Category Archives: News

OAPABA announces new 2017-18 Board!

The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association held its Annual Member Meeting and Board Elections on June 12, 2017.

Elections results are as follows:

President-Elect: Sara Ghafouri
Secretary: Maxine Tuan
Treasurer: Anne Nguyen

At-Large Representative: Rebecca Guiao
At-Large Representative: Robert Kim
At-Large Representative: Alex Naito
At-Large Representative: Grace Wong

Willamette College of Law Student Representatives: Melissa Cohen & Kai McGuire
Lewis & Clark Law School Student Representatives: Sokho Eath & Alexis Baello
University of Oregon School of Law Student Representative: Marie Vermaas

The new officers and board members will join incoming president, Derily Bechthold and region representatives Kirsten Naito, Elizabeth Schultz, Nani Apo, and at large representatives Kristin Asai, and Jennifer Yeh.

OAPABA gives a warm thanks to its outgoing officers and board members: Jovita Wang (president), Dan Simon (secretary), Trung Tu (at large representative), Yufeng Luo (Willamette law student representative), Kevin Pham and Max Zhang (Lewis & Clark law student representatives), and Daniel Phung & Jeffrey Chong (University of Oregon law student representatives).

OAPABA also thanks the law firm of Perkins Coie for hosting the event and for its continual support.

Last but not least, OAPABA thanks everyone who participated at the meeting. OAPABA is grateful for its strong membership and looks forward to your continued participation and support. We are excited for another great year!

Justice Lynn R. Nakamoto is the recipient of the ABA’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award

On August 13th, 2017, Justice Nakamoto will be honored at the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting luncheon as an award recipient for the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, established by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession in 1991, recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of women lawyers who have excelled in their field and have paved the way to success for other women lawyers.  Congratulations, Justice Nakamoto, on your well-deserved recognition.

The luncheon will be held at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York, New York. Several OAPABA members intend to attend. Hope to see you there!

OAPABA Member Peggy Nagae is recipient of ABA Spirit of Excellence Award

On February 4, 2017, Peggy Nagae was honored at the American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Awards luncheon as an award recipient. Peggy was honored for her civil rights work. Peggy is the past President of our national affiliate, NAPABA, and  the Asian Bar Association of Washington (ABAW). Congratulations, Peggy, on your well deserved recognition and thank you for inspiring us.

Click here to hear Peggy’s remarks at the luncheon: 2017 Spirit of Excellence Award

OAPABA Joins NAPABA Statement Opposing Refugee Exclusion & “Muslim Ban”

OAPABA has signed on in support of the statement issued by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the South Asian Bar Association of North America condemning the President’s exclusion of refugees and his “Muslim ban.”

To read the statement issued by NAPABA and SABA, click here .

*Updated: OAPABA has signed on in support of the statement issued by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the South Asian Bar Association of North America condemning the revised executive order signed by President Trump stopping refugee admission and continuing a Muslim ban. To read the statement issued by NAPABA and SABA, click here .

OAPABA President-Elect Derily Bechthold Receives 2016 Oregon State Bar President’s Diversity and Inclusion Award

Congratulations to OAPABA President-Elect Derily Bechthold, who will receive the 2016 Oregon State Bar President’s Diversity and Inclusion Award. The award recognizes OSB members who have made significant contributions to the goal of increasing minority representation in the legal profession through creative employment efforts, innovative recruitment and retention programs, advocacy, or other significant efforts.

OAPABA member, Judge Valeri Love, will also be receiving the OSB Membership Services Award.

The Oregon legal community will acknowledge and celebrate Ms. Bechthold’s award and Judge Love’s award at a special event on Thursday, December 8th at 11:30 AM at the Sentinel Hotel, 614 SW 11th Ave, Portland.

OAPABA congratulates our President-Elect Derily Bechthold and member Judge Love on these well-deserved awards.

OAPABA member Judge Love is the 2016 Lane County Bar Association Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Long-time OAPABA member, the Honorable Valeri Love, has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Lane County Bar Association Distinguished Service Award.

The award honors an individual who has provided extraordinary service to the legal profession and the people of Lane County. Judge Love will be presented the award at the Annual LCBA Spring Bash in Eugene to be held May of 2016. Congratulations, Judge Love!

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OAPABA Celebrates the Appointment of Judge Youlee You to the United States District Court for the District of Oregon

The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon has appointed Judge Youlee You as a United States Magistrate Judge in Portland, Oregon, beginning March 1, 2016. Judge You will be the first APA judge appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. She has served as a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge since 2007. Before becoming a judge, she served as a Senior Assistant Attorney General for the Oregon Department of Justice, Trial and Appellate Divisions; a Death Penalty Staff Attorney for the United States District Court for the Central District of California; a Deputy Bureau Chief/Senior Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York; an Assistant Attorney General for the Oregon Department of Justice; and, earlier in her career, as a Staff Attorney for the Metropolitan Public Defender in Portland, Oregon.

For the official announcement, click here.

OAPABA congratulates Judge You on her appointment to the federal bench and celebrates the historic achievements of Judge You and APA attorneys in Oregon.

Updated 5/19/2016: OAPABA members attend Judge You’s Investiture Ceremony.

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OAPABA Celebrates the Appointment of APA Judges to Oregon’s Appellate Courts

Governor Kate Brown today announced that she will appoint Lynn R. Nakamoto to the Oregon Supreme Court, as well as Roger J. DeHoog to the Oregon Court of Appeals. Judge Nakamoto will be the first APA justice to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court. She is the namesake and first honoree of OAPABA’s Lynn R. Nakamoto award. Judge DeHoog will be the second APA judge to serve on the Oregon Court of Appeals. He will become the only judge on either of Oregon’s appellate courts from outside the Willamette Valley.

OAPABA congratulates Judge Nakamoto and Judge DeHoog on their appointments and celebrates their appointments to Oregon’s top courts.

Updated 1/27/2016: OAPABA members attend Judge Nakamoto’s Investiture. 

Judge Nakamoto was sworn in on January 25, 2016 as Oregon State Supreme Court’s first Asian Pacific American Justice. NPR’s Portland show, “Think Out Loud” covered the event.

Listen to the radio clip here.

Minoru Yasui Posthumously Awarded 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom!

OAPABA is pleased to announce that Minoru Yasui, a native of Hood River, Oregon, the first Japanese-American graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, and the first Japanese-American member of the Oregon State Bar, has been posthumously awarded a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom! Mr. Yasui is perhaps best known for his heroic challenge of the discriminatory wartime restrictions targeting Japanese-Americans and Japanese nationals during World War II, a fight that placed him in solitary confinement for nine months while his case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Although the Supreme Court ultimately ruled against his appeal, he continued to fight for the civil rights of all individuals, regardless of race, nationality, or ethnicity until he passed away in 1986. OAPABA and OMLA were proud to submit a joint endorsement letter on behalf of Mr. Yasui. A link to the White House press release is located here .