Applications are now being accepted for 2017-2019 NAPABA NE Regional Governor and 2017-2018 NAPABA NE Regional Governor Alternate.  If you are interested in either or both positions, please submit your candidate statement and any supporting documents to Jona Kim (jona.kim@factset.com) and Rahat Babar (rahat.babar@gmail.com) by Thursday, September 7, 2017, at 11:59 (ET).  Please see the SELECTION OF NORTHEAST REGIONAL GOVERNOR – GUIDELINES.

 


 

APABA-PA Urges Representatives of the House Judiciary Committee to Vote No to Senate Bill 10


APABA-PA has signed on to this letter urging the Representatives of the House Judiciary Committee to vote no to Senate Bill 10 ("SB 10"). This bill proposes a legislative scheme that targets so-called "sanctuary cities." SB10 interferes with municipalities, counties, and local law enforcement without providing guidance or defining key terms. It puts municipalities in an untenable, no-win situation that will hurt us all. SB10 is but one of five anti-immigrant bills pending in the General Assembly.


Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania urges the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners, to opt out of the categorical bar on professional licensing of immigrants without legal status, and adopt rules providing for the consideration of admission of qualified candidates to the bar regardless of immigration status.


 

* * * APABA-PA General Membership Meeting – December 12 * * *

Followed by

Joint Affinity Bar Associations' Holiday Party! 

 

Tir na Nog, 1600 Arch Street
December 12, 6 p.m. 

 

APABA-PA will hold its end of year General Membership Meeting on Monday, December 12, 2016 at 5 p.m.  Come and vote for the 2017 Executive Committee and Officers slate and the proposed revised By-Laws, hear a brief update on APABA-PA’s activities, and meet and network with other APABA-PA members. The Joint Affinity Bar Holiday Party will follow the meeting (details to follow). 

 


HB 1885 - Please Contact Your Senator to Oppose this Bill!

 

Dear APABA-PA members and colleagues:

APABA-PA has opposed anti-immigrant legislation in the past, and similarly has opposed "anti-sanctuary cities" legislation.  This is legislation aimed at encouraging or forcing local law enforcement to report individuals to immigration authorities in certain circumstances and punishing cities and municipalities if they refuse to do so.

Currently APABA-PA opposed HB 1885, another anti-sanctuary cities and anti-immigrant that is moving quickly.  It has already passed the PA House of Representatives and is poised for a vote with the PA Senate shortly.  We ask that you contact your local PA Senator to oppose this bill.

Specifically, this bill would:

  1. require all local law enforcement to notify Immigration and Customs enforcement Enforcement (ICE) whenever they have "reasonable cause to believe" that an individual under arrest is not lawfully present in the United States;
  2. prohibit municipalities from placing restrictions on an employee's ability to share information with federal authorities about a person's immigration status;
  3. withhold payment of state funds to noncompliant municipalities; and
  4. impose strict liability on sanctuary cities for injuries caused by crimes committed by individuals without lawful status in the United States.

 

For the full bill, see:

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2015&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=1885&pn=3075

 

To contact your PA Senator, go to:

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/contact.cfm?body=S


 

Are YOU interested in a leadership position with APABA-PA?  Or perhaps you know someone that you would like to nominate?  Service on the Executive Committee/Board of Directors can be very rewarding & fun – yes, it includes some work and time.  It’s a great opportunity to make friends and get to know others!  If interested, please send an email to syoung@clsphila.org with a description of the nominee's extent of involvement in APABA-PA activities or other Asian bar activities (attach a resume or bio) and why YOU think they (or you) would be a strong addition to the EC/Board. Please provide contact information for that individual, and whether you have let them know of your nomination.

Please state whether you are making a nomination for any officer position. 

The deadline for nominations will be cob Thursday, October 13, 2016. 


 

 

 Archer APABA-PA Diversity Scholarship Winner Announced

Archer & Greiner and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania are happy to announce that Kenneth Ling, a 2L at Rutgers Law School, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Archer APABA-PA Diversity Scholarship.

 


APABA-PA Accepting Nominations for 2016 Attorney of the Year

In recognition of our members' great achievements and efforts in our community, APABA-PA will be accepting nominations for the annual Attorney of the Year Award.  The award will be bestowed upon a member of APABA-PA who demonstrates the following:

  • Professional excellence in the member's practice area
  • Extraordinary achievement and track record of success
  • High regard by clients and peers
  • Proven leadership within APABA-PA and other professional associations
  • Dedication to the APA community
Prior honorees include Tsiwen Law, Dennis Morikawa, and Suzanne Young.  APABA-PA's Leadership Advisory Committee will serve as the selection committee in considering the nominees for the Award.  

Members may be nominated by others or may self-nominate.  To submit a nomination, please send an e-mail to john.p.encarnacion@gmail.com with (1) a narrative describing the reasons that the nominee meets the criteria; (2) a resume or detailed biography; and (3) any other relevant materials in support of the nomination.

All nominations must be submitted by Friday, July 29, 2016.  The recipient of the Award will be recognized at APABA-PA's Annual Banquet in November 2016.  If you have any questions, please e-mail john.p.encarnacion@gmail.com. 

hosted by National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)

and Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY)

August 19-21, 2016

New York City

 See the invitation and sponsorship packet here.  To see the latest updates, please check out the conference page.

 

Click here to register or sponsor the conference.  

Early bird registration ends next Friday, on July 1, 2016.


Voting Rights CLE - Friday, April 22, 2016, 12:00 PM

 Philadelphia Bar Association
11th Floor Conference Center
1101 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Voting Rights: Where We Came From and Where We Are Going

The right to vote is core to our nation's democratic process. From poll taxes and voter ID requirements to the Fifteenth Amendment granting suffrage to African Americans and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the law has both restricted and expanded people's rights and ability to vote.

In light of the upcoming election, join our panelists on a discussion of past, present and possible future voting rights issues locally and nationally, including the Voting Rights Act, Voter ID, and felon disenfranchisement.

Expert panelists discuss:
- The effects of the Supreme Court's invalidation of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act
- The growth of state voter identification laws and their impact on voting access
- The denial of the right to vote for those convicted of felonies and its result on the political process
- The ability to enact or implement necessary updates to Pennsylvania's Election Code, such as electronic voter registration, no-fault absentee balloting, and early voting

The Civil Rights Committee would like to thank the following co-hosts that promote the importance of advocating for Voter Rights:

Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania (APABA-PA)
The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, Inc.
Delivery of Legal Services Committee
Public Interest Section
South Asian Bar Association (SABA Philly)
Young Lawyers Division (YLD)

Panelists:
Honorable Theodore McKee
Chief Judge
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Jerry Vattamala
Director, Democracy Program
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Sara Mullen
Associate Director
ACLU of Pennsylvania

Moderator:
Su Ming Yeh, Esq.
Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project

 


 

 VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO DEFEND ASIAN AMERICAN VOTING RIGHTS

DC • CA • FL • GA • LA • MA • MD • MI • NJ • NM • NV • NY • PA • TX • VA
2016 Asian American Exit Poll and Poll Monitoring
Tuesday, November 8, 2016

 

In past elections, Asian Americans have faced a series of barriers in exercising their right to vote, including segregated "Asian" voting lines. When the news media reported on election results, Asian Americans were overlooked. In response, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) has conducted a non-partisan survey of Asian American voters to document Asian American voting patterns and document instances of anti-Asian voter disenfranchisement. AALDEF has monitored the elections for compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act, which mandates bilingual ballots and forbids anti-Asian voter discrimination.

