Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Mark Fong (right in top photo) and former firm Partner Seth I. Rosenberg (left in top photo) were honored on April 4 in San Francisco as one of four finalists for the 2019 Trial Lawyer of the Year award, presented by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association.
Mark and Seth were recognized as Trial Lawyer of the Year finalists for their representation of Jennifer Fraissl, who was awarded $4.5 million in damages in November 2018 in a lawsuit against DJ and producer Skrillex and other parties. Associate Seema Bhatt was also part of the trial team.
Jennifer’s attorneys believe this was the first successful jury award in a case involving injuries resulting from a performer’s crowd dive.
Minami Tamaki LLP attorneys Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, Sean Tamura-Sato, Lisa Mak, and Seema Bhatt recently attended the annual National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) National Convention in Chicago. The Convention had over 2,000 Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law students, and elected officials attending from around the country.
This year, Dale, Don, and Karen Korematsu (Founder & Executive Director of The Fred T. Korematsu Institute) were awarded the NAPABA President’s Award. This award recognizes NAPABA members who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to NAPABA, the legal community, and the broader APA community.
Dale, Don, and Karen received this year’s award for their work on the “Stop Repeating History” campaign (StopRepeatingHistory.Org), which educates the public on the dangers of unchecked presidential power and the parallels between the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the current administration’s policies targeting minority groups based on race or religion. In his award acceptance remarks, Don urged APA attorneys to lead on this issue due to our communities’ experience with racist and xenophobic immigration policies.
Partners Donald K. Tamaki (left) and Dale Minami (right) meeting audience members after their panel on the Korematsu v. United States and Trump v. Hawaii cases.
Don and Karen also spoke on a panel with Hoyt Zia (an original founding member of NAPABA), and moderated by Dale, about the parallels between the Korematsu v. United States and Trump v. Hawaii cases. Don and Dale were members of the legal team that overturned Fred Korematsu’s conviction for his defiance of Japanese American exclusion orders during World War II.
The panel discussion was preceded by a screening of the powerful film, “And Then They Came For Us,” which compares the Japanese American incarceration with the Muslim travel ban. The film, produced by Peabody award-winning director Abby Ginzberg, won the 2018 ABA Silver Gavel Award, and has been a cornerstone of the “Stop Repeating History” campaign.
Associate Lisa P. Mak (second from left and on screen) served as panelist for a plenary session on the #MeToo movement.
Lisa was a panelist for a convention plenary luncheon session entitled “Beyond #MeToo: How Asian Americans Can Challenge Sexual Harassment in the Workplace,” with about 1,000 attendees. The all-women panel discussed the impact of the #MeToo movement in the workplace, strategies to improve equality for women in the legal industry, and the unique challenges of addressing sexual harassment in APA communities. During her remarks, Lisa emphasized the importance of being upstanders and allies for harassment victims in order to create a cultural change for the fair treatment of women.
Our firm also helped to sponsor the NAPABA Solo & Small Firm Network (SSF) stipend program, which provides funds for SSF committee members to attend the conference and future NAPABA events. “Minami Tamaki is a longtime proponent of SSF’s work, including the committee’s CLE Bootcamp that provides legal skills training and business advice to SSF attendees at the Convention. The firm is proud to contribute to SSF’s mission of building and supporting APA-owned law firms,” said Partner Sean Tamura-Sato.
Partner Sean Tamura-Sato (left), Associate Lisa P. Mak (right), with other attendees at one of the NAPABA convention lunches.
This year, the late San Francisco Mayor Edwin Mah Lee was honored with the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award, NAPABA’s most prestigious award which recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of lawyers who have paved the way for the advancement of other APA attorneys. The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) spearheaded the nomination of Mayor Lee for this award.
Our firm congratulates outgoing President Pankit Doshi from San Francisco for his successful leadership this year. Daniel Sakaguchi, also from San Francisco, was sworn in as the new NAPABA President. Both Pankit and Daniel are members of AABA, which was co-founded by Dale Minami over 40 years ago.
Minami Tamaki is proud to continue supporting NAPABA and its efforts to address civil rights issues, promote professional development, and increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
Photo credits: John B. Lough, Lisa P. Mak, Betty Hsu, Winston Liaw
Minami Tamaki LLP has again received a Tier 1 ranking on the U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list under the “Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs” and “Immigration” categories for our metro area.
This is the fifth consecutive recognition by U.S. News/Best Lawyers of our Personal Injury practice and the fourth consecutive year of our Immigration and Nationality Law practice.
