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Super Lawyers Recognizes Dale Minami Among Its ‘Top Ten’ in Northern California for Sixth Straight Year

Super Lawyers Recognizes Dale Minami Among Its ‘Top Ten’ in Northern California for Sixth Straight Year

Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Dale Minami is profiled in a special Super Lawyers article released today along with its new 2018 Northern California lists recognizing the top lawyers in the region.

From the article: “While his civil rights work has received most of the attention, Minami has recovered multimillion-dollar settlements and large verdicts in his personal injury cases. These have provided a financial underpinning, allowing him to help the community.”

Dale has been listed on the Top Ten Super Lawyers in Northern California for six straight years, on the Top 100 list for 13 years since 2005, and every year on the Super Lawyers list since its initial publication in 2004.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is independent and attorneys cannot purchase placements on the list.

One of the top personal injury lawyers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dale has also been named as one of Northern California’s Best Lawyers by Best Lawyers, recognized three times as one of the 500 Best Lawyers in America by Lawdragon Magazine (2005, 2013-2014, 2014-2015), and in the top 3% of attorneys in the nation by The Legal News.

He has an “AV” rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest rating for competence and ethics issued by that publication, and reserved for attorneys designated as outstanding in their field. He is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates forum, which admits only attorneys who have achieved more than one million dollar award for their clients.

We Will Never Stop Fighting

We Will Never Stop Fighting

The Minami Tamaki law firm has a long history of fighting for the rights of people of color, women, immigrants, marginalized people, and others.

Last year we reconvened the legal team that represented Fred Korematsu in the 1980s to reopen his terrible landmark case legalizing the incarceration of entire racial population for no good reason.  We joined the Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law and the law firm of Akin Gump in representing Karen Korematsu, Jay Hirabayashi, and Holly Yasui, the adult children of Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Min Yasui, to file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court’s review of the Muslim Ban.

We also created a parallel public education effort through the Stop Repeating History campaign (https://stoprepeatinghistory.org), a project of the MTYKL Foundation.

We needed to remind the Court of the civil liberties disaster 75 years ago, when the Court failed to question the executive branch and simply took its word for it that the incarceration of Japanese Americans was necessary for national security.

Disappointingly, the Court this week upheld the Muslim Ban, 5-4. We have very mixed feelings, and on balance, most of those feelings are negative.  We’re angry but determined to keep fighting.

Here’s one major positive: the Court got one thing partially right. After nearly 75 years, the Court overruled Korematsu, taking “the opportunity to express what is already obvious: Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and—to be clear—“has no place in law under the Constitution.” 323 U.S., at 248 (Jackson, J., dissenting).”  That means a lot to our families who were incarcerated.

But the Court’s repudiation of the decision in Korematsu tells only half the story. Although it correctly rejected the abhorrent race-based relocation and incarceration of Japanese Americans, it failed to recognize — and reject — the rationale that led to its infamous decision.

In fact, it repeated its mistakes, rubber-stamping (without asking any questions) the government’s bald assertions that the “immigration travel ban” is justified by national security.  For targeted Muslims, refugees and immigrants, and their children being held in Walmart-turned-into-cages, this week’s ruling is appalling.

Nevertheless, the Court has overruled Korematsu, a very dangerous precedent.

Out of the more than 100 amicus briefs filed in this case, our brief representing Karen Korematsu, Jay Hirabayashi, and Holly Yasui (the children of Fred, Gordon and Min, the WWII challengers) is cited in Justice Sotomayor’s dissent:

“As here, the Government was unwilling to reveal its own intelligence agencies’ views of the alleged security concerns to the very citizens it purported to protect. Compare Korematsu v. United States, 584 F. Supp. 1406, 1418–1419 (ND Cal. 1984) (discussing information the Government knowingly omitted from report presented to the courts justifying the executive order); Brief for Japanese American Citizens League as Amicus Curiae 17–19, with IRAP II, 883 F. 3d, at 268; Brief for Karen Korematsu et al. as Amici Curiae 35–36, and n. 5 (noting that the Government “has gone to great lengths to shield [the Secretary of Homeland Security’s] report from view”).  And as here, there was strong evidence that impermissible hostility and animus motivated the Government’s policy.”