 

We need your help. In the 2012 elections, 850 volunteers polled 9,096 Asian American voters in 14 states and Washington, DC. Volunteers work in 3-hour shifts. There will be a one-hour training session for all volunteers in October (90 minutes for CLE credits). All volunteers must be non-partisan during the time that they help. Complete the form at www.aaldef.net. Thank you!

 

For more information, contact: AALDEF Democracy Program Director Jerry Vattamala or Voting Rights Organizer Iris Zalun at 800-966-5946 or votingrights@aaldef.org.

 



15th Annual Penn APALSA Conference "Amplify: Promoting Diversity in a Time of Progress"


The Penn Law Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (Penn APALSA) invites members of APABA-PA to the 15th Annual Penn APALSA Conference, Amplify: Promoting Diversity in a Time of Progress. Our anticipated topics range from examining how to lead a trailblazing career to making the most of your J.D. and why diversity is important in the practice of law. The Conference will be held at Penn Law School on Saturday, January 30, 2016.


Speakers and Schedule:


Strategies for Trailblazing Success Panel 
Speakers:
Joyce Xu – Partner and Head of Derivatives Practice, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Eugena Oh – Chief Governance Officer, National “I Have A Dream” Foundation
Suhana Han – Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell
Tsiwen Law – 2014 APABA-PA Attorney of the Year, Law & Associates


The Importance of Diversity in the Legal Profession Panel
Speakers:
Dan Vatanaviggun – Campus Relations Attorney, Shearman & Sterling
Veronica Ip – Associate, Sullivan & Cromwell
Lee Pacchia – Founder & CEO of Mimesis
S. Floyd Mori – President and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies


Carpe JDiem: Leveraging Legal Skills in Alternative Careers Panel
Speakers:
Vivia Chen – Chief blogger of “The Careerist” in The American Lawyer
David Zhou – Assistant U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division
Shauna Bryce – Legal Career Development & Transition Strategist, Bryce Legal Career Counsel
Djung Tran – Founder of Tran Law Associates


Keynote Speakers 
Su Ming Yeh, Staff Attorney at the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project and 2015 President of APABA-PA
Sandra Leung, Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Registration:
Registration for Conference is being conducted online at http://pennapalsa.ticketleap.com/amplify/. Pricing information is available on the ticket vendor page.

CLE Credits:
This program has been approved for 3.0 substantive credits for Pennsylvania Lawyers. CLE credits may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $60 cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

Conference Perks:
Those who register for Conference will not only have access to all the panels and keynote speakers, but also to a continental breakfast, lunch, a cocktail reception with representatives from top firms and public interest organizations, a dinner banquet, and an afterparty.

Please feel free to reach out to Hyesu Grace Kim, Conference Chair, at this e-mail address, conference@pennapalsa.org, with any questions you may have.

 


 

The Board Governance Committee of APABA-PA Announces Slate of Recommended Candidates

2016 Officer and Executive Committee Positions

 

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SERVING IN THE LEADERSHIP OF APABA-PA? or KNOW SOMEONE WHO WOULD BE TERRIFIC IN SUCH A ROLE?

Please send an email to SYoung@clsphila.org with the subject line: Nomination for EC/Officer. Identify your nominee (self nominations welcome), with contact information, and the position for which you are nominating yourself/this person.

You must tell us why you think your nominee is a good candidate, including identifying the various ways in which you or that individual has been active in APABA-PA, and the time frame of those activities. If not active, please explain why else your nominee should be considered by the Board Governance Committee. Please let us know whether you have already been in contact with your nominee, and whether you would be willing to contact the nominee. All nominees will be considered by the Board Governance Committee. Please attach a resume or bio of the nominee, along with your email to Suzanne.


Please send in your nomination by: September 17, 2015.

 


 

Volunteers needed for Pro Bono Citizenship Day September 19, 2015 

 
The Mayor's Office of Immigrant and Cultural Affairs is partnering with Philadelphia Chapter of AILA, HIAS PA, PICC, BPSOS, Community College and other nonprofits in September to provide pro bono legal services to immigrants looking to complete their naturalization application.
 
Volunteers Wanted! No previous immigration services experience necessary. There are an estimated 50,000 legal permanent residents in Philadelphia who are eligible to become naturalized citizens of our country, yet they have not done so. In many cases, the cost of obtaining legal assistance is the main obstacle keeping them from fulfilling their dream.
 
On September 19, the Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (MOIMA) will partner with HIAS-PA, the Philadelphia Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association, area Bar Associations, PICC, BPSOS, Community College of Philadelphia and other nonprofits to provide a full day of pro bono legal assistance for immigrants looking to complete their naturalization application.
 
We are recruiting lawyers, paralegals, law students, interpreters, and others to volunteer their services during Citizenship Day. No previous experience in immigration is required, but attending a training session or webinar is required (CLE Credits available). Pro Bono citizenship day will be supervised by experienced immigration attorneys. For more information contact moima@phila.gov or visit www.stepuptocitizenship.org.


NAPABA 2015 - 2016 Board of Governor Candidates 

 

Dear NAPABA Members,

The Nominating and Elections Committee is pleased to present for your consideration the following officer candidates for the 2015 - 2016 NAPABA Board of Governors. The Committee has approved candidates who not only have demonstrated leadership capabilities, but more importantly who also have seriously considered their goals for NAPABA, the challenges and opportunities they see facing NAPABA in the coming year and how they anticipate accomplishing them. Beyond participation, we believe leadership and accomplishment are key. In preparation of the exercise of your right to vote, we encourage you to take the time to consider the vision each candidate has for NAPABA and to make your selections accordingly. We have instructed each candidate to respond to the following questions within his/her statement:

  1. With respect to the position you are seeking, what goals do you have for NAPABA, and how do they align or diverge from NAPABA’s most recent strategic plan?
  2. What are the challenges and opportunities you see facing NAPABA in the coming year?
  3. How do you anticipate accomplishing your goals?
  4. What particular training or experience do you bring that would make you a strong NAPABA officer?

We thank each of the candidates for their willingness to serve our organization and our community.

Please note that you must be signed-in on the NAPABA website in order to view candidate statements, bios, and submit endorsements.

 

 

Data Management in the Age of the Cloud: Record Retention and Litigation Challenges (Philadelphia)

 

July 27, 2015 

9:00 am - 1:15 pm
Pennsylvania CLE 4 Credits
Speakers:
David D. Han Esq.
Sophia Lee Esq.
Thomas S. Lee Esq.
Erica Smith-Klocek Esq.
We are pleased to cosponsor this program with PBI, thanks to our course planner Sophia Lee.

