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Panel List and Descriptions

Below is the current list of panels and their descriptions. We will continue to update this page with speakers and new panels as they are confirmed. If you have questions about these panels, please contact Programming Chairs Madhuri Nemali and Tony Thomas at

4th and 5th Amendments: Civilian and Police Interactions


There is a higher probability of police/civilian interaction with stop and frisk programs spreading throughout the country. These interactions can be as simple as a brief conversation or as horrific as a full blown custodial interrogation. This panel discussion is aimed at addressing the law, the practical approach, consequences, and legal remedies surrounding the differing levels of police interaction. The U.S. Constitution, along with legal precedence, provides citizens and residents with rights and privileges that govern these interactions. Rights such as the 4th amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure or the 5th amendment right to remain silent, allow individuals to manage these interactions to protect themselves from police brutality or illegal conduct. This presentation will cover the 4th Amendment (mere encounters, reasonable suspicion, stop and frisk, and probable cause to arrest), and the 5th Amendment (right to counsel, right to remain silent, Miranda warnings, due process, and custodial interrogation). Moderator Jennie Philip, Shareholder at Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, will be joined by panelists Biju Koshy, Principal Attorney at the Law Offices of Biju John Koshy; Sanjeev Bhasker, Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of North Carolina; Mohamed BakryShareholder at Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin; and Vidy Pappachan, Principal Court Attorney to Hon. Josh E. Hanshaft in New York County Criminal Court.

Cross Border Immigration Analysis: Trump vs. Trudeau, a Zero-Sum Game?


More personal narratives emerge each day proving that U.S. corporations and their existing and prospective foreign national employees have been adversely impacted by the Trump Administration’s immigration policies.This restrictive immigration agenda is particularly harming South Asian foreign nationals, who find themselves struggling to remain on their feet in the face of boilerplate RFE’s, arbitrary denials, and lengthy Green Card backlogs. As a result, U.S. immigration attorneys and human resources professionals are increasingly looking beyond the U.S.’s borders to overcome disruptions. To capitalize on the uncertainty in the U.S., Prime Minister Trudeau boldly stated that immigration is Canada’s main competitive advantage over the U.S., Canada’s immigration policies offer an attractive, viable strategy for U.S. companies to retain key employees through both short- and long-term international placements. How exactly can the Trudeau Administration’s new initiatives, designed to increase skilled immigration to Canada, help U.S. companies and their employees?

We will address the latest changes to the U.S. immigration policies and procedures, raise awareness on their impact on South Asians, and examine options available for foreign nationals to work in Canada.  Panelists will include Madhuri Nemali, Immigration Team Lead at TriNet USA, Inc., as moderator, Pavan Dhillon, Canadian Immigration Attorney at Dhillon Immigration Law; Akshat Divatia, Attorney at Harris Bricken; and Niranjan Adhikari, Managing Attorney, Adhikari Law PLLC.

Barring Faith: Attacks on Religious Exercise in Immigration Detention


Last summer saw a number of high profile incidents of religious discrimination around the country involving individuals in federal immigration detention, particularly against Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim detainees. Among the many deprivations, Sikh men had their turbans taken, Hindu detainees were denied religiously-compliant meals, and Muslim men were denied the ability to fast for Ramadan and to access Qur'ans. This panel will bring together attorneys and advocates who have worked across the country to ensure access to religious rights for individuals in federal immigration detention and discuss the actions their organizations have taken—from lawsuits to demand letters and public advocacy campaigns—to seek redress. The panelists will also discuss ongoing issues and next steps to defend the free exercise rights of immigration detainees.  Moderator, Nimra H. Azmi, Staff Attorney at Muslim Advocates will be joined by panelists Amrith Kaur Aakre, Legal Director at The Sikh Coalition; Joseph (Yusuf) Saei, Yale Law School Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow at Muslim Advocates; Priyanka Bhatt, Staff Attorney for Project South; and Meeth Soni, Co-Legal Director at Immigration Defenders Law Centre.

