APALA-NJ News

APALA-NJ'S Statement on George Floyd and the Fight Against the Criminalization of the Black Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 30, 2020

APALA-NJ’S STATEMENT ON GEORGE FLOYD AND THE FIGHT AGAINST THE CRIMINALIZATION OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – Many of us simply want things to go back to “normal” as a global pandemic and economic crisis looms and upsets everything we know. We cannot go back to “business as usual” without systemic changes in our criminal justice system, workplaces, homes, schools and recreational spaces. For many Americans “normal” means being explicitly or implicitly targeted, based on the color of your skin and on account of your race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or ability– whether it be wearing a facemask in public, shopping at Walmart, jogging in your neighborhood, bird watching in the park, or being placed under arrest. Normal should not and cannot be a handcuffed, unarmed black man dying face down on the street under the knee of a police officer. In America. In 2020.

This is a systematic failure to protect black lives.

The Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ) stands in solidarity with George Floyd, his family, the black community, and all those fighting to end racism and hate. We cannot and will not remain silent and ostensibly complicit in police brutality against black and brown lives. As lawyers, we learn about the importance of criminal procedure, due process, and probable cause.  In order for there to be systemic change, we must not only call on the legislature or the highest court of the land, but also within our own communities.

We cannot simply condemn such obvious injustices, but must do more. As Angela Davis said, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.” We must have honest discourse with people of all races and ethnicities. We must ask ourselves in public and in private "what have I done to help end racism?" And it is time for all of us to have an answer other than "nothing." Although Black and Asian solidarity is deeply rooted in American history, it often goes unnoticed. APALA-NJ is not a monolithic group. Even within our executive board, we have an officer who is Latina and a director who is a mother of a black daughter. What happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, and Christian Cooper not only can happen to our friends and colleagues but also our own families. 

APALA-NJ joins in the fight to stop the criminalization and commodification of black bodies.  APALA-NJ further joins those calling for a systemic reform on the use of deadly force by law enforcement agencies, and increased review of discriminatory practices that infer racial bias. We must fundamentally change our broken system.

APALA-NJ holds this truth to be self-evident that all persons are created equal. We pledge ourselves with a renewed sense of urgency to work alongside our friends and colleagues in other affinity bar associations, in the New Jersey State Bar Association, to make that truth reality.

APALA-NJ, founded in 1985 and incorporated in 1993, is the largest specialty bar association that collectively represents the interests of Asian Pacific American lawyers in the State of New Jersey.

 

APALA-NJ SUPPORTS GOV. PHIL MURPHY’S NOMINATION OF FABIANA PIERRE-LOUIS TO THE STATE’S HIGHEST COURT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2020

APALA-NJ SUPPORTS GOV. PHIL MURPHY’S NOMINATION OF FABIANA PIERRE-LOUIS TO THE STATE’S HIGHEST COURT

Newark, New Jersey – Gov. Phil Murphy formally announced his first pick for the New Jersey Supreme Court since taking office. And it is a historic one.

Today, Murphy nominated Fabiana Pierre-Louis, a partner at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, to be the next Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. If confirmed by the Senate, Pierre-Louis will be the first black woman, and the first Haitian-American to sit on the state’s highest court. The Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ) fully and wholeheartedly supports Pierre-Louis’s nomination and believes this is the right step towards a more diverse judiciary. New Jersey is strong and prides itself on its diversity as one of the most racially and ethnically diverse communities, including people of color and immigrants; it is time our Supreme Court reflects the diversity of the state. APALA-NJ is proud to stand witness to history.

At only 39, Pierre-Louis’s accolades are extensive and speak for themselves. She is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick and earned her law degree from Rutgers Law School, magna cum laude. Following law school, she clerked for Justice John Wallace Jr. (ret.). From there, she went to Montgomery McCracken before moving to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey in 2010. In 2012, she moved to the Trenton office and would be the first woman of color to be Attorney-in-Charge of the office. In 2018, she became the first woman of color to serve as Attorney-in-Charge of the Camden office. She supervised all aspects of criminal matters: criminal trials, investigations and prosecutions of large-scale mail and wire fraud offenses, healthcare and government fraud matters, and narcotics, firearms, and violent crime offenses. She also investigated and prosecuted her own caseload, focusing on public corruption matters, federal narcotics offenses, export control violations, defense contracting fraud, national security matters, and child exploitation offenses. In addition to working in both Trenton and Camden, Pierre-Louis worked in the Newark Office in the General Crimes Unit and the Organized Crime and Gang Unit.