 

APABA-PA Accepting Nominations for 2015 Attorney of the Year

Each year APABA-PA seeks to recognize the great achievements of our members and their efforts in our community.  To that end, APABA-PA will be accepting nominations for its annual Attorney of the Year Award.  The recognition will be awarded to one attorney member of APABA-PA on an annual basis who demonstrates the following:

  • Professional excellence in the member's practice area
  • Extraordinary achievement and track record of success
  • High regard by clients and peers
  • Proven leadership within APABA-PA and other professional associations
  • Dedication to the APA community

APABA-PA's Leadership Advisory Committee will serve as the selection committee in vetting the nominees for the Award.  

Members may be nominated by others or be self-nominated.  To submit a nomination, please send an e-mail to smyeh@pailp.org with (1) a narrative describing the reasons that the nominee meets the criteria; (2) a resume or detailed biography; and (3) any other relevant materials in support of the nomination.

All nominations must be submitted by August 1, 2015.  The recipient of the Award will be recognized at APABA-PA's Annual Banquet on November 13, 2015.  If you have any questions, please e-mail Su Ming Yeh at smyeh@pailp.org. 


Houston's Legacy: A Newsletter of the PBA Minority Bar Committee

The first issue of “Houston’s Legacy” has been posted, please read about "The History of the PBA Minority Bar Committee" by our member Tsiwen Law. 



 

Congratulations to APABA-PA Members: Su Ming Yeh, Austin K. So, Sophia Lee, Alejandro J. Salicrup and John Y. Gotanda (The Legal Intelligencer’s Diverse Attorneys of the Year)

Congratulations to our APABA-PA Members

 

Su Ming Yeh, Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project
Austin K. So, Heraeus Inc.
Sophia Lee, Sunoco Inc.
Min S. Suh, Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel
Alejandro J. Salicrup, Pepper Hamilton LLP
John Y. Gotanda, Villanova University School of Law

 

Every two years, The Legal Intelligencer recognize a group of outstanding minority attorneys from across Pennsylvania. This year, they solicited nominations from our contacts around the legal profession and went back through our archives to look at some of the major players from the past two years. They received dozens of responses, all highlighting the impressive work done by attorneys from all corners of the legal profession. The editorial staff has selected the individuals in recognition of their outstanding professional achievements including the APABA-PA Members identified above.

 


 

Press Release

The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania endorses prominent attorney Stella Tsai for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 10, 2015:  The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania (“APABA-PA”) proudly announces its endorsement of Stella Tsai, Esquire for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.  Ms. Tsai has distinguished herself as a respected member of the business community who has built an exemplary record of service and commitment to fairness in the administration of justice and the well-being of the community-at-large and deserves to be elected from a field of over fifty lawyers who are competing for 12 spots in the Democratic primary on May 19, 2015.  A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and The Pennsylvania State University, Ms. Tsai has been widely recognized for her legal professional standards and ethical character. 

Having conducted a thorough evaluation of Ms. Tsai’s record and background, APABA-PA Judiciary Committee Co-Chair, Susan Lin, Esq., an attorney with Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg LLP, observed: "Stella Tsai is a judicial candidate who has the experience, temperament, and wisdom to treat every litigant with respect and fairness and who would strive to ensure that justice is done in each individual case."

Ms. Tsai, a former APABA-PA President, is a Philadelphia trial and appellate lawyer who has represented individuals, non-profit organizations, and businesses, both large and small, in litigation, regulatory, and transactional matters.  While working at the City of Philadelphia Law Department, she helped to implement family court reforms to improve outcomes for children and youth and worked with the courts to improve language access for litigants with limited English proficiency.  

Ms. Tsai has lived in Philadelphia since she began law school at the University of Pennsylvania in 1985.  She has also worked pro bono to protect voting rights, secure political asylum, and preserve communities.  In addition to her service to APABA-PA and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s International Committee, Ms. Tsai has served as Member of the City of Philadelphia Board of Ethics, Vice-Chair of the Zoning Code Commission, and Chair of the Women’s Law Project Board of Trustees. 

For more information about Ms. Tsai, please visit her website at www.ElectStellaTsaiJudge.com.  Questions about APABA-PA’s endorsement may be directed to Susan Lin, Esq. at slin@krlawphila.com.

The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania ("APABA-PA"), formerly the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 to serve a wide network of Asian Pacific American attorneys admitted or practicing in Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware and Southern New Jersey. The APABA-PA is dedicated to the advancement of its members and the Asian American community. The APABA-PA also educates its members about issues critical to Asian Pacific Americans and advances the interests of Asian Pacific American attorneys as well as the interests of the local Asian American community

 

Join members and local attorneys for a Reception on Tuesday, May 5 for Stella Tsai, Esquire, at the offices of Stradley Ronon.


 APABA-PA is proud to announce this year's Marutani Fellowship has been awarded to Qiwei Chen, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and Annanya Tripathy, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law

 


 

Mentorship Mythbusters: Candid Career Advice for the 21st Century Associate

 

APABA and its LEADERSHIP ADVISORY COUNSEL
Present a
Panel Discussion

Young lawyers in search of career advice often hear how important it is for one to have a mentor.  This widely held truth sounds really great in theory, but is not always easy to execute, especially in a world where time is monetized and the potential return on investment is intangible and far from immediate.

Our distinguished panel of lawyers, who have been mentored, mentored others, and developed mentorship programs, will provide their insight on the value of mentorship and answer the questions that may have crossed your mind, such as:

  • What is mentorship?
  • What do I get out of it?
  • How does a person actually go about getting a mentor?
  • How exactly does this mentorship process work?
  • Why do mentors mentor people?
  • What do you do if your designated mentor isn't working out?

 

When: April 15, 2015

Time: 12:00 noon

Location:

Morgan Lewis
1701 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2921

Speakers:

*       Dennis Morikawa, Senior Counsel, Morgan Lewis

*       Stella Tsai, Partner, Archer & Greiner

*       Kay Kyungsun Yu, Partner, Ahmad, Zaffarese, & Smyler

 

Please RSVP to nchristinzio@morganlewis.com by March 30, 2015


 

**Free CLE credits offered to current APABA-PA members (1.5 Substantive Credits)**

 

APABA-PA and its Leadership Advisory Counsel presents a panel discussion on careers in government service and pathways to the judiciary.  Hear from our panel of distinguished speakers on their unique journeys to government service.  Also, learn about the pathways to the judiciary as well as valuable insight in navigating these different pathways.

When: Tuesday, April 7, 2015, at 6pm

Location: Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP, One Penn Center, 19th Floor, 1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia, PA

Speakers:
  • Hon. Ida K. Chen, Judge, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas, Family Division
  • John S. Han, Trial Attorney, Organized Crime & Gang Section, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice
  • Jennifer Lin, Assistant District Attorney, Appeals Unit, Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
  • Harpreet Singh Mokha, Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic Region, United States Department of Justice, Community Relations Service
  • Rahat N. Babar (moderator), Deputy Attorney General/Assistant Section Chief, Tort Litigation and Judiciary, New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
Please RSVP to Beth deLuca (Elizabeth.deLuca@obermayer.com) by April 6, 2015.

 

 


 

APABA-PA MEMBERSHIP MEETING

 

Are you new and would like to learn more about what APABA has to offer?

Would you like to get more involved?

Or do you just want to see old friends and meet new colleagues?

