Blog : Nonprofit

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.

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.

Minami Tamaki Attorneys Named to 2023 Super Lawyers

Minami Tamaki Attorneys Named to 2023 Super Lawyers

We’re proud to announce that nine Minami Tamaki LLP attorneys were selected as Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars for 2023. A special congratulations to Senior Counsels Dale Minami and Don Tamaki on being named to Super Lawyers for all 20 years! This is a distinction achieved by only 0.4 percent of attorneys in Northern California in 2023.

PERSONAL INJURY
Dale Minami (Top 10, 2013-2018; Top 100, 2007-2023; Super Lawyers, 20 years)
B. Mark Fong (Super Lawyers, 14 years)
Seema Bhatt (Rising Stars)

IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY LAW
Olivia Serene Lee (Super Lawyers, 3 years)
Suhi Koizumi (Super Lawyers, 5 years)
Dian Sohn (Rising Stars)

CONSUMER AND EMPLOYEE RIGHTS
Sean Tamura-Sato (Super Lawyers. 3 years)
Lisa P. Mak (Super Lawyers)

CORPORATE/NONPROFIT
Donald K. Tamaki (Super Lawyers, 20 years)

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in California are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive Super Lawyer honors and no more than 2.5 percent are selected to receive the Rising Star recognition.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

PHOTO – Top Row (L-R): B. Mark Fong, Suhi Koizumi, Sean Tamura-Sato, Olivia Serene Lee, La Verne A. Ramsay; Middle Row (L-R): David Palmer, Dale Minami* Top 100, Donald K.Tamaki, Seema Bhatt; Bottom Row: (L-R): Lisa P. Mak, Ember Oparowski, Angela C. Mapa, Dian Sohn, Julia Pilkington. – *Chosen to 2023 Super Lawyers **Chosen to 2023 Rising Stars

Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus 50th Anniversary Gala to Honor Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, Peggy Saika

Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus 50th Anniversary Gala to Honor Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, Peggy Saika

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus will honor Minami Tamaki LLP co-founder and Senior Counsel Dale Minami, former Managing Partner and Senior Counsel Donald K. Tamaki, and Peggy Saika with Yuri Kochiyama Visionary Awards at its 50th Anniversary Gala on Friday, November 18, 2022, at Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

The milestone celebration theme is “Tomorrow’s World is Ours to Build” and draws from Yuri Kochiyama’s powerful call to action to commemorate 50 years of civil rights advocacy for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities. 

The gala will be emceed by actress Tamlyn Tomita and feature musical performances from Jiten Daiko, an exciting comedic performance by Negin Farsad, and a special conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen.

The Asian Law Caucus was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization serving low-income, immigrant, and underserved AAPI communities. The organization’s event announcement read: “In the spirit of this legacy and Kochiyama’s rallying call, it is our privilege to recognize three leaders who have played critical roles in the vision and direction of ALC. We honor Dale, Don, and Peggy because as ALC staff in our early years, they exemplified the spirit of compassionate community lawyering that continues to inspire our staff today. Dale, Don, and Peggy would emerge as respected civil rights leaders beyond their time at ALC, helping to shape the struggle for social justice over several decades.”

Dale Minami, Senior Counsel at Minami Tamaki LLP, has litigated significant civil rights cases for Asian Pacific Americans including leading the legal team that overturned Fred Korematsu’s landmark 40-year-old conviction. Minami received the American Bar Association’s highest award, the ABA Medal, and the ABA’s Thurgood Marshall and Spirit of Excellence Awards. He has also been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Northern California for 18 straight years. He co-founded the Asian Law Caucus, the first public interest law firm serving Asian Americans in the country, AALDEF, and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, the first Asian American bar in the country.

Don Tamaki, Senior Counsel at Minami Tamaki LLP, and former executive director of the Asian Law Caucus (1980-1983), is known for his historic work serving on the pro bono legal team that reopened the landmark Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. the United States. He is co-founder of Stop Repeating History, a campaign focused on drawing parallels between the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the targeting of minority groups based on race or religion. In 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Tamaki to serve on the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans.

Peggy Saika, Executive Director of Common Counsel Foundation since 2019, has worked for over four decades as a social justice leader in movements for racial equity; gender, sexuality, and reproductive justice; environmental justice; and immigrant and workers’ rights. Previously the Executive Director of Asian Law Caucus from 1983 to 1991, Saika also served as the founding Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network from 1993 to 2001, and as the CEO of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy from 2002 -2015. She is a co-founder of the Asian Women’s Shelter, API’s for Choice, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and the NY Committee to Free Chol Soo Lee.

The Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus 50th Anniversary Gala is on Friday, November 18, 2022, at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. The reception starts at 6 p.m., and the evening’s program and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Purchase your ticket at https://bit.ly/3soFpcf or contact development@advancingjustice-alc.org for sponsorship details.

Lisa P. Mak Leads AABA Gala in Honoring Community and AAPI Legal Luminaries

Lisa P. Mak Leads AABA Gala in Honoring Community and AAPI Legal Luminaries

The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA), one of the largest Asian American bar associations in the nation, held its 46th Annual Gala on March 30, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. Minami Tamaki LLP was proud to be a Title Sponsor for the gala this year. Minami Tamaki LLP Associate Lisa P. Mak is serving this year as President of AABA.

Some of the Minami Tamaki LLP attorneys and staff at the AABA gala (from left): Katie Chan; Lisa P. Mak; Jack W. Lee (retired); Donald K. Tamaki; Gail Lang; Mark Fong; and Dale Minami. Photos by Bob Hsiang and Lowell Downey.

The AABA gala theme for this year was “Speak Up, Rise Up.” In her President’s Address at the gala, Lisa said the theme “was inspired by how our community and our allies spoke up and fought back against the rising anti-Asian hate and violence in the Bay Area and across the country in the last two years.” Lisa shared her family’s experience with racism after they immigrated to this country, emphasized the importance of speaking up in unity, and encouraged the AABA community to think about how they can make a difference.

The program celebrated several distinguished honorees, including Michael G.W. Lee as the recipient of this year’s Minami Impact Award, named after Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Counsel Dale Minami to acknowledge attorneys who have had a positive impact on the Asian American community and the legal profession.

Dale Minami presents Michael G.W. Lee with the Minami Impact Award, honoring attorneys who have had a positive impact on the Asian American community and the legal profession. Photos by Bob Hsiang and Lowell Downey.

Judge Lucy H. Koh from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit received the AABA Trailblazer Award. The late Justice Harry W. Low was recognized, along with an announcement of the new Justice Harry W. Low Fellowship that will be administered by the AABA Law Foundation later this year.

The gala concluded with a fireside chat between Lisa and Michelle MiJung Kim, an entrepreneur, activist, and author of “The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change.”  

AABA President Lisa P. Mak, a Minami Tamaki LLP attorney, in a fireside chat with Michelle MiJung Kim. Photos by Bob Hsiang and Lowell Downey.

Over 500 guests attended the Gala this year, including over 30 judges, and San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu. Betty Yu from KPIX 5 CBS was the Master of Ceremonies for the event. The gala opened with a musical performance from the Oakland Youth Chorus, the longest-running youth chorus in the East Bay.

Minami Tamaki LLP Managing Partner Sean Tamura-Sato (right) with Doris Cheng (middle) and AABA Treasurer John B. Lough, Jr. Sean is a former AABA board member. Photos by Bob Hsiang and Lowell Downey.

Through her term as AABA President this year, Lisa will aspire to honor and continue AABA’s history of speaking up for our community while elevating our members in the legal profession and keeping our voice at the table.

Watch Lisa’s president’s address below and view the other presentations of the gala awards on YouTube.

Dec. 16 Virtual Event ‘A Stain on American Jurisprudence: What ‘Korematsu vs. United States’ Means for Us Today’

Dec. 16 Virtual Event ‘A Stain on American Jurisprudence: What ‘Korematsu vs. United States’ Means for Us Today’

The forcible relocation of U.S. citizens to concentration camps, solely and explicitly on the basis of race, is objectively unlawful and outside the scope of Presidential authority.” – Chief Justice John Roberts on Korematsu v. United States, 2018.

Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Counsel Dale Minami headlines a free virtual event on Thursday, December 16, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with Dr. Karen Korematsu, Founder and Executive Director of the Korematsu Institute, in a discussion facilitated by actor and independent filmmaker Lane Nishikawa.

REGISTER HERE

As an attorney on the legal team that overturned the conviction of Fred Korematsu, Dale will share behind the scenes stories from the case and the implications and relevance of Korematsu in our world today.

See biographies for the panelists here.

This program is co-sponsored with the San Diego Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States. This panel is part of the program series: The Rebellious Miss Breed: San Diego Public Library & the Japanese American Incarceration. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a partner of the NEH. Visit calhum.org.

