• Thursday, July 25, 2013 11:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CONTACT: Tim Laske
     July 25, 2013

    Los Angeles, CA, July 25, 2013 - The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (APABA) applauds Judge Rupa Goswami's historic appointment to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. On July 12, 2013, Governor Edmund G. Brown appointed Judge Goswami to be the first South Asian woman judge in the State of California.

    Judge Goswami is eminently qualified for the state judiciary. She has both an MBA from the University of Chicago and a JD from the University of California, Los Angeles. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the last 12 years - including separate stints as the Deputy Chief of General Crimes, and of Domestic Security and Immigration - she has prosecuted cases involving cyber-crimes, immigration, terrorism, organized crime, the sexual exploitation of children, environmental crimes, and other criminal matters. "Judge Rupa Goswami has had an exemplary career as a federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney's Office, and we are very proud of her," stated André Birotte Jr., the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. "I know that her success will continue forward, and that the people of California will be greatly enriched by her presence and performance on the bench."

    "Governor Brown is making important and necessary strides to appoint well-qualified minority applicants that reflect California's rich diversity," proclaimed Michelle Sugihara, APABA President. "Judge Goswami has been a steady leader and strong presence within the Asian Pacific American community, especially for the underrepresented South Asian community." Judge Goswami was Co-President of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (SABA-SC) at the time of her appointment, and she had been a board member of SABA-SC and is a current member of APABA.

    Before becoming a federal prosecutor, Judge Goswami clerked for the Honorable Nora Manella in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and the late Honorable Terence T. Evans in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. "Through APABA's vetting process, we came to know Judge Goswami as an intelligent, hard-working and well-respected figure in the legal community," stated Christina Yang, Co-Chair of APABA's Public Appointments and Judicial Endorsements Committee. "Her legal acumen, public service, mentoring and community involvement are just some of the reasons why APABA enthusiastically endorsed her for appointment to the bench." A former civil litigator at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom, Judge Goswami has served as a commissioner with the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, Superior Court Judge Pro Tem, teen court moderator, and adjunct professor at Loyola Law School.

    Judge Halim Dhanidina, the first Muslim American judge appointed in California and a former APABA board member, applauded the appointment: "Judge Goswami is a dedicated public servant who possesses the acute intellect and calm demeanor that make her an ideal fit for the bench. As a South Asian woman, her appointment reflects the diversity of the community she serves as a bench officer, making her a role model to many - including my own daughter. The Los Angeles County Superior Court is lucky to have her."

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  • Friday, March 15, 2013 11:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     March 14, 2013 Email:

    Los Angeles, CA, March 14, 2013 - On March 8, 2013, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County ("APABA") celebrated its fifteenth anniversary installation dinner at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Hosted by celebrity Aaron Takahashi, approximately 315 attorneys, judicial officers, law students, and legal professionals attended the installation dinner and applauded as Judge Howard Halm, Los Angeles County Superior Court, installed the 2012-2013 Officers & Board. The evening was highlighted by a special video presentation entitled "APABA - The First 15 Years," produced by APABA's current President, Michelle Sugihara.

    "It is a great honor to produce 'APABA - The First 15 Years' and share with our guests the history and achievements of APABA through the voices of its founders and past presidents," said Ms. Sugihara. "We look forward to the next fifteen years as APABA continues to foster the foundational goals of community service and legal diversity that led to the creation of this wonderful pan-Asian bar association."

    This year, APABA awarded its annual Public Service Award jointly to the Asian Pacific American Legal Center ("APALC") and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") for their representation of 69 Filipino American hospital workers in a landmark workplace discrimination lawsuit. The Filipino American nurses and other hospital workers were singled out by the hospital for enforcement of its unlawful English Only policy. The lawsuit settled for $1 million, the largest settlement for a workplace language discrimination case in the West Coast, as well as the largest for a workplace language discrimination case in the healthcare industry in the United States. The Public Service Award was presented by Congresswoman Judy Chu.

    "APALC's Impact Litigation team is proud to have had the opportunity to represent such a brave group of Filipino American workers who not only successfully challenged a discriminatory English Only policy, but also stood up for their right to be treated with dignity at the workplace," stated Laboni Hoq, APALC's Litigation Director. "We hope this landmark case positively influences other employees to assert their workplace rights, and encourages employers to protect against language discrimination in their increasingly diverse workforces."