 

Please join us at APABA-PA’s general membership meeting.

 

Date:  March 31, 2015

Time:  6:00 pm

Location:  Cozen O’Connor, 1900 Market Street

 

Come enjoy the company of APABA folks.  Drinks (alcoholic and non) and light refreshments included.

 

RSVP to: dianalin@cozen.com. 

 


Presentations on The Asian American Vote 2014

During the months of January and February, AALDEF attorney Jerry Vattamala will present statewide results of AALDEF's Asian American Exit Poll in the 2014 midterm elections. On Election Day, November 4, 2014, AALDEF conducted a nonpartisan exit poll of 4,102 Asian American voters in 11 Asian languages in 11 states. The exit poll reveals vital information about Asian American voting patterns that is often overlooked in mainstream media polls.


At these presentations, comparative information will be given about the Asian American vote in the 2014 gubernatorial and congressional elections, concerns about key issues, first-time voters, and profiles of the Asian American vote by ethnicity, nativity, party enrollment, age, and English proficiency.

PENNSYLVANIA - February 18, 2015 -- 6:00 p.m. 
Ballard Spahr LLP
1735 Market Street, 51st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7599
Co-sponsored by Asian Americans United, Asian Pacific American Bar Association-PA, Boat People SOS, Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Voice 
Download the Pennsylvania Asian American Vote PPT presentation here.

 


 

Now accepting applications for the MARUTANI FELLOWSHIP!

 

Are you a law student and interested in public interest law or working for a government agency or judge? Would you like extra funding for the summer?

 

APABA-PA and the Philadelphia Bar Foundation are now accepting applications for the Marutani Fellowship.  The Marutani Fellowship is awarded to 1L or 2L students in Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley region who will be working at a public interest organization or government agency (including the judiciary) this upcoming summer.  The internship must be in Pennsylvania or the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley area.  A student may be awarded up to $5,000 and is eligible even if she or he receives other funding!

 

The deadline is March 13, 2015.  Find the Application here.

Questions?  Contact slin@krlawphila.com or katrina.t.liu@gmail.com. 

 

 


 

SAVE THE DATE

for the

Asian Pacific American Bar Association's
2015 Lunar New Year Banquet

February 6, 2015
6:00 p.m.  Cocktail Hour
7:00 p.m.  Dinner

Ocean Harbor Restaurant
1023 Race Street
Philadelphia, PA

 


 

NAPABA LAW FOUNDATION COMMUNITY LAW FELLOWSHIP

2015-2017

Application Guide

For Candidates and Host Organizations

Deadline December 31, 2014

 

NAPABA Law Foundation President Sang-yul Lee announced the second two-year Community Law Fellowship at the 2014 NAPABA Convention. On the heels of the already successful NAPABA Law Foundation Partners and In-House Counsel Community Law Fellowship, this new Community Law Fellowship will provide an opportunity for a new attorney to gain substantive experience at a nonprofit national or community-based organization during the two-year Fellowship period.

 

The NAPABA Law Foundation Community Law Fellowship is open to ALL eligible candidates and organizations.  

 


 

Diversity in the Profession Committee Endorsements

On November 18, 2014, the Diversity in the Profession Committee ("DIPC") of the Philadelphia Bar Association held a candidates' forum for individuals running for the Board of Governors of the Phila. Bar Assoc. As a member of the DIPC, APABA-PA participated in the forum. After much deliberation over the candidates' background and qualifications, APABA-PA has arrived at the following:

1. APABA-PA endorses (a) Kathleen Kirkpatrick, (b) Ira Lefton, (c), Kevin Mincey, (d) Jeffrey Rosenthal, and (e) Julia Swain for the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

2. APABA-PA expresses its appreciation to Deborah Gross (candidate for Vice Chancellor), the Hon. A. Michael Snyder (assistant for Assistant Secretary), and Mary Platt (candidate for Assistant Treasurer), who appeared before the Diversity in the Profession Committee on November 18, 2014, to present their candidacy. These candidates, along with Wesley Payne (candidate for Treasurer) and Jacqueline Segal (candidate for Secretary), are running uncontested.

If you are a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, ballots will be mailed to you out on November 20, and election day is December 9, 2014. Please see the Phila. Bar Association's website for more details.

 


The Diversity in the Profession Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association invites our members to attend the Candidate's Forum on Tuesday, November 18 at 5:00 pm in the 11th Floor Conference Center of the Philadelphia Bar Association.  All candidates will address the affinity bar associations. 

Please let Rahat Babar (rahat.babar@gmail.com) know if you are interested in attending.

Bar to Elect Officers Board Members Dec. 9

The Philadelphia Bar Association's Annual Election of officers and members of the Board of Governors will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Ballroom Level of the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets. Officers to be elected are vice chancellor, secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer, assistant treasurer and five members of the Board of Governors for three-year terms.

Ballots will be mailed Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 and are due by Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, at 10 a.m.

Candidates for the 2014 Election are:

  • Vice Chancellor - Deborah R. Gross
  • Secretary - Jacqueline C. Segal
  • Treasurer - Wesley R. Payne IV
  • Assistant Secretary - Judge A. Michael Snyder (ret.)
  • Assistant Treasurer - Mary F. Platt

Board of Governors (elect five):

  • Maureen Farrell
  • Steve Harvey
  • Kathleen Kirkpatrick
  • Ira S. Lefton
  • Kevin Mincey
  • Jeffrey N. Rosenthal
  • Julia Swain

 Dear Members,

After evaluating the nominations submitted for Officer and Executive Committee positions, the APABA-PA Board Governance Committee has issued a slate of recommended candidates for the membership to consider.  The recommended slate is here.  APABA-PA will hold its End-of-the-Year General Membership Meeting in December 2014, when the membership will vote on the slate of candidates.  The date, time, and location of the meeting will be announced shortly.  


 

AALDEF 2014 Poll Monitoring Trainings – October 29, 2014

In past elections, Asian Americans have faced a series of barriers in exercising their right to vote.  When the news media reported on election results, Asian Americans were overlooked.  In response, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund along with several partners will monitor the elections for bilingual ballots under the federal Voting Rights Act and to document instances of anti-Asian voter disenfranchisement.

We need your help.  In the 2012 elections, 850 volunteers polled 9,096 Asian American voters in 14 states and Washington, DC.  Volunteers work in 3-hour shifts.  There will be a 90-minute training session for all volunteers.  (Attorneys can receive 1.5 CLE credits including 0.5 ethics credit.)  Sign up online at http://aaldef.org/press-releases/press-release/volunteers-needed-on-election-day-nov-4-2014.html.  Thank you!

For more information, contact: AALDEF Staff Attorney Jerry Vattamala or Voting Rights Organizer Judy Lei at 800-966-5946 or votingrights@aaldef.org

AALDEF 2014 Poll Monitoring Trainings
Lite Lunch/ Dinner will be provided.   
Advanced Registration required.  Sign up at http://aaldef.org/press-releases/press-release/volunteers-needed-on-election-day-nov-4-2014.html.