What All Lawyers Need to Know About Immigration Law presented by the SABA Foundation and SABA Immigration Committee


Immigration has been a constant hot topic in our news cycles on varied issues such as detention, family separation, H-1B visas, DACA, asylum, increasing denials and lengthy backlogs. What do all lawyers need to know about immigration law? What are some of the most pressing issues that are being discussed politically? Where can we, as a group and on an individual level, make a difference for members of our community? The goal of this panel will be to provide non–immigration attorneys with information you need to best serve your clients and take action for your community.

Rise Up: Leading Female GCs Taking Their Shots sponsored by Microsoft

Diversity & Inclusion

What does it take to rise up and become the General Counsel of a leading corporation? Join us for a plenary lunch discussion in which several prominent female General Counsel will share their experiences and thoughts on rising up and representing women in the law, shattering glass ceilings, and becoming some of the nation's leading General Counsel.  Moderator Jennifer Ivan, Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft, will be joined by panelists Bindu Cudjoe, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Canadian Western Bank; Ashoo Sharma, Vice President & General Counsel at Harry Norman Realtors; Almeta Cooper, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Morehouse College; and Sangeetha Raghunathan, former VP, General Counsel at Indiegogo (incoming General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer for a Bay-Area based startup).

Health Care and the Digital World: Cybersecurity, AI, and Beyond Health Law sponsored by King & Spalding

Health Law

Health care is changing in a big way. As technology advances, its impact on health care has resulted in advances in the treatment and quality of medicine, medical devices, and more. As innovations in artificial intelligence, digital tools, and machine learning emerge, so have novel legal risks. What laws and regulations will be called upon to keep patients and populations safe? How will policymakers, health care providers, and other stakeholders balance the interests of innovation and the preservation of cybersecurity and patient privacy? Join SABA's Health Law Section and a panel of experts for an introduction to the legal issues of furthering health care in the digital world.  Moderator Viren Doshi, Counsel at Conner Strong & Buckelew, will be joined by panelists Fazal Khan, MD, JD Associate Professor of Law at the University of Georgia, Priya Bathija, Vice President of the Value Initiative at American Hospital Association; Atul Nakhasi, Physician at LA County Department of Health Services; and Alaap P. Shah, JD, MPG, Member of the Firm Epstein Becker Green, P.C.

Culture Conflict & Mediation


The panel will feature discussions about the role culture plays in mediating disputes and how to stay aware of cultural nuances that can impact resolution. The panelists will discuss the unique challenges of mediating disputes involving South Asian parties and offer strategies on how to reach a resolution despite these challenges.   Panelists will include Shirish Gupta, Mediator and Arbitrator with JAMS, as moderator; Kamaljit Kaur Lehal, Principal at Lehal Law Corporation; Anita K. Atwal, Lawyer at HHBG Lawyers; Supti Bhattacharya, Partner at Hill Wallack LLP;  and Parag Shah, Principal at Shah Law Firm and Pro Hac Judge to the City of Atlanta Municipal Court.

SCOTUS (P)Review


This panel will review (and preview) developments in the Supreme Court during the Court’s 2019 Term, including the most important and controversial cases that the Court decided. They’ll also discuss the effect of a new justice on the workings of the Court. This perennially popular panel will review the big decisions that have come out of the newly full Supreme Court. With their typical humor and insight, Pratik Shah, Partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Kannon Shanmugam, Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; Tejinder Singh, Partner at Goldstein & Russell P.C.; and Kirti Datla, Senior Associate at Hogan Lovells, will tackle all of this and more. Upping the stakes this year, the Hon. Neomi Rao, United States Circuit Court Judge for the D.C. circuit, will be moderating the panel and “judging” their answers.   