Lisa Mak Begins Term as President of the Asian American Bar Association in January 2022

Lisa Mak Begins Term as President of the Asian American Bar Association in January 2022

Minami Tamaki LLP Associate Lisa P. Mak begins her term in January 2022 as President of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (“AABA”), one of the largest Asian American bar associations in the nation and one of the largest minority bar associations in California.  

Lisa will be the first attorney from Minami Tamaki LLP to serve as President of AABA. She served as Vice President and President-elect this year, after serving as Treasurer in 2020 and as Secretary in 2019. 

The AABA 46th Annual Gala is scheduled for March 30, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. Lisa chose “Speak Up, Rise Up” as the gala theme when reflecting on the anti-API hate incidents in the past few years and how our community and allies spoke up, fought back, and elevated the crisis into a mainstream issue. At the gala and throughout her term, Lisa will aspire to honor AABA’s history of speaking up for our community and to continue building that momentum while elevating our members in the legal profession and keeping our voice at the table. 

Lisa continues Minami Tamaki’s tradition of leadership in bar associations. Partner Sean Tamura-Sato and Associate Claire Choo are former AABA board members. Senior Counsel Dale Minami is a co-founder of AABA and of the Asian Pacific Bar of California. Partner Suhi Koizumi is a past president of the Korean American Bar Association of Northern California. Associate Seema Bhatt serves on the board of the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California. Other firm attorneys have served in numerous positions with various bar associations and legal organizations. 

A deep commitment to our communities and diversity issues guides Lisa’s service. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach and for the California Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She is actively involved in the California Employment Lawyers Association (“CELA”) and serves on the Board of CELA’s foundation. Lisa is also a past board member of the Bar Association of San Francisco. 

Lisa is an Associate in Minami Tamaki’s Consumer and Employee Rights Group. Her practice includes employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, contract claims, and labor code violations. She is experienced in litigation, from pre-litigation negotiations to trials and appeals. She also advises employees on employment contracts and severance agreements. She writes frequently about social justice and workplace equality issues, and her work has been published in Plaintiff Magazine and on the CELA Voice blog. 

Lisa has served as trial counsel in multiple trials involving a wide variety of employment disputes in state and federal court. In 2016, she was co-lead counsel on a five-week jury trial which resulted in a $3.5 million total verdict for four female officers at the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. The verdict was listed in the LexisNexis “Top 10 Employment Verdicts” for 2016 and was recognized by Leaders in the Law in its “Northern California’s Leading Lawyers” 2017 publication. 

She was selected by Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch for its 2022 list and as a Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2015-2021, an honor awarded to no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state. In 2017, Lisa was honored with the Legal Advocate Award from the Center for Workers’ Rights and with a civil rights award from the Equal Justice Society. 

Lisa graduated from UC San Diego summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and received her law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law. 

Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Olivia Serene Lee Elected to AILA Board of Governors

Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Olivia Serene Lee Elected to AILA Board of Governors

Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Olivia Serene Lee was elected last week to the Board of Governors for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the national association of more than 15,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. As a board member, she will help the organization promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members. Olivia will serve a three-year term that started on June 11.  

Olivia’s new role as part of AILA’s national leadership continues her service to the organization that started in 2009 when she joined the Advisory Council of the AILA Northern California chapter. From June 2016 to July 2017, she served as the Chair of AILA Northern California. During that time, the chapter won the Platinum Award, the highest recognition for AILA chapters. Before her election to the AILA Board of Governors, Olivia served as Chair of the AILA National Diversity and Inclusion committee. She also served as faculty on local and national AILA CLE panels on topics such as O-1s, H-1Bs, entrepreneur visa options, and business immigration litigation in federal court.

Olivia also serves on the American Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council and on the board of Chinese for Affirmative Action.  She is a member of the National Implicit Bias Network.  

She continues Minami Tamaki’s tradition of leadership in bar associations. Associate Lisa P. Mak serves as Vice President/President-Elect of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA). Partner Sean Tamura-Sato and Associate Claire Y. Choo also serve on the AABA Board. Claire also serves as President of the San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association and on the board of the Consumer Attorneys of California. Senior Counsel Dale Minami is a co-founder of AABA and of the Asian Pacific Bar of California. Partner Suhi Koizumi is a past president of the Korean American Bar Association of Northern California. Associate Seema Bhatt serves on the board of the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California. Other firm attorneys have served in numerous positions with various bar associations and legal organizations.