Wed, Oct. 29 – Philadelphia
12 noon – Ballard Spahr, 1735 Market St #5100, Philadelphia, PA 19103

6 p.m. – BPSOS – South Philly, 600 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (tentative location)

*** Asian American Poll Monitoring for Mid-Term -- Tuesday, November 4, 2014 ***


 

The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Minority Bar Committee is pleased to announce that the Eighth Diversity Summit will be held in Philadelphia on Thursday, October 23, 2014, at the PBI Conference Center, The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square E., Suite 1010 in Philadelphia.  You are cordially invited to attend.  Simulcast sites have been set up in Mechanicsburg, Stroudsburg and Pittsburgh.  Five (5) ethics CLEs will be available.  

The theme for this year’s Summit is A Diversity Vision:  Strategic Planning to Impact our Communities.  

Our members Deborah Hong of Stradley Ronon, Sophia Lee of Sunoco, and Min Suh of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP, will be presenting at the summit. 

Please see the Agenda and Registration form for the Summit.


 

Dear APABA-PA members:

This year’s NAPABA convention will be held in Phoenix, Arizona from November 6 – 9.  As in previous years, APABA-PA has a limited amount of funds to be used for stipends to defray the cost to members who attend the NAPABA convention.  The award of stipends is based upon the participatory role that the member has had WITH APABA-PA, AS WELL AS with the NAPABA [convention] or its committees or its activities, financial needs and whether the member has other sources of funding for attendance, and anticipated out of pocket expenses for the member to attend the convention.  This stipend is not available to students or members not current on dues.

 

Here is a copy of the stipend application.  If you are interested in receiving a stipend to cover some convention-related costs, please complete this form and submit it to SYOUNG@CLSPHILA.ORG no later than 6 P.M. MONDAY, October 13, 2014.  The award and amount of stipends will be determined by a committee of three Executive Committee members, none of whom are seeking financial support for NAPABA attendance.  NOTE THE SHORT DEADLINE WHICH WILL NOT BE EXTENDED.


 

Our member Franz Espanol (Fox Rothschild LLP) will be participating in a roundtable discussion on Monday, October 6, 2014, entitled, “The Future of IT Security, How To Stay Cost Conscious AND Stay in Compliance.” He would like to extend an invitation to the APABA-PA general membership. With respect to the legal compliance portion of the program, Franz will be speaking on the legal issues surrounding the use of personal mobile devices in the workplace and “Bring Your Own Device Policies.” Lunch will be provided. Full details are below. Hope you are able to attend. 

The event is invite only: 

You and a colleague are cordially invited to join us for an exclusive roundtable lunch discussion.

The Future of IT Security, How to Stay Cost Conscious AND Stay in Compliance.

Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (GPCC)
200 S. Broad St., Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19102 

Monday October 6, 2014 · 12:00 – 2:00 pm EST

This complimentary lunch is designed to provide you with a forum to discuss and network among your peers in the Philadelphia area. You will have the opportunity to share experiences and benefit from a few hours of "big picture" thinking, while enjoying a delicious meal from Kai . Some of the planned topics are: Mobility, IT Security, Legal Considerations, and Technology Cost Savings, among others.

This lunch is by invitation only. Reserve your seat now. 

 


 

The Philadelphia Bar Association presents:

The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Taking a Look Back and Forward

The Philadelphia Bar Association, 
Public Interest Section and Civil Rights Committee Program
Co-Sponsored by the Criminal Justice Section, Women's Rights Committee, Immigration Law Committee, and the LGBT Rights Committee

 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a broad sweeping statute which aimed to end discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, particularly in the areas of voting, education, public accommodations, and employment.

The speakers will provide a historical perspective on the Civil Rights Act and its impact on other civil rights statutes. The panel will then present on Title VII milestones from 1964 to 2014, examine the objectives of the statute, the key turning points in its construction by the courts, and legislative changes meant to expand protections and overrule restrictive court decisions. The panel will also discuss present-day challenges to fulfilling the promise of the Civil Rights Act in light of the large population of people of color in the criminal justice system.

Featured Speakers:

Alice Ballard
Principal, Law Office of Alice W. Ballard

Reggie Shuford
Executive Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania

With an introduction from:

Su Ming Yeh
Managing Attorney, Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project


Alice W. Ballard is the principal attorney in the Law Office of Alice W. Ballard, P.C. A frequent lecturer and panelist at CLE events, she is a member of National Employment Lawyers Association's National Litigation Strategy Task Force, and an Advisor to the American Law Institute's project on the Restatement (Second) of Employment Law.

Reggie Shuford is the Executive Director ACLU of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the ACLU-PA, he served as the director of law and policy at the Equal Justice Society (EJS), a national strategy group heightening consciousness on race in the law and popular discourse, and he served as senior staff counsel in the national ACLU's Racial Justice Program from 1995-2010. He is a former Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow and recently received the 2014 Minority Business Leader Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Date: 
Monday, September 29, 2014

Time: 
12:00 PM

Location: Philadelphia Bar Association
1101 Market Street
11th Floor Conference Center
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Registration Info: 
Lunch is available for $8.00 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association and $12.00 for non-members.

Cancellations require 24 hour notice to receive a refund.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 

 

Planners: 
May Mon Post
Molly Tack-Hooper
Su Ming Yeh


 

APABA-PA Accepting Nominations for 2014 Attorney of the Year

 

As APABA-PA celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, we wish to recognize the great achievements of our members and their efforts in our community.  To that end, APABA-PA will be accepting nominations for its inaugural Attorney of the Year Award.  The recognition will be awarded to one attorney member of APABA-PA on an annual basis who demonstrate the following:

 

  • Professional excellence in the member's practice area
  • Extraordinary achievement and track record of success
  • High regard by clients and peers
  • Proven leadership within APABA-PA and other professional associations
  • Dedication to the APA community


APABA-PA's Leadership Advisory Committee will serve as the selection committee in vetting the nominees for the Award.  

Members may be nominated by others or be self-nominated.  To submit a nomination, please send an e-mail to rahat.babar@gmail.com with (1) a narrative describing the reasons that the nominee meets the criteria; (2) a resume or detailed biography; and (3) any other relevant materials in support of the nomination.

All nominations must be submitted by Friday, September 19, 2014.  The recipient of the Award will be recognized at APABA-PA's Annual Banquet on Friday, October 24, 2014.  If you have any questions, please email rahat.babar@gmail.com.  

 


ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SERVING IN THE LEADERSHIP OF APABA-PA? or KNOW SOMEONE WHO WOULD BE TERRIFIC IN SUCH A ROLE?

Please send an email to SYoung@clsphila.org with the subject line: Nomination for EC/Officer.

Identify your nominee (self nominations welcome), with contact information, and the position for which you are nominating yourself/this person.

You must tell us why you think your nominee is a good candidate, including identifying the various ways in which you or that individual has been active in APABA-Pa, and the time frame of those activities. If not active, please explain why else your nominee should be considered by the Nominating Committee. Please let us know whether you have already been in contact with your nominee, and whether you would be willing to contact the nominee. All nominees will be considered by the Nominations Committee. Please attach a resume or bio of the nominee, along with your email to Suzanne

Please send in your nomination materials by: Monday, September 22, 2014.

