Attorney George Chen, named the State Bar of Arizona 2015 Member of the Year.

Attorney George Chen, named the State Bar of Arizona 2015 Member of the Year.

The State Bar of Arizona has announced the winners of its 10 annual awards. The honorees will be recognized at the Bar Convention’s June 26 luncheon.

I was pleased to see Bryan Cave lawyer George Chen was named Member of the Year. Among many accomplishments, George is currently the President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. His full bio is here.

You can read the names and affiliations of all the winners here.

And you can read the entire Convention brochure here (and register to attend here).

The information about the Friday luncheon is here.

Marian Yim (far right) was one of the honorees to receive the national Trailblazers Award at the annual NAPABA Convention, November 2014.

Marian Yim (far right) was one of the honorees to receive the national Trailblazers Award at the annual NAPABA Convention, November 2014.

Last month, Arizona was privileged to host a national conference of lawyers and law students. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) event featured quite a few excellent seminars and plenary sessions—plus a Mercedes raffle. (I mentioned one of its signature events here.)

Among the things NAPABA gets right is the use of video to draw people in. They were effective at marketing the conference in advance and as tools to tell stories from the event once it was done.

Attorney Jared Leung, President of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association, kindly shared three of those videos. I pass them on with the hope that other event organizers will take their lead. (All videos are courtesy of Ty Ng of TwinTygr Films.)

The first video offered a broad overview of all the conference’s highlights:

The next video demonstrated the group’s community-service efforts benefiting Packages From Home and the veterans it serves. As Jared said:

NAPABA_logo“Barry Wong was instrumental in setting this wonderful community project at the NAPABA Convention.  It would not have happened without his leadership on this. Also, over 25 of you woke up early on Sunday morning, arriving at the Convention at 7 am to help set up the ‘production lines’ for the convention participants to pack the boxes. We had planned 2 hours to pack 300 boxes, but we ended up using a little over an hour and packed 315 boxes. The support and excitement was overwhelming and far exceeded our expectation. Your support was crucial to the success of this event. Thank you all so much!!

Here’s the video:

OK, best for last. Finally, Jared shared a video of the speech given by Marian Yim as she accepted the national Trailblazer Award. And Jared reminded attendees, “Marian gave us a challenge at the end of her speech: What kind of new APA lawyer are you going to be?”

I think that question could be asked of all attorneys. Here is the video of Marian:

Members of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association gather at the annual NAPABA Convention, Nov. 2014.

Members of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association gather at the annual NAPABA Convention, Nov. 2014.

Among the speakers at this week's NAPABA Convention in Scottsdale will be journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas

Among the speakers at this week’s NAPABA Convention in Scottsdale will be journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas

In the November Arizona Attorney Magazine, I shared news about the upcoming convention of NAPABA—the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. As I mentioned, we’re fortunate that the annual event is being held in Arizona.

The convention will be held this week, November 6 to 9 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. The keynote speaker on Saturday will be Jose Antonio Vargas, “a journalist, filmmaker, and the founder of Define American, a campaign that seeks to elevate the immigration conversation.” AAABA President Jared Leung says, “Mr. Vargas will share his amazing journey from the Philippines to the U.S., who will inspire and perhaps even challenge our thinking of the current immigration debate and the definition of Americans.”

More information and registration are here.

Meanwhile, I also alert you to a Convention-related event. But note its location!

The free event is titled “Civil Liberties vs. National Security: Policy and Reality of Judicial Review.” (Note: Aside from this free lecture, there are registration fees for the rest of the convention.)

This lecture will not be held at the Convention site. Instead, this compelling presentation will be at the ASU Cronkite journalism school in downtown Phoenix (555 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ, 85004). The presentation will be on November 6, from 8:00 to 9:30 am.

Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights

Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights

The speaker is Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York.

Here is more background from the organizers:

“We are told that the history of civil liberties involves a constant tug of war between two irreconcilable demands: collective security vs. individual rights. Following 9/11, almost all discussions of the excesses of the federal government—detention without charge, torture, and mass surveillance—start from the premise that safety and liberty are in conflict with each other, and must always be ‘balanced’; if we insist on rigorously enforcing Constitutional rights for all, we must also accept becoming marginally less safe. But does eliminating the right of judicial review of detentions, or the right to privacy against government surveillance, really make us safer? Join us for a wide-ranging discussion of these issues with attorney Shayana Kadidal, managing attorney of the Center for Constitutional Rights’ Guantanamo project.

Center for Constitutional Rights CCR logo“Shayana Kadidal is senior managing attorney of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. He is a 1994 graduate of Yale Law School and a former law clerk to Judge Kermit Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In his twelve years at the Center, he has worked on a number of significant cases arising in the wake of 9/11, including the Center’s challenges to the detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay (among them torture victim Mohammed al Qahtani and former CIA ghost detainee Majid Khan), which have twice reached the Supreme Court, and several cases arising out of the post-9/11 domestic immigration sweeps.

