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Dale Minami on Stage with Kronos Quartet in Avant-garde Music Festival

Dale Minami on Stage with Kronos Quartet in Avant-garde Music Festival

Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Counsel and firm co-founder Dale Minami will be the special guest of a special unscripted, on-stage conversation with Peabody-winning journalist Brooke Gladstone, host of WNYC’s “On the Media,” preceding a performance of the pioneering Kronos Quartet on Friday, June 21, 2024, at SFJAZZ, 201 Franklin Street in San Francisco. The event starts at 7:30 p.m.

The Kronos Quarter has been called a “vital force in the forward-moving evolution of the string quartet world, and as a group with its finger ever on the pulse of new and as-yet-materialized ideas in the string quartet world, it has somehow seemed young beyond its years.”

The Library of Congress recently acquired the quartet’s collection and announced that Kronos’ pioneering and influential 1992 album Pieces of Africa was inducted into the National Recording Registry of audio treasures.

The 2024 Kronos Festival celebrates five decades of musical innovation, collaboration, and boundary-pushing artistry. The Festival will feature a slate of world and Bay Area premieres commissioned as part of the KRONOS Five Decades season and include guest artists Wu Man (pipa virtuoso and composer), Brooke Gladstone (journalist), David Lei (community activist), Tanya Tagaq (singer/composer), Nathalie Khankan (poet), Dale Minami (civil rights lawyer), Mahsa Vahdat (singer/composer), Sam Green (filmmaker), and the San Francisco Girls Chorus conducted by Valérie Sainte-Agathe.

A highlight of this year’s Festival is the farewell performances of violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt, long-standing members of Kronos Quartet for more than 45 years. Their retirement marks the end of an era, making this Festival a poignant moment for both the quartet and devoted fans. The final day of the Festival features A Thousand Thoughts, a live documentary chronicling the quartet’s career, written and directed by Sam Green and Joe Bini. This will be the 41st and final performance of A Thousand Thoughts, which has been seen around the world since its debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

This year the Festival will also feature six world premieres from Luna Composition Lab (LCL), a project founded in 2016 by composers Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid that provides mentorship, education, and resources for young female, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming composers ages 13-18. Kronos has partnered with LCL as their ensemble in residence this season, providing mentorship and workshop opportunities to the six 23–24 LCL Fellows as they developed their new compositions. Kronos is proud to showcase these premieres across the Festival in celebration of our next generation of musical voices.

Kronos Festival is produced by the Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA) and is part of the San Francisco–based 501(c)(3) nonprofit’s KRONOS PRESENTS program. It is made possible by support from San Francisco Grants for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Bernard Osher Foundation.

Partner Olivia S. Lee Selected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation

Partner Olivia S. Lee Selected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation

Minami Tamaki LLP congratulates Partner Olivia S. Lee on her selection as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honor society of the nonprofit founded by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1952.

American Bar Foundation Fellows are limited to one percent of the lawyers of each state. They are selected from the legal sector’s leadership who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and the highest principles of the profession.

The American Bar Foundation is a research institute committed to the principle that a deep understanding of the law is vital to a more just, equitable world. It conducts rigorous, empirical research that explores the intersection of law and society—creating insights that underpin today’s most pressing issues and affect millions of people every day. 

Although the ABA created the Foundation, it remains an independent organization, ensuring research projects have full academic freedom and are not influenced by the views of the ABA. Its interdisciplinary approach yields nonpartisan and actionable research that people and institutions use to shape laws, inform policy, and influence society.

Olivia’s selection as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation highlights her continued leadership in the legal profession and the community. She serves as an Elected Director on the Board of Governors American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and a member of the Editorial Board for AILA’s Law Journal.

Olivia also serves on the ABA’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council and helped to draft the ABA’s 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge for AAPI Heritage Month. She is also a Board Member of Chinese for Affirmative Action.

In recognition of her work, Olivia received an AILA Presidential Commendation in 2021, AILA’s Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award in 2022, and the Unity Award from the Minority Bar Coalition in 2018.

Dale Minami on Panel at UCLA Rebellious Lawyering Conference

Dale Minami on Panel at UCLA Rebellious Lawyering Conference

Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Counsel Dale Minami participated on a panel at the Rebellious Lawyering Conference, held October 5, 2023, at UCLA School of Law.

