Volume III, Issue 3 November 2002 The APABA Reporter N ewsletter of the A sian Pacific A merican Bar A ssociation of Los A ngeles County Sidebar By Rita Gunasekaran, APABA President 2001-2002 Reception honoring Judges Nguyen and Ryu APABA is a symbol of pact on our lives and those hope. It was born of the of our loved ones in explicit belief that we of Asian eth- and in subtle ways. nicity can look beyond our superficial differences to The more significant ques- unite for our common tion, however, is: should good. APABA’s tremen- others’ perception of us dous accomplishments, matter? The answer, of through its committees and course, is absolutely not. through its members, bear We are law abiding, tax testament to the sound- paying, citizens of a coun- among the hundred most ness of that belief. Among try that promises us, and influential attorneys in Cali- these, I am particularly usually delivers, liberty, jus- fornia; Mona Patel-Sikora proud of the fellowship we tice, and the equal protec- as one of the twenty best award each year to an out- tion of its laws. America attorneys under 40 in Cali- standing law student who affords us unparalleled op- fornia; and the L.A. County helps the underserved seg- portunities. Bar Criminal Justice Sec- ments of the Asian Pacific tion’s selection of Mike Ya- American community; of So let us not worry about mamoto as L.A.’s outstand- the funding we provide to random doors that may be ing criminal defense lawyer the Asian Pacific American slammed in our faces, but of 2002. Legal Center’s Cambodian let us focus instead upon interpreter; and the many the door to the executive I requested the members invaluable continuing legal suite that is waiting to open of APABA’s Board and ad- Inside this issue: education programs and for those of us who are will- visory committee to write judicial and other recep- ing to make the effort. Just about their experiences as tions that we sponsor in this past year, many Asian-Americans – their Allegiance 2 throughout the year. euphoria, their angst, and APABA members have dis- By Paula Daniels tinguished themselves anything in between. Many To Be or Nor To Be American... 3 We Americans of Asian enormously and have been members generously gave That’s Silly! I am American! ethnicity share a common justly recognized. These of their time to respond to By Belle H. Hsu heritage. We feel a certain include: the appointment my request, and I hope that empathy for each other be- of Jacqueline Nguyen, you find their articles as I am an American 4 cause of our shared values Tammy Chung Ryu, and heartwarming and delight- By Eileen Kurahashi and experiences – not the Vince Okamoto as judges ful as I do. Tougher Penalties for Unauthorized 5 least of which is our contin- of the Los Angeles Supe- Practice of Law– SB1459 ued identification by others rior Court; Robert Kawa- By Frank W. Che as “outsiders.” Since it is hara and Melissa Widdi- invariably strangers and field as commissioners; the Law Day 2002 A Success! 6 not our friends who harbor Daily Journal’s recognition By Chirag Shah this distorted view, does it of Morgan Chu, Justice El- Criminal Law 7 matter? Unfortunately, wood Lui (Ret.), Mike Ya- By Pauline A. Weaver yes, because it has an im- mamoto, and Debra Yang Volume III, Issue 3 Page 2 Allegiance By Paula Daniels, APABA President-Elect 2001-2002 If you were to ask me advice. From Reveille at placed our hands on our where I’m “from,” I would 0600 hours to Taps at hearts. As the last note of tell you quickly, that I am 2300 hours, every signifi- the bugle trailed away with “from” Hawaii. But that is cant event of the day would the light of the sun, a per- not really a complete an- be heralded by a particular fect stillness would rise, swer. I was born in Hawaii, call which dictated the ac- like the moment before a a toddler in Colorado, pre- tivity: rise, work, eat, work, heart beats, again. school in Germany, ele- eat, sleep. And so we did. mentary school in Georgia, Then, a single round of Nebraska, Hawaii; high As school children, we canon fire, and we would school in Virginia…my were exempt from most of know the ceremony was youth in these scattered the bugle calls, save one. complete. We would re- places was punctuated by Toward sunset, the day sume, to bustle about, to long days in transoceanic cooling, we would be out- play. boats or transcontinental doors after school, playing Chryslers. There is a slow in some riotous way; but What grows from a rhythm to the unfolding of when we heard those first pledged silence? A wish “I pledge this country from its shrug- baleful notes of Retreat, we from a prayer; opportunity ging Appalachians to the knew that the American from effort; freedom from allegiance to the lap of the Pacific. I have flag was being lowered, vigilance. I pledged alle- flag because I am seen it, mile by mile, from a and that we were to pay giance to our flag because car window: rows of peach our