The U.S.News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.
To be eligible for a U.S.News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer who is included in Best Lawyers in that particular practice area and metro.
Earlier this year, Partners Dale Minami, Minette A. Kwok, B. Mark Fong, and Senior Associate Olivia Serene Lee were selected by The Best Lawyers in America, which qualified the firm to be considered for the Best Law Firms list.
The attorneys in Minami Tamaki’s Personal Injury Practice Group fight for the rights of people who are injured or have suffered the loss of loved ones due to the carelessness of others. We use a team approach which brings all of the resources of our practice group to bear on our cases. This has allowed us to recover multi-million dollar settlements and large verdicts for our clients.
The Immigration and Nationality Law Practice Group of Minami Tamaki LLP offers expertise in a broad array of immigration services. We routinely assist employers and employees, nation-wide, in obtaining temporary and permanent employment-based visas. And, just as often, we help individual clients to secure family-based immigration status through marriage or other qualifying family relationships.
Olivia Serene Lee will receive a Unity Award from the Minority Bar Coalition in her role in championing diversity and inclusion for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Northern California Chapter and for AILA National. She is a leader and former chair of AILA NorCal and currently serves on AILA National’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
A Senior Associate in our Immigration and Nationality Law practice group, Olivia served as 2016-2017 Chair for AILA NorCal and previously as a member of the AILA NorCal Executive Board. AILA is the national bar for immigration attorneys, and AILA NorCal is one of its larger chapters, with over 850 members.
This year’s Unity Awards reception will be held at 198 McAllister Street at U.C. Hastings Law School, on November 13, 2018, in the Louis B. Mayer room on the ground floor. The Minority Bar Coalition will honor Olivia and other members who have shown dedication to working in a unified manner to advance the cause of diversity in the legal profession.
The Minority Bar Coalition is a network of over 40 diverse bar associations dedicated to working in a unified manner to advance the cause of diversity in the legal profession. MBC does this by sharing best practices and resources in bar association programming and advocacy, finding issues of common cause, and building shared platforms.
During her tenure as chair of the Northern California Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the chapter received the Platinum Chapter Award, the organization’s highest honor for chapters, in June 2017. Under Olivia’s leadership, AILA NorCal was at the forefront in proactively responding to the institutional assault against immigrants. When the Trump administration attempted to enact a travel ban on Muslims, AILA NorCal was one of the first groups to respond, providing services at airports, and offering assistance to those impacted.
Olivia has been actively involved in AILA NorCal since 2009, leading and organizing more than 30 Continuing Legal Education programs in all aspects of immigration law, including prosecutorial discretion, export control, PERM, waivers, asylum, and events with immigration judges, USCIS, CBP, DOL and asylum officers. She also served as faculty on local and national AILA CLE panels on topics such as O-1s and H-1Bs.
Minami Tamaki LLP Partners Dale Minami, Minette Kwok, B. Mark Fong, and Senior Associate Olivia Serene Lee were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the 25th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
Dale and Mark were selected for the list in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. It is the sixth year in a row that they received this honor.
Minette was selected for inclusion in the practice area of Immigration Law. It is Minette’s fifth consecutive time on The Best Lawyers in America list.
Olivia was also selected for inclusion in the practice area of Immigration Law. It’s Olivia’s second listing in The Best Lawyers in America.
Best Lawyers is a respected peer review publication in the legal profession. Recognition in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.
The Best Lawyers lists of outstanding attorneys are compiled by conducting exhaustive peer review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. If the votes for an attorney are positive enough for recognition in Best Lawyers, that attorney must maintain those votes in subsequent polls to remain in each edition.
Lawyers are not permitted to pay any fee to participate in or be recognized by Best Lawyers.
We’re proud to announce that all of Minami Tamaki LLP’s Partners and three of our Associates were selected as Northern California Super Lawyers for 2018.
Three of our Partners have been named Northern California Super Lawyers for the last 15 consecutive years. Super Lawyers published a special profile of Partner Dale Minami (see related story).
Dale Minami (Top 10, Top 100, 15 years)
B. Mark Fong (Super Lawyers)
Seema Bhatt (Rising Stars)
IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY LAW
Minette A. Kwok (Super Lawyers, 15 years)
Olivia Serene Lee (Rising Stars)
CONSUMER AND EMPLOYEE RIGHTS
Sean Tamura-Sato (Rising Stars)
Lisa P. Mak (Rising Stars)
Donald K. Tamaki (Super Lawyers, 15 years)
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.
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.
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!