Building Your Best IP Portfolio: How to Maximize Value on IP Spend
sponsored by Eversheds Sutherland

Intellectual Property

Different businesses have different goals and are in different stages of growth. However, from startups to the Fortune 5, all businesses can take actions now that help maximize the value and usefulness of its IP portfolio. Hear panelists describe the action items they implement to build their best IP portfolio, ranging from patent and trademark procurement to revenue generation from the licensing or sale of IP assets. Additional questions that will be discussed include: What considerations are most important when allocating IP spend? How do you quantify value or ROI on IP spend? What pressures are dealt with both internally and externally when making key decisions for IP portfolio building and management? Panelists will include Umar R. Bakhsh, Associate at Eversheds Sutherland; as moderator;  Girish Basarkar, Senior Corporate Counsel, Patents, at Amazon; Anita Lam, Counsel at Microsoft; Phong Dinh, Patent Attorney at Microsoft; Samhitha Medatia, Associate at Finnegan; and Steven Wong, Assistant General Counsel at The Home Depot.

From Script to Screen

Intellectual Property

This panel will lead us through an overview of the "television" business. They will cover the various forms of television and current monetization models and discuss the development and production process within various genres of television. The panelists will also take the audience through ancillary rights and brand franchising. Through direct experience working on Emmy and Golden Globe nominated series, Madhu Goel Southworth, Moderator, SVP of Legal and Business Affairs at AMC and Sundance TV; Ajay Patel, Associate General Counsel of Amazon; Bobby Sharma, Partner at Foley & Ladner LLP; and Associate General Counsel at Turner Sports; Stacey Wolf, SVP of Business Affairs, Entertainment and News at CNN; and David Tagihoff, head of Library Pictures International will breakdown and demystify the "biz." 

Move Over GDPR: Practical Business Compliance and Civil Rights Implications with Legislative Developments in Digital Privacy sponsored by OneTrust


New legislation, including GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (effective 1/1/2020), has put a spotlight on the regulation of data privacy, or lack thereof, domestically and internationally. Privacy developments in the past year add complexity and opportunity to the new compliance framework for companies, including navigating data privacy disclosures, management, and security. More importantly, the impact on underserved communities is still being contemplated and debated. This session will go beyond GDPR to explore important domestic legislation including CCPA, new regulations on data brokers, connected devices, chatbots, and the increasing push for Federal regulation. We will even leave a little room to talk about trends in GDPR enforcement. Hear from experienced privacy practitioners as they detail new developments in the law, discuss enforcement trends, and share how companies have been managing compliance in this shifting landscape.  Moderator Monique Bhargava, Partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP will be joined by panelists KJ Bagchi, Senior Staff Attorney for Telecommunications, Technology, and Media at Asian Americans Advancing Justice; Krupa Shah, Associate General Counsel at Adtalem Global Education; and  Vivek Mohan, Senior Counsel & Manager, Global Privacy Law & Policy at Apple Inc.

State of Wayfair - A Survey of How Various States Are Implementing Online Sales Taxes on Remote Sellers sponsored by Blaney McMurtry LLP


The Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision reversed 30+ years of law and opened the flood gates for states with sales taxes to start experimenting with different laws, regulations and procedures for collecting sales taxes on online sales made by remote sellers. Learn how your clients who are selling goods and services in multiple states are affected by these developments, and what you need to know to help them comply with these new rules.  Moderator Rahul Ranadive, Shareholder at Carlton Fields, P.A. will be jointed by panelists Scott Peterson, VP, Government Relations at Avalara; Azra Siddiqui, Tax Attorney at Texas Comptroller's Office of Public Accounts, Sunita Doobay, Partner at Blaney McMurtry LLP; and Amol Jain Senior Manager, State and Local Tax at RSM U.S. LLP.

