Category: Uncategorized

07 Nov 2020

Humans of Artsakh: Narine J.

Entry 2

I am doing okay, as the days pass quite fast, busy, and packed. I don’t seem to lack anything I need. I am staying in Armenia for another month, and then I will decide what my next step will be. 

Looking in the faces of the people in Armenia, you cannot help but notice the emotions of sadness, fear, deep concern, sense of being alone, helplessness, and also a strong sense of ‘we have got to win,’ there being no other option, and we have got to defend ourselves, because there is no other option. There is a tornado in people’s minds, including mine, which is actively being fueled by the pull of the news and social media exposure, to the point where I have made it a point to stay away as much as possible, so that I can use my energy more constructively, and not allow it to leak. 

Today, I think, every individual is winning if they can cultivate and maintain a tranquil mind, amidst the chaos – while they do what they need and can do – because if we lose that, we lose everything. I am also coming across people in Armenia, here and there, who are giving in to misinterpretations of the spiritual principle of “non-violence” or “non-harm” to condemn war for both parties, thus making the unforgivable error of viewing self-defense as an act of violence. Of course, I would always suggest those people to wave their flag of peace and non-violence not from their homes, but to take it right to the front-line and wave it in front of the enemy soldiers, and then see what happens. Also, I would ask them, “what would you do if it was your mother, your father and brother, being slaughtered in front of your eyes? Would you go to the perpetrator and wave a flag of peace OR grab the nearest tool or weapon to defend them?

I can see Masis from my window, Masis is so grounded and calm, yet it has seen countless atrocities and injustice over the centuries… This too shall pass, Masis thinks…

People talk so much, governments too, yet there is no substantial ACTION coming from them. We have to rely on ourselves, as a collective. 

I cherish instances of hope where I come across someone who is not afraid to name things as they are, who has morals and can speak the truth unafraid, without being “politically correct” or selling their mother to money. In therapy there is a wonderful saying that goes: “Trust the behavior, not the words!”

This is all that came to mind now. 

05 Nov 2020

PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF WAR TRAUMA on the Soldier, the Family, and the Armenian People

A Conversation with Dr. Ani Kalayjian

For three decades Dr. Ani Kalayjian has studied, explored, and practiced many different healing modalities. In addition to formal psychotherapy and various spiritual teachings, Dr. Kalayjian combines her own knowledge and experience into uniquely individualized and integrative programs. This empowers each of her clients to reach their inner healing and wellness potential. She is the founder of Armenian American Society for Studies on Stress & Genocide and ATOP Meaningful World, and has volunteered in Armenia since the devastating earthquake in 1988.



Thursday, November 12, 2020

5:00 p.m. Pacific | 8:00 p.m. Eastern

No prior registration required.

Zoom Link

To be involved in the Bar’s efforts, including media outreach, legal initiatives, regulatory research, information dissemination, and Artsakh recognition, please contact us.

15 Oct 2020

Message from the Chair

Our World Keeps Getting Smaller and Smaller
By Lucy Varpetian

Forty years ago, my parents, my grandmother, my sister and I stepped off an Aeroflot airplane at LAX
with all of $490 in our pockets. We felt pressed to leave our Armenian homeland and our Yerevan home
in order to get a fair shake at economic opportunity and basic rights. In those days, much of what is taken
for granted in the United States, seemingly simple things like thinking, moving and speaking freely,
bought you a one-way ticket to oppression and obsolescence in the former Soviet Union.
Ten years later, with the fall of the Soviet Union, hundreds of thousands of our fellow Armenians started
lining up in droves at the exit door to leave their country in pursuit of life, liberty, and, well, you know the
rest. And, by and large, they found that happiness in America and some other countries. But it was a sad
kind of happiness because the love for one’s native land lingers long after one’s departure from it.
And now, even after Armenia’s sharp right turn towards democracy following its Velvet Revolution two
years ago, it is a very sad kind of sadness that has gripped the Armenian world, not least of which are
nearly half a million Armenians in Southern California and, among them, thousands of Armenian-
American lawyers, law students, and judges.

Why the sadness?