respect. We would im- we put men on the moon allowed to burn it trees, miles of cornfields, mediately stop whatever and Patsy Mink in Con- waves of wheat, fields of we were doing (throw down gress. and therefore, I sugarcane. All the dust and our bikes, hop out of tree never would.” snow and heat and ocean swings, drop marbles or I pledge allegiance to the that this great land pro- jump ropes). Every activity flag because a hamburger vides, I’ve kicked around in on base would come to a stand in Santa Monica it. My father was a career halt; traffic would stop, serves Teriyaki Tacos. I officer in the United States people would get out of pledge allegiance to the Army. their cars, everyone every- flag because I am allowed where stood at attention. to burn it and therefore, I On an Army base, you did- As quick as a hush, a rev- never would. n’t need to wear a watch to erent quiet would fall, and know what time it was, be- we would all turn to where cause the bugle calls which we knew the American flag blasted from the very thor- had been flying all day, a ough sound system would place we knew as well as most clearly provide that where home was. We SAN Receives 2002 John Anson Ford Human Relations Award October 23, 2002 The South Asian Network (SAN) was For further information on SAN and honored by the Los Angeles County its programs visit the website: Board of Supervisors and the Los Ange- wwwsouthasiannetwork.org, call les Human Relations Commission with (562) 403-0488, or contact Kripa the John Anson Ford Human Relations Upadhyau: Award for 2002. The award recognizes firstname.lastname@example.org an outstanding body of work that pro- motes racial harmony. Our hearty con- gratulations to SAN! Volume III, Issue 3 Page 3 To Be or Nor To Be American...That’s Silly! I am American! By Belle H. Hsu I am an American . . . be- who haven’t figured it out went to two amazing col- cause I said so! I can’t re- are telemarketers (and that leges – Berkeley and call how many times grow- provides a great way to Pomona College (the small ing up in the Northeast that screen calls anyways). liberal arts college) – and I was asked what I was. If I had some unforgettable responded American, I was But I would never change experiences, both good always asked, with eyes who I am and what I be- and bad. After law school, squinting, like I was a frog came. Because I truly I have discovered an area to be dissected, “No, where have had the all-American of law in which I deal with are you really from?” Ap- experience and am living “people” issues daily and parently, it wasn’t good an American dream. I was that constantly challenges enough that I was from born in Connecticut, the and fascinates me – labor America, with parents origi- daughter of a graduate stu- and employment law. nally from Taiwan. dent father born to a poor farming family and a young Along the way, I have met “N o, where are you Of course, after moving to mother who finished col- some of the kindest and California when I started lege and came to join my inspiring people I’ve ever really from?” high school, life in this re- father. My mom had to known. Some have been A pparently, it gard has been moving survive almost a two hour non-American, but most along much more trip to the hospital in the have been American. This wasn’t good enough smoothly. Here, non-Asian snow to give birth to me. Americans actually may My mom raised me after is a nation made up of truly that I was from know how to spell “Hsu” my father passed away great people. And I am not America…” and that it can be pro- when I was young. I had just saying that because I nounced “Sue” and “Shoe,” the greatest friends in high am American. instead of “Who” or “Ha- school and due to the men- su”). But I can’t help but torship of my Mock Trial giggle when judges insist attorney coach, the Honor- on calling me Ms. [Shoe] able Gregg Prickett, I de- instead of [Sue] after I cided to go to law school, have corrected them once. and not become a science And about the only ones major like my father. I What it Means to be an American By David Halm Being “American” is partici- time, I served as one of ond generation Canadian pating in an ethnically and Judge Lew’s judicial ex- American. Also in atten- culturally diverse citizenry terns. I attended the dance were my fellow ex- and enjoying and respect- ceremony and sat next to terns, Michael Williams, a ing each other’s differ- Mayor (then City Attorney) Lebanese American, and ences. Almost ten years James Hahn. Mayor Hahn Melanie Murakami, a Japa- ago, the Honorable Ronald asked me when and from nese American. Soon S. W. Lew presided over a where my ancestors immi- there were more than 200 naturalization proceeding grated. I told him my great new Korean American citi- involving more than 200 grandparents immigrated zens. Korean immigrants, the from Korea and Japan to largest number of Koreans Hawaii and California in the granted United States