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    APABA's events and activities include legal clinics, continuing legal education seminars, community forums, networking receptions, and various programs for law students, including a public interest fellowship award. APABA works closely with APAWLA, JABA, KABA, PABA, SABA, SCCLA and other minority bar associations to promote diversity on the bench and in the legal profession and to speak out on issues of importance to minority communities. To join or learn learn more about APABA, please visit
  • Monday, February 11, 2013 10:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The APABA Public Interest Fellowship, in the amount of $5000, is awarded to a law student who demonstrates leadership potential, maturity and responsibility, as well as a commitment to making a contribution to the APIA community. The law student must find a position in a nonprofit or governmental public interest organization and work substantially in a unit that serves the Asian Pacific American community in Los Angeles County for at least a 10-week period during the summer; working for a public defender, district attorney, or a judge does not qualify

    To be eligible for the APABA Fellowship, potential applicants must be enrolled and in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school during the 2012-2013 academic year. Applicants must secure a position at a Los Angeles area nonprofit public interest organization with an emphasis on assisting the APIA community. All materials must be emailed by April 15, 2013 for consideration. 

    For more information, please download the application or email (subject line “APABA Fellowship”).

  • Wednesday, October 17, 2012 4:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    APABA, JABA, KABA, and SCCLA (the “Sponsoring Bar Associations”) are pleased to offer a limited number of travel scholarships to law student members to attend the 2012 NAPABA Convention in Washington, DC.

    Applicants must be current law students and members of one or more of the Sponsoring Bar Associations as of the application deadline, which is 8 pm Pacific Time on Monday, October 22, 2012. Applicants must also request funding from their law schools. Please see the scholarship application for additional details and requirements. 

    Email completed applications with resumes and/or questions to: Edward Lew, 2012 Scholarship Committee Chair, at
  • Friday, June 08, 2012 11:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    For immediate release: June 8, 2012
    Contact: Bryant Yang at

    Los Angeles, CA – The Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) of Los Angeles County ( applauds Halim Dhanidina’s historic appointment to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Governor Edmund G. Brown appointed Dhanidina to the state bench on May 18, 2012, making him the first Muslim American judge ever appointed in the state of California.

    “Governor Brown could not have made a better appointment,” exclaimed Edmond Sung, APABA president. “Halim Dhanidina has been a tireless leader within the Asian Pacific American community for many years. He has served APABA as a Board member, co-Chair of the Public and Judicial Appointments Committee, co-Chair of the Community Service Committee, and Historian. We are going to miss his presence on the Board of Governors tremendously.” Dhanidina also served as Director for the South Asian Bar Association and regularly conducted training for the South Asian Network on domestic violence, sex crimes, and child abduction.

    Dhanidina is unquestionably qualified for the state judiciary. He graduated from Pomona College and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. He has extensive trial experience as a Deputy District Attorney for over 14 years, trying 68 jury trials including 24 murders and seven capital cases. Because of his great reputation in the District Attorney’s Office and the defense bar, he was elevated to the Hardcore Gang Division and the Major Crimes Division. He also taught as an adjunct professor in the paralegal program at West Los Angeles College and the Glendale University College of Law, and is currently part of the adjunct faculty at Whittier Law School. Dhanidina is the recipient of countless awards: Award for Senior Service from Pomona College, Recognition for Victims’ Rights Advocacy by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Honoree for Successful Murder Prosecutions by Justice for Homicide Victims, and Award for Commitment to Community Service by the South Asian Network.

    “Besides being a wonderful person with sharp intellect and impeccable temperament, APABA proudly supported Dhanidina because he exhibits a profound understanding, as a talented prosecutor, that crime cannot simply be punished,” stated Tim Laske, co-Chair of the Public and Judicial Appointments Committee. “Dhanidina has engaged APABA with numerous organizations that promote preventive measures to keep our community safe. “ Through his efforts, APABA partnered with SHADES (Stopping Hate & Delinquency by Empowering Students) and APABA’s members were able to serve as mentors and case proctors for teenage jurors in an innovative “Teen Court” program, which provides an alternative to traditional school discipline. Dhanidina similarly organized a gang intervention workshop for at-risk youth at the Asian Youth Center in the City of San Gabriel.

  • Monday, May 07, 2012 4:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For immediate release: May 7, 2012                        Contact: Bryant Yang at

    Los Angeles, CA – The Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) of Los Angeles ( celebrates Jacqueline H. Nguyen’s historic confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Today, the United States Senate confirmed U.S. District Court Judge Nguyen to the Court of Appeals.  Judge Nguyen is the first Asian Pacific American woman and first Vietnamese American to be confirmed as a federal appellate judge.

    “APABA is thrilled with the confirmation of Judge Nguyen, particularly because she was one of our founding members, was our second president, and to this day continues to be an active member of the community,” stated Edmond Sung, APABA president.  “She is a fantastic addition to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.   Her judicial temperament and character are well recognized in the legal community, and she is unquestionably qualified to serve as an appellate judge because of her experience as a trial attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and her long service as a state and federal trial court judge.“  Judge Nguyen graduated from Occidental College and UCLA School of Law.  She worked as an associate at Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP in Los Angeles before joining the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  She served as a federal prosecutor for seven years until 2002, when she was appointed to the California Superior Court.  President Barack Obama nominated Judge Nguyen to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in 2009.

