Press Releases

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  • 05 Oct 2016 4:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    October 5, 2016

    AABA congratulates Bay Area attorneys Hung Chang, Kiran Jain, Kirupa Pushparaj, Manita Rawat, and Mansi H. Shah on being selected for the 2016 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. Only 18 attorneys across the country were recognized with the BU40 Award this year.

    “This year’s class of BU40 Award recipients demonstrates the exceptional strength and diversity of our Bay Area legal community,” said AABA’s President, Hung Chang. “As an in-house lawyer who started his career at a video game startup shortly before the Great Recession, I am honored to be acknowledged with this distinguished group of BU40 Award winners representing Northern California. AABA is grateful to NAPABA for recognizing their achievements.”

    The BU40 Award will be presented on November 3, 2016, at the NAPABA Convention in San Diego. Below is the full list of recipients of the 2016 BU40 Award:

    • Mark K. Arimoto | Hawaiian Airlines
    • Hung Chang | Harman International
    • Anjan Choudhury | Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
    • John Thomas Fetters | Mills Meyers Swartling P.S.
    • Kiran Jain | City of Oakland
    • Edward T. (Ted) Kang | Alston & Bird LLP
    • Irene Kao | League of Minnesota Cities
    • Linda S. Lin | QBE North America
    • Van-Dzung V. Nguyen | Crowell & Moring LLP
    • Rajiv D. Parikh | Genova Burns LLC
    • Kirupa Pushparaj | Square Inc.
    • Manita Rawat | Duane Morris LLP
    • Yanin Senachai | Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles
    • Mansi H. Shah | Merchant & Gould LLP
    • Brian W. Song | Baker Hostetler LLP
    • Michael K. T. Tan | ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
    • Nisha N. Vyas | Public Counsel
    • Greg Wu | United Airlines

    Please join us once again in congratulating Hung Chang, Kiran Jain, Kirupa Pushparaj, Manita Rawat, and Mansi H. Shah on receiving NAPABA’s BU40 Award. AABA looks forward to their future successes.

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

    AABA has a long history of active involvement in civil rights issues and community service, and is dedicated to fostering the exchange of ideas and information among its members and the public. AABA is one of the largest local Asian American bar associations in the country, and counts lawyers, judges, law students, and community leaders among its members, representing the entire spectrum of political, social, and legal concerns in the San Francisco Bay Area.


  • 21 Jul 2016 5:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    By Kathy Aoki, Co-Chair of AABA Newsletter Committee
    June 21, 2016


    Victor Hwang remains cool, calm and collected after his victory in the June 7, 2016 election to become a San Francisco Superior Court Judge.

    Hwang photo_06212016

    “I was very relieved initially,” said Hwang. “Although we had worked hard and I felt confident that we would finish strong, as a first-time candidate I had no idea whether or not we would survive the night.  Over the course of the week, as our percentage has continued to climb with late voters and provisional ballots, the fact that we almost took 50% has caused some second-guessing as to whether we could have done something differently to win in June.”

    Hwang, who currently works as a deputy director at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (APILO), received more than 19,000 votes to his closest competitor Paul Henderson.

    Was Hwang surprised about the outcome?

    “My consultants had predicted we would finish in the high 40s so I think I was emotionally surprised but not intellectually surprised,” he said.

    What are Hwang’s plans as he moves forward to the election in November?

     “In the next few weeks we’ll be looking at voting turnout and patterns to see where we need to improve our outreach,” said Hwang.  “In July and August, I will be continuing to attend house parties where folks gather up a couple of friends to hear my message and consider donating to my campaign.  Beginning in August/September, we’ll crank up our field campaign again where we’ll go door to door to talk to voters and also pass out literature at transit stops. “

    Hwang has experience in civil and criminal law including working as a civil rights attorney and is well-known beyond the Asian American communities.  He has been involved in many community organizations and is a former president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA).

    What has been the toughest part for Hwang of being a judicial candidate and going through the election process so far? 

    “Asking friends and community members to donate their time and money is the toughest part of the race,” he said. “Not having run for office before, I had no idea how costly it would be to get our message out.  We’ve spent nearly all of the money we’ve raised so far and now we have to start fresh.  I’m hoping folks will think about making a donation to the campaign.”

     “You have to be thick-skinned and you have to be willing to put yourself out there at all times,” explained Hwang, when he described what characteristics someone needs to have when deciding to pursue a political venture. “While in the heat of the campaign, I come into contact with 300-400 folks a day and most don’t have the time or interest to hear even a 10-second pitch- so there’s a lot of rejection involved.  After my first month of campaigning, I realized that it does take a lot of discipline and sacrifice to run for office and I donated to a friend’s campaign.  Even a small donation means a lot- it means someone else believes in your message and is willing to put something on the line.  I also take handouts now from all sorts of folks from religious people to the ladies in Chinatown passing out takeout menus.  Having one person take an interest in your work keeps you smiling through the next 7 rejections where they can’t even look you in the eye.”

    Hwang has learned that running a political campaign “takes a lot of sacrifice” and “it’s not an easy thing to do or to ask your friends to join.”  The political process has not only tested Hwang and his relationships but has also made him stronger as his quest to become a superior court judge continues.

    What are the most important things Hwang would like to contribute to our society if he is elected to become a superior court judge?

    “Within the courts, I hope to be a voice for accessibility for those who have been historically disenfranchised and excluded from our system. As a member of society, I hope to build a closer bond and understanding between our courts and our community so that I can increase transparency, trust, and faith in our system of justice.  And of course, I hope to be invited every year to swear in AABA’s new board of directors,” said Hwang.