Dale presented on the roundtable, “One Hell Of A Radical Ride – The Past, Present, And Future Of,” along with moderator Shauna Marshall (Professor Emerita and Co-Director of the Center for Racial and Economic Justice, UC College of Law, San Francisco) and panelists Martha L. Gómez (Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice); Gina Hong (Attorney and Collective Member, LA Center for Community Law & Action); and Sunita Patel (Assistant Professor of Law, Faculty Director, UCLA Veterans Legal Clinic, UCLA School of Law).

UCLA Law’s Critical Race Studies program devoted the symposium to looking at the practice of rebellious lawyering, past, present, and future. The approach was introduced by Gerald P. López in his 1992 book “Rebellious Lawyering: One Chicano’s Vision of Progressive Law Practice.”

Dale met Gerald on a basketball court at the University of Southern California and they traveled very similar paths while becoming great friends. Professor López influenced and inspired a generation of attorneys to practice law creatively for the disadvantaged. “He is a hero to me,” said Dale.

Through “fictional characters and settings as real as can be,” Rebellious Lawyering illuminated how people do what they do when collaborating with others as equals. To fight subordination of every sort. To transform institutions, systems, nations, and transnational life. To personify – and not just prefigure – the concrete utopias they seek. Militantly challenging subordination in all forms and transforming life as we know it are at the center of the rebellious vision.

Dale and the other panelists founded and helped develop organizations, programs, and agencies that, working with individual clients and subordinated communities and diverse allies, challenged the racism, misogyny, classism, homophobia, xenophobia practiced by employers, landlords, local and state governments; that forced the United States to admit and to repair the generational damage it caused through the internment of Japanese Americans; that held universities accountable for illegal denials of tenure and for the neglect of low-income, of color, and immigrant communities surrounding campuses; that overturned school districts’ racist targeting of Latinx and Black students for suspension and expulsion and challenged governmental targeting of Muslims in the wake of 9/11. 

The panelists have called out everything from the failure of all government to provide robust support for unhoused and housing-insecure populations to the self-promoting regnant practices pursued by well-heeled public interest “impact organizations” and high volume “service work.”

Don Tamaki Joins Leadership of New Reparations Alliance, Secures Additional Endorsements of Reparations Task Force Report

Don Tamaki Joins Leadership of New Reparations Alliance, Secures Additional Endorsements of Reparations Task Force Report

Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Counsel Donald K. Tamaki joined a distinguished group of leaders and organizations in the launch of Alliance for Reparations, Reconciliation, and Truth on November 16.

The California Black Power Network (CBPN), Equal Justice Society (EJS), and six former members of the California Reparations Task Force – Dr. Cheryl Grills, Lisa Holder, Dr. Jovan Scott Lewis, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Senator Steven Bradford, and Don –  announced the new collaboration.

The Alliance’s mission is to educate the public about reparations; amplify the California Reparations Task Force’s report and its recommendations; achieve broad-based, multi-racial public support of reparations; and grow the base of multi-racial and multi-sector allies who support reparations in California.

The Alliance also includes a growing list of Black-led and non-Black ally organizations such as Black Equity Collective, Catalyst California, AAPIFORCE, PICO California, Nikkei Progressives, and Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR).

Statement from Don Tamaki: “Now that the task force has accomplished its objectives, this new alliance will carry the torch and help drive the movement forward. We have a societal obligation to repair the harms that began in 1619 and continued through every chapter of American history thereafter, right to the present day. We call upon the Legislature to develop a feasible approach, spanning years, in good economies and bad, to study the 115-plus recommendations and address the harms that have been decades, if not centuries, in the making.”

The historic report by the California Reparations Task Force draws a throughline from the harm of 246 years of enslavement, 90 years of Jim Crow and racial terror, and decades more of continuing discrimination, resulting in today’s grossly disparate outcomes for Black Californians. The report includes 115-plus policy recommendations to the California State Legislature to stop the harm from continuing and to determine a feasible long-term approach to address the harms that were centuries in the making.

A May 2023 poll from UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies found strong support in California for a range of reparations measures for Black Americans, particularly those focused on systemic reforms and investments in communities.

Don, with former Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Minette Kwok, and together with Holder and Dr. Grills have spent months organizing philanthropic support for repairing the harm and obtaining endorsements from nearly 600 0organizations and businesses supporting the report or the study of reparations in California. View the list of endorsements and sign on at https://supportreparations.org

Japantown Foundation Osechi Ryori Fundraiser Returns in January After Four Years

Japantown Foundation Osechi Ryori Fundraiser Returns in January After Four Years

The San Francisco Japantown Foundation’s annual New Year’s fundraiser returns for the first time post-COVID and again features Osechi Ryori, the traditional dishes carefully prepared and presented for the New Year to wish for good health, happiness, and prosperity.