“He was also counsel in CCR’s legal challenges to the ‘material support’ statute (Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, decided by the Supreme Court in 2010), to the low rates of black firefighter hiring in New York City, and to the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program. Along with others at the Center, he currently serves as U.S. counsel to WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. On behalf of plaintiffs including Assange, Glenn Greenwald, and other journalists, he led litigation that ultimately resulted in public release of over 550 previously withheld documents during the court-martial of Pvt. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning.”

State Bar Governor Melissa S. Ho

State Bar Governor Melissa S. Ho, Nov. 17, 2012

Here is some great news that involves a member of the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors.

Melissa Ho is an attorney at Polsinelli Shughart as well as a Bar Governor. Among her day’s already-long list of duties, she’s also committed to helping in numerous places in the community. (See my previous story about the inspiring words she delivered to teenaged participants in ASU’s Asian LEAD Academy.)

Today I share the news that Melissa was among a distinguished group of lawyers honored by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) on November 17 at a Washington DC event. She received one of the coveted 2012 Best Lawyers Under 40 Awards.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorAs the organization describes it, “These awards recognize talented Asian Pacific American attorneys under the age of 40 who have achieved prominence in their respective areas of law while demonstrating an unwavering dedication to the APA community.”

The complete release is below. Congratulations to Melissa.

NAPABA Presents Special Awards at 24th Annual Convention in Washington, DC

Washington, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) presented the 2012 NAPABA Trailblazer Awards, the 2012 Best Lawyers Under 40 Awards, and the 2012 NAPABA Affiliate of the Year Award during the 24th Annual NAPABA Convention in Washington, DC.

The 2012 Trailblazer Awards were presented on Friday, November 16, 2012, during a reception and awards ceremony hosted by Walmart. The Trailblazer Award, which is NAPABA’s highest honor, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated vision, courage, and tenacity, and who have made substantial and lasting contributions to the Asian Pacific American (APA) legal profession, as well as the broader APA community. NAPABA is proud to present the 2012 Trailblazer Award winners:

  • Hon. Danette “Dee” Brown, California Office of Administrative Hearings (Eastern California Region)
  • Nicholas V. Chen, Pamir Law Group (Southeast Region)
  • Michael P. Chu, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione (Central Region)
  • Hon. Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California (Northern California)
  • Hon. Kimi Kondo, City of Seattle Municipal Court (Northwest Region)
  • Carol C. Lam, QUALCOMM (Southern California Region)
  • William F. Lee, WilmerHale (Northeast Region)
  • Hon. Kathryn Doi Todd, Second District Court of Appeals for the State of California (Central California Region)
  • Lawrence Tu, Dell Inc. (Southwest Region)

The 2012 Best Lawyers Under 40 Awards were presented at NAPABA’s Anniversary Gala and Celebration Dinner on November 17, 2012. These awards recognize talented Asian Pacific American attorneys under the age of 40 who have achieved prominence in their respective areas of law while demonstrating an unwavering dedication to the APA community. NAPABA congratulates the following 2012 Best Lawyers Under 40 Awards recipients:

  • Akemi Arakaki, LA County Superior Court, Central Juvenile District
  • Steve Choi, MinKwon Center for Community Action
  • James Derry, Arbitron, Inc.
  • Marita Etcubañez, Asian American Justice Center
  • Rio M. Guerrero, Guerrero Yee LLP
  • Mark Hanasono, LA County Alternate Public Defender
  • Melissa S. Ho, Polsinelli Shughart PC
  • Peggy L. Ho, LPL Financial
  • Laboni Hoq, Asian Pacific American Legal Center
  • Blossom Kan, MetLife, Inc.
  • Naho Kobayashi, McGuireWoods LLP
  • Nicole Kubista, Office of the Public Defender, St. Paul, MN
  • Jason Leung, Ridout & Maybee, LLP
  • Edward Lew, The Walt Disney Company
  • Tirzah Abe Lowe, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP
  • Samuel S. Park, Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Teena-Ann Sankoorikal, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
  • Jeannie Suk, Harvard Law School
  • Vinoo Varghese, Varghese & Associates P.C.
  • Carla Wong McMillian, State Court of Fayette County, GA
  • Calvin K. Woo, McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP

This year, Christopher Kang, Senior Counsel to President Obama, was awarded the President’s Award for outstanding service to NAPABA and the legal community. Mr. Kang was honored for his dedication to NAPABA and his efforts to diversify the federal bench.

The 2012 Affiliate of the Year Award was presented to the Asian/Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento. This award was established to recognize outstanding local NAPABA affiliates and their best practices and accomplishments in their respective local communities.

NAPABA established the APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award to recognize NAPABA’s law firms—solo, small, and large—that have achieved prominence and distinction, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to the Asian Pacific American community. The Award celebrates law practices that embrace the APA community while maintaining the highest ethical and legal standards in our profession. The Award also recognizes firms that have advanced the goals and ideals of NAPABA and APA legal advocacy groups. The inaugural APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award was presented to Minami Tamaki LLP.