Sotomayor’s dissent nails what’s wrong with the majority’s decision:

“Today, the Court takes the important step of finally overruling Korematsu, denouncing it as “gravely wrong the day it was decided.”  Ante, at 38 (citing Korematsu, 323 U. S., at 248 (Jackson, J., dissenting)). This formal repudiation of a shameful precedent is laudable and long overdue.  But it does not make the majority’s decision here acceptable or right.  By blindly accepting the Government’s misguided invitation to sanction a discriminatory policy motivated by animosity toward a disfavored group, all in the name of a superficial claim of national security, the Court redeploys the same dangerous logic underlying Korematsu and merely replaces one “gravely wrong” decision with another.  Ante, at 38. Our Constitution demands, and our country deserves, a Judiciary willing to hold the coordinate branches to account when they defy our most sacred legal commitments. Because the Court’s decision today has failed in that respect, with profound regret, I dissent.”

Unfortunately, this is likely to embolden Trump to become more extreme, and detention camps are already in the works around the country.

We invite you to join us in continuing this important effort. Your donation to our Stop Repeating History campaign (http://bit.ly/mtykl) will help us fight today’s injustices by educating the country about the shameful legacy left by the Japanese American incarceration.

Together we will continue this fight.

Donald K. Tamaki
Partner, Minami Tamaki LLP
Board of Directors, MTYKL Foundation

Minami Tamaki Investigating False Advertising in Sustainable Seafood Industry

Minami Tamaki Investigating False Advertising in Sustainable Seafood Industry

Minami Tamaki LLP is investigating claims that seafood distributors are profiting off of consumers by falsely advertising their products as locally caught and sustainable.

On June 13, the Associated Press (AP) reported that distributor Sea to Table is mislabeling what it markets as “traceable, sustainable, wild-caught American seafood.”

Sea to Table has been praised as “revolutionary” for its “guilt-free” seafood options, and sells seafood to celebrity chefs, fine dining restaurants, and fast-casual chains around the country. Sea to Table claims that its products are directly traceable to a U.S. dock – and sometimes to the exact boat that brought the seafood in.

However, the AP investigation found numerous examples of Sea to Table selling seafood that did not come from its advertised locations. The AP also found Sea to Table offering species that were illegal to catch, out of season, or farmed.

Further, reporters traced the company’s supply chain to migrant fishermen in foreign countries who described labor abuses, including individuals who received little as $1.50 a day for 22-hour shifts.

The global seafood industry has come under scrutiny in recent years for exploiting workers who toil on international waters under abhorrent working conditions.  While Sea to Table markets itself as an alternative to purchasing seafood that is the product of abusive foreign labor conditions, the AP investigation revealed that some of Sea to Table’s suppliers are engaged in this same worker exploitation.

Conscientious consumers are increasingly paying a premium for local, sustainable food.  These consumers make buying decisions seeking to avoid indirectly supporting human rights violations in the global supply chain.  Companies that prey on consumers’ good intentions for their own profit may be in violation of federal law and subject to criminal charges.  The Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are charged with enforcing laws outlawing mislabeling of seafood.

If you have purchased from Sea to Table or wish to obtain more information about seafood marketed as local and sustainable, you may contact us online or call us at 415-788-9000 to set up a free consultation.

Minette Kwok Honored by SF Supervisor Norman Yee as Part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Minette Kwok Honored by SF Supervisor Norman Yee as Part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee today recognized firm partner Minette Kwok as a District 7 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month honoree for her leadership advocating for immigrant families and mentoring the next generation of Asian American leaders.

PHOTO: San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee (left) and Minette Kwok at the May 8 recognition ceremony at San Francisco City Hall for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Photo courtesy of Gerry Okimoto.

Supervisor Yee: “I am proud to honor nationally-recognized immigration attorney, Minette Kwok, partner at the Minami Tamaki LLP firm. For over 25 years, she has advocated on behalf of immigrants seeking to work and contribute to our country. Recently she helped win a state Supreme Court case allowing undocumented immigrants to be licensed as attorneys. On Jan 1, 2018 when Gov. Brown signed a bill into law, California became the first state in the country to license undocumented immigrants as attorneys. Let’s keep fighting for our immigrant communities and standing in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters.”

