Alpana Samant is a first generation San Franciscan. Her family moved from Mumbai, India to SF in 1975 and her parents ran an SRO hotel in the city for 20 years.
Alpana has been a Deputy District Attorney in San Mateo County for twelve years. She is currently assigned to prosecute Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking cases. In this assignment, Alpana tried eight sexual assault cases and one human trafficking case. The human trafficking case, People v. Matthew Graves, was the first of its kind in San Mateo County. The defendant had been pimping out a 16-year-old girl. He turned down a determinate term pretrial offer and was sentenced after trial to 34 years to life.
Alpana’s most significant trial to date was People v. Noah Winchester. Winchester was a very well-liked San Mateo police officer and former Marine. One morning a woman was contacted for drunk driving as she was asleep in her car in a lane of traffic and she accused him of raping her the night before. Despite being skeptical of the charges, the Burlingame Police Department and the San Mateo DA Inspectors Bureau took up the case and eventually uncovered many other victims spanning back many years to when Winchester had been a peace officer with the Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento. The case finally went to trial with four alleged victims, one from Sacramento and three from San Mateo. All the victims had some criminal history and the women in San Mateo all had friends in common or knew each other. After a three week trial where the Defendant testified and accused the women of fabricating the allegations, a jury found him guilty of all counts. He was sentenced to 81 years to life on January 16, 2020.
Alpana has been an active member of NAPIPA's Nor Cal Chapter for many years.
NAPIPA strongly denounces anti-Asian attacks (of any kind) and xenophobia. We encourage victims and witnesses of hate crimes to contact their local law enforcement agencies.NAPIPA strongly denounces these anti-Asian attacks and xenophobia. We hope that you can pass this message along so people who are victimized in these racist attacks know that they do not have to simply endure these crimes and that they are not alone
Big thank you to the Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego (PALSD) for putting together this awesome informational flyer. Please feel free to disseminate. Let's all work together to put an end to the racism!
Former NAPIPA National Vice President and current Superior Court Judge Johnny Gogo (left) presents the NAPIPA Prosecutor of the Year Award to new Sacramento Assistant District Attorney Thienvu Ho (right).
NAPIPA would like to congratulate the following API prosecutors on their promotion to level IV in the San Diego DA's office (making them eligible for management positions):
National Internal Vice-President
National External Vice-President
Northern California Chapter:
Southern California Chapter:
San Diego Chapter:
New York Chapter:
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Jin P. Lee
National At-Large Member
NAPIPA congratulates NAPIPA member and AUSA Patrick Bumatay on his nomination to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and wholeheartedly endorses his confirmation.
Mr. Bumatay earned his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Yale University, and his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. After graduating from law school, Mr. Bumatay served as a law clerk to Judge Sandra L. Townes of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and Judge Timothy Tymkovich of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Mr. Bumatay has served in various positions at the United States Department of Justice, including the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the Office of the Associate Attorney General, and the Office of Legal Policy. He serves as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California in the San Diego office, where he is a member of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces Section. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the National Filipino American Lawyers Association, the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, and of course NAPIPA.
If confirmed, Mr. Bumatay would be the first Filipino American to serve as an Article III federal appellate judge.
On July 10, 2018, the Diversity Committee of the Santa Clara County Bar Association presented Johnny Gogo (NAPIPA Nor Cal President) with the 2018 Unsung Hero Award for his efforts in promoting diversity in the legal profession and for providing outstanding service to minority populations.
Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney and NAPIPA Nor Cal Chapter Vice President Thienvu Ho was recognized as the 2017 Brian Hintz Prosecutor of the Year by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
Every year, prosecutors of the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office nominate colleagues for this prestigious award. In tribute to the award’s namesake Brian Hintz, recipients are honored for exemplifying outstanding job performance, passion, enthusiasm, team work and integrity.
In a ceremony attended by Thien’s family, the family of Brian Hintz, and fellow Sacramento DDAs, Thien’s supervisors praised his accomplishments including the successful prosecution of some of the most difficult cases in Sacramento County as well as Thien’s dedication to community outreach and coaching mock trial. It was also shared that NAPIPA recognized Thien as our 2017 Prosecutor of the Year.
Please join us in congratulating Thien!
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NAPIPA would like to congratulate Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney, and NAPIPA member, Dana Veazey on her tireless work and for helping to get justice for Sierra Lamar. We're proud of you, Dana!
If you have access to NBC Bay Area, set your DVRs to Sunday, May 7 at 5:30 a.m. to see Johnny Gogo and the other honorees! Congratulations Johnny!
