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Press Release: Top Judicial Gatekeeper Speaks at SABA-SC Reception


South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (sabasc.org)
For immediate release
Contact: Gautam Dutta, Esq. (323.550.8266)


Top Judicial Gatekeeper Speaks at SABA-SC Reception – SABA-SC Members Urged To Join Judiciary
Los Angeles , California , Jan. 11, 2008 – An distinguished audience of attorneys learned how to become a judge, at a reception sponsored by SABA-SC and the international law firm of Reed Smith.

Keynote speaker William Kopeny urged every lawyer to consider a career in the judiciary. Kopeny, Chair of California’s Commission on Judicial Nominations Evaluation (JNE), explained the process by which our state judges are selected. The JNE Commission evaluates whether a judicial nominee is qualified to serve on the state bench.

Lisa Kalustian, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Chief Deputy Director, spoke on behalf of California Judicial Nominations Secretary Sharon Majors-Lewis, who could not attend due to a medical emergency.

“SABA-SC gratefully thanks Bill Kopeny for speaking to our membership on such short notice. Our members were thoroughly impressed with his steadfast commitment to judicial diversity and excellence,” said SABA-SC Judiciary Chair Ritu Manjunath. “We also thank Reed Smith and its LA Managing Partner Peter Kennedy for opening its offices to us,” she added.

SABA-SC Public Policy Chair Gautam Dutta praised Governor Schwarzenegger’s office for its assistance: “We thank Lisa Kalustian for representing the Governor at our reception. SABA-SC looks forward to rescheduling its reception for Secretary Majors-Lewis.” Dutta added, “We also wish to thank APABA, JABA, KABA, MCBA, NAPABA, PABA, SCCLA, and VABA for cosponsoring our event and making it such a tremendous success.”
A number of prominent attorneys attended the reception, including 2004 SABA-SC Trailblazer Shan Thever, JNE Commission members Ann Park and Rupa Goswami, and civil rights attorney Angela Oh.

Despite their growing numbers, only one South Asian has been appointed to the California state bench. “SABA-SC aims to encourage more minorities to become judges in California,” said SABA-SC President Shanaira Udwadia. “Our reception was a huge step in that direction,” she added.

The South Asian Bar Association of Southern California is a minority bar association dedicated to the advancement and development of South Asian attorneys. SABA-SC strives to promote the professional development of lawyers and law students, educate the community about relevant legal issues, and expand and enhance business and professional opportunities for South Asians. For more information about SABA-SC, please visit www.sabasc.org or contact SABA-SC President Shanaira Udwadia at 213.891.8318

South Asian Bar Association of Southern California P.O. Box 4587, Cerritoes, CA 90703-4587
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