2010 NAPABA Western Regional Conference: June 4-5, 2010 in San Francisco

Hosted by the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California

Conference Schedule

  • Friday, June 4, 2010
    • 8:30 a.m. - NAPABA Leadership Meeting (by invitation only)

    • 9:00 a.m. - Registration

    • 9:30 a.m. - MCLE PANEL SESSION I

      • National Security and Civil Rights:  9066 to 9/11 Documentary Film Screening and Discussion with Playwright and Attorney Wajahat Ali
Description: The Korematsu Institute presents a screening of 9066 to 9/11. Directed and co-produced by filmmaker Akira Boch, this 20-minute documentary focuses on the parallels between the post-September 11 treatment of Arab Americans and Muslims in this country with treatment of Japanese Americans after the start of World War II. Revealing striking similarities, the video addresses the mistreatment of immigrants in the United States, as well as the lack of historical memory by lawmakers and the public about America’s concentration camps during World War II. Screening followed by a Q&A discussion with Wajahat Ali, a Pakistani Muslim-American writer and attorney whose work, “The Domestic Crusaders,” is the first major play about Muslim Americans living in a post 9-11 America.

Panelists: Wajahat Ali; Nura Maznavi (Staff Attorney, Muslim Advocates)

Moderator: Ling Liu (Director of the Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education at the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco)

Sponsor: Bay Area Association of Muslim Lawyers (BAAML)
      • Overcoming and Confronting Stereotypes and Unconscious Biases in the Courtroom and the Legal Profession
Description: While Asian Americans are portrayed as the "model minority," they face challenges in the legal profession and the courtroom if they are viewed as lacking the leadership skills, assertiveness, and interpersonal skills to succeed. This panel, composed of four individuals who have successfully navigated the courtroom and the legal profession, will discuss the unconscious biases that Asian Americans face in the courtroom and the legal profession and will provide frank suggestions about how to counter these stereotypes and biases in order to make our profession a more level playing field.

Panelists: The Honorable Erica Yew (Santa Clara Clara Superior Court); Asim Bhansali (Keker & Van Nest); Ann Nguyen (Robinson & Wood); Vilaska Nguyen (San Francisco Public Defender's Office)

Moderator: Quyen Ta (Keker & Van Nest)
      • The Economic Espionage Act of 1996:  Developments and Issues for Asian Americans
Description: The Economic Espionage Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. sections 1831-39, makes misappropriation of commercial trade secrets a federal crime, whether intended for the benefit of a foreign power or for use in interstate commerce. Recent high-profile prosecutions under that Act in California have involved Bay Area technology companies, prosecutors, and defendants playing major roles. Several such cases involved Asians accused of stealing trade secrets to benefit the People's Republic of China. Come hear speakers from the United States Attorney's elite Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Unit, an international technology company, and the EEA criminal defense trial bar address developments and issues under the Act.

Panelists:  Matt Parrella (Assistant U.S. Attorney); Ed Swanson (Swanson & McNamara); Paven Malhotra (Keker & Van Nest)

Moderator:  Jeffrey Lee (GCA Law Partners)
    • 1:30 p.m. - MCLE PANEL SESSION II
      • Green 2 Green: Carbon Credits, Renewable Energy Certificates and the New Markets driving the Clean Energy Economy

Description: Attendees will receive a quick primer on market-based regulatory responses to climate change designed to foster the development of renewable power plants and spur long term investment in clean and sustainable energy. Panelists will address state and federal legislation setting green house gas emission caps, establishing renewable portfolio standards, and creating new markets for carbon credits and renewable energy certificates. We’ll discuss the regulatory origins and key characteristics of these and other green commodities, as well as the structure and rules of markets created to transition industry and consumers from the present carbon economy toward tomorrow’s clean energy economy. 

Panelists: Hyun Park (General Counsel, PG & E); Andrew Campbell (Chief Energy Adviser to Commissioner  Nancy Ryan, California Public Utilities Commission); Todd Maiden (Partner, Reed Smith)

Moderator: Khurshid Khoja (Reed Smith)
      • Innovation in Law and Public Policy
Description: If you want to innovate in the law, you have to have an innovative client. Nowhere is this more true than in the area of public policy. The most novel legal cases tend to arise from legislation crafted by cutting-edge policymakers. Come hear how cutting-edge policymakers, and the lawyers who represent them, develop, and then defend, innovative policy ideas. 

Panelists: San Francisco Board of Supervisor President, David Chiu;  San Jose City Councilmember Ash Kalra;  San Francisco Deputy City Attorney, Vince Chhabria;  Altshuler Berzon Partner, Linda Lye. 

Moderator: Kiran Jain (Oakland Deputy City Attorney)
  • Representing Startups and VC funds
Description: Attendees will receive a primer on the legal issues in the venture capital industry from attorneys who specialize in representing startups and venture capital funds. Our panelists will provide an overview of the major legal issues facing entrepreneurs who seek financing from venture capital firms, covering a range of topics from the birth of a startup to an exit. Our panelists will also present their respective perspectives on history, present state and future of this practice.

Moderator: Minal Hasan (Fenwick & West LLP)
    • 3:00 p.m. - MCLE  PANEL SESSION III

      • Consumer Choice, Innovation, and Vigorous Competition:  Striking a Balance Under the Antitrust Laws in High Tech Markets
Description: An adage of competition law in the United States is that the antitrust laws protect competition, not competitors. Typically, this has meant, in most instances, that vigorous competition, even if it hurts competitors, does not violate the antitrust laws if it leads to lower prices or greater output. In recent years, however, complaints have been brought against dominant firms for conduct that arguably leads to low prices, greater output, or some other benefit to consumers, on the grounds that the conduct reduces customer choice excludes rivals from the market, and leads to less innovation in the long run. For example, the FTC recently brought a complaint against Intel under Section 5 of the FTC Act, alleging, in part, that Intel’s pricing conduct led to reduced customer choice and less innovation. Similarly, some have questioned Google’s practice of giving away free products because this conduct arguably deters competition or entry (and thus innovation) in these nascent markets. 