  • 26 Jun 2016 8:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 26, 2016

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) congratulates Roger C. Chan on his appointment to the San Francisco Superior Court.

    Since 2009, Chan, 43, of San Francisco, has been executive director at East Bay Children’s Law Offices, a non-profit appointed by the court to represent children in the Alameda County juvenile and probate courts. He practiced dependency and delinquency juvenile law as a deputy public defender at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office for seven years and as an attorney at the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office for four years. Chan earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Chan, who is a gay Asian-American of Chinese and Korean descent, is an active member of AABA and serves on the AABA Public Law / Public Service Committee Leadership Advisory Council.

    “AABA applauds Governor Brown for appointing Roger Chan to the San Francisco bench. His extensive experience in juvenile delinquency, child welfare, criminal law, and other areas will make him a valuable addition to the courthouse. His background as a public defender also gives him a deep understanding of courtroom dynamics, particularly with underrepresented minorities. Roger’s appointment not only increases diversity on the bench, but also reinforces AABA’s commitment to promoting diversity of background and legal experience in judicial appointments.” stated Hung Chang, President of the Asian American Bar Association.

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

    AABA has a long history of active involvement in civil rights issues and community service, and is dedicated to fostering the exchange of ideas and information among its members and the public. AABA is one of the largest local Asian American bar associations in the country, and counts lawyers, judges, law students, and community leaders among its members, representing the entire spectrum of political, social, and legal concerns in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • 21 Jun 2016 7:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 21, 2016

    San Francisco — The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) joined the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and over 80 other organizations in urging U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate the apparent pattern and practice of wrongful arrests and indictments of Asian American and Pacific Islander scientists for espionage-related crimes, only to later have all charges against them dropped.

    AABA is deeply concerned that the government may be rushing into indictments of Asian American and Pacific Islander scientists for crimes related to trade secret theft or economic espionage. Even when charges are dropped, these accusations cause irreparable damage on these individuals’ careers, reputations, and lives, as well as the lives of their families.

    In one representative case, National Weather Service hydrologist Sherry Chen was publicly accused of spying for China and suspended from without pay from her job before charges were dropped. Mrs. Chen was charged with sharing sensitive files about dam infrastructure, but the subsequent investigation revealed that she had merely shared links to a publicly accessible website. Five months later, the DOJ dropped all charges without explanation, citing “prosecutorial discretion.”

    “AABA and the organizations calling for this investigation are concerned that Asian American and Pacific Islander scientists appear to be targeted based on their perceived race, ethnicity, or national origin,” said AABA President Hung Chang. “No American should be the subject of investigation simply because of his or her ethnic surname or perceived national origin. Department of Justice Inspector General should open a full and independent investigation to ensure the protection of the civil liberties of all Americans, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”

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

    AABA has a long history of active involvement in civil rights issues and community service, and is dedicated to fostering the exchange of ideas and information among its members and the public. AABA is one of the largest local Asian American bar associations in the country, and counts lawyers, judges, law students, and community leaders among its members, representing the entire spectrum of political, social, and legal concerns in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • 13 Jun 2016 5:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 13, 2016

    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (“AABA”) grieves with the families and friends of the Orlando shooting victims. Our hearts ache for them and at the hatred and violence that unfolded at Pulse nightclub, which has served as a gathering place for the local LGBTQ community. AABA stands with and affirms the civil rights of all LGBTQ communities, and we reject any effort to exploit this tragedy to justify acts based on fear and intolerance against Muslim Americans.

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

    AABA has a long history of active involvement in civil rights issues and community service, and is dedicated to fostering the exchange of ideas and information among its members and the public. AABA is one of the largest local Asian American bar associations in the country, and counts lawyers, judges, law students, and community leaders among its members, representing the entire spectrum of political, social, and legal concerns in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • 15 Dec 2015 4:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) condemns the increased xenophobic and anti-Muslim discourse and violence that has taken place in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino tragedies.  These messages and acts of fear fly in the face of the principles and values of this nation of immigrants and harken back to other historical injustices, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Japanese Internment.  The Chinese Exclusion Act, which prevented Chinese laborers from entering the United States under penalty of imprisonment and deportation, is a dark chapter in our nation’s immigration policies.  Similarly, the Japanese Internment during World War II, which resulted in the mass incarceration of Japanese American and other Asian American families, reminds us that we must be vigilant in protecting civil liberties against unjust threats in times of crisis.  Such intolerance has no place today’s world, especially here in the United States.

    As one of the largest Asian American Pacific Islander bar associations in the United States and one of the largest minority bar associations in California, we believe it is our duty to stand up against xenophobia.  We reject efforts to exploit the tragedies in Paris and San Bernardino to justify acts based on fear and intolerance.  Through the lens of our unique historical perspective, we have learned that such actions serve to betray our American values and ideals.

    Religious freedom is a fundamental human right.  The principle of religious freedom was written into our nation’s founding documents in part to prevent the persecution of religious minorities.  We urge our nation’s leaders to reject anti-Muslim speech and Islamophobia, and to ensure that Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (AMEMSA) Americans are respected as part of our nation.

    AABA further calls on its members to speak out against instances of scapegoating and intimidation against AMEMSA community members.  In partnership with the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, we ask you to report instances of hate crimes or Islamophobic attacks to civilrights@southasianbar.org so that they can be connected to the appropriate service providers.

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

    AABA has a long history of active involvement in civil rights issues and community service, and is dedicated to fostering the exchange of ideas and information among its members and the public. AABA is one of the largest local Asian American bar associations in the country, and counts lawyers, judges, law students, and community leaders among its members, representing the entire spectrum of political, social, and legal concerns in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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