Author: armenianbar

19 Mar 2019


(L-R): Andrea Mansourian (Vicken I. Simonian Memorial Legal Scholar), Narine Lalafaryan (Vicken I. Simonian Memorial Legal Scholar), Anzhelika Ishkhanyan (Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholar), Anzhela Hovhannisyan (Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholar), Arusyak Julhakyan (Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholar).


Los Angeles—The Armenian Bar Association recently announced the recipients of the organization’s 2018-2019 scholarship programs:  The Vicken I. Simonian Memorial Legal Scholarship and the Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholarship.  Scholarship Committee Chairwoman, Christine J. Engustian, of Rhode Island,  stated that , “As we celebrate Women’s History Month and recall that 2018 was the International Year of the Woman, it was only fitting, by coincidence, that for the first time in our 30 year history, the Association chose a list of all women scholarship recipients.”

The Armenian Bar Association awards scholarships through its two scholarship funds:

The Vicken I. Simonian Memorial Legal Scholarship was established in the name of the Association’s beloved Chairman Emeritus Vicken I. Simonian.   Vicken was the heart and soul of the Armenian Bar Association, a champion throughout his life who always gave an unparalleled commitment to achieve the mission of the Armenian Bar Association.  Many organization members fondly recall that it was because of Vicken that they joined the Armenian Bar Association.

The Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholarship was established in the name of Andre Kazangian, a student member of the Armenian Bar Association, who was a third-year law student at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, just a couple of credits shy of earning his Juris Doctor degree when he tragically passed away, breaking our hearts and testing our faith.  In an extraordinary showing of gratitude, dignity and respect:  the Dean of Thomas Jefferson posthumously conferred a J.D. degree on Andre, which was accepted by his family members in the presence of law school faculty and students, members of the Armenian Bar Association, and Andre’s friends.  In a lasting tribute to Andre’s legacy, his parents, Vahik and Meline Kazangian of Glendale, California, established and generously funded the Andre Kazangian Memorial Scholarship which is now embedded in the Armenian Bar Association’s scholarship platform.

As in past years, there were many highly-qualified applicants to the Armenian Bar Association scholarship program this year.  Armenian Bar Association Chairman Gerard Kassabian stated that “Of course, we look for outstanding academic achievement among the candidates, but just as importantly, we give great weight to those scholarship applicants who have distinguished themselves through their service to the Armenian community and the Armenian Cause.”

We are so very proud of the exceptional achievements of the five students who were approved by the Board of Governors for the 2018-2019 academic to receive the Vicken I. Simonian and the Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholarships, said Student Affairs Committee Chairwoman, Elizabeth Al-Dajani.

This year’s outstanding class of awardees include:

Vicken I. Simonian Memorial Legal Scholarship

Andrea Mansourian is attending John Marshall Law School, in Chicago, Illinois, where she is a candidate for the Juris Doctor degree in 2019.  While at John Marshall Law School, she has demonstrated outstanding academic work having been selected for the Dean’s List, a Dean’s Scholarship and having been a member of the School’s Moot Court team on multiple occasions.  She founded and served as Chairman of the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America.

Narine Lalafaryan is attending the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, where she is completing her studies for a LL.M. in Commercial Law.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the Faculty of Law at Yerevan State University and an LL.M. from the American University of Armenia, where she received the LL.M. Student of the Year award in 2013 and 2014.  Included in her service to Armenia is her participation at the Peace Building in Eastern Europe Conference, hosted by the United State Embassy in Moldova as a representative of Armenia, being a member of the School of Advocates of Armenia and being legal counsel to the Zangezur Copper Molybednum Combine among numerous other achievements.

Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholarship

Anzhelika Ishkanyan is a graduate of the French University of Armenia, Jean-Moulin Lyon III University where she received a Bachelor of Laws degree in 2014.  Thereafter, she continued her legal education at the University Pantheon-Assas, in Paris, France, where she received a Master of Laws in Corporate Law in 2015.  She currently is enrolled at the Harvard University Law School in Massachusetts where she is a candidate for her second LL.M.  Among her service to Armenia, she worked at the Central Bank of Armenia, Insurance Foundation for Servicemen of Armenia, and the Association of Accountants and Auditors of Armenia, in addition to many other projects and programs of Armenia with which she has been involved.

