National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
1612 K Street N.W., Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aleli Samson
June 17, 2009
NAPABA Celebrates the Confirmation of Florence Pan
as Associate Judge for the District of Columbia Superior Court
Washington, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is pleased that Florence Pan was confirmed by the Senate to be an Associate Judge for the District of Columbia Superior Court on May 22, 2009. Judge Pan is the first-ever Asian Pacific American to serve as a judge in the District of Columbia.
“Judge Pan has made history by becoming the first Asian Pacific American judge in the District of Columbia. She is a fine lawyer who possesses almost fifteen years of federal government service, and will make a distinct contribution as Associate Judge for the District of Columbia Superior Court,” said Andrew T. Hahn, Sr., President of NAPABA. Prior to her appointment to the District of Columbia Superior Court, Judge Pan served the District of Columbia for over a decade as Assistant United States District Attorney and then Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division for the District of Columbia United States Attorney’s Office.
“Judge Pan’s confirmation is a significant milestone for the District of Columbia, but given the state of Asian Pacific American diversity on the bench, NAPABA will remain vigilant in promoting judges from diverse communities,” said Tina R. Matsuoka, Executive Director of NAPABA. Of the 850 federal judges nationwide, less than 1% are Asian Pacific American. Nationwide statistics for state court judges are similar. Over half of the states have never had an Asian Pacific American judge. Ms. Matsuoka added that "a lack of judicial diversity can create a perception of unfairness that can taint the justice system."
In addition to prior service for the District of Columbia, Judge Pan possesses experience working for the United States Department of Justice, and clerking for former Judge Michael Mukasey of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and Judge Ralph Winter of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge Pan is a graduate of Stanford Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
NAPABA would like to thank President Obama for nominating Judge Pan and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for confirming her.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 58 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.