The event is on Thursday, January 4, 2024, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco’s Japantown. This special dining experience is made possible through the generous assistance of the owners and chefs at Sanraku, Sushi Ran, Delica, Iichiko, and more. Buy tickets online.

Managing Partner Sean Tamura-Sato and Senior Counsel Donald Tamaki are on the board of directors of the Japantown Foundation. The January 4 event is a special occasion, marking the end of Don’s 17 years as Board President, although he will remain on the board.

In December 2006, Don led the formation of the foundation through generous endowments by Kintetsu Enterprises of America, Jack Hirose, Hats and Amey Aizawa, Union Bank, and Minami Tamaki LLP. Since 2007, the Foundation has raised and issued grants totaling $1,422,700 in support of the Japanese American community.

The Osechi Ryori event is the Japantown Foundation’s primary fundraiser and funds the organization’s grants to Japantown and Japanese American-related nonprofit organizations.

Osechi Ryori refers to many unique dishes that are prepared once a year to celebrate the New Year. Many of the items require hours of preparation, and are preserved in ways to make sure that they are delicious to eat throughout the first three days of the year–the traditional way of celebrating the Japanese New Year.

From the Japantown Foundation website: “Many of us remember waking up on New Year’s Day to have our bowl of ozoni and then patiently wait as all of the other osechi items were unveiled by our grandparents and great grandparents for us to eat. Being able to eat osechi ryori today, however, is a rarity.

“That is one of the reasons the board of the SF Japantown Foundation continues to hold our annual Osechi Ryori event. It allows us to introduce and re-introduce the special food items that are prepared during the New Year that will bring us good luck, good health and prosperity throughout the year.

“With the generous assistance of our restaurant partners, we are able to share authentically prepared osechi dishes that are expressly prepared for the event. We sincerely thank our culinary experts for supporting us in carrying on this important culture and tradition.”

Learn more at https://japantownfoundation.org.

Don Tamaki and Lisa Mak Honored with 2023 Minority Bar Coalition Unity Awards

Don Tamaki and Lisa Mak Honored with 2023 Minority Bar Coalition Unity Awards

Congratulations to Minami Tamaki Senior Counsel Don Tamaki and Senior Associate Lisa P. Mak on receiving Unity Awards from the Minority Bar Coalition for their efforts to promote the cause of diversity in the legal progression in the San Francisco Bay Area community.

The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area nominated Lisa. who is a former President of AABA. The Alameda County Bar Association nominated Don. Don and Lisa received their awards on November 9, 2023, at Golden Gate University School of Law.

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.

Minami Tamaki LLP Donates $75,000 to Eight Nonprofits this Fall

Minami Tamaki LLP Donates $75,000 to Eight Nonprofits this Fall

Minami Tamaki LLP has donated $75,000 to eight nonprofit organizations in the fall of 2023 as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting the critical role of these organizations in protecting the vulnerable and advancing our cultures and communities. Minami Tamaki was proud to be a sponsor of the events listed below.

Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus held its 51st Anniversary Celebration on October 4 in San Francisco. As one of the top sponsors of the event, Minami Tamaki joined the more than 600 attendees in celebrating honorees Bill Tamayo, Gen Fujioka, and Covington & Burling LLP. The program also featured W. Kamau Bell in conversation with ALC Communications Director Niketa Kumar. Since 1972, ALC has been fighting with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities for civil rights and systemic change that builds a more just and caring world.

Video of the Partners at Minami Tamaki LLP shown at the Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus 2023 event.

API Legal Outreach (APILO) awarded Minami Tamaki LLP its Legal Impact Award at APILO’s 48th Anniversary Celebration on October 20 at Harborview Restaurant in San Francisco. Our firm was recognized for its outstanding work promoting community service, diversity, and social justice within the legal profession. For nearly five decades, APILO has provided direct legal and social services to low-income, marginalized communities in the areas of immigration, family law, housing rights, domestic violence protection, senior and disability rights, and anti-human trafficking. 