Citi- early 1900s. Mayor Hahn zenship at one time. At the told me that he was a sec- Volume III, Issue 3 Page 4 I am an American By Eileen Kurahashi, APABA Advisory Board Member After working 21 years as a lawyer, camps of 120,000 Japanese Americans our Arab and Muslim American com- I have recently taken on a new in violation of the United States Consti- munities and to our country to exer- challenge – joining the Japanese tution. One of our guests asked, with a cise some leadership - to assert American National Museum to de- certain emotion in his voice, why the quickly and often that what hap- velop a new, related institution Museum does not tell the story of Japan pened to Japanese Americans dur- called The National Center for the during World War II. He implied by his ing World War II should not happen Preservation of Democracy. The inquiry that the injustices to Japanese again to others and to provide op- mission of the Museum is to pro- Americans in this country during WWII portunities for reasoned debate. mote appreciation for America’s needed to be offset by the story of the diversity by sharing the Japanese wartime excesses of Japan during the So, for me, making the statement “I American story. The mission of same period. The visitor did not make Am an American” evokes a long and the National Center is to promote the distinction between Japan and Japa- complicated personal history. I principles of democracy and civic nese and Americans of Japanese de- know my history includes reenacting involvement. The Museum pres- scent. He failed to understand that as the First Thanksgiving when I was a ents the Japanese American expe- Americans, we look to American institu- child dressed as a Pilgrim and be- rience in the context of American tions that promise certain protections lieving in the good will it repre- history. The National Center will without regard to race, religion, and eth- sented. I was born in a camp, Pos- provide the opportunity to include nicity, etc. It was brought home to me ton, Arizona, and have studied many additional voices in a public again that no matter how many genera- snapshots of my mother holding me dialogue about what it means to be tions Japanese and other Asian Ameri- in front of a barrack, our home, an American. Therefore, an essay cans live and work in the United States, wearing the latest clothes of the pe- exploring my assertion that “I Am we encounter those who will conclude riod. I have been inspired by our an American” is timely. we are “foreign” and that we are insuffi- Constitution and our constitutional ciently “American.” democracy, and aspire to the public The importance of people of color good. However, too, I have been saying and saying often, “I am an After the devastation of September 11, shattered by the contradictions that American”, is brought home to me 2001, one of the early media images our society and our institutions have almost everyday in my new posi- designed to evoke patriotism was the played out in my lifetime. I am and tion. Just the other day, a group of bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. The will continue to be optimistic in pro- academics and educators in prospect of war and the desire for re- moting democratic institutions, edu- Southern California from Europe venge was palpable. When news be- cating our people and playing a for an international conference on gan to surface that some lashed out vio- small part in shaping our future. “democratization” toured the Mu- lently against Arab and Muslim Ameri- seum. One of the core stories the cans or those mistaken as such, Japa- Museum presents is the experi- nese Americans knew that ours was a ence of Japanese Americans dur- cautionary tale about what could hap- ing World War II, which includes pen if fear, hysteria and racism were the painful story of the forced re- allowed to shape public policy. There- moval and incarceration into fore, we felt a special responsibility to APABA’s Hate Crimes Prevention Project Hate crimes, particularly against plans to develop and implement a pro- David G. Halm, Fainsbert Mase & members of the South Asian, Arab gram to educate and raise awareness Snyder, LLP, 11835 West Olympic and other middle eastern commu- among junior high and high school stu- Blvd., Suite 1100, Los Angeles, CA nities, have increased dramatically dents about hate crimes, including pre- 90064, (310) 473-6400 fax (310) in the aftermath of 9/11. APABA vention, reporting and consequences, 473-8702, email@example.com if has formed a sub-committee to and tolerance education. you would like to assist APABA’s address this problem. This sub- Please contact Sandeep Baweja, Burke, committee has already dissemi- effort to combat and prevent hate Williams & Sorensen, 611 West Sixth nated information at Sikh temples crimes. Street, Suite 2500, Los Angeles, CA about hate crimes and government 90017, (213) 236-0600 fax (213) 236- offices and agencies to