; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Ropes & Gray; Quinn Emanuel; and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. 

    For further information on the Celebration of 100 Bay Area Asian American General Counsel event, visit the event web page.

  • 17 Oct 2017 8:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    October 12, 2017

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) is pleased to announce that it has been selected as the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) 2017 Affiliate of the Year. The Affiliate of the Year Award recognizes outstanding affiliates for their best practices and accomplishments in their local communities.  The award will be presented to AABA at the 29th Anniversary Gala during the 2017 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C. on November 4, 2017.

    AABA’s selection as NAPABA’s Affiliate of the Year reflects the culmination of its 41-year legacy of standing up for justice.  Since its inception in 1976, AABA has stood up for justice by coming together as a community and mobilizing its members to defend the civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), serve the community, and advance to higher positions of influence in the legal profession.  AABA’s ongoing work would not be possible without its founders, leaders, 15 committees, sponsors, and over 1,200 members. 

    “AABA is honored to be selected as NAPABA’s Affiliate of the Year,” said Miriam Kim, President of AABA.  “We extend a heartfelt thank you to our members and community partners for their continued involvement and support in carrying on AABA’s legacy of civil rights, community service, and career advancement.”

    For more information, read the NAPABA press release.

  • 09 Oct 2017 11:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    October 9, 2017

    SAN FRANCISCO – Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (API Legal Outreach) will honor the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) Pro Bono Clinics at the annual API Legal Outreach gala on October 20, 2017 in San Francisco, California.

    The AABA Community Services Committee and API Legal Outreach operate two pro bono legal clinics each month in Oakland and San Francisco with the help of volunteer attorneys and law students. Founded in 2007, the AABA Clinics’ mission is to ensure that low-income Bay Area residents, including mono-lingual immigrants, have access to free legal information and assistance in a number of areas, including immigration, family law, housing and more.

    Since the AABA Pro Bono Clinics were launched in 2007, hundreds of attorneys and law students have provided thousands of clients with legal assistance they otherwise would not have been able to afford. In the last two years alone, the AABA Clinics have served over 375 residents in the community.

    “We are honored to be recognized by API Legal Outreach,” said Miriam Kim, president of AABA. “Through the continued efforts of our Community Services Committee, volunteers, and partners like API Legal Outreach, AABA has been providing meaningful assistance to our community for the last 10 years. It is humbling to be part of this important endeavor.”

    For more information, the media may contact aabacsc@gmail.com. For more information on the API Legal Outreach gala, please click here.

  • 04 Oct 2017 10:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    October 4, 2017

    On September 24, 2017, the president announced a revised Muslim and Refugee Ban that added North Korea, Venezuela, and Muslim-majority Chad to the list of restricted countries included in his March 6, 2017, Executive Order.  Immigrants from the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen continue to be restricted by the updated Ban. The restrictions on travel vary from country to country, ranging from limits on the entry of government officials to bars on immigrant and nonimmigrant admission.

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) has consistently opposed this series of discriminatory executive orders. See AABA’s statements here and here. In addition, AABA joined over 60 Asian Pacific American bar associations nationally in an amicus brief to support the preliminary injunction of President Trump’s March 6, 2017, revised executive order. Read the amicus brief here.

    “The addition of new countries (one third of which are Muslim majority) to the Ban only enhances the unconstitutionality and blatant discrimination inherent in the Ban,” says AABA President-Elect David Tsai. “AABA will continue to oppose such immigration policies that infringe on the liberties and livelihoods of our beloved Muslim American friends and communities.”

    For more information, contact AABA at info@aaba-bay.com.

  • 19 Sep 2017 3:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September 19, 2017

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) joined its affiliated national bar, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), and 61 national and local Asian Pacific American bar associations in filing an amicus brief in the consolidated cases, Trump v. State of Hawai`i and Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, before the U.S. Supreme Court. Together these Asian Pacific American bar associations urged the Court to support the injunction of President Trump’s March 6, 2017, revised executive order barring refugees and individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

    “The significant number of national, local, and state Asian Pacific American bar associations from around the country that joined our brief is a testament to the consensus in the legal community that the order is discriminatory and unlawful. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association stands by its mission and policy resolutions and is proud to have challenged the revised executive order from the initial lawsuit brought in Hawai`i all the way to the Supreme Court,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “We are a diverse legal community that values inclusion. As a community, we have experienced the harms of exclusionary laws and we will continue to oppose this anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant order. We urge the Supreme Court to strike it down.”

    “AABA stands as one with NAPABA and its fellow APA Bar Associations in this amicus brief in the Supreme Court,” said AABA President Miriam Kim.  “The executive order, with its renewed ban on refugees and individuals from six Muslim-majority countries, bears a painful resemblance to historical bans on Asian immigration. We will continue to work to do everything we can to ensure that the order is permanently struck down. We stand with the immigrants, refugees, and families impacted by the order.”  

    The Trump Administration’s appeal arises from two challenges to the revised executive order. Both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a per curiam ruling, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in a 10-3 en banc ruling, maintained respective lower courts’ blocks on the revised executive order. NAPABA filed amicus briefs, endorsed by 43 Asian Pacific American bar associations, including AABA, in both circuits urging them to uphold the lower court injunctions.

    The Supreme Court amicus brief describes decades of statutory exclusion of citizens of Asian and Pacific Island countries under early U.S. immigration law, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — the first federal law to ban a group of people on the basis of their race. The Civil Rights Era marked a dramatic turning point that saw Congress dismantle nationality-based discrimination with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. The brief explains that presidential discretion in the area of immigration and refugee admission, while broad, is limited by statute. NAPABA and AABA argue that President Trump’s revised order, with its anti-Muslim underpinnings, violates the unambiguous prohibition on discrimination established by Congress.