Anzhela Hovhannisyan graduated Summa Cum Laude at the French University of Armenia, Jean-Moulin Lyon III University and at Yerevan State University, where she received a Master of Jurisprudence in European Union and International Law.  She also holds a Master of Laws from the American University of Armenia and is a member of Armenia’s School of Advocates.  She is presently attending the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law where she is pursuing a Master of Laws degree.  Among her service to Armenia, she has been a part of several United Nations programs in Armenia and has written extensively on matters of legal concern to Armenia.

Arusyak Julhakyan After receiving a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the State Engineering University of Armenia, Ms. Julhakyan attended Warsaw University in the Pre-Doctoral Studies Program in European and International Law with a Specialization in Human Rights.  She was admitted to the LL.M. program at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, when the Velvet Revolution took place in Armenia.  At that point, she decided to suspend her education and return to Armenia, where she ran for and was elected as a member of Armenia’s National Assembly.  While Ms. Julhakyan was unable to accept our scholarship, we wish to acknowledge her outstanding academic record and her devoted public service to the Republic of Armenia.   She serves as an exceptional role-model to Armenian youth and represents the best of Armenia’s future.

The Scholarship Committee will be announcing its acceptance of scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year on or before June, 2019.   We encourage all interested students to apply.    If anyone is interested in contributing to either the Vicken I. Simonian or the Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholarship funds, you may do so by sending a check made payable to either of the respective scholarship funds or to the Armenian Bar Association.   The Armenian Bar Association is an IRC 501 (c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization.  For further information, you may visit the Armenian Bar Association website at, the Armenian Bar Association Facebook page and you may also write to

19 Mar 2019

Spring 2019 Newsletter: Chairman’s Message

Spring has rapidly sprung upon us while we were busy preparing for many upcoming events!  We proudly present for your review our recent accomplishments and announcements of future events in our latest Armenian Bar Association Newsletter.

Since our last Newsletter, our activities spanned from student outreach to genocide remembrance preparations.  My colleagues and I participated in the Southwestern Law School “Succeeding in Law” program for students, announced five law school scholarship recipients, attended a Young Lawyers Committee Firm Crawl and chaired the Armenian Genocide Committee in preparation of the annual March for Justice on April 24 of every year in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in Los Angeles.  We are geared up for the Vicken I. Simonian Scholarship Fundraiser in Chicago, March for Justice in Los Angeles, Public Servants Dinner 2019 in New York and the Times Square Armenian Genocide Commemoration.  We shall never forget. Lastly, our Annual Meeting in Los Angeles in June of this year will be very a memorable one with details to follow.

I am blessed to be a part of the worldwide Armenian Bar Association family, a family that is always ready to help further our cause.  All of our achievements and activities would not be possible without our past, present and future army of dedicated volunteers.  I welcome every reader to invite lawyers and students from any country to join the Armenian Bar Association to receive our communications and priceless benefits from our events worldwide.  Thank you for your support!

Gerard V. Kassabian, J.D., LL.M.

Chairman of the Board of Governors

30 Jan 2019


In the early morning hours of January 29, 2019, in Los Angeles, CA, Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School and the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School, in San Fernando Valley were vandalized in what police deem a hate incident and what we view as hate crimes aimed to victimize Armenian students, parents and an entire community of descendants and survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

Turkish flags hanging on Armenian School campuses in 2019 is absolutely unacceptable.

For any #Armenian that believes that the domination, degradation and dehumanization by the Turk is a century-old story and that Armenians need to move on, they should stare carefully at the staircases and balconies of our schools—7000 miles and a hundred years away from those deserts.

