Letter From The President Of The New York County Lawyers Association

2011-01-03 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

Judge Denny Chin to Present the Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Lecture on February 3

On February 3, the New York County Lawyers' Association (NYCLA) will host the 48th annual Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Lecture, where Hon. Denny Chin, Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, will deliver the lecture.

My firm, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, sponsors the lecture series, which was established 60 years ago to pay tribute to one of our founders, Hon. Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948). The remarkable career of Justice Hughes spanned nearly 60 years - he served as Governor of New York (1907-1910), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1910-1916), U.S. Secretary of State (1921-1925) and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1930-1941).

A Columbia Law School graduate, Hughes was well regarded for his independence and unquestioned integrity and was chosen to direct successive investigations of the utility and insurance industries. His two terms as governor were marked by extensive reform. He advocated for passage of the Moreland Act, which, by giving him the power to oversee civic officials, as well as those in state bureaucracies, allowed him to fire many corrupt officials. In 1927, he was one of the founders of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, now known as the National Conference for Community and Justice, which was created to oppose the Ku Klux Klan, anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism. Chief Justice Hughes wrote the opinion sustaining collective bargaining under the Wagner Act.

Hughes had longstanding ties to NYCLA; as governor, he spoke at the Association's first annual dinner in June 1908 and he was NYCLA's eighth president (1919-1921), resigning from that position after being appointed Secretary of State. In addition, Hughes served as president of City Bar, the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Justice Hughes' son, Charles Evans Hughes Jr. (1889-1950), was also a prominent attorney, having served as a law secretary to Hon. Benjamin N. Cardozo and associate in the firm of Henry W. Taft (brother of President William H. Taft and NYCLA president from 1930-1932) before joining his father's firm. A Harvard Law School graduate, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review , Hughes Jr. was NYCLA's 16th president (1936-1938).

Judge Denny Chin

In April 2010, Hon. Denny Chin was appointed Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, becoming the only active Asian-American judge on any U.S. Court of Appeals and the first to be confirmed a Circuit Judge outside the Ninth Circuit. A graduate of Princeton University and Fordham University School of Law, Judge Chin spent two years at Davis Polk & Wardwell before becoming an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York. Widely regarded as a labor law specialist, he returned to private practice in 1986 as a partner in his own firm. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed him to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.

Judge Chin, a former president of the Asian-American Bar Association of New York, has published extensively and been recognized frequently for his work. In 2005, he received the Asian-American Justice Center's Distinguished Service Award and the New York State Division of Human Rights Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006, he received the Sanctuary for Families' Abely Award for Leading Women and Children to Safety. Last year, Judge Chin received NYCLA's Edward Weinfeld Award in acknowledgement of his distinguished contributions to the administration of justice. On February 12, Judge Chin will receive the ABA's Spirit of Excellence Award in recognition of his work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession.

Judge Chin received his BA magna cum laude from Princeton University and J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, where he was editor of the Fordham Law Review .

Justice Hughes and Judge Chin share a commitment to promoting access to justice and both have inspired generations with their advocacy of diversity and opportunity in the legal profession and beyond.


James B. Kobak, Jr.