Press Releases

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  • 27 Jun 2018 8:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 27, 2018

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) is greatly disappointed by the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision yesterday upholding President Trump’s “Muslim Ban” and overturning the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Trump v. State of Hawaii. The Ninth Circuit had previously blocked Trump’s executive order banning persons from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

    The State of Hawaii, and other challengers of the travel ban, had argued that Trump’s executive order exceeded his authority under immigration and constitutional law.  Yet the Supreme Court upheld the ban, accepting the government’s argument that the ban was based on national security concerns, as opposed to religious discrimination against Muslims. 

    In a searing dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the majority’s opinion “leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns.”

    As an API legal community, AABA is especially disappointed by the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments underlying the Court’s decision. AABA is concerned that the Supreme Court’s decision promotes continued racist and xenophobic attacks against Muslims, and goes against our nation’s values of inclusion, diversity, and equality. We stand by our brothers and sisters of all kinds, including the immigrant community.

     “We must work harder than ever to protect our inclusive values and resist racist and ignorant laws,” said David Tsai, AABA President.

    In the Hawaii decision, the Court also expressly overruled the 1944 Korematsu v. U.S. decision which had upheld the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II.  The majority’s opinion stated that “Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and—to be clear—‘has no place in law under the Constitution.’”  However, AABA remains concerned that the same discriminatory rationales underlying the Korematsu decision are now being used against the Muslim community.

    “History has shown that our courts have erred in the past when targeting racial groups under the guise of national protection and security,” Tsai stated. “We look forward to the day when today’s decision is added to the line of wrong rulings which are eventually made right.”

    AABA has consistently opposed Trump’s series of travel ban executive orders, and also joined over 60 APA bar associations in an amicus brief supporting the preliminary injunction of Trump’s March 6, 2017 revised executive order. AABA will continue to work to oppose and resist the effects of these discriminatory travel bans.

    Today, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court.  AABA hopes that the confirmation process for Justice Kennedy’s replacement will be fair and efficient, and that the newest Justice will uphold our nation’s Constitution and principles of equality.  

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) was founded in 1976 to provide Asian American attorneys with a vehicle for the unified expression of opinions and positions on matters of concern to all Asian American attorneys. AABA also encourages and promotes the professional growth of its members, serves the Asian American and minority community, and fosters the exchange of ideas and information among its members and with the legal community at large.


    With over 1,300 paid members, AABA is the largest local Asian American bar association in the country and is one of the largest minority bar associations in California, with members who are lawyers, judges, law students and others, representing the entire spectrum of political, social and legal concerns. It is active in six Bay Area counties – including San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Marin and Santa Clara.


    In 2017, AABA was recognized with National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) 2017 Affiliate of the Year Award.  In 2009, AABA received the California State Bar’s Diversity Award (bar association) in honor of its long history of advocating for diversity in the legal profession.

  • 22 Jun 2018 9:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 22, 2018

    AABA strongly opposes the Trump Administration’s indefinite detention of immigrant children and parents, demands immediate family reunification, and a halt to aggressive and unnecessary border crossing prosecutions.

    Since the Trump administration instituted the so-called ‘zero tolerance‘ policy on border crossings of undocumented migrants, thousands of young children attempting to enter the United States have been forcibly separated from their parents.  On June 20, 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order that claims “to maintain family unity,” but actually directs authorities to detain families together. The Executive Order is inadequate on several fronts: it does not reunite families that have already been separated, and appears to allow for the indefinite detention of families who arrive in the United States with children. Indeed, President Trump seeks to reverse a court settlement (Flores v. Reno) that requires children who come with family to be released from detention within three weeks.

    AABA condemns the practice of separating parents from their children without a hearing and in the absence of legal representation. Such a practice is immoral and inhumane. Additionally, AABA strongly opposes any policy to detain families indefinitely at the border. 

    “Indefinite detention of children and families is a cruel and inhumane immigration policy,” remarks David Tsai, AABA’s President. “As lawyers, we stand by the thousands of undocumented parents, children, and families whose hearts and bonds have been broken by this disastrous and ineffective policy.”

