Category Archives: Uncategorized

OJDC Meeting

The Oregon Judicial Diversity Coalition (OJDC), comprised of the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association (OC-NBA), Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA), OGALLA: the LGBT Bar Association of Oregon, and the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association (OHBA), is accepting applications for the endorsement of judicial candidates applying for the vacancies on the Clackamas County Circuit Court and Jefferson/Crook County Circuit Court.
Judicial candidates seeking endorsement by any or all of the aforementioned groups are instructed to send the following information to Sherisa Davis-Larry at by Friday, April 7th at 5 pm, to be considered for an interview:
1) A fully-filled copy of the questionnaire available through OAPABA’s website ( 
2) A copy of the application materials he or she is submitting to the Governor, including the judicial interest form, resume, and letters of recommendation.
3) OJDC application materials MUST be submitted together in one single PDF document.
After receiving a completed application, the OJDC will contact applicants to schedule an interview.  In-person or telephone interviews will take place at a law firm in downtown Portland and will be scheduled sometime the week of April 17th depending upon the availability of the candidates.
 Please direct all questions to Sherisa Davis-Larry at

OAPABA seeks nominations for the 2017 Justice Lynn R. Nakamoto Award.

The Justice Lynn R. Nakamoto Award honors leaders who have demonstrated leadership, professionalism, mentorship, a pioneering spirit, and a deep commitment to diversity and the promotion of Asian Pacific Americans in the Oregon legal community.  The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA) bestowed its inaugural award to Judge Nakamoto in recognition of her career dedicated to achieving professional excellence while promoting diversity within the Oregon bar and community at large.  Her dedication endured during a time when only a handful of Asian Pacific American attorneys (APA) in the state strove to create a precursor organization to OAPABA, but were unable to maintain a critical mass of membership. For almost three decades, Justice Nakamoto has steadfastly promoted diversity and fought for equal rights in Oregon.  Notably, Justice Nakamoto received a historic appointment as the first appellate APA judge in Oregon in 2011.

OAPABA seeks to recognize individuals committed to the advancement of APA attorneys in Oregon and promotion of issues pertinent to APA and minority communities through advocacy, education and communication.  The journey to achieving diversity in Oregon is a unique and rapidly evolving one, and OAPABA is pleased to recognize and celebrate leaders and pioneers of diversity and APA issues who have changed and continue to elevate the importance of diversity in Oregon.

The award will be presented to the selected recipient at OAPABA’s annual gala dinner on September 28, 2017, at the Hilton downtown Portland.


The recipient must be a member in good standing of the Oregon State Bar with a demonstrated commitment to a variety of characteristics, including diversity, promotion of APA issues in the legal or general community, leadership, professionalism and mentorship in Oregon.

Various Criteria to be Considered:
1.     Mentoring/leadership roles
2.     Professional reputation
3.     Work to promote diversity in the bench and bar
4.     Work to promote diversity in the general Oregon community
5.     Work to increase access to justice for minorities
6.     Involvement with OAPABA
7.     Involvement with other specialty bar organizations
8.     Pro Bono work

Nominations are due June 2, 2017, by 5:00 p.m.  Please email your nomination to

Save the Date(s)…

  • OAPABA-oke will take place on March 23, 2017 at Voicebox Karaoke’s NW 21st location from 6:30 to 9:30 PM! Start planning your songs! RSVP & details to come.
  • Min Yasui Day will be on March 28, 2017, Portland City Hall, at 12 pm. Details to come.
  • OAPABA’s Annual Gala Dinner will take place on September 28, 2017, at the Portland downtown Hilton. Click here for more information!


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 Lunar New Year Dim Sum & OAPABA at the Museum!

Come join us for two events on Saturday, January 28, 2017!

OAPABA’s annual lunar new year dim sum at Ocean City, 10:30 AM

For more information & to RSVP, please click here

OAPABA’s 4th outing to the Portland Art Museum, beginning 2:30 or 3:00 PM

Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue

Please join us for a casual tour of “Cranes, Dragons and Teddy Bears: Japanese Children’s Kimono” followed by a reception at FAR Law, Fox Tower

Please click here for details: here!

RSVP to Anne for the museum outing!

NAPABA 2016 Convention

Over 1,600 APA attorneys, judges, and law students from across the Nation gathered at the 2016 NAPABA Conference. OAPABA was well-represented at the convention and was proud to celebrate the appointment of Melissa Cohen as regional governor of the Northwest Region for the student chapter, NAPALSA. Twenty-one attorneys, judges, and law students represented the Oregon contingent.



Friday, October 21, 2016
3:00-5:30 p.m.
Propeller Conference Room, Lobby Level
200 SW Market Street, Portland, Oregon
Reception to follow

For more details, please click here: So you think you can network!

Space is limited. Please RSVP to:
Please bring or mail payment to:
OAPABA, c/o Liani Reeves
200 SW Market St. #1900, Portland OR 97201
or register here:

type of registration *

Thank you to our generous sponsor, Bullard Law!

Thank you for attending OAPABA’s 2016 Gala Dinner!

On September 22, 2016, OAPABA held its fourth annual Gala Dinner, Recognizing Our Heroes: Voices of Change, at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Over 170 attorneys, judges, community leaders, and law students attended. Halau Hula o Na Pua o Hawaii nei from Eugene, Oregon, led by Lane County Circuit Court Judge Valeri Love, gave a pre-dinner performance and hula lessons with live music by KaleoDavid Lat was the keynote speaker and held an entertaining Q&A session for the audience. David Lat is the founder and managing editor of the award winning blog, “Above the Law” and the author of “Supreme Ambitions.”

At the dinner, OAPABA posthumously awarded Minoru Yasui with the Justice Lynn R. Nakamoto Award. Mr. Yasui is 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. Peggy Nagae, past president of NAPABA, accepted the award on Mr. Yasui’s behalf. The Judge Lynn R. Nakamoto Award honors leaders who have demonstrated leadership, professionalism, mentorship and commitment to the promotion of APAs in the Oregon legal community. Although Mr. Yasui passed away in 1986, he paved the way for APA lawyers in Oregon. Mr. Yasui was awarded the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom for his commitment to justice, and in 2016 the Oregon Legislature unanimously passed legislation declaring March 28 of each year as Min Yasui Day. Mr. Yasui’s receipt of the 2016 Nakamoto Award also honors the team of APA lawyers, educators, and civic leaders who worked on these endeavors and continue to do so today.

The OAPABA Foundation, the charitable and educational partner of OAPABA, also presented its inaugural Foundation’s Presidential Scholarship to Becky Deng, a third year law student at the Willamette University College of Law.

OAPABA thanks its many sponsors and all attendees for making the dinner a great success!


[More pictures forthcoming]




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.