 


 

APABA-PA honors Grayce Uyehara

On July 16, 2014, the Executive Committee of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania approved a resolution that honors the life of Grayce Uyehara.  

Grayce Uyehara’s work was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, H.R. 442, which recognized that “a grave injustice was done” by the United States Government’s internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, an act that caused internees “enormous damages, both material and intangible,” and that for these “fundamental violations of the basic civil liberties and constitutional rights of these individuals of Japanese ancestry, the Congress apologizes on behalf of the Nation."

Grayce Uyehara passed away on June 22, 2014, at the age of 94, and is survived by her husband and four children, including her son Paul Uyehara, who is an APABA-PA member, a civil rights attorney with the United States Department of Justice, and a member of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). 

In addition, the executive committee will make a contribution to the Uyehara Internship Program, in memory of Grayce Uyehara, at the JACL.

 


 

A Great Evening for the Diverse Partners Network — Philadelphia Chapter


On Thursday, May 8, 2014, over 35 diverse leaders from the local legal community attended the inaugural gathering of the Diverse Partners Network — Philadelphia Chapter. Hosted by several leaders in the Philadelphia legal community, including many of our Officers and EC members, this event was a great opportunity to foster new professional connections and honor the achievements of dozens of diverse leaders in the profession.

 


 

Voter ID Update: Judge denies state's post-trial motion, injunction against VoterID law stands

The Commonwealth Court denied the state's request that Judge Bernard L. McGinley reconsider his January 17th ruling, which threw out Pennsylvania's voter ID law. Today's decision means the photo ID law remains permanently enjoined and hundreds of thousands of voters across the state can cast their ballots in upcoming elections! This also means the state can now begin the process for appealing to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. More details at Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.


 


 

Media Advisory:

Complaint filed by Asian American Plaintiffs against the Philadelphia City Commissioners for Refusal to Provide Language Access
Press Conference April 16


Large numbers of Philadelphia’s Asian American voting community are limited English proficient and require language assistance in order to vote, a fact made known to the Commissioners, the bipartisan board in charge of elections. Nonetheless, the Commissioners have refused to provide adequate language assistance in needed areas, in violation of the Fair Practices Ordinance (FPO).

On Wednesday, April 16, at 10 AM, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Boat People SOS-Delaware Valley (BPSOS), and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania (APABA-PA) will discuss the complaint filed by Asian American voters against the Philadelphia City Commissioners, for violations of the FPO.

PRESS CONFERENCE INFORMATION
Event: Press Conference to discuss the complaint filed by Asian American voters against the Philadelphia City Commissioners, for violations of the Fair Practices Ordinance.
Date and Time: April 16, 2014 at 10 AM
Location: One Penn Center, 1617 JFK Blvd., Room 1145, Philadelphia, PA

Speakers: Jerry Vattamala (Staff Attorney, AALDEF), Nancy Nguyen (Executive Director, BPSOS and Plaintiff), Hong Nguyen (Plaintiff) and Su Ming Yeh (President-Elect, APABA-PA)
Members of the press, please RSVP to Jerry Vattamala, jvattamala@aaldef.org or 212.966.5932 x209.

 


 

26th Pennsylvania Bar Association Annual Minority Attorney Conference

Lancaster Marriott & Convention Center; April 10-11.

Registration deadline: April 4.

This year's conference includes continuing legal education programs offering up to 9½ CLE credits. 

Our members will be on the Defense of Voting Rights: 50 Years After Montgomery cle panel on Friday.
Moderator: Nigel S. Scott, Esq., BaileyScott, PLLC, Philadelphia 
Panelists: 
Hon. Nelson A. Diaz, Dilworth Paxson LLP, Philadelphia 
Tsiwen M. Law, Esq., Law & Associates LLC, Philadelphia 
Erica Smith-Klocek, Esq., Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP, Philadelphia 
Jerry Vattamala, Esq., AALDEF, New York 



 


 

Our President-Elect Su Ming Yeh, current Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Public Interest Section, will be moderating a panel this Thursday at 4pm on "Access to Justice."  We hope many of you can attend and show support!!

April 3 Chancellor's Forum: Access to Justice Initiative

The Chancellor's Forum begins at 4 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St. A wine and cheese reception follows the program at 5 p.m. 


 

AALDEF 40th Anniversary Celebration – March 25

 

On March 25th,  AALDEF is celebrating its 40th Anniversary and giving a Justice in Action award to our member John Chou, EVP and General Counsel, AmerisourceBergen Corporation, at PIER SIXTY, Chelsea Piers in New York City.  John is a former President of APABA-PA (formerly AABA-DV) and a member of the APABA-PA Leadership Advisory Council.  Past recipients of this award that you might know from NAPABA include Don Liu, Simone Wu, Parkin Lee, A.B. Cruz, Larry Tu, Sandy Leung, Art Chong, Javade Chaudhri, and Ivan Fong and some of them will be attending. Founded in 1974, AALDEF is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.

 

Tickets are discounted at $250 per person.  If you wish to attend, please contact Joe Centeno’s assistant Elizabeth DeLuca at ED@obermayer.com by March 7, 2014.  If you want to attend but are unable to afford a ticket or have your employer pay for it, please inform Beth, as there are some tickets available for this use.

 


 

ABA Section of Family Law Diversity Scholarships

There are five (5) diversity scholarships available to attorneys who would like to attend the ABA Section of Family Law Spring Conference in Bermuda but may not have the financial resources to afford the cost.  The Conference is May 7-10, 2014. 

If awarded a scholarship through this program, the awardees will receive a complimentary conference registration, participation in the Newcomers’ Teambuilding Event, the Friday social event, and up to $500 in travel reimbursement (in compliance with ABA and Section financial policies).  Send your completed application to Cynthia Swan by email:Cynthia.Swan@americanbar.org no later than April 2, 2014.  For your convenience, I have attached the application and conference brochure.  For more information on the conference, you can visit www.ambar.org/famlawspring

 


 

Pro Bono Citizenship Day 2014

 

American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Citizenship Day 2014: VOLUNTEER ATTORNEYS NEEDED

Coordinated by HIAS Pennsylvania and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), nonprofit organizations will be partnering with immigration attorneys and law schools across Pennsylvania to offer free citizenship application assistance to eligible legal permanent residents. Sites will include Center City Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, Lansdale, (Montgomery County), York, and Avondale (Chester County). APABA-PA is a co-sponsor of this event.

As a co-sponsor of this event, we highly encourage all our members to participate and volunteer. Please see the attached press release and form for more info regarding upcoming free information sessions being held in various locations across the city, and to register as a volunteer.

Attorneys from all practice areas are being recruited to offer pro bono service. Training, CLE credit and on-site support will be provided. Please see attached flyers for further details.

Information and Training Sessions 

 


 

Our very own Tsiwen and Kay will be presenting before the Civil Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association on February 18 on Voter ID and the recent PCEA report.

In a strongly worded decision, Bernard L. McGinley of Commonwealth Court on January 17, 2014 struck down Pennsylvania’s 2012 voter identification law requiring voters to produce a state-approved photo ID at the polls, setting up a potential Supreme Court confrontation that could have implications for other such laws across the country. Specifically, Judge McGinley ruled that the voter ID requirement places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote, particularly for the elderly, disabled and low-income residents, and that the state’s reason for the law — that it was needed to combat voter fraud — was not supported by the facts. The case is expected to proceed to the State Supreme Court. 

