Author Archives: KimSF

OAPABA Professional Pipeline Series (May-June 2012)

As part of its professional pipeline development series, OAPABA has finished its four luncheon discussions that explored opportunities in a variety of practice environments. The panels covered practice as an in-house counsel, law firm partner, government attorney, judge, and solo-small firm attorney. Thank you to all our panel members and for everyone who participated!

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OAPABA Announces its 2012-2013 Board of Directors

The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association held its Annual Member Meeting and Board Elections on June 19, 2012.

2012 Elections results are as follows:

President-Elect: Kim Sugawa-Fujinaga
Secretary: Toan Nguyen
Treasurer: Karen Nashiwa
Region 1 Representative: Robin McIntyre
Region 3 Representative: Beth Bagley
Region 4 Representative: The Honorable Mustafa Kasubhai
Region 5 Representative: Hong Dao
At-Large Representative: Etta Lockey
Willamette College of Law Student Representative: Mae Lee Browning
Lewis & Clark Law School Student Representative: Anne Nguyen
University of Oregon School of Law Representative: Alexander Gancayco

OAPABA gives a warm thanks to its outgoing officers and board members:
Elisa Dozono, Corinne Celko, Connie Kong, Chin See Ming, Kevin Hashizume, Miyuki Yoshida and Tommy Chau

A warm thank you to the Advocate Sponsors for OAPABA’s Annual Meeting: Perkins Coie, Miller Nash, Schwabe, Williamson, & Wyatt, and Davis Wright Tremaine.

OAPABA members at the 2012 Asian Reporter Foundation Scholarship Banquet

On April 27, 2012, board members Miyuki Yohshia, Elisa Dozono, Chin See Ming, and Julia Markley attended the Asian Reporter’s Annual Foundational Scholarship Banquet. The Annual Scholarship Awards Banquet is an avenue to post exemplary community service, honor our community’s elders, and recognize the hard work and aspirations of young Asian Americans. The event provides outstanding community-outreach and public relations opportunities. Scholarship sponsors are recognized with the names of the scholarship winners. Other recognition given at this event includes the Exemplary Community Volunteer and Most Honored Elder awards, which showcase the many accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community groups.


2011 Holiday Mixer

OAPABA members made a fine turnout at Yolo Lounge for the annual Holiday Mixer co-sponsored with the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon, the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Asian American Journalist Association of Portland, Central Thymos, and ORIENTED Portland – the local arm of a global organization of international professionals interested in Asian business and partnerships.


2011 NAPABA Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia

APA Attorneys and Judges from across the Nation gathered at the 2011 NAPABA Conference, “Sustainability 2011: renewal and growth for today and tomorrow” hosted by the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association. OAPABA was well-represented at the convention and was proud to celebrate the award of NAPABA’s 2011 Best Under 40 and Trailblazer to OAPABA members Liani Reeves and Peggy Nagae, respectively. Although OAPABA made a strong bid to host the convention in 2013, we will be delighted to join the Kansas City and St. Louis affiliates for the 2013 National Convention in Kansas City, MO.

OAPABA Members Peggy Nagae and Liani Reeves Awarded at 2011 NAPABA Convention

On November 17, 2011, OAPABA Members Liani Reeves and Peggy Nagae received national recognition for their excellent contributions to Asian Pacific American (APA) Attorneys at the NAPABA Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Nagae received the 2011 Trailblazer award and Ms. Reeves was selected as one of NAPABA’s Best Under 40.

The NAPABA Trailblazers Award recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment and leadership of lawyers who have paved the way for the advancement of other APA attorneys. As part of its annual convention, NAPABA honors a member from each region who meets these criteria. The honorees are selected by the regional governors and the affiliates in their region. The paths and achievements of our awardees are often very different. However, they all have had careers and otherwise made contributions that demonstrate vision, courage and tenacity, and which have resulted in substantial and lasting contributions to the APA legal profession, as well as the broader APA community.

Peggy Nagae is an independent consultant with extensive experience in change management, leadership development, executive coaching, diversity and inclusion, strategic planning, marketing, and potentiating the human spirit at work. Her work is collaborative, values-based and heart-driven. Peggy earned an A.B. in East Asian Studies from Vassar College, a J.D., from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College, and a M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Her legal practice included business litigation, criminal defense, and general practice. She served as the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Oregon School of Law and the Affirmative Action Director at Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. She helped found and served as president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She is the current co-chair of NAPABA’s Leadership Advisory Council and the Diversity Task Force. She is also the program director for The Center for Asian Pacific American Women. Peggy is highly recognized for her work on the National JACL Redress Committee, as the lead attorney for Minoru Yasui in reopening his WWII Japanese American incarceration case, Yasui v. United States, and as a Presidential appointee to the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund.

