THIS FRIDAY: The Pursuit of Justice:
the Murder of Vincent Chin and the Origins of a Civil Rights Movement
This Friday, Nov. 6, from 12-1:30 p.m., the Bar Association Office of Diversity and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of PA will be sponsoring "The Pursuit of Justice:
the Murder of Vincent Chin and the Origins of a Civil Rights Movement", a lunchtime CLE seminar delving into the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982 and its legal aftermath.
Vincent Chin's death marked a watershed in the civil rights movement in America and is considered the genesis of the Asian Pacific American civil rights movement. Chin, a Chinese American, was beaten to death in Detroit, Michigan with a baseball bat by a Chrysler plant superintendent and his stepson. The lenient sentencing of the two men generated public outrage, as the attack possessed many attributes consistent with hate crimes.
Through the reenactment of specific portions of the actual transcripts of the state and federal criminal trials, attorneys will observe and discuss the actual criminal trial, including direct and cross-examination of witnesses, witness preparation, and the interactions between lawyers, judges, parties and non-party witnesses. In addition, the reenactment will reveal how the lack of resources and possible prejudices might have led to lenient sentences for this brutal homicide. Also addressed will be the practical challenges and limitations faced by attorneys in developing a case and substantiating legal theories. Furthermore, the reenactment and subsequent dialogue will address the perceived limitations of criminal justice system and the civil rights laws, how this miscarriage of justice galvanized the Asian-American community, the numerous attempts to enact hate crimes legislation, and the unfinished business of this civil rights movement.
The following topics will be highlighted, among others:
-The legacy of the Vincent Chin case with respect to American jurisprudence with regarding its impact on both the administration of justice, in general and on the Asian-American community.
-The Vincent Chin case demonstrated the importance of prosecutorial participation in sentencing, as well as providing notice to victims and their families of court proceedings. In the years following the case, federal and state laws - including in Michigan - were enacted giving victims greater rights.
-The Vincent Chin case sparked discussions leading to the passage of hate crime laws, often citing the Chin case.
-The need for reform in sentencing and plea-bargaining. Within a month after the sentencing in the Chin case, the Wayne County Prosecutor announced a ban on manslaughter plea bargains in murder prosecutions. On the federal level, the Sentencing Reform Act was passed in 1984 in an effort to reduce disparities in sentencing.
Course Planners and Speakers are: John D. Huh, DLA Piper LLP; Y. Jae Kim,Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLP; May Mon Post, The Post Law Firm, Attorneys at Law; and Stella M. Tsai, Archer & Greiner, P.C.
Speakers and Cast are: Nadeem Bezar, Kolsby, Gordon, Robin, Shore & Bezar; DaLesia Boyd, Woodcock Washburn; Melanie Bunker, Student (1L) at Villanova University School of Law; Wendella P. Fox, Director, U.S. Dept of Education, Office of Civil Rights; Carol A. Fritz, Discovery Consultant and Public Adjuster; Yanni Guo, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law; Joyce K. Hackenbrach, Pepper Hamilton LLP; Nilmini Klur; Marisa H. Lattimore; Sayde J. Ladov, Chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association; Sarah R. Lavelle, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP; Tsiwen Law, Law & Zaslow, LLC; Sophia Lee, Senior Counsel, Sunoco, Inc.;
Maureen Rowley; John Savoth, Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky
; Brian Sims, Staff Counsel, Philadelphia Bar Association; Divya Wallace, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP; and
Su Ming Yeh, Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project.
The program has been approved for 1.5 Substantive CLE credit. Participants wishing to receive the CLE credit will be charged $48.50 for members of the Bar Association admitted for more than five years, and $43.50 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association admitted for less than five years. Tuition fees include lunch. Register in advance HERE or call PBI at 1-800-932-4637.