Congratulations to Minette on this well-deserved recognition!

Minami Tamaki Investigating ‘Massive’ Data Breach at Zippy’s Restaurants 

Minami Tamaki Investigating ‘Massive’ Data Breach at Zippy’s Restaurants 

Minami Tamaki LLP is investigating reports that the popular Hawai‘i Zippy’s Restaurants chain suffered a data breach that has compromised customer privacy.  Zippy’s announced on April 27, 2018, that the data breach affected all Zippy’s locations, as well as other affiliated restaurants.  Local reports have described the data breach as “massive.”

Zippy’s stated that the information compromised in the data breach involved credit cards and debit cards used between November 23, 2017, and March 29, 2018.  In a statement posted on its website, Zippy’s stated that it learned of the data breach on March 9, 2018, and that information impacted may include the cardholders’ names, card numbers, expiration dates, and security codes.  The Hawai‘i Office of Consumer Protection has announced that it has opened an investigation into the data breach.

Zippy’s is among the most popular restaurant chains in Hawai‘i, and has been a dining institution for both locals and tourists for decades.  Consumers in California and throughout the United States who visited Hawai‘i may be impacted by this data breach, including those who visited the islands over the holidays in late 2017.

If you dined at Zippy’s Restaurants, Napoleon’s Bakery, Kahala Sushi, or Pearl City Sushi between November 23, 2017, and March 29, 2018, and wish to discuss this matter, you may contact us at (415) 788-9000 or through our online form.  We look forward to the opportunity to speak with you.

Minami Tamaki Files Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Apple Unlawfully Slowed Down Older iPhones

Minami Tamaki Files Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Apple Unlawfully Slowed Down Older iPhones

The consumer protection attorneys at Minami Tamaki have filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Apple Inc. harmed its customers by releasing software updates that slowed down millions of older iPhone models and reduced their performance.

In December 2017, Apple released a public statement admitting that it released iOS updates that slowed down older iPhone models. According to reports, these slowdowns occur when an iPhone battery reaches an unspecified point of low health, and can be fixed if a user replaces the iPhone battery. Apple publicly apologized for not clearly communicating that its iOS updates throttled the speed of older iPhones.

Minami Tamaki’s lawsuit alleges that Apple slowed down iPhone 6, 6s, SE, and 7 models in order to force consumers to upgrade to newer – and more expensive – iPhone models. On April 25, 2018, the case was consolidated with claims filed by consumers making similar allegations in the Northern District of California before Judge Edward J. Davila. The consolidated case is In Re: Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation (MDL No. 2827).

If you have experienced slowdowns with your iPhone and would like to discuss this matter, you may contact us at (415) 788-9000 or through our online form. We look forward to the opportunity to speak with you.

Remarks by Donald Tamaki in Tribute to Mayor Ed Lee

Remarks by Donald Tamaki in Tribute to Mayor Ed Lee

Partner Donald Tamaki paid tribute to the late Ed Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, at the Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus annual dinner on April 27, 2018.

Dear Anita, Tania, Brianna, Friends: Much has been said about Ed as a loving husband, and father, and as one of the City’s great and historically significant Mayors.

But I don’t think that even the staff of the Asian Law Caucus knows that for 13 years while Ed worked there, he played a crucial role in developing the organizing strategies that the Caucus has used for the past 40 years.

Even in law school Ed understood the limits of the legal system in effectuating change in Chinatown which had one of highest concentrations of poverty in the City, the highest population density, the highest rates of TB–where sweatshop and restaurant workers were paid far less than minimum wage.

You know–a legal challenge has a beginning and an end–and when the case is over, you hope that your client is in a better place–but that’s usually the end of it. Moreover, most of the root problems of the poor and powerless–are not redressable in court—they are instead the result of political, social, and economic inequities. The fact that City Hall used to ignore Chinatown was not a “legal” problem.

Ed knew how much more effective the Caucus would be if it combined its legal advocacy with community organizing such that when the legal case is over,  there is a tenants’ union, a labor union, community institutions in place that will continue fighting to level the playing field, not only in the courts, but in every other arena that matters–transforming the struggle for justice from a singular legal complaint to a social movement that ultimately changes hearts and minds and shifts the balance of power and policy.