Many of our grandparents who returned to Armenian towns a 💯years ago during the forced marches of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, after their walk through the deserts, orphaned, only to see those same occupying flags draped over their churches, their streets and their homes, in 2019, live on, through each of us.

Today’s display of hatred against us Armenians is like spitting on our martyrs’ graves; worse, spitting on the faces of their great-grandchildren, now a century on and a world away from their native hearth.

Hatred—unfettered, indeed unchecked—travels so well through place and time.

There will be a Press Conference today at 5:30PM at Ferrahian High School. We will be there!

We join our partners, ANCA Western Region, AGBU Western District, AYF, and many others, in Solidarity.


13 Nov 2018

2018 Mentorship Program Reception and Continuing Legal Education Lecture

On November 1, 2018, the Armenian Bar Association’s Student Mentorship Committee, in collaboration with the CLE Committee, organized the “2018 Mentorship Program Reception and Continuing Legal Education Lecture.” The event was hosted by CKR Law and held at a rooftop venue adjacent to their offices in Century City, California. The first two hours of the reception offered over 30 attorneys and students an opportunity to socialize and enjoy drinks and h’orderves while taking in the scenic LA views. The CLE Committee brought a Live Scan vendor on site to assist the attorneys in satisfying their State Bar fingerprinting requirements.

Montebello City Treasurer Ashod Mooradian, a former California State Bar prosecutor, led the CLE lecture on the State Bar’s new rules governing professional responsibility. The event proved to be both fun and informative. The Armenian Bar Association specifically thanks Ovsanna Takvoryan, a Partner at CKR Law, for all her efforts in bringing this event to fruition.


30 Oct 2018

2018 Mid-Year Meeting Wraps Up with Historic, Hugely Successful Conference: The Startup Revolution

Armenian Bar Association Announces Formation of Standing Committee on Intellectual Property to Foster Continuing Engagement

Begins Planning 2019 Public Servants Dinner

NEW YORK CITY, October 22, 2018 – The Armenian Bar Association surged to a soaring crescendo with its ambitious 2018 Mid-Year Meeting in New York City on Saturday, October 13, chiseling deeply into stone the Armenian Bar’s vanguard position on cutting-edge, legal issues in Armenia and the Diaspora.  More than one hundred lawyers, law students, and business professionals witnessed an important chapter of history-in-the-making,  a groundbreaking, truly phenomenal legal education conference entitled The Startup Revolution: What Are Your Rights and How to Protect Them.

The Startup Revolution Conference, which was the headline event of the Mid-Year Meeting, took place at Columbia Law School on Saturday, after the conclusion of the Armenian Bar’s morning plenary meeting.  The Startup Revolution brought together distinguished industry and thought leaders in the fields of intellectual property law, technology, business, and government, from the United States, Canada, Armenia, and Russia, in four signature panels, to share their knowledge and expertise on what works and what doesn’t in the vital and burgeoning world of startups.  The world-class panels, featuring participants such as the Hon. Grigor Hovhannissian, Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States, and Ara Ohanian, CEO of Systech International, addressed topics such as establishing and growing a startup, raising capital through IPOs, ICOs, and crowdfunding, protecting the key assets of any startup – intellectual property and trade secrets, and cybersecurity.

The Startup Revolution was attended by lawyers and entrepreneurs representing startups in various lifecycle stages, in industries from IT to biotech to finance, from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, Oklahoma, Utah, Florida, Virginia, Canada and Russia.  The program was streamed live, and people participated from three locations in Armenia – Yerevan, Gyumri, and Vanadzor – and another in Stepanakert, Artsakh.

Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh (Artsakh) in the United States, delivered the luncheon keynote speech, and the Hon. Mher Margaryan, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations also attended.

The Startup Revolution was the brainchild of Souren Israelyan, Co-Vice Chair of the New York | New Jersey | Connecticut Chapter of the Armenian Bar Association, and Emma Arakelyan, CEO and Co-Founder of Orion Worldwide Innovations LLC and Managing Director of her multimedia company Open Mind Productions LLC, who took the lead in putting together the substantive program.

