National Asian Pacific American Bar Association-- Michigan affiliate to host Central Regional Conference in Detroit

By John Minnis

Legal News

The Michigan affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association hosts the third annual Central Regional Conference this month at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. Previous cities to host the conference were Minneapolis and Kansas City, Mo.

The Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association, under President Benjamin Wu, of Borda, Lorenz & Geggie of Novi, and Secretary Emma Chen, of Miller Canfield, is organizing the event.

"Ben is responsible for that," Chen said of the conference being held in Detroit.

Wu added, "Emma is the conference chair for the upcoming conference in Detroit and deserves all the credit for putting this conference together."

The NAPABA Central Regional Conference on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 27-28, will draw some 200 members from affiliate chapters in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Michigan and from across the country. NAPABA President Joseph Juco Centeno is expected to come to the Motor City from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

The Saturday night gala keynote speaker, Don H. Liu, general counsel and secretary for Xerox Corp. and a senior vice president, will travel from Norwalk, Conn. Liu was the first recipient of the NAPABA Icon Award in 2005.

Prior to joining Xerox, Liu was senior vice president, general counsel and corporate compliance officer for Toll Brothers. From 1999-2005, he served as general counsel, corporate secretary and corporate compliance officer for IKON Office Solutions. He was vice president and deputy chief legal officer for Aetna U.S. Healthcare from 1992-1999.

Liu earned his law degree from Columbia University School of Law and a bachelor of arts degree from Haverford College. He is affiliated with professional and not-for-profit organizations, including the Association of Corporate Counsel, Mercy Health Systems and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, which he chairs.

The luncheon speaker will be Detroit Deputy Mayor Saul Green.

The conference will kick off with a Friday evening reception (free to MAPABA members) and will be followed on Saturday by two panel sessions in the morning, a luncheon and a plenary session in the afternoon.

Panels will include:

* Personal Perspectives: Insight for New Lawyers.

* The Green Energy Movement: The Role Attorneys Play.

* Labor: Hot Topics.

* Entering, Existing, and Competing in the China Market.

* Serving Our Community (plenary, film screening and panel discussion).

Panelists will include Matt Allen, Miller Canfield; L.G. Almeda, Brinks Hofer; Mark Bennett, Miller Canfield; Steve Glasser, NLRB; Roland Hwang; assistant state attorney general; Jin-Kyu Koh, Dykema; Michelle Lebeau, Ogletree Deakins; Ann Lee, Ford Motor Credit Co.; Diane Lee, Michigan Minority Business Council; and Ling Wu, Amherst Partners.

Also attending will be Curtis Chin, writer/producer of "Vincent Who?," a documentary on the 1982 beating death of Vincent Chin at the hands of two white autoworkers in Highland Park.

"We're pretty excited about that," Chen said of viewing the documentary led by the writer and producer.

Saturday evening events will begin with a cocktail reception followed by a gala dinner, keynote and evening entertainment.

"We do hope to draw people from across the country," Chen said. "After we knew it was going to be here (in Michigan), the board unanimously believed it should be held in Detroit. There is a lot of good in this city that people out of the area don't know about. We just wanted to show people that."

Conference fees are $150 (private sector attorneys), $110 (public sector, retired and solo practitioners and MAPABA members) and $80 (law students and recent graduates not yet accepted to the bar). Attendees may also elect to attend Friday night, Saturday or Saturday night only.

To register, go to and click on "Regional Conferences." For aditional information, call Chen at (313) 496-8459 or e-mail her at

Published: Thu, Aug 12, 2010