Taking the Next Step: Running for Elected Office

Professional Development

Over the past two decades, South Asians have become increasingly engaged in American politics. This has led to a greater number of South Asian American attorneys running for elected office at all levels of government. Attendees will hear from panelists who have run for office and/or support political campaigns and operations. The speakers will discuss what people should consider prior to running and how they can mount a serious campaign.  Moderator Moh Sharma, Advisor in the U.S. House of Representatives will be joined by panelists Aruna Miller, Executive Director, Indian American Impact Fund; John Santos, AAPI Media Director, Democratic National Committee; Adi Sathi, National Director of Asian Pacific American Engagement, Republican National Committee; Rajiv Parikh, Partner, Genova Burns LLC; and Thiru Vignarajah, Partner at DLA Piper and Baltimore Mayoral Candidate.

YLD Presents: A Courageous Conversation on Lawyer Well-Being Sponsored by Fried Frank


Data shows that lawyer well-being is in jeopardy due to the stress and pressure of a demanding legal profession. We also know that open and honest conversations about the realities of health and wellness in the profession will support help-seeking behaviors and foster inclusion in the workplace. This program will begin with personal stories from senior lawyers who will open up on their experience with often life-altering health and work related challenges. The conversation will then turn to an interactive workshop focusing on creative solutions and best practices for maintaining one’s own well-being. Program facilitators will lead a broader conversation about strategies to manage high-intensity work environments and thrive in the legal profession.  Moderator Rudhir Krishtel, Executive Coach and Consultant, will be joined by panelists Jaya Saxena, Americas Diversity Manager, White & Case LLPNeal Seth, Partner at Wiley Rein LLP; Neil Maskeri, Senior Counsel at Young Basil; Anne Gwal, Assistant General Counsel at Exelon; and Esha Bandyopadhyay, Principal at Fish & Richardson.

Representation Matters: Impact Litigation in the U.S. and Canada


Our panelists will discuss the role of appellate impact litigation as a vehicle for effecting social change in both the United States and Canada. Among other topics, they will focus on case development strategy, coalition-building, growing interest in state Supreme Court practice in the United States, and how impact litigation differs from other approaches (such as legislative lobbying). Moderator, the Hon. Vince Chhabria, United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of California will be joined by panelists Peter Karanjia, Partner and Chair of Administrative Law Appellate Practice at DLA Piper; Sukanya Pillay, Visiting Professor at the University of Windsor and Former General Counsel and Executive Director at Canadian Civil Liberties Association; and Aloke Chakravaty, Co-Chair Investigations, Government Enforcement and White Collar Protection practice, and Partner Cybersecurity, Data Protection and Privacy practice at Snell & Wilmer LLP.

What's Happening with U.S.-India M&A?


In this interactive session, we will focus on the legal and regulatory issues that are driving U.S./India (and other South Asian countries) M&A activity, including the elections in India. 2018 was a blockbuster year for cross-border transactions, and 2019 is expected to match the prior year. Catch up on everything you wanted to know about these past transactions and see what we expect with our key industry experts. Moderator Neer Gupta, Associate General Counsel at Verizon will be joined by panelists, Sonjui L. Kumar, Partner at KPPB Law; Ramesh K. Vaidyanathan, Managing Partner at Advaya Legal; Anil Khatod, Managing Partner at Argonaut Private Equity; and Ashar Qureshi, Partner at Fried Frank. 

Inclusion Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets: Navigating the Competitive Landscape 

Labor & Employment

Developing a comprehensive program to protect your business' intellectual property and competitive advantages must include thoughtfully developed and consistently implemented non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements.  The panel will discuss these these agreements in the context of an increasingly mobile workforce and a somewhat complicated (and state-specific) body of law that governs such agreements. The panel will also consider the pitfalls related to litigation in these areas.   Moderator James J. Swartz, Shareholder At Polsinelli PC, will be joined by panellists Patrick Coyle, Chief Counsel, Employment Law at McKesson Corp.; Linda Z. Spencer, Chief Privacy Officer, Associate General Counsel Privacy, Labour & Employment at The Coca-Cola Company; Nirupama S. Hegde, Counsel, Employment Law NBCUniversal Media, LLC; Faye R. Barbour, Assistant General Counsel, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc.; and Ravindra K. Shaw, Principal at Jackson Lewis P.C.