This year’s Mid-Year Meeting was scheduled to coincide with the historic “Armenia!” exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “the first major exhibition to explore the remarkable artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people in a global context over fourteen centuries.”  The Mid-Year Meeting opened on Friday, October 12 with a special, private lecture about “Armenia!” given by Dr. C. Griffith Mann, the Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of The Met’s Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, and one of the show’s curators.  The lecture was followed by a visit to the exhibition, and a Welcome-to-New York cocktail reception at the Liederkranz Foundation in the historic Phipps Mansion, nearby.  The 2018 Mid-Year Meeting closed on Saturday evening with an Armenian Wine and Brandy Farewell Reception at Columbia Law School, after the conclusion of The Startup Revolution program.

To harness the energy created by The Startup Revolution and foster the formation of professional networks around its subject matter, the Board of Governors of the Armenian Bar Association voted on Thursday, October 18 to create a standing committee on Intellectual Property  The committee will be the forum for members of the Armenian Bar to remain professionally engaged in this vitally-important space, and to assume a leadership role in the flourishing startup ecosystems of Armenia and beyond.  All those interested in joining the committee are encouraged to contact

The Startup Revolution is the first of many enterprising, substantive programs to come, sponsored and organized by the New York | New Jersey | Connecticut Chapter of the Armenian Bar Association, aimed to have far-reaching impact.  The next major event on the calendar is the 2019 Public Servants Dinner at the Yale Club in New York, on April 25, 2019.  Save the date.

To download a commemorative copy of the 2018 Mid-Year Meeting Program, click here.

  • _MG_0668 copy
    _MG_0672 copy
    _MG_0674 copy

View more photos →


30 Oct 2018

Hye Bars in Motown!

DETROIT, MI- On Friday, September 21st, members and guests of both the Armenian Bar Association and the Michigan-based Armenian American Bar Association (AABA) from Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto gathered for an evening of networking and fellowship in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market district. Special guests included Branch County Probate Court Judge Kirk Kashian, newly appointed 17th District (Redford Township) Court Judge (and former AABA President) Krista Haroutunian, former Armenian Bar Chairs Armen Hovannisian and Saro Kerkonian and former AABA Presidents Diane Margosian Paulsen, Sevahn Merian, Lara Nercessian and Kathy Ossian. In addition to the company, attendees enjoyed a slide show of the Armenian Bar Association’s trip to Armenia and Artsakh for its Annual Meeting in May and brief remarks from Armenian Bar Chair Gerard Kassabian and AABA President Lisa Tehlirian. The event promises to be the first in a long and fruitful relationship between the two bar associations!

28 Oct 2018

Armenian Bar Association Enters Workers Comp Arena with Great Flair and Acclaim

On the evening of August 16, 2018, the Armenian Bar Association pulled off a sensational accomplishment with its inaugural Workers’ Compensation Honors Awards Dinner at the always-warm and welcoming Phoenicia Restaurant in Glendale, California.

With a capacity crowd of practitioners, consultants, and students buzzing with energy and interaction, what stood out impressively was the first-ever assembly of more than a dozen workers’ compensation judges at an Armenian Bar event which was specifically designed for them. Three exceptional jurists were recognized for their substantial and positive impacts both on the bench and in the bar.  The three honorees were Judge Lynn Devine of the Van Nuys District Office of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB), Judge Roger A. Tolman, Jr. of the WCAB Los Angeles District Office and Judge Clint Feddersen, a rising star among California’s Workers’ Compensation judiciary, who presides in the WCAB Van Nuys District Office.

“We felt that it was high time that our organization make its mark of respect, gratitude, and engagement in this important and sometimes underestimated field of law,” said organizing committee co-chair Tina Odjaghian of the Odjaghian Law Group of Woodland Hills, California, and reflected that “Employees’ rights and employers’ responsibilities deserve a proper balance coupled vigilant enforcement and I am, indeed, both proud and humbled to be in a position of leadership in this particular discipline with an eye towards opening avenues of access to the public at large as well as to the Armenian Bar’s own up-and-coming lawyers and law students in this area of the law.”