    “Throughout her career, Judge Nguyen has shattered one glass ceiling after another.  Her historic confirmation as the first Asian Pacific American woman federal appellate judge symbolizesundefinedespecially for young Asian American womenundefinedthat with enough determination and hard work you can achieve anything,” stated Christina Yang, co-chair of APABA’s Public Appointments and Judicial Endorsements committee.  “Her background and career have inspired, and will continue to inspire, all of our members.”  Judge Nguyen was born in Dalat, South Vietnam.  Her family fled to the United States in 1975 after the fall of Saigon.  They resided in a refugee camp in Camp Pendleton until they eventually settled in the La Crescenta area of Los Angeles.  Judge Nguyen has described those early years as invaluable life lessons that have shaped her into the person she is today.

    APABA applauds Senator Dianne Feinstein for recommending Judge Nguyen, President Barack Obama for nominating her, and Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell for scheduling the confirmation vote.

  • Thursday, April 26, 2012 1:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    APABA is working with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) to conduct a poll monitoring program for the June 5 primary and November 6 general elections. APALC will recruit and train volunteers who will be sent to poll sites across Los Angeles County with high numbers of Asian American voters to make sure that voters are being treated fairly and have access to language assistance, which the county is required to provide. The volunteer monitors go inside poll sites and observe whether translated materials and bilingual poll workers are available, and if problems occur, interact with poll workers to rectify them. APABA encourages members to participate in this program. Los Angeles County is implementing several new language requirements, including assistance to Cambodian, Indian and Thai American voters.

    APALC will conduct a training session on Thursday, May 24 for individuals who wish to volunteer as poll monitors. Click here for more information.
  • Monday, February 20, 2012 6:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    APABA is pleased to announce that it will be awarding a public interest fellowship in the amount $5,000 to a law student during the summer of 2012. Please visit our Law Students/Fellowship Committee page to apply or learn more about the fellowship. Applications are to be postmarked no later than April 20, 2012.
  • Wednesday, December 28, 2011 9:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For immediate release: December 28, 2011
    Contact: Christina Yang at (213) 229-5149 or

    Los Angeles, CA – The Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) of Los Angeles County ( applauds the appointment of APABA Advisory Board member Holly J. Fujie to the Los Angeles Superior Court. APABA graciously thanks Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. for the appointment. “APABA is proud to have endorsed Holly, and to have pushed for such an eminently qualified applicant for appointment to the state judiciary,” stated Edmond Sung, president of APABA. For the last twelve years, she has been a shareholder at Buchalter, Nemer, APC. She is an expert in insurance and surety industry related litigation, and has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer from 2004-2011, one of the “Top 100 Lawyers” by the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and one of the “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Southern California.” In 2009, Ms. Fujie was elected to membership in the prestigious American Law Institute. She graduated, at the age of 22, from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law. “Holly Fujie truly personifies the best of our profession. She has a fierce commitment to increasing access to legal services for the underserved, an unwavering dedication to diversity, and an immense passion for justice and equality,” stated Christina Yang, co-Chair of the Public Appointments and Judicial Endorsements Committee. In her various leadership positions, such as President of the State Bar of California, Board member of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, President of the Chancery Club, and Chair of the Board at Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Ms. Fujie has tirelessly sought to better our profession. For her efforts, she has been bestowed the “Trailblazer” Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the “Distinguished Advocate for Diversity” Award from the Philippine American Bar Association, the Public Service Award of the Japanese American Bar Association, and the "Breaking the Glass Ceiling” Award from the Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys in Law and Business. Ms. Fujie’s appointment is celebrated and rejoiced by all corners of the Los Angeles legal community, especially the Asian Pacific American community, for whom she has been a role model and advocate.
  • Thursday, December 01, 2011 3:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Congratulations to APABA's incoming officers and board members, who are starting their new term today: Edmond Sung (President), Michelle K. Sugihara (President-Elect), Lorraine Y. Yu (Executive VP), Dennis M. Wu (Treasurer), Judy Suwatanapongched (Secretary), Halim Dhanidina, MyLoc Dinh, Asha Saund Greenberg, Derek Ishikawa, Robin Jung, Hyongsoon Kim, Winston Keh, Tim Laske, Kasie Lee, Cynthia Loo, Jason Pu, Jacob Satayaviboon, Byron Shibata, Jennifer Song, William Sung, Kira Teshima, Helen Tran, Felix Woo, Mia F. Yamamoto, Christina Yang, Deborah Yim and Steven K. Yoda. Please join us in celebrating the installation of our new board and honoring California Supreme Court Associate Justice Goodwin Liu and U.S. District Court Judges Edward Chen, Virginia Phillips and Jacqueline Nguyen at APABA's 14th Annual Installation Dinner on February 24, 2012.

    We would also like to thank our outgoing board members -- Jane Oak, Carmina Ocampo, Judy Sethna, Stacey Wang and Bryant Yang -- for all their hard work on behalf of APABA this year!
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