Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vietnamese American Bar Association Demands for Equal Representation

PRESS RELEASE BY: La Raza Lawyers Association, Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California and Black Lawyers Association

Rain or shine, Come and Join your Community to Demonstrate for EQUALITY and REPRESENTATION!

When: Wednesday, January 20, 2010. At 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Where: Santa Clara County Bar Association Office
31 North 2nd Street, (at Santa Clara Street), Downtown San Jose

Last month, the Minority Bar Coalition learned that the Santa Clara County Bar Association has eliminated the Vietnamese American community and significantly reduced the Latino community participation in the process of selecting judges. The County Bar Association took an unprecedented step in increasing its Judiciary Committee to 30 members. Yet there is no Vietnamese American attorney, and only 1 Latino and 1 African American attorney on this committee. This is the lowest representation of Vietnamese, Latino, and African American attorneys in decades. The County Bar Association has other Asian American members on the Judiciary Committee, but failed to meet basic standards of representation for these important underrepresented groups.

The County Bar Association established a Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity and asked over 20 large firms and corporations in the Silicon Valley to extend their diversity efforts and to do more than they had been doing to ensure social equality in the profession, not less. Companies such as Intel, Sun and Google participated in the Commission and have led the way in showing that they care about diversity.

We urge the County Bar Association to follow suit.

Asian Americans, Latinos and African Americans make up nearly 60% of the population in the Santa Clara County, yet only about 18% of judges in the County. If we are to have an inclusive and representative judiciary, we must start with the premise that the gatekeeper committee for judicial appointments must also be representative.

The Minority Bar Coalition met and conferred with the County Bar Association and provided them numerous, extremely well-qualified candidates to appoint. Unfortunately, the County Bar Association insists that its Judiciary Committee need not be representative of the county or community at large. The appointments process is completely within the discretion of the President of the County Bar Association, Mark Shem. We urge him to act swiftly to remedy this disparity.

*Minority Bar Coalition condemns the lack of diversity on the Judiciary Committee of the Santa Clara County Bar Association and urges President Mark Shem to appoint a representative body that properly reflects the community in Santa Clara County in this important screening committee for local Judges.

* Minority Bar Coalition of Santa Clara County:

La Raza Lawyers Association; Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California; Black Lawyers Association; and Asian Pacific Bar Association of Silicon Valley.

Others groups in support:

ACLU of Northern California, San Jose Office; La Raza Roundtable of San Jose; National Latino Peace Officers Association, Santa Clara Chapter; Asian Law Alliance; Organization of Chinese Americans; Silicon Valley Chapter; and BAYMEC.


The High Technology Law Section said...

I am the Exectuive Director & General Counsel for the Santa Clara County Bar Association (SCCBA) and I would like to just clarify a few facts that are not accurately protrayed in the press release you posted here. First, the SCCBA did not eliminate any Vietnamese positions on the SCCBA Judiciary Committee. There are no dedicated seats for any particular group on the Committee. And, the Committee for 2010 is comprised of 50% minority attorneys who qualified under the SCCBA Judiciary Committee rules to be appointed. The SCCBA is completely committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession and on the Santa Clara County superior court bench. We devote lots of resourses to the issue and we will continute to do so. We encourage the active participation of Vietnamese attorneys in the SCCBA.

hocthieu@yahoo.com said...

There are large number of Vietnamese lawyers in California, especially in Orange County, they advertized as PhD. (Tien Si) and some as Dr.
The majority of these lawyers were graduated from Law schools in Orange County or within California, and most if not all of these lawyers has NO degree, even high-school diplomat before entering these law schools.
The question here is: "Can any lawyers advertize as a Dr. or PhD. when they only have a Law Degree?
This issue seems to be only happening within Vietnamese lawyers and their communities. However, the State Bar should have a uniform regulation about what education of the lawyers under the BAR and how to be representing it.
For example: any one get a job because he/she said to have a PhD. and later he/she only has a master, I am sure he/she will lose the job and may be sue for a “LIAR”
Finally, is Law Degree is PhD. in Law? To get a PhD. you must first have BA/BS, then Master degree and then PhD.