“I am a Black woman. I am the child of immigrants from Haiti. I am someone who is a first generation American citizen here in this country, [the] first person in my family to attend law school, to become a lawyer, someone who’s also lived in a variety of inner cities throughout my life, beginning with my early childhood in Brooklyn, then followed by the remainder of my childhood in Irvington, New Jersey,” Pierre-Louis is quoted as saying to Essence Magazine. “All those experiences bring a unique perspective to the Court that currently is not there.”

APALA-NJ, founded in 1985 and incorporated in 1993, is the largest specialty bar association that collectively represents the interests of Asian Pacific American lawyers in the State of New Jersey.

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APALA-NJ's 2020-2021 Officers and Directors Virtually Sworn in

On May 28, 2020, APALA-NJ's officers and board of directors were installed at the Annual Meeting and Elections via Zoom. The Honorable Zahid N. Quraishi, U.S.M.J. for the District of NJ, Trenton Vicinage administered the oathvof office.

President - Jenny Chung
President-Elect - Qing Guo
VP of Membership - Gregory Yen, RPh, Esq
VP of Communications - Janice V. Arellano
Secretary - Ashwath Trasi
Treasurer - Punam Alam
Board of Directors: Arupa Barua, Esq., Bo Han, Irene Hsieh, Sudha Raja and Richard Ramones

Officer Elections 2020 - Candidate Statements

Click a name below to view the Candidate's statement (PDF format):

 

Position

Candidates

For President-Elect

For Vice-President of Membership

For Vice-President of Communications

For Treasurer

For Secretary

For Directors

 

Officer Elections 2019 - Candidate Statements

Click a name below to view the Candidate's statement (PDF format):

 

Position

Candidates

For President-Elect

For Vice-President of Membership

For Vice-President of Communications

For Treasurer

For Secretary

For Directors

 

Paul Yoon appointed to the NJSBA JPAC Committee

View the PDF news release here.

 

 

Officer Elections 2018 - Candidate Statements

Click a name below to view the Candidate's statement (PDF format):

 

Position

Candidates

For President-Elect

For Vice-President of Membership

For Vice-President of Communications

For Secretary

For Treasurer

  • Jonathan Amar

For Directors

 

Officer Elections - Candidate Statements

Click a name below to view the Candidate's statement (PDF format):

 

Position

Candidates

For President-Elect

For Vice-President of Membership

For Vice-President of Communications

For Secretary

For Treasurer

For Directors

 

Read the Op-Ed by Theodore Cheng and Jhanice Domingo published in Star-Ledger

Below is the full text of an Op-Ed by Theodore K. Cheng and Jhanice V. Domingo published in the Star-Ledger on April 25, 2016. The original article may be viewed here.

 

Another chance to diversify N.J. Supreme Court falls victim to politics | Opinion

The state Senate today will more than likely confirm Walter Timpone to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

If approved, Timpone's confirmation results in once again a disproportionately non-diverse court with only one minority associate justice out of seven.

Throughout New Jersey's history, there have been only two African-American and two Hispanic Supreme Court associate justices, and not one Asian Pacific American. This glaring under-representation of minorities must be addressed and it is now incumbent upon the Senate to prove that diversity is a priority.

Walter "Wally" Timpone is one step away from becoming a justice on the state Supreme Court.

Not only must we demand that New Jersey's elected officials prioritize diversifying New Jersey's Judiciary, but we also must demand good faith and fair dealing in the judicial selection process. 

Had he been confirmed, Judge David F. Bauman would have been the first-ever Asian Pacific American associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Bauman is of Japanese-American descent.

Instead, politics prevailed when Gov. Chris Christie and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney announced on April 11 a so-called bipartisan agreement to fill the seventh seat on New Jersey's highest court. That seat remained vacant for six years due to political gamesmanship by New Jersey's elected officials. Christie withdrew his nomination of Bauman, a Republican, and put up with the nomination of Timpone, a Democrat. 

According to Christie and Sweeney, the addition of Timpone finally resolves the feud over judicial independence and balance on that court, which consists of three Republicans, two Democrats, and one Independent. 

But does it?

The series of nominations to the New Jersey Supreme Court during Christie's administration has led to spirited debates within the legal community about the importance of judicial independence and balance.  Both the protection of judicial independence and preservation of political balance in the courts are important. 

But conspicuously absent from the dialogue is the critical need to make diversity a priority to achieve these two goals.

Democracy demands a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. According to the latest estimates, minorities collectively comprise 41 percent of New Jersey's population. The state is expected to become the next majority-minority state in the U.S.