Minami Tamaki Senior Counsels Dale Minami and Don Tamaki and other members of the legal teams representing Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui were honored on October 21 in San Francisco at a Fred Korematsu Institute event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the coram nobis cases that overturned their convictions. The program featured former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, Neal Katyal, the Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel, and the Hon. Mary Schroeder in a fireside chat with the Hon. Ed Chen, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Minami Tamaki sponsored the Chinatown Community Development Center’s 46th anniversary dinner on September 29 in San Francisco Chinatown. The event was emceed by legendary journalist Ben Fong-Torres and youth empowerment leader Jennifer Chan and honored Eddie Ahn of Brightline Defense, retired schoolteacher and lifelong supporter of youth Gladys Kwong, and community activist and transportation advocate Phil Chin.

The firm also supported the JCYC Aloha Run, JCCCNC Tabemasho, Always Dream Gala, and Asian Pacific Fund Gala this year.

Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, Other Coram Nobis Legal Team Members Honored at Korematsu Institute Event on 40th Anniversary of Cases

Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, Other Coram Nobis Legal Team Members Honored at Korematsu Institute Event on 40th Anniversary of Cases

Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Counsels Dale Minami and Don Tamaki and other members of the legal teams representing Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui were honored on October 21, 2023, in San Francisco at an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the coram nobis cases that overturned their World War II convictions for defying the round-up of more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry.

(L-R): Peter Irons, Dale Minami, Prof. Eric Yamamoto, Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel (seated), Neal Katyal, Dr. Karen Korematsu, Hon. Mary Schroeder. Photo by Bob Hsiang

Thirty-seven years after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the mass incarceration, secret Justice Department, Naval, FBI, and FCC intelligence reports surfaced, characterizing the Army’s claims that Japanese Americans were spying as “intentional falsehoods,” and admitting that Japanese Americans had committed no wrong and posed no threat. Despite whistleblowers urging the Solicitor General and the Attorney General that the Justice Department had a duty to disclose this evidence and not to lie to the Court, the evidence was altered, suppressed, and in one instance burned, in order to manipulate the outcome of these landmark decisions.

In 1983, the coram nobis petitions on behalf of Korematsu, Hirabayashi, and Yasui laid bare this fraud on the Court and resulted in the overturning of their criminal convictions. These landmark legal battles vindicated Japanese Americans and boosted their reparations movement by revealing not only that the mass racial round-up was wrong, but that the government knew it at the time.

(L-R): Prof. Eric Yamamoto, Dale Minami, Don Tamaki. Photo by Ember Oparowski.

The program featured a keynote by former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, Neal Katyal, who also received the Fred Korematsu Social Justice Award. The Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel and the Hon. Mary Schroeder participated in a fireside chat with the Hon. Ed Chen, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and a member of the Korematsu legal team.

(L-R) Dale Minami, the Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel, and Dr. Karen Korematsu. Photo by Bob Hsiang

Judge Patel and Justice Schroeder issued the judgments that overturned the convictions of Fred Korematsu and Gordon Hirabayashi in their respective cases. Their courageous and brilliant decisions stand as a warning to the nation of the civil liberties disaster that can result when racism shouts louder than the Constitution.  

Minami Tamaki LLP was proud to be a sponsor of this special event.

Our hearts go out to the people of Maui

Our hearts go out to the people of Maui

Graphic by Osaki Creative

Minami Tamaki LLP extends its deepest sympathies to those affected by the Maui wildfires, Hawai‘i’s deadliest disaster. The devastation in Lahaina has shaken a community near and dear to us, and our hearts are heavy as the tragedy continues to unfold.

Once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, Lahaina is culturally significant to the Native Hawaiian community. The town’s destruction means Hawai‘i has lost a large part of its heritage. 

We extend our sincere gratitude to the first responders, organizations, and volunteers who are working tirelessly to aid and bring comfort to those affected by the fires. The resilience and strength of the community in Hawai‘i during this time of hardship is truly inspiring.

The Maui Strong Fund at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation is providing financial resources that can be deployed quickly, with a focus on rapid response and recovery from the devastating wildfires on Maui. The foundation is waiving donation fees to this fund, so 100 percent of your donation will go to community groups and efforts on the ground in Maui. Donate at hawaiicommunityfoundation.org.

While our focus is on immediate relief efforts in Lahaina, we are also deeply concerned by reports that entities responsible for public safety failed to take appropriate measures to prevent the devastation of Lahaina. Minami Tamaki will remain vigilant in monitoring the aftermath of this tragedy, and we are here to listen and provide support in any way we can.