Ed pioneered combining aggressive legal advocacy with community organizing, an approach that continues to this day at the ALC. So while we laud this man’s tremendous accomplishments, let it be remembered that the legacy that Ed left behind with the Caucus and with this City is more about the future than it is the past.

By shining a light and reflecting upon Ed’s unflagging commitment to serve, it also lights the way forward—not only for the Asian Law Caucus—but for anyone who loves justice.

Did Cambridge Analytica Steal Your Facebook Data? Here’s How You Can Find Out.

Did Cambridge Analytica Steal Your Facebook Data? Here’s How You Can Find Out.

Minami Tamaki LLP announced earlier this month that it was investigating allegations that Cambridge Analytica improperly acquired private information from tens of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge or consent.

In response to public outcry regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook posted information on users’ news feeds notifying users of whether their personal data was accessed.

Facebook users can also check whether their personal data was obtained by Cambridge Analytica by visiting this Facebook page.  

Users who visit this support page while logged in to Facebook will receive a message regarding whether their personal information was shared with Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica continue to face scrutiny in the wake of this data exposure.  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called to Capitol Hill to testify in front of Congress regarding Cambridge Analytica, privacy practices, and government regulation.

If your personal data was accessed by Cambridge Analytica and you wish to discuss your legal options, you may contact us online or call us at 415-788-9000 to set up a free consultation.

Family of Driver Killed from Tesla Car Crash Hires Minami Tamaki LLP to Explore Legal Options

Family of Driver Killed from Tesla Car Crash Hires Minami Tamaki LLP to Explore Legal Options

The family of Walter Huang, who died March 23, 2018, in a Tesla car crash, has hired the Minami Tamaki LLP law firm to explore legal options for them.

Huang died from fatal injuries suffered when the “Autopilot” of his 2017 Tesla Model X drove his car into the unprotected edge of a concrete highway median that was missing its crash guard.

The firm’s preliminary review has uncovered complaints by other Tesla drivers of navigational errors by the Autopilot feature, and other lawsuits have also made this complaint. The firm believes Tesla’s Autopilot feature is defective and likely caused Huang’s death, despite Tesla’s apparent attempt to blame the victim of this terrible tragedy.

The Huang family intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Tesla and, possibly, its subcontractors involved in the design and construction of the Autopilot system. The grounds for the suit may include product liability, defective product design, failure to warn, breach of warranty, intentional and negligent misrepresentation, and false advertising. The family may also file a lawsuit against the California Department of Transportation for dangerous condition of public property.

“Mrs. Huang lost her husband, and two children lost their father,” said B. Mark Fong, a partner at Minami Tamaki LLP. “The family wants to investigate this incident and help ensure that this tragedy does not happen to other consumers who buy semi-autonomous vehicles. Our goal as the family’s attorneys is to protect public safety, by ensuring the technology behind semi-autonomous cars is safe before it is released on the roads, and its risks are not misrepresented to the public.”

Minami Tamaki’s preliminary review indicates that the navigation system of the Tesla may have misread the lane lines on the roadway, failed to detect the concrete median, failed to brake the car, and drove the car into the median. In addition, the concrete highway median was missing its crash attenuator guard, as Caltrans failed to replace the guard after an earlier crash there. The lack of a guard potentially increased Huang’s injuries.

Huang is survived by his wife of ten years, Sevonne, and their son and daughter, ages 3 and 6. He was a loving father to his children, a devoted husband, and a dedicated son who supported his elderly parents financially.

If you or someone you know has information relating to Tesla’s Autopilot or the incident involving Walter Huang, please contact attorney B. Mark Fong at markfong@minamitamaki.net or at 415-851-1497.

For more information about this case, visit http://minamitamaki.com/huang.



Walter Huang (left) and his wife Sevonne Huang. Walter Huang, of Foster City, Calif., died March 23, 2018, in a Tesla car crash. Huang’s family has hired the Minami Tamaki LLP law firm in San Francisco to explore legal options for them.