From the podium  and in front of hundreds of Armenian Bar family and friends, the three judges expressed their deep and heartfelt appreciation for being singled out for distinction as jurists of the year. Judge Tolman stated that what impressed him most about the Armenian Bar Association is that the organization has as part of its mission a transnational commitment to upholding the rule of law and to a culture of devotion to public service.

Each of the judges was presented with a beautiful work of art capturing the brilliant, colorfully-illuminated portrayals of graceful peacocks, painted by renowned Armenian artist Seeroon Yeretsian.  Embossed on each painting was a personal inscription acknowledging the honoree’s extraordinary achievements as a member of the judiciary of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

The event exceeded all expectations as over ten law firms, representing a diverse cross-section of the Southern California workers’ compensation community, were sponsors of the festivities.  Organizing committee member, Rita Tchavdarian, who serves as Deputy County Counsel for Los Angeles County, stated, “We are so happy with the success of our inaugural event and with how well it was received by the workers’ compensation bench and bar.  We hope this event will become a tradition for many years to come.”

  • WC Dinner 1
    WC 2
    WC 3

View more photos →

15 Oct 2018

Armenian Bar Association & American University of Armenia Launch Legal Clinic

Gerard Kassabian, Esq., David Balabanian, Esq., Zaven Sinanian, Nelly Der Kiureghian, Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, Lara Kayayan, Esq., Robert Philibosian, Dr. Michael Kouchakdjian and Saro Kerkonian, Esq. at Golden State Bank in Glendale, CA.

GLENDALE — The American University of Armenia (AUA) and the Armenian Bar Association joined forces to sponsor a new Technology and Innovation Legal Clinic at AUA’s campus in Yerevan through two receptions in California, led by David Balabanian, Esq.

The Golden State Bank in Glendale hosted the Los Angeles metro area gathering and the law offices of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP in San Francisco, with Balabanian as host, served as the engaging settings for legal professionals, AUA leadership and supporters who came together to learn more about the association’s partnership with Armenia’s leading university and its innovative projects for current and future students.

Balabanian, the first chairman of the Bar Association, welcomed guests and highlighted the significance of raising dialogue about the role of legal education in Armenia by creating stronger ties between the Diaspora and the homeland. Through his work with the group, Balabanian has brought continued awareness to critical legal issues in Armenia, which is now at a crossroads thanks to the Velvet Revolution and a newfound respect for the law.

“We are experiencing a new era in Armenia,” said Balabanian, who practices commercial litigation. “We hope to expect rule of law and as lawyers we have a special obligation to ensure the safeguarding of the legal system.”

Launching in Fall 2018, the Technology and Innovation Legal Clinic, whose operating costs will be sponsored by the Armenian Bar Association, will be made available to the student community through AUA’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) program.

The clinic, which Balabanian noted as a “valuable resource,” will be the first in Armenia to address the needs for professional legal counseling in rapidly growing fields, including technology, which is experiencing a 20-percent growth in Armenia. Selected AUA students will gain hands-on experience working and providing counseling to IT and engineering startups in relation to a wide range of legal issues, from company registration to contracting to intellectual property rights protection.

The legal clinic is one of the many projects Balabanian has spearheaded for the legal community over the years. In addition to his work with the association, he has served as chairman of the California State Bar Conference of Delegates, lawyer delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, trustee of the Practicing Law Institute, and a member of the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee. As an instructor, he has taught more than 150 continuing legal education courses and written extensively on law-related topics.

During his remarks, AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian shared with attendees important updates about the University, including the recently signed bill that provides free law school tuition to the University of California, Hastings College of the Law for AUA graduates who are residents of California.

