Congratulations to Parkin Lee

CAPABA was proud to support the nomination of longtime CAPABA member, Parkin Lee, for NAPABA’s highest honor, the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award.  We are thrilled to report that NAPABA has selected Parkin to be one of its five recipients!  This award recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of lawyers who have paved the way for the advancement of other Asian Pacific American attorneys.

Trailblazers like Parkin have demonstrated vision, courage, and tenacity, and made substantial and lasting contributions to the Asian Pacific American legal profession, as well as to the broader Asian Pacific American community.  While in law school at New York University, Parkin helped pioneer the practice of allowing students of color to review law school applications from, and advocate for, potential students of color, a practice initiated at NYU and subsequently adopted at other law schools, including Harvard.  At the time, there were few students of color — including Asian Pacific Americans — in the law school (there were five Asian Pacific American students in total in his class).  Currently, 30 percent of the J.D. student body at NYU are students of color; 16 percent of the Fall 2016 class are Asian and South Asian.  As senior vice president and chief legal officer of the Rockefeller Group, Parkin is trusted counsel to one of the country’s most recognized names in real estate development and asset management.  Previously, he spent 20 years at New York Life Insurance Company where he became one of the highest ranking Asian Pacific American attorneys in the insurance industry in New York.  He served for many years as president of the NAPABA Law Foundation where he is currently on the board and is board chair of the Asian American Justice Center.

Parkin will receive the 2017 Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award on November 3, 2017, during a special ceremony at the 2017 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C.  For more information about this prestigious award and the NAPABA Convention, please visit NAPABA’s website.

Congratulations, Parkin!


Aloha from the Luau!

On Sunday, August 27th, CAPABA and SABAC partnered together to host a summer end luau.  It was a smashing success!   Members and their friends and families got together at the beautiful March Farm in Bethlehem, CT for an afternoon of outdoor fun.  CAPABA and SABAC have both vowed the make the luau an annual event again, and plan to host it at March Farm around the same time next year.  Hopefully you can all join us again!

Below is a snippet of the photos we collected from the wonderful day.  Please check out the full photo album on our Facebook page!



Congratulations to Judge Hunchu Kwak and Finn Dixon & Herling LLP

CAPABA is pleased to announce that Board member, the Honorable Judge Hunchu Kwak, has been selected as this year’s Impact Award recipient and that longtime CAPABA supporter, the law firm of Finn Dixon & Herling LLP, has been selected as this year’s Diversity Award recipient.

CAPABA will be presenting the Impact Award and Diversity Award at this year’s Annual Dinner on October 5, 2017.  The CAPABA Impact Award recognizes an Asian Pacific American attorney who has provided exemplary service and support to CAPABA or the Asian Pacific American community.  The CAPABA Diversity Award recognizes a person, organization or firm that has demonstrated its support for CAPABA’s mission through its commitment to diversity in the legal profession as well as financial support.

Please join us at our Annual Dinner on October 5th, as we recognize and celebrate Judge Kwak and Finn Dixon & Herling LLP and their remarkable achievements and significant contributions to our community!


Congratulations to Judge Nina Elgo

On May 2, 2017, CAPABA member, the Honorable Judge Nina Elgo, was nominated by Governor Malloy to serve on the Appellate Court.  Judge Elgo was the first Asian Pacific American judge in the state of Connecticut and is now the first Asian Pacific American judge in the state of Connecticut to be nominated to serve on the Appellate Court.  Governor Malloy also nominated the Honorable Maria Araujo Kahn to serve as a judge on the Appellate Court.  If confirmed by the legislature, this will become the first time in state history that the Appellate Court has been represented by a majority of female judges.

Judge Elgo was first appointed to serve on the Superior Court in May 2004 and is currently assigned to the civil division in the judicial district of Hartford.  Her previous assignments include serving as the presiding judge of the statewide child protection session docket in Middletown, the juvenile division in the judicial district of New Haven, the criminal division in the judicial districts of Hartford and Enfield, as well as the habeas corpus docket in Tolland county.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Connecticut College, and her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Judge Elgo is a dear friend of CAPABA.  She served for many years as a Board member and currently serves on the advisory board.  Judge Elgo has repeatedly been recognized as a champion for diversity and has been awarded the CAPABA Impact Award, the Connecticut Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Diversity Award, and the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Award, among many others.  She is truly an inspiration and a role model to all of us in the profession.

Congratulations, Judge Elgo on this historic and well-deserved achievement!


Congratulations to Calvin Woo

CAPABA Board Member, Calvin Woo, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to ensure equal access to legal services for all, regardless of power or resources.  Calvin is a partner with Verrill Dana and a former president of CAPABA.  Congratulations, Calvin!