Should “consumer choice” be considered when evaluating the effect of conduct on consumer welfare? Should the antitrust laws prohibit conduct that may reduce innovation, even if it benefits consumers in the short run? Particularly high tech markets, what is the proper balance between allowing “vigorous competition” and protecting competitors in order to preserve the incentive to innovate? 

Panelists: Alec Chang (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom); Rohit Singla (Munger, Tolles, & Olson); Jacklin Chou Lem (U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division); Sujal Shah (Bingham McCutchen)

Moderator: The Honorable Laurel Beeler, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
      • Legalizing Marijuana in California
Description: The debate over the legalization of Cannabis sativa, more commonly known as marijuana, is one of the most controversial policy issues facing California today. Its use as a medicine has existed for thousands of years in many countries worldwide and is documented as far back as 2700 BC in China. This CLE will explore the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana in California, the federal and state legal implications of doing so, and what the November ballot initiative will mean for us.

Panelists: Associate Dean & Professor Vik Amar (UC Davis School of Law); Dan Abrahamson (Legal Director, Drug Policy Alliance)
      • What Korean Airlines Crashes Can Teach Us About Diversity

Description: As retold in Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, Outliers, Korean Airlines’ planes were crashing far more often than any American or European carrier. The underlying cause was that the all-Korean cockpits were being too deferential to the captain. Unlike in American carriers, Korean Air co-pilots and flight engineers rarely spoke up to or challenged the captain, even when they knew that the planes were about to crash. The connection with law might not be obvious until you see how Asian attorneys interact with their colleagues and with clients. Asians, to overgeneralize and stereotype, are raised to be deferential to their elders. For many, it is even very disrespectful to call elders by their first names. This behavior carries over into the practice of law. 

They rarely challenge partners or senior counsel decisions, even when they disagree with them, simply because the partner is the one who makes the ultimate decision. Majority attorneys, on the other hand, have fewer qualms challenging decisions they disagree with, regardless of who made them. Hence, they are seen as being more aggressive and often stand out from the class. Unfortunately, it is those attorneys who usually move up the ranks. This panel will discuss how to identify and help diverse attorneys speak up, while at the same time, helping partners and senior attorneys decode the deferential language used by diverse attorneys.

Panelists:  Harmeet Dhillon (Partner, Dhillon & Smith), Andy Kim (General Counsel, Netgear); Judy Lam (Partner, Rutter Hobbs)
    • 5:00 p.m. - Post-Conference Reception at Roy's Restaurant (map)
    • 9:00 p.m. - Social Mixer at John Collins Lounge (138 Minna Street - Minna at New Montgomery)

Confirmed Keynote Speakers


Vik Amar, UC Davis Law School

Hon. Mag. Judge Laurel Beeler, United States District Court

Asim Bhansali
, Keker & Van Nest

Vince Chhabria, San Francisco City Attorney's Office

Hon. David Chiu, San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Shirish Gupta, Flashpoint Law

Kiran Jain, Oakland City Attorney's Office

Hon. Ash Kalra, San Jose City Council

Andrew Kim, Netgear

Judy Lam, Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff

Paven Malhotra, Keker & Van Nest

Ann Nguyen, Robinson & Wood

Vilaska Nguyen, San Francisco Public Defender's Office

Matt Parella, U.S. Attorneys' Office

Rohit Singla, Munger Tolles & Olson

Edward Swanson, Swanson McNamara

Quyen Ta, Keker & Van Nest

Hon. Judge Erica Yew, Santa Clara County Superior Court



Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area

Asian Pacific Bar Association of Silicon Valley
Barrister's Club of the Bar Association of San Francisco

Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom
Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
Korean American Bar Association of Northern California
Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California

        Sponsorship Opportunities Are Still Available: Please contact Kiran Jain

Gold Sponsors
Keker & Van Nest
Morgan Lewis

Silver Sponsors
Arnold & Porter
Gunderson Dettmer
O'Melveny & Myers
Reed Smith

Bronze Sponsors

Alameda Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association
Lafayette & Kumagai
Munger, Tolles & Olson
Skadden Arps
White & Case

Organizational Sponsors
Bar Association of San Francisco
Barristers Club of San Francisco

Platinum Sponsors

Asian Law Alliance
Asim Bhansali
Reuben Chen
Harmeet Dhillon
Andrew Kim
Thomas Kim
Hon. Lucy Koh
Celia Lee
Jeffrey Lee
Yabo Lin
Dale Minami
Ann Nguyen
Eugene Pak
Nina Paul
Demian Pay
Phillip Shinn
Quyen Ta
Duy Thai
David Tsai
Bijal Vakil
Chinh Vo
Andrew Vu
Sheena Wadhawan
Gene Woo
Hon. Erica Yew

Clifford Yin


Kiran Jain
Shirish Gupta
Bijal Vakil
Suneeta Fernandes
Nisha Agarwal
Sujal Shah
Hozefa Botee
Sheena Wadhawan
Avin Sharma
Firasat Ali
Nina Paul
Kavya Mohankumar
Quyen Ta
Andrew Vu