“The signing of this bill by Senator Anthony Portantino shows the confidence that the state of California and UC Hastings have in the American University of Armenia,” he said.

He elaborated on the positive changes occurring in Armenia, including the election of a government and a Prime Minister “who respects the law in Armenia and adheres to the principles of fairness and democracy.”

Der Kiureghian noted that the student body and faculty were involved in the Velvet Revolution, choosing to exercise their civic duty and rights. He spoke of the work of AUA’s Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC), which will work in tandem with the Technology and Innovation Legal Clinic, as well as AUA’s partnerships with USAID and plans to start an AUA press.

“We have matured as a university,” said Der Kiureghian. “And we maintain our promise of selecting students based on merit and not financial capacity, making sure we attract the brightest minds.”

As the director of one of the most creative and effective centers at AUA, EPIC, Dr. Michael Kouchakdjian elaborated on the activities of the ecosystem, which provides AUA’s emerging entrepreneurs with a collaborative space consisting of programs, events and a network of mentors, advisors and investors. In relation to its partnership with the Technology and Innovation Legal Clinic, workshops and seminars will be organized for EPIC and other IT and engineering enterprises and teams. In addition, thanks to the Armenian Bar Association’s sponsorship, top quality legal professionals will supervise the activities of the LL.M. program students in order to ensure consistency and quality of service. Touching on the synergy between the Center and AUA, Kouchakdjian said that through EPIC, the community at large can engage in the startup venture ecosystem, which is becoming increasingly popular in Armenia.

Dr. Lawrence Pitts, Chair of the Board of Trustees and former Provost of the University of California system, said AUA has become a transformative university in Armenia and through the support of benefactors, it can become the best in the region.

“AUA is a superb investment in Armenia, like the University of California is a great investment for the state,” said Dr. Pitts. “Our students are the future of the country, and AUA works hard to prepare them successfully as employees, researchers and engaged citizens, which is the best way for Armenia to grow and prosper in the coming years.”

03 Oct 2018

Another Historic First:  Armenian Bar Hangs Shingle on Pro Bono Office in Glendale

The provision of pro bono legal services to worldwide Armenian communities has long been at the center of the Armenian Bar Association’s mission and practice. In an unprecedented and most welcome development, the Armenian Bar is pleased to announce the establishment of a physical office space in the city of Glendale where members of the public may visit to inquire about general legal issues, personal situations, and unique predicaments. The areas of assistance span the spectrum of legal disciplines, from immigration to family law, landlord/tenant to government benefits, employment to personal injury, housing to elder rights, and beyond.
The Armenian Bar’s pro bono office is located in the city’s Adult Recreation Center, located at 201 E. Colorado Street, Glendale, CA 91205, and is managed by Juris Doctor degree recipient, Brigitte Malatjalian. Office hours are conducted on Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. A recent Southwestern University School of Law graduate, Ms. Malatjalian stated, “I am excited to be part of this very important initiative whose principal aim is to ensure stability and build confidence in the community. We are confident that these invaluable services will help break the barrier between the hesitation of asking for help and the blessing of receiving supportive assistance.”
Stationing the pro bono office within city facilities is due to the grace and goodwill of the mutually-beneficial relationship enjoyed by the Armenian Bar and the city of Glendale. The Bar’s regular presence at the Adult Recreation Center means that those in need have one more public service within easy reach.
Soon after the Armenian Bar was born nearly 30 years ago, two of the some of the first words out of its mouth were pro bono. In the three decades that have passed, the Armenian Bar’s pro bono programs have consisted of many legal clinics in different cities, wide-ranging public lectures, easy-to-read informational pamphlets, both in Armenian and in English, and television and print media presentations.
In the words of the Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair, Mesrop Khoudagoulian, “The backbone of the Association’s pro bono services is the selflessness and generosity of our members who take our calls for assistance, put down everything else they’re doing, and step up to the plate to help in any way they can, as if the person in need is a paying client or a member of their own family. Our members are the best!”
For further information, please contact (818) 937-3151 or