contact if 2700, firstname.lastname@example.org or victimized by hate crimes and Volume III, Issue 3 Page 5 Tougher Penalties for Unauthorized Practice of Law– SB1459 By Frank W. Chen As former president of the South- victims of individuals who are not munities and people with a limited ern California Chinese Lawyers lawyers and who promise the un- knowledge of the English language Association (SCCLA), as well as a wary victims legal services that are and American laws posing as immi- current Trustee of the Los Ange- either shoddy or not delivered at all. gration consultants or legal advisors. les County Bar Association The new law is a deterrent because (LACBA), I am very pleased to many people in the immigrant com- The bill also closes a loophole that announce that Senate Bill 1459, munities are unaware of what re- allowed disbarred or suspended law- which cracks down on the Unau- course they have once they have yers to continue acting as a lawyer, if thorized Practice of Law (UPL) been victimized. they did not imply that they were li- passed unanimously in the Cali- censed. It emphasizes that practic- fornia State Senate and was The new law makes a misdemeanor ing law without a license includes the signed into law by Governor Gray conviction of practicing law without attempt to practice law or offer legal Davis on September 8, 2002. a license punishable by up to a year advice even without claiming to be a This bill, which was authored by in county jail and a $1,000.00 fine, licensed lawyer. Senator Gloria Romero, D-Los or both. It also creates a minimum punishment of 90 days in jail for Anyone who suspects UPL activity Angeles, passed the California may call the State Bar hotline at 800- State Assembly during the third subsequent convictions. A sentenc- ing court would have to explain any 843-9053. week in August with a vote of 77 to 0. The new law will take effect variation from these standards on California State Bar President Karen in January 2003. Senator Ro- the record. The theory behind this Nobumoto, who encouraged and mero represents the 24th Senate new law which imposes mandatory helped create the bill based on her District which includes Alhambra, jail time for repeat violations is that prosecutor experience at the Los An- Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bassett, UPL practitioners will no longer be geles District Attorney’s Office, made Belvedere, City Terrace, East Los able to “just pay a fine,” analogizing a formal announcement at a special Angeles, El Monte, El Sereno, the payment of a fine to the pay- ceremony during the State Bar Board Hacienda Heights, Industry, Irwin- ment of an advertising fee. of Governors meeting on Thursday, dale, La Puente, Monterey Park, Under existing law, a disbarred or September 19, 2002. Los Angeles Rosemead, San Gabriel, South suspended lawyer who practiced District Attorney Steve Cooley and San Gabriel, Valinda, and por- law could be charged with a felony. Senators Gloria Romero and Sheila tions of North Whittier, South El A non-lawyer could only be charged Kuhl also attended. Monte, Temple City, West Covina with a misdemeanor. When intro- and Glendora. A previous Ro- duced, SB 1459 attempted to ad- mero bill, SB 1194, which ad- dress the discrepancy between the dressed the damages and relief two charges by creating a “wobbler,” victims of such fraud are entitled a crime that could be charged as a to, passed in March 2001. felony or misdemeanor, for non- A multitude of minority bar asso- lawyers convicted more than once ciations throughout Los Angeles of claiming to be licensed to prac- County, including SCCLA, MABA tice law. As amended, SB 1459 no and the Los Angeles County Bar longer creates a felony charge (due Association (with over 23,000 ac- to concerns of the effect of the tive members), as well as the Three Strikes Law), but increases State Bar of California, supported the maximum sentence for the mis- Senate Bill 1459. This new law demeanor from six months to one carries greater penalties against year and creates a minimum sen- non-lawyers for the Unauthorized tence of 90 days in county jail for Practice of Law. repeat violators of the law. Ro- mero’s office said the bill would al- Many uninformed persons in the low harsher penalties against indi- immigrant communities are the viduals who targeted minority com- Volume III, Issue 3 Page 6 Law Day 2002 A Success! By Chirag Shah, APABA Board Member APABA’s Community Education/Pro legal rights to traditionally The topics for Law Day are chosen Bono Services Committee held its underserved Asian Pacific Islander by the student organizations. This annual Law Day seminar on May 14, groups such as the Cambodian and year, we presented basic 2002, at UCLA. At the seminar, South Asian communities. We have information concerning criminal law APABA board members, Kathy Hirano found that, due to time conflicts and and procedure and immigration and Hyacinth Leus, gave