One way to describe Dale Minami: he is a Rebellious Lawyer.
He has been involved in significant litigation involving the civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans and other minorities, such as Korematsu v. United States, a lawsuit to overturn a 40-year-old conviction for refusal to obey exclusion orders aimed at Japanese Americans during World War II, originally upheld by U.S. Supreme Court.
Other landmark decisions involving Mr. Minami include: United Pilipinos for Affirmative Action v. California Blue Shield, the first class action employment lawsuit brought by Asian Pacific Americans on behalf of Asian Pacific Americans; Spokane JACL v. Washington State University, a class action on behalf of Asian Pacific Americans to establish an Asian American Studies program at Washington State University; and Nakanishi v. UCLA, a claim for unfair denial of tenure that resulted in the granting of tenure after several hearings and widespread publicity over discrimination in academia.
He was a co-founder of the Asian Law Caucus, the first community interest law firm serving Asian Pacific Americans in the country; a co-founder of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, the first Asian American Bar Association in the United States; the Asian Pacific Bar of California; and the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans, one of the nation’s first political action committees focused on Asian American candidates and issues.
Mr. Minami has been involved in the judicial appointment process and in establishing or influencing public policy and legislation. President Clinton appointed him as Chair of the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund in January 1996. Mr. Minami has served as a member of the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission and has chaired the California Attorney General’s Asian Pacific Advisory Committee, advising the State’s Attorney General on key issues. He has also served as a Commissioner on the State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominee’s Evaluation, and on Senator Barbara Boxer’s Judicial Screening Committee, which made recommendations for federal judicial appointments.
Currently, Mr. Minami serves on the advisory boards of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, the Asian Law Caucus, the Korematsu Institute, the Asian Pacific Fund and Seattle University’s Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality. He is a founder of the Judge Robert M. Takasugi Fellowship, dedicated to providing stipends to law students who commit to public interest work. He has taught at U.C. Berkeley and Mills College in Oakland and was Co-Executive Producer (with Philip Kan Gotanda) of “Drinking Tea” and “Life Tastes Good”, both of which were screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
Here are interesting links about just a few aspects of Dale Minami’s contributions to law and the community:
There is even more. It is not possible to feature ALL of the articles about Dale. There are just too many!