Yet, its Judiciary does not today reflect the vibrant constituencies of the state.

Because Bauman — whom Sweeney, himself, described as "absolutely qualified" — was not afforded a hearing at all, his qualifications and the value he would have added to the court could not even be considered.

Diversity would have been one such value.

A diverse Judiciary enables the jurists themselves to better understand the practical consequences of their decisions on both the lawyers appearing before them and their client-litigants. 

Gov. Chris Christie poisoned the waters in Trenton during his first year in office when he removed Justice John Wallace, the court's only African-American, without any remotely justifiable reason.

A diverse Judiciary also permits jurists to learn from other jurists, assisting each other in appreciating, understanding, and ultimately resolving complicated issues that, in some cases, may disproportionately affect, or affect differently, people who are not members of the mainstream culture. 

Diversifying the Judiciary helps to improve the quality of the bench and the justice that it administers.

Politicians must not be applauded for unduly politicizing the judicial selection process, and then resolving a crisis of their own making at the expense of a well-respected jurist and New Jersey's citizens. Nor should they be excused for making decisions without any regard for much-needed diversity. 

"Politics as usual" must change, and we must hold accountable those who fail to act in the best interests of New Jersey's diverse population.

Theodore K. Cheng is a partner at the law firm of Fox, Horan & Camerini LLP and the president of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey.

Jhanice V. Domingo is a partner at the law firm of Einhorn Harris Ascher Barbarito & Frost P.C. and is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey and chair of its Judicial & Prosecutorial Appointments Committee.

Follow NJ.com Opinion on Twitter@NJ_Opinion. Find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.

APALA-NJ applauds the nomination of Gurbir S. Grewal to serve as prosecutor for Bergen County

APALA-NJ WELCOMES AND APPLAUDS THE NOMINATION OF GURBIR S. GREWAL TO SERVE AS PROSECUTOR FOR THE COUNTY OF BERGEN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 4, 2013
CONTACT: Rachit J. Choksi, Esq. rachit.choksi@gmail.com

On September 12, 2013, Governor Chris Christie announced that he would nominate Gurbir S. Grewal to serve as Prosecutor in Bergen County. Mr. Grewal is the first county Prosecutor of South Asian descent and only the second of Asian Pacific American (APA) descent in the history of New Jersey.

“APALA-NJ congratulates Gurbir Grewal on his nomination to be the next Bergen County Prosecutor and applauds Governor Christie for his commitment to diversity. In view of his qualifications, Mr. Grewal will certainly be an asset to the citizens of Bergen County,” said Florelee Wan, President of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey.

Read the full press release here.

APALA-NJ applauds the appointment of Grace Park as Acting Prosecutor in Union County

APALA-NJ WELCOMES AND APPLAUDS THE APPOINTMENT OF GRACE H. PARK TO SERVE AS ACTING PROSECUTOR FOR THE COUNTY OF UNION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 11, 2013
CONTACT: Rachit J. Choksi, Esq. rachit.choksi@gmail.com

On May 23, 2013, New Jersey State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa appointed Grace H. Park to serve as Acting Prosecutor in Union County. Ms. Park is the first County Prosecutor—acting or confirmed—of Asian Pacific American (APA) descent in the history of New Jersey.

View full Press Release here

Announcing the confirmation of CARLIA M. BRADY to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County

Dear APALA-NJ Members;

APALA-NJ JPAC ANNOUNCEMENT
The APALA-NJ Executive Board and Judicial & Prosecutorial Appointments Committee are thrilled to announce the confirmation of CARLIA M. BRADY to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County. We are proud to have supported Ms. Brady's nomination and congratulate her on her appointment as a Superior Court Judge. Ms. Brady is the first Philippine-born NJ Superior Court Judge and will be the only Filipino-American sitting judge in the NJ Superior Court bench.

View the press release here.


Interested in a judicial or prosecutorial appointment? Please contact one of APALA-NJ's JPAC Co-Chairs:

THEODORE K. CHENG, ESQ.
tchengesq@yahoo.com

RACHIT J. CHOKSI, ESQ.
rachit.choksi@gmail.com

JHANICE V. DOMINGO, ESQ.
jhanicedomingo@gmail.com

APALA-NJ congratulates and supports the Honorable David F. Bauman, P.J.S.C. on his nomination by Governor Chris Christie to the New Jersey Supreme Court!

