On November 19, 2015 NAPIPA honored Supervising Judge Thang Nguyen Barrett for his outstanding contributions to the API community and the legal profession. Judge Barrett was the first Vietnamese American deputy district attorney in Santa Clara County (SCC) and was the first Vietnamese American judge in California.
50 people including SCC District Attorney Jeff Rosen, SCC Chief Assistant DA Jay Boyarsky, Assistant DA Scott Tsui, and numerous judges joined NAPIPA at Maggiano's in Santana Row to honor Judge Barrett.
Special thanks to Judge Rise Pichon for her wonderful introductory speech and to NAPIPA members Alexis Causey and Ed Liang for putting the luncheon together.
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.
On August 25, 2015 NAPIPA held a mixer at Blueacre Seafood in downtown Seattle and welcomed the Seattle Police Department and attorneys from the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, the Seattle City Attorney's Office, the Bellevue Police Department and the Seattle Mayor's Office.
On August 25, 2015 Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen spoke with a packed house of API leaders about the criminal justice system and specifically issues important to APIs such as lack of reporting of domestic violence/human trafficking, immigration consequences, and language barriers.
We would like to thank AACI for providing the venue and DA Rosen for taking the time to speak with us!
On June 30, 2015, NAPIPA and the Asian American Bar Association of NY’s (AABANY) Prosecutors Committee co-sponsored a reception at Brooklyn Law School, honoring Deputy U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim and the family of fallen hero Detective Wenjian Liu.
NAPIPA NY chapter board members Brian Lee and Monica Huang were the Masters of Ceremonies. Elected DAs and senior leadership of the various District Attorneys’ Offices spoke, each reflecting on the event’s importance and uniqueness. Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson stated the event, in addition to honoring important figures in the Asian community, also gave an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the important work of Asian Americans in government and public service, an often unpopular choice of careers for many Asian American parents. Yet for the prosecutors who attended the event, there is enormous pride and honor in representing the people. As stated by honoree Joon H. Kim in his speech, “As a prosecutor, you only have one job to do…and that job is doing the right thing.”
Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New and keynote speaker of NAPIPA’s 2015 annual gala, joked that he and his newly appointed second in command and longtime friend, Joon H. Kim, as the Harold & Kumar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, had come a long way since their days as Assistant U.S. Attorneys. And despite giving up a seven figure salary as partner at the prestigious law firm of Cleary Gottlieb, Mr. Kim still tells his children that “he puts criminals away, not as Batman, but as a lawyer who helps Batman”.
Each speaker spoke eloquently about the ultimate sacrifice of Detective Wenjian Liu and his parents. NAPIPA Vice President Kin Ng spoke of Det. Liu’s life and the spirit of his family and read the translated remarks from Det. Liu’s father. Arriving from China at the age of 12, Det. Liu, even as a child, always took care of his family and those around him. Motivated by the tragedy of 9/11, Det. Liu chose to join the NYPD to protect the city and his community. There was not a dry eye among the attendees as Det. Liu’s father, mother, and widow received a warm standing ovation. Although no words can adequately describe their grief and pain, the audience thanked the family for their sacrifice.
In attendance were over 100 attorneys, judges, law students, and friends. Other VIP attendees were the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan, Queens Executive ADA Jesse Sligh, Staten Island Executive ADA Tim Koller, and AABANY President Will Wang.
On June 11th 2015, 13 NAPIPA members and prosecutors and 30 law students gathered at Cal Western School of Law’s Moot Court Room for an unprecedented event where API prosecutors from all government agencies in San Diego collaborated and were represented on the panel to provide students with insight on how to get an internship and make the most of it.
Over 20 prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as well as several local law students, attended the San Diego chapter’s kickoff event on May 13, 2015 in downtown San Diego. The event gave local prosecutors and law students the opportunity to mix and mingle while enjoying drinks and appetizers. It also served as a recruitment effort as non-members were able to fill out membership forms at the event. Overall, the kickoff event was a success!