Inclusion through Service: the Pro Bono Model of Leadership Development

Pro Bono/Diversity & Inclusion

South Asian lawyers appear to have a lower level of service on non-profit boards and in community leadership positions compared to other populations. Because of our profession's unique knowledge and skills, board service and community leadership are important ways to give back. Moreover, both offer an opportunity for our own personal and professional growth. Firms and in-house law departments look to civic engagement and leadership when making partner decisions and as part of overall professional development. Additionally, we owe it to our own community to provide an articulate, South Asian voice to the organizations active in our cities and towns. Our panelists will talk about the benefits of serving on boards, running for public office, working pro bono cases and other community service. It is possible to combine career development while doing good, and we'll talk about how.  Moderator Monica Khant, Executive Director at Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network, will be joined by panelists Chintan Amin, Senior Counsel at Bayer U.S.; Hon. Neeti Pawar, Colorado Court of Appeals Judge; Rekha Chiruvolu, Diversity and Inclusion Director at Nixon Peabody; and Gauri Punjabi, Associate at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Rock Your LinkedIn Profile

Professional Development

Did you know that there are over 1 million lawyers on LinkedIn? What does your LinkedIn profile say about you? How do you get your profile to stand out so that you land your next opportunity?

Join us on Friday, June 21, 2019 to learn how to convey your professional brand on LinkedIn. Our experts will provide you with tips and simple steps to take your profile from basic to All-Star. After the session, visit LinkedIn’s booth to get a free professional headshot and receive personal coaching on how to Rock Your LinkedIn profile (available on a first come, first served basis).  Panelists will include Olivia Woodard, Commercial Attorney; and Raji Nagarkar, Senior Product Counsel.

The Role of Solicitors General  


The role of the Solicitor General varies from state to state, but their main function is to represent the state in appellate court, whether that be at the state or federal level. As they defend their state's laws or defend against federal overreach the cases they pursue can have significant impact on their state's citizens. Our panel of current state Solicitors General will talk about their roles within their states and why not all states have a solicitor general.  Join our discussion with Antonio F. Dias, Partner at Jones Day, as moderator; Amit Agarwal, Solicitor General of the State of Florida;  Loren L. AliKhan, Solicitor General of the District of Columbia; and Andrew Pinson, Solicitor General of the State of Georgia.

Legal Ethics: The Competency of Lawyers as Depicted in TV and Film
Sponsored by Goodwin Procter



To be an ethical attorney, you must be competent.  I am sure that comes as a surprise to some of you.  But what does that even mean?  And, if you are one of those people who is surprised, this presentation is for you!  Neel Chatterjee, a well-known intellectual property litigation partner at Goodwin (and referred to by some at SABA as “Neel Uncle”), and Sachin Bansal (lawyer by day, comedian by night, and occasionally somewhat handsome) will present a highly engaging and groundbreaking program on issues of lawyer competence.  They will draw upon examples from popular television shows and movies where attorneys are often represented as people who are dealing with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. The panel discussion will include an open conversation about identifying and addressing issues related to lawyer competence, a core component of legal ethics.


#CountMeIn: Census 2020 Impact on South Asians


Constitutional, Administrative Law


For most people, the decennial Census is just another form to complete. But every census, and especially Census 2020, has the potential to dramatically change how the South Asian community is represented in the U.S. It's also been mired in legal controversy and litigation for the past year because of the planned Citizenship Question. We will discuss the litigation around the Citizenship Question against the backdrop of the institution’s Constitutional underpinnings, the role the Census plays in ensuring fair and accurate representation, and the role of the South Asian legal community in the administration of it.  This panel will be moderated by Gregg Orton, National Director at National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, and Terry Ao Minnis, Senior Director of Census and Voting Programs at Asian Americans Advancing Justice;  Shankar Duraiswamy, Partner at Covington & Burling; and  Karuna Ramachandran, Deputy Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, will join as panelists.