The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) held its 2014 Convention, "CONVERGENCE: Collaborating for a Grand Tomorrow," on November 6-9 at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. Over 1,500 Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law students, academics, and elected officials attended the yearly gathering, including a sizeable contingent of Filipino Americans hosted by NFALA at various events throughout the span of the convention.  The lineup of "NFALA @ NAPABA" activities included a casual pre-convention dinner, women's and men's luncheons featuring guest speakers Connie Montoya (partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP) and A.B. Cruz, III (general counsel of Emergent Biosolutions and retired U.S. Navy rear admiral), and a keynote speech delivered at the annual NFALA dinner by Ruthe Catolico Ashley, past president of NAPABA and current member of the American Bar Association Board of Governors. Another highlight included the first-ever NFALA general membership meeting, wherein Fil-Am lawyers and law students from across the country convened to discuss the future of the organization and connect with each other.

During the NAPABA Convention, NFALA members also participated in the Asian American Bar Association of New York's riveting re-enactment of Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio, a pivotal case in the history of employment discimination law and Filipino American political organizing. Additionally, Mimi Castillo, founding member of the Filipino Lawyers of Washington, was one of five attorneys who were presented with the 2014 NAPABA Trailblazer Award, while NFALA's resident cagers fielded a tenacious squad that played with utmost determination at NAPABA's annual basketball tournament. The convention's keynote speaker was Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas. After Vargas namechecked NFALA in his thoughtful and provocative discussion about immigraton reform and the plight of undocumented immigrants in the United States, NFALA members joined Vargas onstage for unforgettable group photo at the conclusion of the 26th Annual NAPABA Gala.


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People v. Koh
: Justice Needs No Translation
(NFALA Co-Sponsored CLE Event on July 9, 2014)




(KABA) Presents:



People v. Koh:

Justice Needs No Translation

Free CLE Event



Date:       Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Time:     4:00-6:00 p.m. (1.25 hours CLE Credit for IL, NY, and CA)

               6:00-7:30 p.m. (networking and refreshments)


Place:    Jenner & Block Conference Center (353 N. Clark Street)



KABA cordially invites fellow legal colleagues to learn about People v. Hyungseok Koh, a widely publicized murder trial that impacted the Asian and Korean American communities in Chicago.  Mr. Koh was accused of first-degree murder in the death of his 22-year-old son, but was found not guilty following a 13-day trial that brought to light the challenges of pursuing justice across a cultural and language barrier. Please join the Koh defense team from Jenner & Block as they share their insights on the successful defense of Mr. Koh. The Koh family will also be present to join the conversation.



CLE topics include

 Jury Selection, False Confession Dynamics, Expert/Daubert Motions, and more ...



RSVP by July 3, 2014 

Press Release Re: Comfort Women Memorial in Glendale, CA



April 28, 2014



CALIFORNIA — The NATIONAL FILIPINO AMERICAN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (NFALA) is deeply troubled by the federal lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles office of Mayer Brown on February 20, 2014.   The federal lawsuit seeks the removal of a public monument in Glendale, California, which has been in Glendale Central Park since July 2013, and was built as a tribute to the more than 200,000 women and girls from the Philippines, Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and many other countries who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II (“comfort women”).

The complaint shamefully alleges that comfort women "were recruited, employed, and/or otherwise acted as sexual partners" of Japanese soldiers.  This description of comfort women as prostitutes and/or otherwise willing sexual participants defames the hundreds of women and girls abducted, tortured and raped during World War II by the Japanese Imperial Army, such as Maria Rosa Luna Henson -- the first Filipina comfort woman to break her silence about being abducted and raped repeatedly by Japanese soldiers at the age of 14.  Maria died in 1997 without receiving the justice that she deserved, but her fight for justice and her story does not die with her.

“In a society governed by the rule of law, it is critical to acknowledge injustices to ensure that similar injustices do not happen again. The Glendale memorial is a reminder to us all that sexual violence should never be tolerated,” said Rudy Figueroa, Esq., NFALA President.

NFALA supports initiatives that ensure the tragic stories of the comfort women of World War II are remembered by our generation, so that the injustice and violence they endured will not be repeated. The U.S. House of Representatives House Resolution 121 aptly states: "[T]he Government of Japan, during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930’s through the duration of World War II, officially commissioned the acquisition of young women for the sole purpose of sexual servitude to its Imperial Armed Forces." This Resolution, written and sponsored by Japanese-American Congressman Mike Honda of California, was unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.  The passage of House Resolution 121, the Glendale City Council’s approval of the comfort women monument in its public park, and other acts of remembrance throughout our country should be commended.
“Although  none  of  us  can  take  back  what  happened  to  the  courageous  comfort  women survivors - mothers, daughters and sisters who endured so much violence - we can all do our part to make sure that their stories are not erased from history.  New Jersey is proud to have two monuments memorializing the plight of the comfort women of World War II.  We support Glendale City Council’s approval of a similar monument and are deeply saddened by the federal lawsuit seeking its removal,” said Jhanice V. Domingo, Esq., NFALA NJ Affiliate and President- Elect of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey.

“Comfort women monuments honor the undeniable bravery of survivors of these atrocities and teach future generations that we cannot allow such horrible crimes against women to ever happen again,” said Abigail Rivamonte Mesa, Esq., NFALA CA Affiliate and President of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California.

NFALA joins several Asian Pacific American bar associations and civic action groups throughout the country who have issued public statements condemning the federal lawsuit seeking the removal of Glendale Central Park’s comfort women monument -- a reprehensible attempt to improperly brand victims of sexual violence as willing sexual participants.  It is our hope that our judicial system will discern that the federal lawsuit is nothing but a transparent effort to deny the historical fact that hundreds of thousands of women and girls from Asia, the Pacific and many other parts of the world, were victims of wartime sex trafficking.


The National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) is a national association of Filipino American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students dedicated to promoting the professional development, interests, and success of Filipino American legal professionals nationwide.  NFALA  represents  over  1,000  attorneys  and  various  state  and  local  Filipino American bar associations.  NFALA’s members include large firm attorneys, corporate counsel, non-profit attorneys, solo practitioners and government attorneys. NFALA is the voice for the national Filipino American legal community and strives to fight for equal opportunity and the rights of underserved minority groups.

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