On May 13, 2015, NAPIPA participated in a prosecutor's panel at Stanford Law School. NAPIPA members Paola Estanislao (Santa Clara DA), HaNhi Tran (Santa Clara DA), Abel Hung (Santa Cruz DA), and Hanley Chew (US Attorney's Office) discussed their roles as prosecutors, what it was like to work in the public sector, and their career paths to becoming prosecutors.
Even before NAPIPA"s 2nd Annual Scholarship Banquet on Saturday, April 11, 2015, the event was destined for greatness. Thank you to NBC Bay Area and Lance Lew for creating and running this Public Service Announcement on NBC!
Then came the banquet itself and it did not disappoint. On Saturday, April 11, 2015 NAPIPA held its 2nd Annual Scholarship Banquet at the Westin San Francisco Airport hotel. Almost 300 people witnessed US Attorney (SDNY) Preet Bharara deliver one of the best and most inspirational keynote addresses in memory. Big thank you to US Attorney Bharara for taking the time to talk with our guests!
Numerous dignitaries were in attendance including:
MC Anny Hong (KRON4 News) kicked things off by welcoming the attendees and thanking our awesome sponsors. She then introduced San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe who welcomed everyone to his county. NAPIPA President Paul Jhin then talked about the great strides NAPIPA has made over the past year, including adding a fifth chapter and almost doubling membership.
SoCal Chapter President Kennes Ma introduced US Attorney Bharara. After the US Attorney's rousing speech, SD Chapter President Beth Carino awarded CA Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu and US Congressman Mike Honda with NAPIPA Honorary Memberships.
Congressman Honda then presented three CC Yin for Justice Scholarships to Nikesh Patel (Santa Clara University), Anh Dang (Hastings), and Andrew Kim (University of Chicago). Congratulations to our scholarship winners!
Santa Cruz District Attorney Jeff Rosell presented NAPIPA's Prosecutor of the Year award to Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Julian Recana. Congratulations to DDA Recana!
Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen gave the concluding remarks.
The evening concluded with drinks, dancing, and photo booth pictures! (Please click the link below to see the pictures from the photo booth.)
Thank you to all of our sponsors and guests!
On March 5, 2015, SoCal Chapter President Kennes Ma and Vice President Whelma Llanos held a lunchtime presentation for approximately 30 members of Loyola Law School Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) in an outreach campaign to Southern California law students.
On March 3, 2015, NAPIPA presented a prosecutors' panel at Boalt Law School. The panel consisted of NAPIPA members Wade Chow (San Francisco DA), Thien Ho (Sacramento DA), Jason Peck (Contra Costa DA) and Paola Estanislao (Santa Clara DA). The panelists discussed how they became prosecutors, interview tips, hiring practices and prosecutorial discretion.
NAPIPA would like to thank Boalt's APALSA for their help in putthing this together.
On February 25, 2015, NAPIPA members Edward Liang (Santa Clara DA) and Abel Hung (Santa Cruz DA) participated in a joint District Attorney-Public Defender panel at Santa Clara University School of Law, speaking with the students about their path to becoming prosecutors and their respective office's post-bar hiring practices. They were joined by NAPIPA member Jarisse Moore, head of Santa Clara DA's Post-Bar and Internship Program.
On February 22, 2015, NAPIPA participated in the 15th Annual Bay Area APALSA Conference at the University of San Francisco. NAPIPA members Charles Huang (Santa Clara DA), Deshawn Madha (San Mateo DA), and Justine Cephus (San Francisco DA) were speakers in the panel entitled "Justice for All: Perspectives in Criminal Law."
Special thanks to UC Hastings APALSA for inviting NAPIPA members to participate in the event.
On January 28, 2015 Deputy AG Beth Carino and DDA Johnny Gogo held a prosecutors' panel at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The two NAPIPA National Board members spoke to approximately 30 law students about careers in prosecution.