APALA-NJ News

APALA-NJ Congratulates Zahid N. Quraishi on His Historic Presidential Nomination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 30, 2021

THE ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF NEW JERSEY (APALA-NJ) CONGRATULATES THE HONORABLE ZAHID N. QURAISHI ON HIS PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION TO BECOME THE FIRST MUSLIM-AMERICAN U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE FIRST ASIAN-AMERICAN U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE IN NEW JERSEY

The Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ) congratulates our dear friend, supporter, and colleague, United States Magistrate Judge Zahid N. Quraishi on his historic nomination by President Joseph R. Biden.  If confirmed, Judge Quraishi will become the first United States District Judge of Pakistani/Muslim descent in this country and the first Asian-American Article III Judge in the State of New Jersey.  Judge Quraishi is the first Asian-American to serve on the federal court in our district as a magistrate judge. 

Jenny Chung, APALA-NJ President, noted “It is difficult for us to express the magnitude of this historic nomination involving one of our own.  Judge Quraishi has been a leader in the New Jersey bar for years and we continue to benefit from his ability to shatter every glass ceiling before him.  We are not surprised that President Biden sees in Judge Quraishi what we in the APA legal community already knew for some time.  We wish him all the best and wholeheartedly support his nomination for United States District Judge.”

Judge Quraishi has an unwavering dedication to excellence in the practice of law and service to the profession that goes beyond the courthouse gates.  While serving on the bench, Judge Quraishi’s efforts to ensure the quality of our legal education and support future practitioners are both remarkable and impactful.  For example, he presently serves as an ambassador of the Court and regularly serves as a panelist and engages in outreach with federal, state, and affinity bar associations.  He also endeavors to educate aspiring attorneys as an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School, instructing them on trial presentation. 

In 2019, Judge Quraishi was awarded the APALA-NJ Professionalism Award, the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey Standing Ovation Award, the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association Trailblazer of the Year Award, and the Rutgers Muslim Law Student Association Trailblazer Award.  Last year, Judge Quraishi received the 2020 Rutgers Asian Pacific American Law Student Association’s Lunar Banquet Distinguished Honoree. 

Judge Quraishi has had an extensive career both in the public and private sector before becoming the first Asian-American federal judge in New Jersey.  After law school, Judge Quraishi clerked in the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, and then worked as an associate at an international law firm.  Events of 9/11 influenced Judge Quraishi to leave the private sector and serve as a prosecutor in the Army JAG Corps in 2002, where he was assigned to the First Infantry Division stationed in Germany and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006.  Judge Quraishi is the recipient of the Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, and other military honors.  Judge Quraishi achieved the rank of Captain before his honorable discharge.

Following his military service, Judge Quraishi returned to New Jersey and served as a trial counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, followed by a career as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of New Jersey, procuring extensive federal trial experience.  Prior to his appointment to the federal bench as a magistrate judge, Judge Quraishi was Chair of Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group and the firm’s first Chief Diversity Officer.  Judge Quraishi also served as a trustee of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey, the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Alumni Association.  Additionally, he has been recognized by Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers USA. 

Judge Quraishi is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.  He received a J.D. from Rutgers Law School in Newark where he was a member of the Rutgers Moot Court Board and served as Managing Business Editor of the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal.

Judge Quraishi’s life in the law, both in the private and public sectors, is simply outstanding.  APALA-NJ is confident that he will continue to bring compassion, fairness, and integrity to the Court.  Judge Quraishi will continue to make the APALA-NJ community proud, and we look forward to his continued success on the federal bench in the State of New Jersey.   

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

THE ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF NEW JERSEY’S STATEMENT ON THE ATLANTA AREA SHOOTIN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 18, 2021

THE ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF NEW JERSEY’S STATEMENT ON THE ATLANTA AREA SHOOTINGS AND THE RISE OF ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE AND HATE ACROSS THE NATION

The Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ) mourns the deaths of the eight individuals, six of whom were Asian women, in the Atlanta area.  Our hearts are with the families of Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Hyeon Jeong Park, Julie Park, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun, and the two victims who have not yet been identified.  All eight victims were mercilessly gunned down by a young Caucasian male on March 16, 2021.

The global pandemic, fueled by discriminatory rhetoric regarding its origin, has unleashed a surge of over 3,800 documented reports of violence, hate, bias, and discrimination against the Asian/Pacific American (APA) community and all people of Asian descent in the United States.  Across our nation, we are witnessing people of APA descent attacked and even killed by fellow Americans and law enforcement.  In New York City alone, anti-Asian hate crimes increased 1,900% since 2020.  And these are only the incidents about which we are aware – as many, many more go unreported.  It cannot be underscored that xenophobia against the APA community is nothing new.  We must do better and we must be better as Americans.  Enough is enough.

We invite all community members, lawyers, and elected officials to work with us to protect our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and children from discrimination, hate, and violence.  We must raise awareness regarding the needs of the APA community in our State and across the country.  We call on law enforcement to acknowledge not only implicit bias but to recognize and identify hate crimes and the proper handling of these cases.  We demand that elected officials cease engaging in bigoted rhetoric directed towards our community and unite to constructively work towards eradicating such hate and violence against the APA community.

APALA-NJ stands ready to work alongside fellow bar associations, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), community leaders, elected officials, and politicians to address the needs of the APA community in our State and across the country.

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

APALA-NJ Statement on Violence at the U.S. Capitol Building

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 7, 2021

APALA-NJ’S STATEMENT ON VIOLENCE AT THE U.S. CAPITOL BUILDING

Newark, New Jersey – The Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ) echoes the sentiments of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and vehemently condemns the invasion of the U.S. Capitol – the pillar of our democracy – by insurrectionists on January 6, 2021. 

APALA-NJ, a non-partisan organization, denounces yesterday’s unprecedented lawlessness and attack on our democracy.  The world watched as symbols of hate, bigotry, and oppression were proudly paraded through the hallways of the birthplace of our laws; pictures and videos of this mayhem were uploaded and shared on various platforms as a trophy of the attack on our democracy.  Such actions should not – and cannot – be tolerated.

APALA-NJ demands justice, enforcement of democracy, and civility.  As lawyers, we take the same oath as do our elected officials – to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the New Jersey Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  We take this oath to uphold the rule of law and to perform our duties “faithfully, impartially, and justly to the best of our abilities.”  APALA-NJ calls on all elected officials, public servants, and fellow Americans to adhere to this oath and to permit the peaceful and orderly transition of power of our national leadership.

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.