California Supreme Court Justice, and Honorary NAPIPA Member, Goodwin Liu recently performed a study of APIs in the legal system with the help of law students from Yale University.
The study showed that few APIs hold leadership positions in the legal field:
The article also quotes NAPIPA co-founder Charles Huang.
"Now we understand what's happening," said Charles Huang, a California prosecutor who co-founded the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association. "We don't know what's causing it, but we know what the empirical results are."
NAPIPA congratulates NAPIPA member Andrew Kim on his appointment to the Superior Court by Governor Jerry Brown!
Kim has served as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney since 1999. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Santa Clara University School of Law. He was working in the elite unit Crimes Against Police Officer’s Section (CAPOS) at the time of his appointment.
Congratulations to NAPIPA member Joanna Lee on becoming the first Asian female DDA to win the Webb Award in Santa Clara County. The Webb Award is given out to the outstanding misdemeanor trial attorney of the year. She tried nine jury trials and won difficult cases including a DUI refusal from 2009. DDA Lee is currently on the misdemeanor family violence trial team.
On September 10, 2015, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris awarded NAPIPA San Diego Chapter Board Member Mark T. Cumba the Attorney General Award for Prosecution. Each year, Attorney General Harris awards Deputy Attorney Generals, Special Agents and other staff of the Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General with awards recognizing achievements from the previous year. Mr. Cumba is assigned to the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse where he investigates and prosecutes companies and individuals for illegally abusing the Medicare/Medi-Cal programs as well as residential care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, caretakers and other individuals for abusing or neglecting California's elderly and dependent adult citizens. Mr. Cumba was recognized for criminal prosecutions against three defendants resulting in homicide convictions, as well as civil prosecutions resulting in permanent injunctions and final judgments against various nursing facilities compelling better care for elderly and disabled residents.
On August 4, 2015 NAPIPA President Paul Jhin and co-founder Charles Huang appeared on NBC program "Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa" to discuss NAPIPA and domestic violence within the API community.
Please click on the links below to see the two segments.
Segment 1 with Paul Jhin and Charles Huang:
Segment 2 with Paul Jhin and Milpitas Police Officer Tara James:
NAPIPA would like to thank NBC Bay Area, Lance Lew, and Robert Handa for having us on!
Congratulations to NAPIPA member and 2015 Prosecutor of the Year Julian Recana on his appointment to the Los Angeles Superior Court by Governor Jerry Brown on July 16, 2015. Recana, 45, of Signal Hill, has served as a deputy district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office since 1999. He was a contract attorney at Early, Maslach, Price and Baukol in 1999. Recana earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Recana has tried over 70 jury trials including murder, domestic violence, sex crimes, and gang related offenses. In 2014 Recana was honored with the Association of Deputy District Attorneys Prosecutor of the Month Award for his successful work in a robbery-homicide trial and also received the California Journal for Filipino Americans Community Leadership Award. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on July 1, 2014.
Please join us in congratulating and welcoming our fifth chapter in San Diego, CA!
President Beth Carino (Deputy Attorney General)
Vice President Parag Agrawal (Deputy Attorney General)
Treasurer Brandon Kimura (Assistant US Attorney)
Secretary Nick Honda (Deputy District Attorney)
Board Members: Mark Cumba, Melissa Ocampo, Arlene Sevidal, Jon Tangonan, Stacy Tyler, Fanny Yu
Congratulations to NAPIPA members Edward Liang, Sandip Patel, and Hanley Chew for their article in CDAA's Prosecutor's Brief re: NAPIPA and Diversity in the Prosecutor's Office! For the full article please see Prosecutor's Brief Vol. 37, No. 1 (Fall 2014).
We are very proud to announce that we are now a National Associate of NAPABA!
March 6, 2013 – The National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association (“NAPIPA”) applauds the confirmation of Pamela K. Chen (NAPIPA New York Chapter Board Member) to serve as a federal district court judge in the Eastern District of New York. On March 4, 2013, the United States Senate confirmed Pamela Chen to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. “We are so proud of her,” said Kin Ng, National Board Member of NAPIPA. “Intelligent, fair, and honest, there is no one who epitomizes the ideals of true justice for all and who is more respected in the criminal justice arena than her.” Ms. Chen is a board member of NAPIPA’s Regional Chapter in New York. “NAPIPA is delighted to learn that one of our own, Pamela Chen, has been confirmed to serve on the federal bench of the Eastern District of New York,” said Charlie Huang, President NAPIPA. “Ms. Chen is the first Chinese-American female Article III judge outside of California and the second-ever Chinese-American female federal judge in U.S. history. NAPIPA applauds President Obama for his continued commitment to diversity within the Federal Judiciary.”