At our meeting on Tuesday, Feburary 18, 2014, Tsiwen Law, principal of Law & Associates, LLC, and Kay Kyungsun Yu, Shareholder with Ahmad, Zaffarese & Smyler, LLC, will give a lively presentation on the issues leading up to trial in 2013 and the Report issued by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. 

Tsiwen has been recognized for his work on civil rights and service to minority clients and the law profession. He is a former member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Board of Governors, former chair of the PBA’s Civil and Equal Rights Committee, former member of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Board of Governors, former chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Civil Rights Committee and Public Interest Section, and he is a founding member of the Asian American Bar Association of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining Ahmad, Zaffarese & Smyler, Mayor Michael A. Nutter appointed Kay to serve as the Chairperson of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, the local agency charged with authority to enforce the City’s civil rights and anti-discrimination laws. Under her leadership, the PCHR convened 11 public hearings in 2010 to hear from the community on issues relating to intergroup tensions and violence in the City’s public schools. During the same period of time, partnering with the Mayor’s Office and City Council, Kay worked to overhaul, update and restate the City’s civil rights law. Before her service with the PCHR, Kay was a partner at Pepper Hamilton and an attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

 


 

Presidential Commission on Election Administration (Press Statement)

In conjunction with several organizations, APABA-PA joined in a press statement calling on the Presidential Commission on Election Administration to recommend reforms to our election system to ensure that elections are free, fair and accessible.  

 

Statement of Rahat N. Babar (APABA-PA's current president) Before the National Commission on Voting Rights, Lawyersʼ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
National Constitution Center
Kirby Auditorium
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 5:45pm

 


 

Asian American Groups Rejoice Ruling Striking Down PA's Discriminatory Voter ID Law

 

Friday, Jan 17, 2014 

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania (APABA-PA) applaud the ruling by a state judge that has struck down the law requiring Pennsylvania's voters to show photo identification at the polls. Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said this requirement of Pennsylvania's2012 voter identification law places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote.

AALDEF and APABA-PA filed an amicus brief in the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's restrictive voter ID requirement inApplewhite v. Pennsylvania. The amicus brief was prepared by AALDEF, APABA-PA, and pro-bono counsel White & Case LLP, and filed in conjunction with local counsel, Tsiwen Law, based on findings from AALDEF's election monitoring data from the 2012 and prior elections.

"This decision is a victory for equal voting rights," said Glenn Magpantay, Director of the Democracy Program at AALDEF. "Pennsylvania's Asian American population was disenfranchised by the state's voter ID law, which targeted populations such as naturalized citizens and limited English proficient voters which are less likely to have the approved forms of photo ID. Voter ID laws like Pennsylvania's cannot be equally applied to all voters, and the Court correctly struck down the law."

Under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's voter ID law, all eligible voters were required to present government-issued photo identification in order to vote. AALDEF and APABA-PA's amicus brief demonstrated that this law provided poll workers with unbridled discretion and unclear standards, which led to overt or implicit discrimination against Asian Americans at the polls.

"How appropriate that on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the judge struck down a discriminatory law that disenfranchised entire segments of the population," said Louis O'Neill, pro bono counsel at White & Case and one of the attorneys who worked on theamicus brief. "The right to vote is a fundamental right of every citizen of this country, and all Pennsylvanians will be able to continue to exercise that right that so many have fought for."

For example, in the 2012 general election, even though poll workers were permitted to ask all voters for identification, the percentage of Asian American voters that were required to show ID was disproportionately higher. For example, according to AALDEF's poll monitoring, 26 out of 52 respondents (50%) in Philadelphia and 21 out of 30 (70%) of respondents in Upper Darby were required to show ID, even though they were not first-time voters.

The amicus brief further contended that the Commonwealth made no significant attempt to provide Asian American citizens of limited English proficiency with information about the new voting law. In 2012, 53% of Asian American voters polled in Pennsylvania spoke English less than "very well," compared to 37% of all Asian Americans nationally. Nonetheless, the Commonwealth's efforts to educate limited English proficient voters were far from sufficient. As a result, there was a significant possibility that these citizens would not have had their votes counted.

Finally, the amicus brief illustrated that the voter identification requirements made it disproportionately burdensome for naturalized citizens to obtain valid photo IDs prior to an election day. Under PA's voter ID law, naturalized citizens who were not in possession of their naturalization certificates (either because they were lost, damaged, or stolen) may have been deterred from voting, given the length of time and cost required to obtain a replacement certificate from the federal immigration authorities.

"We are pleased that the Commonwealth Court, in reaching its conclusion, recognized that Pennsylvania's voter ID law did not further the goal of 'a free and fair election,' which voting laws are meant to protect," said Rahat N. Babar, APABA-PA President.

"Numerous other states have passed or are considering similar voter ID laws," said Jerry Vattamala, AALDEF Democracy Program staff attorney. "State legislatures have created a phantom problem of voter fraud. The intent of these voter ID laws is clear, given their adverse impacts on communities of color. We hope that other discriminatory voter ID laws are likewise struck down."

An appeal by the Commonwealth to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is anticipated. AALDEF and APABA-PA will continue the fight to strike down the restrictive law at every step, including at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
 

Contact:
Ujala Sehgal
212.966.5932 ex.217
usehgal@aaldef.org

 

Read the full decision here.


 

Please save the date for our Lunar Banquet on Friday, February 28, 2014.

You are cordially invited to attend the Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s 2014 Lunar New Year Banquet - YEAR OF THE HORSE

 

Friday, February 28, 2014
6 p.m. cocktail hour
7 p.m. dinner

 

Ocean Harbor Restaurant
1023 Race Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
215.574.1399

 

Details:
Please join us for a dinner of several delicious courses. The banquet will feature a traditional Lion Dance performance by the Philadelphia Suns.

Tickets:
$30 for government/public interest 2014 paid members
$40 for all other 2014 paid members
$50 for non-members
$15 for children 18 and under
$30 for law and college students
$400 per table of ten

Please RSVP by February 19, 2014.
Email jacquie.huynh(at)gmail.com with any questions.

 


 

Recently, APABA-PA, along with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund ("AALDEF"), filed an amicus brief with the Commonwealth Court regarding Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law.  The law mandated that all voters present an appropriate form of photo identification as a prerequisite of voting.   Several individuals, along with interested organizations, brought suit challenging the validity of the law under the Pennsylvania Constitution.  The court held a trial on the merits in July 2013.  In our amicus brief, APABA-PA and AALDEF argued that the implementation of the law will have a discriminatory impact on Asian American voters and requested that the court grant a permanent injunction barring the enforcement of the law.  You can read the amicus brief here.

 


 

APABA-PA has joined in a letter with AALDEF regarding the results of the 2012 election exit polling results in Delaware County


PA exit poll presentation on Monday, May 13 at 6 pm at PCDC.  We at APABA-PA, and BPSOS-Delaware Valley, CAGP, and PCDC are co-sponsoring.

