Thursday, January 14, 2021 3:40 PM | Anonymous

OCAABA Past President (2017-2018) Thy Bui was named one of NAPABA’s Best Under 40 Award Recipients for 2020: https://youtu.be/KCHo0nx7kJs

The NAPABA Best Lawyers Under 40 Award recognizes talented individuals within the Asian Pacific American legal community under the age of 40 who have achieved prominence and distinction in their fields of endeavor and who have demonstrated a strong commitment to Asian Pacific American civic or community affairs.

Thy has served in a range of positions in NAPABA, and is currently serving as Labor & Employment Committee Co-Chair. She previously served as NAPABA Southern California Regional Governor, Young Lawyers Network Co-Chair, and At-Large Board Member. She is on the Board of Directors of the Community Action Fund of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties and the Inner City Law Center, and previously served as President of OCAABA in 2017-2018.

As a partner with Constangy Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP, Thy regularly defends employers in lawsuits alleging causes of action for discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wage and hour violations, and other statutory and common-law claims arising from the employment relationship. Her clients include public and private sector employers in a broad range of industries, including technology, retail/hospitality, healthcare, higher education, and real estate.

Thy’s hobbies include sailing, yoga, and indoor cycling. She loves animals and has dogs named Sir Rupert Woofington and Senator Fred Thompson.

OCAABA Past President (2019-2020) Denise Crawford is the NAPABA Southern California Regional Governor for 2021

Denise Crawford is a Deputy Public Defender IV trial lawyer with the Orange County Public Defender's Office. During her career, she has handled all manner of criminal matters from simple misdemeanors to complex felony cases. As a senior lawyer in the office, she mentors younger deputies, conducts hiring interviews and provides training. She began her career under the expert tutelage of preeminent trial lawyer Jennifer L. Keller. When she transitioned to the Orange County Public Defender's Office, not only did she handle criminal matters, she was assigned to Mental Health, LPS, Probate, SVP, Guardianship and Juvenile units gaining extensive experience in niche areas of practice. By far, however, Ms. Crawford is most at home in front of her juries. She travels to conduct trainings on trial practice both domestically and abroad with international partnerships. Most recently, Ms. Crawford provided trial training to the Public Defender's Office equivalent in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She also writes and publishes on the topic of trial practice.

Ms. Crawford is a frequent speaker and most recently (April 2020) spoke on panel with Congressman Gil Cisneros and Congresswoman Judy Chu.  To read about her cases in the media, awards and honors - just Google her!  She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Orange County Asian American Bar Association (OCAABA) in 2013 and has served as co-chair of the Judicial Evaluation and Community Service Committees. She just finished her term as the 2019-2020 President of OCAABA and in 2020-2021, serves as the Immediate Past President. She loves a good fight (in court) and in her spare time is an avid scuba diver, sport motorcycle rider, political news junkie and pug dog lover.

OCAABA Director Geri Wong-Williams is the Alternate NAPABA Southern California Regional Governor for 2021

Geraldine (“Geri”) Wong-Williams is the Juvenile Sexual Assault Deputy District Attorney for Orange County.  Geri vertically manages a large felony caseload, handling all aspects of prosecution from review of search and arrest warrants, filing of WIC § 602 petitions, WIC § 707 hearings, motions, court trials, competency hearings, and disposition, to post-disposition re-entry, rehabilitation, placement suitability hearings, reunification, and restitution, and WIC §§ 781/786/793 sealing motions. Geri is both humbled and honored to seek justice for the victims of child molest and sexual abuse, and to be part of the rehabilitation of youthful offenders.

Prior to becoming a Deputy District Attorney at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA), Geri was Deputy Public Defender at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office (OCPD). For over a decade, Geri worked in the OC’s criminal defense arena, representing the indigent with a wide variety of misdemeanor and felony charges, as well as in dependency court, representing parents accused of abuse and neglect.

With her unique and diverse background, Geri provides valuable training on trial advocacy and juvenile issues to other attorneys and law enforcement partners.  In fact, Geri testified on behalf of the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) before the California Assembly Public Safety Committee, as a recognized subject matter expert on juvenile investigative interviews.

Geri was elected to the Board of Directors of the Orange County Asian American Bar Association (OCAABA) in 2020 and has served as co-chair for Pipeline Committee and COVID-19 Response Committees.  On behalf of OCAABA and Filipino Lawyers of Orange County (FLOC), Geri authored a joint press release on National Nurses’ Assistant’s Day, in recognition of COVID-19’s impact on nurses' assistants.  As a parent to a child on the Autism spectrum, Geri is grateful to OCAABA for helping her coordinate and moderate a webinar on "Advocating for Educational Progress During COVID-19.” 

Having moved to the United States at age 16 and being the first person in her family to go to college, Geri is well aware of how hard it can be for first and second-generation immigrant lawyers to get their start.  Through her work as co-chair to OCAABA’s Pipeline Committee, Geri helped organize a webinar to help them in their COVID-19 job search.  Moreover, Geri established the first-ever OCAABA Virtual Mock Interview Program to help prepare local law students for their upcoming virtual on campus interviews.

Geri is also the newly elected Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) Criminal Law Section Secretary/Treasurer. She is further involved in OCBA as a member of the Diversity/Inclusion Committee, and Mentorship Committee. 

In addition to being the NAPABA Alternate Regional Governor for Southern California, Geri is also a member of Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association (SCCLA), Asian Pacific American Lawyers of the Inland Empire (APALIE), and National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA.)   

For the past 15 plus years, Geri has been happily married to her husband, Ryan, who is also an attorney but now homeschools their 9-year-old son, John. Together as a family, they enjoy camping, hiking and off-roading in their old Jeep Wrangler.

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