NAPABA’s Best Under 40 award recognizes talented individuals within the APA legal community under the age of 40 who have achieved prominence and distinction in their fields of endeavor—be it the practice of law, academia, business, civic and charitable affairs, the judiciary, or politics — and have demonstrated a strong commitment to civic or community affairs.

Ms. Liani Reeves was selected earlier this year by Gov. John Kitzhaber to be his chief legal advisor. A graduate of Willamette University, Liani most recently served as Deputy Chief Trial Counsel for the Oregon Department of Justice under Attorney General John Kroger. She also was staff attorney for the National Crime Victim Law Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School.

Raised on Oregon’s south coast in North Bend, Liani has served with numerous community organizations, including the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association, Oregon Commission on Asian Affairs, and Oregon State Bar Affirmative Action Committee. She was tagged by the Oregon Business Journal as among the “40 under 40” up and comers in Oregon and recently by the Daily Journal of Commerce as its Up & Coming Lawyer of the Year.

As Governor Kitzhaber’s counsel, she works extensively on tribal issues, public record requests and judicial appointments.

OAPABA Member Valeri L. Love Appointed to Lane County Circuit Court

Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA) is pleased to announce that last week, Governor Kitzhaber appointed OAPABA member Valeri L. Love to the Lane County Circuit Court. She will officially take the bench on September 6, 2011.

“As a statewide organization, OAPABA is proud to have been able to endorse such a strong candidate as Valeri Love for the Lane County judiciary,” said Elisa Dozono, OAPABA President. “We hope Judge Love will add strength to OAPABA’s pipeline efforts, which have been generating great results, in part, thanks to mentoring and leadership by sitting Asian Pacific American (APA) jurists. Moreover, we hope that her appointment encourages other Willamette Valley APAs to get involved in OAPABA.”

Ms. Love received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Linfield College, a Master of Management degree from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Willamette University College of Law. She started her legal career as a law clerk with the Lane County Circuit Court and then served as a deputy district attorney with the Lane County District Attorney’s Office. She currently works as a civil litigator with the firm of Gleaves Swearingen Potter & Scott LLP. Ms. Love is involved in numerous community activities including the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association and Oregon Women Lawyers.


OAPABA Board Member Janelle Factora Wipper Appointed to Washington County Circuit Court

Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA) is pleased to announce that on July 8, 2011, Governor Kitzhaber appointed OAPABA board member Janelle Factora Wipper to the Washington County Circuit Court vacancy created by U.S. District Court Judge Marco Hernandez.  She will officially take the bench on August 1, 2011.

“With her distinguished career in public service, it is fitting that Janelle Wipper will become Oregon’s first Filipino-American appointed to the bench,” said Elisa Dozono, OAPABA President.  “We are excited that she will continue to serve on OAPABA’s board and be a model for those participating in our pipeline program.”

“Janelle Wipper’s diverse background, which includes both criminal and civil law, will make her an asset to the trial court,” said Governor Kitzhaber.  “Her personal and professional experiences, along with her commitment to public service, will benefit the citizens of Washington County and the State of Oregon.”

Ms. Wipper received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Willamette University College of Law and her Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University.  Ms. Wipper currently serves as Associate Chief Counsel for the Civil Enforcement Division of the Oregon Department of Justice and was previously a Deputy District Attorney in Washington County for 11 years.  As the current President of the Washington County Bar Association, Ms. Wipper is also a member of the Oregon Women Lawyers, Oregon Minority Lawyers Association, and the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

For more information about OAPABA’s pipeline initiative, please contact committee chairpersons, Bonnie Richardson, or David Wang,


OAPABA Announces 2011-2012 Board of Directors

The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA) has elected its 2011-2012 board of directors.  Incoming board president Elisa Dozono is joined by President-Elect Simon Whang, Secretary Corinne Celko, and Treasurer Connie Kong.  The most recent regional and at-large representatives to join the board are Jessica Asai, Janelle Factora Wipper, Annie Jhun, Chin See Ming and Miyuki Yoshida and law student representative Tommy Chau.

“I hope to capitalize on the solid foundation we have built over the past two years by increasing OAPABA’s voice as an advocate for the larger statewide APA community,” said incoming President Dozono.