On Monday, May 13, 2013, at 6pm, AALDEF, with APABA-PA as co-sponsor, will be presenting "The Asian American Vote 2012 in Pennsylvania And Support for Immigration Reform."  At this special presentation, comparative information will be given about the Asian American vote in the Presidential and Congressional elections, including concerns about key issues such as comprehensive immigration reform and same-sex marriage, first-time voters, and profiles of the Asian American vote by ethnicity, nativity, party enrollment, age, and English proficiency.  It will be held at PCDC, 301 N. 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA.

The RSVP link is embedded in the PDF, but if you need, here’s the link to the sign-up form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1DEs53fyPNNH4MWSMo4Ag38JBWt5woiH19_tedibBJCs/viewform

 


Voter ID Trial Scheduled to Start July 15

 

Plaintiffs Will Ask Court to Extend Preliminary Injunction Until Conclusion of Lawsuit

 

HARRISBURG, PA - Today Judge Robert Simpson issued an order scheduling the voter ID trial for July 15, 2013, at the Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg. The trial is expected to last about a week. Plaintiffs are seeking a permanent injunction to stop implementation of the state’s voter ID law.

Plaintiffs will be filing a motion asking the court to extend its preliminary injunction, which prevented the law from being implemented for in person voting this past November, until the legal case has been concluded. The motion is due by Feb. 8, 2013, with a response due by Feb. 13, 2013. In his order, Judge Simpson set a date of March 21 for a final decision on the extension of the preliminary injunction.

Plaintiffs in the voter ID case are represented by the Public Interest Center of Philadelphia, Advancement Project, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and the Washington, DC law firm of Arnold & Porter.

 

A copy of Judge Simpson’s scheduling order is available here: http://www.aclupa.org/downloads/schedulingorder.PDF

 


 

 

 

Judge Simpson's decision on voter suppression

Supreme Court Sends Voter ID Case Back to Commonwealth Court

 

 

ASIAN AMERICAN GROUPS URGE PA SUPREME COURT

 

TO STRIKE DOWN DISCRIMINATORY VOTER ID LAW

  

AALDEF and APABA-PA’s amicus brief shows that PA’s voter ID law disenfranchises Asian Americans

 

August 29, 2012 -- The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) of Pennsylvania filed an amicus "friend of the court" brief in the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s restrictive voter ID requirement in Applewhite v. Pennsylvania. The amicus brief was prepared by AALDEF and pro-bono counsel White & Case LLP.

“Pennsylvania’s voter ID law disenfranchises Asian Americans and prevents racial and language minorities from exercising their fundamental right to vote," said Margaret Fung, Executive Director of AALDEF.

Asian Americans are the nation’s fastest growing minority group.  Although Asian Americans aim to participate in the political process, they have had to overcome many barriers to exercise their right to vote.

Under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, all eligible voters must present government-issued photo identification in order to vote.  AALDEF’s amicus brief demonstrates that Pennsylvania’s new photo ID requirements will have discriminatory impacts on Asian American voters. The brief details findings from election monitoring data compiled by AALDEF and other Asian American groups over the last decade.

Prior to the adoption of Pennsylvania’s new law, AALDEF monitored the 2008 elections at seven poll sites in Pennsylvania with large numbers of Asian American voters, including Philadelphia’s Chinatown, Olney, South Philadelphia, Upper Darby, Montgomery Township, and Bensalem, and surveyed 518 Asian American voters in a multilingual, nonpartisan exit poll. 

Although non-first time voters did not need to provide identification under the previous PA law, Asian American voters reported improper and excessive demands for identification by poll workers and racial profiling. Of the 518 Asian American voters that AALDEF surveyed, 135 voters were asked to present identification even though it was not required of them. 

“Voter ID laws in Pennsylvania have been used to target Asian American voters at disproportionately higher rates when compared to other voters,” said Glenn D. Magpantay, Director of AALDEF’s Democracy Program. “If photo identification is required of all voters in Pennsylvania, our findings demonstrate that identification would be misapplied and often required only of minority voters.”

AALDEF’s amicus brief further contends that the Commonwealth has made no serious effort to educate Asian American voters on the photo ID law’s requirements. According to AALDEF’s 2008 exit poll, only 21% of Asian American voters in PA identified English as their native language, and 42% reported limited English proficiency. Nonetheless, the Commonwealth’s efforts to educate limited English proficient voters about this new law have been minimal thus far and the state has done nothing to reach out to Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, or Khmer-speaking voters.  Moreover, the application and oath for a free Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Photo ID – intended for individuals without an acceptable ID -- are available only in English.

Finally, AALDEF’s amicus brief contends that the voter identification requirements for naturalized U.S. citizens are unduly stringent. According to AALDEF’s exit poll in 2008, 70% of Asian American voters in PA reported that they were naturalized foreign-born citizens. Under PA’s new voter ID law, naturalized citizens who are not in possession of their naturalization certificates (either because they were lost, damaged, or stolen) may be prevented from voting, given the length of time and cost required to obtain a replacement certificate from the federal immigration authorities. 

“We urge the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to strike down the new voter ID law because of the disenfranchising effect it will have on the political participation of Asian American voters,” said Magpantay.

“The right to vote is a fundamental right of every citizen of this country,” said Thomas MacWright, White & Case LLP. “Accordingly, we are opposed to any attempt to limit access to the polls including a law -- like that proposed in Pennsylvania – that potentially disenfranchises whole segments of the population.”

“The Commonwealth has passed a Voter ID law that interferes with the constitutionally protected right to vote, even though it failed to prove or prosecute a single case of impersonation fraud in court,” said Tsiwen Law, Local Counsel to APABA-PA. “Now Pennsylvania voters, especially ethnic minorities and the elderly, who happen to lack state-mandated forms of matching photographic identification will lose the right to vote on election day as opposed to other voters who happen to have the right form of state-mandated ID -- all over a problem that never existed. That loss is an irreparable harm for which an injunction should be issued.”


 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT CLARKE, MEMBERS OF COUNCIL TO JOIN CIVIC GROUPS IN PA VOTER ID LAW EDUCATION CAMPAIGN

Officials Combat Confusion Over Changing Rules

1p.m. Monday, July 30, 2012

WHERE: Girls Gymnasium

Strawberry Mansion High School

3133 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19132

 


 


AALDEF/APABA-PA/PCDC Press Conference - July 2, 2012

AALDEF, in conjunction with APABA-PA and PCDC, will be holding a press conference on July 2, 12pm, at PCDC, 301 N. 9th Street.  We'll be discussing the Voter ID law and the importance for voters to bring appropriate identification at the polls in November.  A press release is attached.  Please distribute to any media contacts you may have.

Along with the press conference, AALDEF will be spearheading a voter registration drive on July 2 as well.  We're looking for volunteers.  Let Rahat Babar know if you can help, please e-mail rahat.babar@gmail.com (or anyone you know who might be interested) are available.

And lastly, APABA-PA, with PCDC, will be holding a Voter ID workshop on July 2 as well, starting at 6pm.  Rahat Babar and Djung Tran will be presenting on the Voter ID requirements.  The workshop will be held at On Lok Senior Center, 219 N. 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA.

 

 

 

 

 
powered by MemberClicks