    AABA demands an immediate halt to any practices that result in the forcible separation of children from their parents. We demand that authorities reunite broken families as quickly as possible, and end the indefinite detention of families at our border.  AABA also recommends that its members and supporters donate to the American Civil Liberties Union and Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Asian Law Caucus, two organizations that are working actively to support affected families.

  • 09 Apr 2018 4:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    April 10, 2018

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (“AABA”) is pleased to announce that it is endorsing the following candidates for the June 5, 2018 election for San Francisco Superior Court judges (“June Election”): Hon. Andrew Y.S. Cheng, Hon. Curtis Karnow, Hon. Cynthia Ming-Mei Lee, and Hon. Jeffrey S. Ross.

    AABA is committed to promoting a strong and impartial judiciary and participating in the important work of evaluating judicial candidates.  “AABA believes that a qualified and diverse judiciary is a critical component of our legal system.  Our courts cannot perform their integral role in society without skilled judges who evaluate and apply the law fairly.  AABA believes that the judiciary is at its best when judges are individuals with strong ethics and a commitment to the advancement of justice in society,” said Michelle Park Chiu, AABA Secretary. 

    AABA is proud to endorse Judges Cheng, Karnow, Lee and Ross. Each of these candidates is an outstanding jurist and an upstanding member of the community.  They are models of integrity and judicial competence and have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of justice.  AABA believes each candidate deserves to be re-elected to their judicial seat in the June Election. 

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

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) was founded in 1976 to provide Asian American attorneys with a vehicle for the unified expression of opinions and positions on matters of concern to all Asian American attorneys. AABA also encourages and promotes the professional growth of its members, serves the Asian American and minority community, and fosters the exchange of ideas and information among its members and with the legal community at large.

    With over 1,300 paid members, AABA is the largest local Asian American bar association in the country and is one of the largest minority bar associations in California, with members who are lawyers, judges, law students and others, representing the entire spectrum of political, social and legal concerns. It is active in six Bay Area counties – including San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Marin and Santa Clara.

    In 2017, AABA was recognized with National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) 2017 Affiliate of the Year Award.  In 2009, AABA received the California State Bar’s Diversity Award (bar association) in honor of its long history of advocating for diversity in the legal profession.

  • 08 Mar 2018 9:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    March 7, 2018

    On March 6, 2018, US Attorney General Sessions announced that the president will file a lawsuit against the state of California regarding the state’s sanctuary laws.  California’s sanctuary state laws are supported by the people of the state of California and support and protect our state’s diversity, inclusive of our immigrant communities. California’s sanctuary laws were enacted in 2017 and limit local cooperation with federal immigration (ICE) enforcement.

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) disapproves of this lawsuit, which threatens other states and localities who oppose the current administration’s racist and discriminatory agenda.

    “This lawsuit is an attempt to shame and intimidate California and other states that support immigrants’ rights, which have protected its residents against anti-immigrant policies,” said David Tsai, President of AABA. “AABA will continue to oppose immigration policies, whether local or federal, that threaten the welfare of our diverse communities."

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

    About AABA

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) was founded in 1976 to provide Asian American attorneys with a vehicle for the unified expression of opinions and positions on matters of concern to all Asian American attorneys. AABA also encourages and promotes the professional growth of its members, serves the Asian American and minority community, and fosters the exchange of ideas and information among its members and with the legal community at large.

    With over 1,300 paid members, AABA is the largest local Asian American bar association in the country and is one of the largest minority bar associations in California, with members who are lawyers, judges, law students and others, representing the entire spectrum of political, social and legal concerns. It is active in six Bay Area counties – including San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Marin and Santa Clara.

    In 2017, AABA was recognized with National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's (NAPABA) 2017 Affiliate of the Year Award. In 2009, AABA received the California State Bar’s Diversity Award (bar association) in honor of its long history of advocating for diversity in the legal profession.

    To learn more about AABA, visit www.aaba-bay.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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


  • 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.

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