excellent language interpretation difficulties, it is law. In addition, the Committee presentations on criminal law and easier for us to present the basic distributed flyers and brochures immigration. Thanks to the efforts of information to college students who, covering basic legal rights in many the United Cambodian Students and in turn, are asked to share what they areas, including employment rights, Meg Thornton from UCLA’s Asian learn at Law Day with their families the Violence Against Women Act, American Studies Center in and friends. Using this approach, we small claims procedures, tenants publicizing the event, it was well have previously conducted rights, and immigration law. Due to attended, and there was a spirited presentations at Cal State Long the invaluable help of Tom Chan, exchange of ideas and information Beach and UC Irvine. We also use Wonkoo Chang, and Sody Lay, during the question and answer Law Day as an opportunity to share who reviewed the translations, session. insights with students about many of the flyers were made opportunities in the legal field--not just available in Asian languages. For the past couple of years, as part as lawyers, but also as paralegals, of its ongoing program of community legal assistants, court interpreters, education, APABA members have court reporters, and court personnel. conducted presentations on basic DIVERSITY GRANT OF THE LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW SECTION OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE BAR The Labor & Employment Law Section (L&E Section) of the California State Bar is committed to diversity. In that spirit, it has established a $70,000.00 grant to co-sponsor events with multi-cultural bar organizations to provide edu- cational and networking opportunities in the area of labor and employment law. Each event will be funded up to $5,000.00. For the application and qualifications, please contact Toni Jaramilla, Chair of the Diversity Outreach Subcommittee for the L&E Section (310) 551-3020. APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR THIS ROUND OF FUNDING IS NOVEMBER 10, 2002 1st Annual APABASoftball Tournament By J. Alan Warfield On Sunday, September 8, 2002, a perfect summer afternoon, APABA held its first annual Softball "tournament" featur- ing the attorneys against the judges, law students, and at least one professional player. While the children playing foot- ball just beyond the infield dirt never were in any danger of being hit by a fly ball, there were a surprisingly high number of hits and runs. Before and after the game, all in attendance enjoyed a delicious barbecue lunch under the shade, all at Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades. Commissioner Widdifield and Justice Kathy Antonio Estuar Margaret & Marika Johnson Justice Todd displaying her APABA t-shirt Doi Todd-proud recipients of the tournament trophy Volume III, Issue 3 Page 7 Criminal Law By Pauline A. Weaver, Alameda County Deputy It’s 2 a.m. Your sound sleep is shat- to defense counsel and pick their brains time in the area, job and educational tered by a call from your biggest client, as well. Several national organizations history, prior criminal involvement, whose daughter has been arrested for specialize in criminal defense, most nota- and contacts in the community. drunk driving. “You’ve got to do some- bly the National Association of Criminal Tell the client not to discuss or write thing!” she pleads. As much as you Defense Lawyers (nacdl.org) and the Na- about the case with anyone. Empha- might want to tell your client she’s got tional Legal Aid and Defender Associa- size that this includes family mem- the wrong number, that’s not an option. tion (nlada.org). Consider joining one of bers, friendly police officers, friends, For you, it could be time to step into a these or the criminal law section of your cellmates, and so on. new area of the law. This can be intimi- local bar association, which can provide dating, but knowing a few simple things contacts, monthly publications, and up- Having taken care of the basics, you next can help you protect the daughter. dates on the law. Introductory texts can must decide whether you can comfortably also help prep you on the basics of crimi- handle the case. Is it a simple drunk driv- Prepare nal law, so you at least know the ques- ing, or does it involve an accident? Was The best time to prepare for such a call, tions to ask. another party injured? Is the charge a of course, is before it ever happens. misdemeanor or a felony? If you con- Where can you go for help with criminal Assess clude you’re in over your head, refer the law issues? Ideally, you find a mentor, But what do you do after you answer your case out – it’s far better to do so than to an agreeable friend in private criminal client’s call? Even if you think you ulti- make a misstep that may cause perma- practice, or a public defender in your mately