September 29, 2020         
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FEDERAL COURT GETS 1ST KOREAN

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate  has unanimously confirmed The Honorable Lucy H. Koh to serve on the U.S. District   Court for the Northern District of California, making her the first Korean American U.S. District Court Judge in United States history and the   first Asian Pacific American Article III judge in the 160-year history of the   Northern District of California.  Magistrate Judge Edward M. Chen, whose   nomination to the Northern District of California is still pending, was the   first Asian Pacific American judge to serve on the court. 
  
“This is a   historic achievement for the Asian Pacific American community,” said   Joseph J. Centeno, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar   Association. “The glaring absence of an Asian Pacific American Article   III in the Northern District California for over 160 years makes Judge Koh’s confirmation very meaningful to   our community.” 
  
Judge Koh was appointed   to the California Superior Court for Santa Clara County in January 2008 by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Prior to her   appointment, she was a partner at McDermott Will & Emery in Silicon Valley , where she specialized in intellectual   property and commercial litigation.  Judge Koh began her legal career in   the public sector, serving as an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles in the major frauds   section, and in several positions at Justice Department headquarters in Washington , D.C. ,   including Special Assistant to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General.  Then   FBI Director Louis Freeh gave Judge Koh an award for prosecuting a $54   million securities fraud case.  She also worked on the staff of the United   States Senate Judiciary Committee.  
  
“It is exciting   to see Judge Koh confirmed as the first female Korean American Article III   Judge in the United States ,”   said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center .  “Women and Asian   Pacific Americans have long been underrepresented among federal judges, and   five out of the nine Asian Pacific Americans the President has nominated to   serve as federal judges have been women.  It is heartening to see that   the President is committed to increasing diversity on the federal   bench.”  
  
Judge Koh’s   nomination received broad bipartisan support, including support from   California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Massachusetts Governor   William Weld, and Viet Dinh, former George W. Bush Administration Assistant   Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy. 
  
AAJC and NAPABA   congratulate Judge Koh upon her historic confirmation.  The   organizations thank President Obama for nominating her and Senator Barbara   Boxer for recommending her. 
 
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the   national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law   professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000   attorneys and 63 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members   represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal   service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of   government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues   confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network   of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased   diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity   in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant   sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal   profession. 
 


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