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National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006

August 1, 2013

Contact: Emily Chatterjee
(202) 775-9555


President Obama Doubles the Number of Asian Pacific American
Circuit Court Judges in History

WASHINGTON—Today, the Senate confirmed Raymond T. Chen to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit by a unanimous vote. He is the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the court since Judge Shiro Kashiwa retired from the Federal Circuit in 1986.

"NAPABA celebrates Ray Chen's confirmation to the Federal Circuit, which we are proud to have supported," said Wendy Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). "He has superb credentials to serve on this court, and we commend President Obama for nominating him. NAPABA also thanks Senator Mazie Hirono for her support of his nomination in the Senate."

Since 2008, Chen has served as the Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He began his tenure at the office in 1998 as an Associate Solicitor. During his time there, he has received numerous awards for his service, including: the Gold Medal Award, U.S. Department of Commerce (2011); the Bronze Medal Award, U.S. Department of Commerce (2005); and Attorney of the Year, Office of the Solicitor. Chen previously worked as a technical assistant at the Federal Circuit from 1996 to 1998. Prior to government service, Chen worked as an associate at the law firm Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear from 1994 to 1996 and as a scientist at Hecker & Harriman (now Hecker Law Group) in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and the University of California, Los Angeles.

With Chen's confirmation, President Obama has doubled the number of Asian Pacific American circuit court judges in our nation's history. Despite the tremendous progress made during the Obama Administration, however, Asian Pacific Americans continue to be significantly underrepresented in the federal judiciary. Only four out of over 180 federal appellate court judges in the entire nation are held by individuals with Asian Pacific American heritage. NAPABA salutes President Obama for his continued commitment to nominating well-qualified, diverse nominees to the federal judiciary.


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 66 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include 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 the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.