Elisa Dozono (President) is an associate at Miller Nash LLP, and focuses her practice on business litigation and government relations.  A native Oregonian, Elisa served as the chairperson for the 2011 NAPABA Western Regional Conference, held this past June in Portland, Oregon, hosting over 100 Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges and law students.  She is also the recipient of 2010 Oregon Area Jewish Committee Emerging Leadership Award and the 2010 Daily Journal of Commerce’s Up & Coming Leaders Award for Outstanding Professional Organization Involvement.

Simon Whang (President-Elect) is an assistant attorney general at the Oregon Department of Justice, Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection Section, focusing on mortgage and foreclosure concerns.  Originally from Beaverton, Oregon, Simon attended Johns Hopkins University and NYU School of Law.  Simon currently serves as the secretary of the Oregon State Bar’s (OSB) Unlawful Practice of Law Committee and teaches trial advocacy.  In the past he has served as faculty for OSB’s Trial Advocacy College and Opportunities for Law in Oregon, and as Bar Disciplinary Counsel.  He lives with his wife and two beautiful daughters in SE Portland.

Corinne S. Celko (Secretary) is an associate at Perkins Coie, LLP in the firm’s Real Estate and Land Use practice.  She focuses in the areas of land use and development law, representing a wide range of clients in obtaining permits from local governments and state agencies for commercial, residential, mixed-use and industrial projects.  Her practice also includes experience with land use due diligence, natural resource issues, and appellate work before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals and the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Connie Kong (Treasurer) serves as a law clerk for the Honorable Marco Hernandez of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.  Prior to her clerkship, she practiced intellectual property litigation for several years.  Connie is one of the founding members of OAPABA.

Jessica Asai has a B.A. in Politics from Willamette University, and a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School and has previously served as a board director for OAPABA.  She is currently a Civil Rights Investigator with Oregon Health & Science University’s Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity Department and is a member of Oregon Minority Lawyers Association and Oregon Women Lawyers.

Janelle Factora Wipper is the Associate Chief Counsel of the Civil Enforcement Division at the Oregon Department of Justice.  Previously, Janelle served as a Senior Assistant Attorney General for the Financial Fraud & Consumer Protection Section and a Deputy District Attorney for Washington County.  She is currently the President of the Washington County Bar Association and an advisory member of the OSB Criminal Law Section.

Annie Jhun has been a member of the Oregon State Bar since the fall of 2010.   Before attending law school, she worked at a national non-profit organization in New York and as a paralegal at a large Atlanta law firm.  In 2010, she received her J.D. from NYU School of Law, where she was an Executive Editor for the NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy.  She currently clerks for a circuit court judge in Clackamas County.

Chin See Ming serves as senior counsel at Smith Freed & Eberhard PC.  Ming is a member of the firm’s Construction and Development Group. He has a diverse civil litigation practice in which he handles cases emphasizing in the defense of construction defect, businesses litigation and employment disputes.  Previously, Chin served as the chairman for OAPABA’s advocacy committee.

Miyuki Yoshida was born in Yokohama, Japan and raised in Portland, Oregon, where she currently is a solo practitioner.  Bilingual in English and Japanese, she is licensed to practice in Oregon and Washington State, advising a diverse array of clients in immigration, employment law, business, renewable energy and geothermal energy development.  Miyuki is a director of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon and SW Washington and a Scott M. Johnson Fellow of the US-Japan Leadership Program, US-Japan Foundation.

Tung Tommy Chau received his B.A.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005 and is a rising second-year law student at Lewis and Clark Law School. This summer, Tommy is working as a law clerk at Brindle McCaslin & Lee and as a judicial intern for the Honorable Youlee You of the Multnomah County Circuit Court.

OAPABA would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to outgoing board members, President David Wang, Secretary Emily Yip, Treasurer Kevin Kono, Representative Beth Bagley, and Law Student Representative Rebecca Guiao for their immeasurable service.


OAPABA is an organization of lawyers, law students, judges and law professors. OAPABA seeks to:

  • foster communication, fellowship and the exchange of ideas among Asian Pacific American attorneys and between Asian Pacific American attorneys and other individuals, organizations and governmental entities;
  • to implement, coordinate or support legal services impacting Asian Pacific American communities at the local and national levels;
  • to encourage, support, research and implement programs related to professional development and advancement; and
  • to represent and advocate the interests of Asian Pacific Americans in the legal profession, in legal education and in the community and to provide a vehicle and forum for formulating, adopting and expressing opinions and positions on matters or events of concern to Asian Pacific American attorneys in Oregon.

For more information on joining OAPABA, please contact Corinne Celko at