    The Supreme Court will hear the case on October 10, 2017, in Washington D.C.

    Read the amicus brief here.

  • 19 Sep 2017 10:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September 19, 2017

    San Francisco — The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) congratulates Bay Area attorneys Suhi Koizumi, Rita Lin, David Mesa, Vilaska Nguyen, Vineet Shahani, and Christine Start on being selected for the 2017 Best Lawyers Under 40 (BU40) Award by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).  The BU40 Award recognizes talented individuals in the Asian Pacific American legal community who are under the age of 40 and who have achieved prominence and distinction in their respective fields, while demonstrating a strong commitment to the Asian Pacific American community at relatively early stages in their careers.  The BU40 Award will be presented on November 2, 2017, at the NAPABA Convention in Washington D.C.

    "This year's BU40 class represents the best and brightest in our community," said Miriam Kim, President of AABA. "The six Bay Area honorees include a federal prosecutor, two deputy public defenders, an in-house lawyer, and small firm and big firm lawyers. In addition to excelling in their respective areas of law, Suhi, Rita, David, Vilaska, Vineet, and Christine have worked tirelessly to support the Asian Pacific American community."

    Only 18 attorneys across the country were recognized with the BU40 Award this year.  Below is the full list of recipients of the 2017 BU40 Award: 

    • Reena R. Bajowala | Jenner & Block LLP
    • Kelly Chen | Munck Wilson Mandala LLP
    • Betty Chen | Fish & Richadson PC
    • Jung Choi | Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
    • Nicole Ong Colyer | Arizona Department of Administration
    • Dale Ho | American Civil Liberties Union
    • Dong Joo Lee | United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corp
    • Sylvia Kim | Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Orange County
    • Suhi Koizumi | Minami Tamaki LLP
    • John Solano Laney | Stoel Rives LLP
    • Rita Lin | U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California
    • David Mesa | Sedgwick LLP
    • Vilaska Nguyen | Office of the San Francisco Public Defender
    • Vineet Shahani | Nest Labs Inc.
    • Amandeep S. Sidhu | McDermott Will & Emery LLP
    • Christine Mari Palma Start | Solano County (CA) Alternate Public Defender’s Office
    • Jennifer H. Wu | Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
    • Tony Yu | DSG Wealth & Trust Law

    Please join us once again in congratulating Suhi Koizumi, Rita Lin, David Mesa, Vilaska Nguyen, Vineet Shahani, and Christine  on receiving NAPABA’s BU40 Award.  AABA looks forward to their future successes.  

  • 11 Sep 2017 9:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September 11, 2017

    The Asian American Bar Association (AABA) denounces the Trump Administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in March 2018 unless Congress passes legislation to extend or replace the program. DACA provided temporary relief from deportation and issued work permits for hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth. Approximately 800,000 “Dreamers,” including over 30,000 Asian Pacific Americans, benefitted from the program. As of September 5, 2017, no new DACA applications will be processed.  Those who currently have DACA can reapply for a renewal by October 5, 2017, after which no renewals will be processed. AABA joins the American individuals and entities calling upon Congress to continue DACA as long as necessary to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

    Although Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the threat of litigation questioning the legality of DACA as a basis for ending the program, over 100 immigration law professors and scholars signed an extensive letter finding that, based on the U.S. Constitution, immigration law and statutes, and case law, the executive branch has the authority to implement DACA and “DACA 2012 is a lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion.”

    Ending this program will have negative effects that will be felt by all Americans. In a letter to the president, more than 400 U.S. business leaders reaffirmed the vital role Dreamers play in the economy. The CATO Institute estimates that this decision will cost $280 billion in economic growth over the next 10 years. Notably, ending DACA will impact undocumented law students and pre-law students who could have meaningfully contributed to the legal profession, but will now live in fear of deportation and be unable to work lawfully.

    AABA joins their fellow national and local bar associations, including the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and numerous other minority bar associations, in denouncing this repeal of DACA. We stand with the immigrant families and young people whose lives have been thrown into chaos and uncertainty after this decision.

  • 06 Sep 2017 12:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September 6, 2017 

    The Asian American Bar Association (AABA) is dismayed by President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  In July, Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt by Judge Susan Bolton of the U.S. District Court of Arizona, which ruled that Arpaio “demonstrated a persistent disregard for the orders of the Court, as well as an intention to violate and manipulate the laws and policies regulating their conduct . . . .”  In violation of a December 2011 federal court order, Arpaio continued to engage in illegal racial profiling and targeting of immigrants.  The criminal contempt charges arose from a civil rights lawsuit, Ortega Melendres, et al. v. Arpaio, et al., filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

    AABA believes that President Trump’s pardon improperly absolves Arpaio of his disrespect for the rule of law and his pattern and practice of targeting vulnerable communities of color, in particular immigrant families and children. “While we respect the President’s power to issue certain pardons, we are shocked by the expedited pardon of a law enforcement officer who has blatantly violated a federal court order by continuing to engage in racially discriminatory actions,” said AABA President Miriam Kim. “This action sets a dangerous precedent and weakens the public’s trust in the authority of the judiciary.”

    AABA joins its fellow national and local bar associations, including the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the American Bar Association, in expressing disapproval of the pardon. AABA and its members continue to stand up for justice, equity, and inclusion.

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