will refer the case to someone nent legal damage. area willing to teach you the basics. Be more experienced, you can do a lot that careful of their time, but don’t be afraid can help avoid later problems. If you decide to take the case, be abso- to ask questions – most people are flat- lutely clear that the person who pays the tered to be considered an expert and First, find out whether the daughter is a piper does not get to call the tune. The are more than willing to help. juvenile or an adult. This will narrow the mother may pay your fees, but this does- possibilities for the holding facility. Does n’t mean she’s entitled to sit in on client So that your first foray into the criminal the mother know where the daughter is interviews, hear client confidences, or department isn’t the day you represent being held? This will save you needless dictate the course of the case. This is your client’s daughter, do some pre- phone calls and much frustration, be- one of the hardest things to control, but paratory research on your own. Go to cause many counties, for example, have control it you must. In many jurisdictions, the courthouse and watch arraign- detention facilities run by individual cities the attorney-client privilege is waived if a ments. See how experienced attorneys as well. Can the parents afford to post third party is privy to protected conversa- handle the process. If you have a ques- bail? Have they done so? If the daugh- tions. You must be an advocate for your tion after watching the proceeding, ask ter is still in custody, you may have to client, not for the person who pays your the attorney who appeared for a bit of visit her at the jail, and you may be the bill. time to explain it – most will. Spend first person she talks to since her arrest. some time in pretrial and trial depart- Before you meet with the client, try to get Finally, if at this point you’re still unde- ments; you may never get this far in a the police reports on the incident. cided about taking the case, ask yourself criminal case, but you will have more the ultimate test question: If this were my information to give the client about the When you meet with your new client: son or daughter, would I want someone process. A supplement or alternative to Reassure and calm her. Visits for with my experience and skill to handle the this might be “shadowing” your mentor anyone but attorneys will be limited matter through to its conclusion? for a day – especially if court is sched- to regular visiting hours, and adopt- uled. This is a great way to prepare. ing this “parental” role will no doubt be welcomed. Bar associations in your area may offer Explain the forthcoming process. continuing legal education courses in Tell her about the possibilities of bail criminal law, and some public defender or release on her own recognizance offices open their courses to private (OR, release without posting a practitioners. Take advantage of these bond). Get background information opportunities – you get a chance to talk for an OR motion, such as length of APABA Reception for the Honorable Judges Nguyen and Ryu Judge Jacqueline Nguyen Judge Tammy Ryu Judge Nguyen and Dolly Gee APABA Newsletter of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County APABA 12021 Wilshire Boulevard Number 603 Los Angeles, California 90025 STOP!!!! Did you remember to renew your APABA membership for 2003? If not, get your membership application from Teri Pham at email@example.com. APABA’s Mission In 1998, the Asian Pacific ABABA members; (4) pro- the Association. During its American Bar Association vide an opportunity for fel- first four years of exis- of Los Angeles County lowship among the Asso- tence, APABA has pro- (APABA) was formed in ciation's members; (5) pro- vided programming and order to: (1) establish a vide coordinated service to services consistent with its broad base of membership the community-at-large, as mission. APABA’s Board that is reflective of the eth- well as the local Asian is dedicated to continue nic and cultural diversity of community; (6) develop rendering yeoman service the Asian/Pacific Islander and encourage cooperation to the underserved seg- American (APIA) commu- with and between other bar ments of the Asian Ameri- nity in the greater Los An- organizations, especially can community of Los An- geles area; (2) foster the other minority bar associa- geles. exchange of ideas and in- tions; and (7) provide a ve- formation between the hicle and forum for the uni- members of APABA and fied expression of opinions other members of the legal and positions by the Asso- profession, the judiciary ciation upon current social, and the community; (3) en- political, economic, legal or courage and promote the other matters or events of professional growth of concern to the members of This edition of The Reporter was printed courtesy of Haight, Brown & Bonesteel LLP. 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