CAPABA Joins Amicus Briefs Filed in Hawaii v. Trump and in Int’l Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump

CAPABA joined NAPABA’s amicus briefs, which were filed in opposition to the President’s appeal to the Ninth Circuit of the temporary restraining order granted in Hawaii, et al. v. Trump, et al., No. 17-00050 (D. Haw. Mar. 15, 2017) and in opposition to the President’s appeal to the Fourth Circuit of the preliminary injunction granted in Int’l Refugee Assistance Project, et al. v. Trump, et al., No. TDC-17-0361 (D. Md. Mar. 15, 2017).  Therein, NAPABA argues that the President’s revised executive order contravenes Congress’s prohibition on nationality-based discrimination, which was intended to reverse a long history of injustice that predominantly discriminated against migrants from Asia.  NAPABA also argues that the revised executive order violates federal law and demonstrates a “bad faith” basis that requires invalidation.  NAPABA describes the history of U.S. immigration policies discriminating Asian migrants since the 1800s, cites legal precedent, and summarizes the legislative history of the applicable federal laws to further demonstrate these points.  Finalized copies of the Ninth Circuit brief and the Fourth Circuit brief are now available.  The Fourth Circuit will hear Int’l Refugee Assistance Project, et al. v. Trump, et al. on May 8th in Richmond, VA, and the Ninth Circuit will hear Hawaii, et al. v. Trump, et al. on May 15th in Seattle.  CAPABA is proud to participate in these amicus briefs and applauds NAPABA for its tremendous efforts.


Congratulations to Rep. William Tong

CAPABA member, State Representative William Tong, will be receiving a Special Recognition Award from the Connecticut Bar Foundation at its Annual Reception on April 25, 2017  at The Hartford Club.  Rep. Tong serves the 147th District in the Connecticut House of Representatives and is the House Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Co-Chairman of the Commission on Economic Competitiveness.  Rep. Tong is also an attorney with Finn Dixon & Herling LLP.  Congratulations, Rep. Tong!

If you would like more information about this event, please contact the Connecticut Bar Foundation at


CAPABA Joins NAPABA and SABA’s Statement Opposing the Revised Refugee & “Muslim Ban” Executive Order

On March 15, 2017, CAPABA joined the statement below, which was issued by NAPABA and SABA on March 6, 2017:  

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) condemn President Trump’s new executive order that includes many of the discriminatory provisions of his earlier order, which also sought to stop refugees from entering the United States and halt immigration from several Muslim-majority countries. These orders, which are based on the misguided idea that certain religious and ethnic populations are more prone to violence, are incompatible with American values, and will not make our communities safer or our nation stronger. Notably, the order, continues to 1) suspend refugee admission for 120 days, 2) reduce and limit the number of refugee admissions, and 3) targets individuals from six Muslim-majority countries, suspending entry of individuals for 90 days, with some exceptions.

“The executive order is a continuation of the same policy that discriminates against and devalues refugees and members of the Muslim community,” said NAPABA President Cyndie Chang. “We must refuse to act out of fear and intolerance. We must not return to the dark chapters of our history where we judged people by the color of their skin, how they prayed, or where their family came from. We must stand up for our values of equity, justice, and opportunity.”

“The President’s Executive Action does nothing more than advance an anti-Muslim agenda espoused during the campaign under the guise of National Security,” said SABA President Vichal Kumar. “A refugee, by definition, is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. The supposed justification for this Executive Action punishes this person for the very same war and persecution that is causing them to leave in the first place.”

The new executive order clarifies it is not applicable to certain individuals, such as valid visa holders whose documents were issued on or before Jan. 27, 2017, lawful permanent residents, and dual-national passport holders. The order will take effect on March 16, 2017.

The executive order continues to require regular reports be published on suspected criminal activity committed by foreign nationals and refugees. When combined with reporting requirements under other immigration related executive orders, these reports will generate greater mistrust and fear of immigrant communities.

Both NAPABA and SABA joined litigation against the executive order enacted on Jan. 27, 2017. Our members have been at the airports assisting families, in the field educating communities about their rights, and in the courts supporting local and national pro bono efforts. Read our original statement here.

NAPABA and SABA join our fellow attorneys, the Asian Pacific American community, and Americans of all backgrounds in reiterating our commitment to diversity and justice. We remain committed to ensuring that all are free from discrimination and racial and religious profiling.

For more information, contact:

NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

SABA North America (formerly NASABA/North American South Asian Bar Association) is a voluntary bar organization and serves as an umbrella organization to 26 chapters in the United States and Canada. SABA North America is a recognized forum for professional growth and advancement for South Asian attorneys in North America and seeks to protect the rights and liberties of the South Asian community across the continent. Learn more at


Congratulations to John Ho

CAPABA Board member, John Ho, was honored at St. John’s University School of Law Asian Pacific American Law Students Association’s Lunar New Year Reception at Lexicon in New York, NY on February 21, 2017.  John is a member of Cozen O’Connor and graduate of St. John’s University School of Law.  Congratulations, John!