Dear APALA-NJ Member:

The APALA-NJ Executive Board and Judicial & Prosecutorial Appointments Committee congratulate the Honorable David F. Bauman, P.J.S.C. on his nomination by Governor Chris Christie to the New Jersey Supreme Court. If confirmed, Judge Bauman would be the first Asian Pacific American NJ Supreme Court Justice. Attached is a copy of APALA-NJ/JPAC's first press release. We intend to issue more in the next few weeks.

Judge Bauman has been an active member and staunch supporter of APALA-NJ for many years, both while he was in private practice and on the bench. Recently, Judge Bauman was our luncheon keynote speaker at the NAPABA Eastern Super Regional Conference in Atlantic City, NJ and swore into office our 2012-2013 executive board.

We hope that you will all join us in supporting Judge Bauman's nomination and work to ensure that he is confirmed. Many of you already have offered your time and support to this endeavor and we thank you. If you want to learn more about the process and are interested in helping, please email Jhanice V. Domingo at jhanicedomingo@gmail.com.

Let's make history!

Sincerely,
APALA-NJ Executive Board
APALA-NJ Judicial & Prosecutorial Appointments Committee

View Press Release (.pdf)

Happy Holidays from APALA-NJ!!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Happy Holidays from the 2012-2013 APALA-NJ Executive Board!!!
XOXO, Paul, Florelee, Jhanice, Alice + Rachit

You can also view the card here.

APALA-NJ is deeply saddened to learn that Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has passed away

APALA-NJ is deeply saddened to learn that Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has passed away. APALA-NJ would like to express our deepest condolences to Senator Inouye's family and friends during this difficult time. Our thoughts are with them.

Congratulations to the former AABANY president Glenn Lau-Kee, who has been nominated to be the next president-elect of the New York State Bar Association!

Congratulations to the former AABANY president Glenn Lau-Kee, who has been nominated to be the next president-elect of the New York State Bar Association!

Congratulations to Lorna Schofield on her historic confirmation as United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York!

Congratulations to Lorna Schofield on her historic confirmation as United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York!

Visit Our Photo Gallery from the 2012 NAPABA Eastern Super Regional Conference

Click here to visit our photo gallery from the 2012 NAPABA Eastern Super Regional Conference.

Learn more about APALA-NJ’s New Executive Board

Click here to learn more about APALA-NJ's New Executive Board.

Rutgers-Camden Mock Interview Workshop Thursday 8/16

Thursday, August 16th 2012

APALA-NJ Newsletter, Volume 2 Is Available

Click here to view Volume 2 of the APALA-NJ Newsletter.

Inaugural Edition of the APALA-NJ Newsletter is Available

Click here to view the inaugural edition of the APALA-NJ newsletter.

The Rutgers-Camden APALSA Thanksgiving Feast Event

The Rutgers-Camden APALSA Chapter helped to coordinate volunteer recruiting for a Thanksgiving Feast in Camden, NJ. The Thanksgiving Feast was sponsored by Touch New Jersey, Inc., a non-profit whose mission is to help alleviate poverty by providing food and resources to individuals and families in need. Of the 120 volunteers, over 30 were students from Rutgers-Camden and members of various New Jersey Bar Associations. As stated by Touch New Jersey's latest newsletter, perhaps as many as 300 meals were served in all, and volunteers said the turnout seemed to highlight the toll of unemployment on local families. But for a few hours on Saturday, November 20, 2010, their unemployment histories and the hurt didn't matter. There was turkey and stuffing, broccoli casserole and pumpkin pie and so much to be thankful for!

5th Annual APALA-NJ Golf Classic & Dinner

On Thursday, August 12, 2010, the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey hosted its 5th Annual APALA-NJ Golf Classic & Dinner. More than 60 golfers braved some stormy weather and played a round at the beautiful Wild Turkey Golf Club of The Crystal Springs Resorts, Hamburg, New Jersey, and another 30 members and friends joined us for dinner at the Club. After a great meal, we held an exciting live auction where, thanks to our sponsors, APALA-NJ auctioned off prizes ranging from a Wii to luxury box seats at the new Meadowlands Stadium.

This year's Classic was a great success. Best of all, APALA-NJ donated half of the proceeds from the Classic to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund ("AALDEF"). Thank you to all of you who participated in planning various aspects of the outing and who came out to play or share a meal.

Jin Hwang to Serve as Northeast Regional Governor to NAPABA for 2010-2012

Congratulations to APALA-NJ member, Jin Hwang, on her appointment to serve as the Northeast Regional Governor to NAPABA for the 2010-2012 term.