For nearly two weeks now, 7,000 miles away from California, the native Christian-Armenian people of the
Republics of Artsakh and Armenia have been weathering the death-wish designs of the armed forces of
the neighboring countries of Azerbaijan and Turkey. Our physical distance from that region should pose
little hindrance both to our sympathies about the loss of human life as well as to our outrage about the
untoward hostility. Hundreds of Armenian civilians have been targeted and many innocent children,
women, and men have been killed in their own homes by the cross-border onslaughts of the Azeris and
the Turks.

With so much of our attention captivated by electoral politics and a worldwide pandemic — all the more
accentuated by the combination of the two phenomena with the recent news of President Donald Trump’s
contraction of COVID-19 — it may be understandable that the human rights disaster that is now unfolding
in and around the democratic nation of Armenia is not fully registering with us. This is nothing less than a
call — indeed a cry — for the compassion and conscience of all of the officers of the court to mark the
makings of another major catastrophe of immeasurable loss of lives and liberties.

The latest reliable reports are that the Azeris and Turks have enlisted the unsavory services of thousands
of ISIS mercenaries and have unleashed their fury on the peaceful citizenry of Artsakh. And in what can
be described as nothing less than wholly unconscionable conduct, the aggressors attacked and injured
international journalists and human rights workers on the ground. The number of verified incidences of
international law violations grows in leaps and bounds as each day passes.

Think back for a moment to 9/11 in our own country almost 20 years ago and how it changed nearly
everything in our world. We, as a resilient American people, closed ranks, pulled together and, ultimately,
survived the horrible evil of this great calamity. What is happening in Artsakh is the Armenians’ version of
9/11, but on a much more massive scale and with a much more ominous possible finish to their story.
The continuing conflict can easily bring a tragic end to Armenian existence unless conscientious citizens
and principled professionals consider embracing the plight of innocents in a different part of the world.
Case in point: Turkey’s President Recep Erdoğan has publicly stated that, with Turkey’s aiding and
abetting of Azerbaijan’s incursions into the Armenian sphere, he hopes to fulfill the mission of his
forebears who perpetrated the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.

Why should this matter to us, so far away from the conflict zone, so distant from our daily routines?
It should matter to us because we, as legal professionals who are dedicated to the realization of rights
and the enforcement of responsibilities, carry on our lapels and in our hearts a red badge of courage to
protect and preserve those who, but for us, could forever remain victims. Our comprehensive commitment
to life, liberty and the pursuit of peace and prosperity should know no bounds and should harbor no

Lucy Varpetian is chairperson of the Armenian Bar Association.

14 Oct 2020

Second Interim Report of the Artsakh Ombudsman

Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman Has Updated His Interim Report, Adding the Recent Events


The Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh has updated his second interim report on the Azerbaijani atrocities against Artsakh population, covering the new incidents and facts recorded from October 9 to 12.

In particular, the report adds statistics on human and material losses, some data on the atrocities recorded in Hadrut on October 10, some evidence of crimes against servicemen and international legal analysis.

As of October 12, a total of 31 civilians have been killed – a little girl, 7 women and 23 men. 18 persons were killed in the yard of their houses (including the child and 5 women), 3 persons – in their work place, 10 persons- in public places of different settlements (central square, residential district, etc.). Deaths were recorded in Stepanakert (10 persons), Martuni (6 persons), Hadrut (6 person), Martakert (3 persons), in the village of Alashan (1 person), in the village of Zaglik (1 person), in the vicinity of the village of Mets Shen (1 person), in the Aygestan village of Askeran region (2 persons) and in Tigranakert – 1 person.

A total of about 106 people were wounded, of which 86 received serious injuries. 70 of them are male and 16 are female citizens.

45 of the wounded were injured in the immediate result of a shell blast at or near their houses, 6 –while being transported to a relatively safe place, 12 – in the work place and 23 – in other public places.

According to the verified data, in Stepanakert and adjacent to it places 36 civilians were wounded, in the town of Hadrut in Hadrut region – 5, in Taghaser village – 2, in Vardashat – 1, in Martuni regional center of Martuni region – 15, in Spitak Shen – 1, in Martakert town of Martakert region – 2, in the visinity of Maghavuz community – 6, in Nerkin Horatagh – 2, in Alashan – 3, in Mataghis – 1, in Karvachar town of Shahumyan region – 2 persons, in Shushi town – 3 persons, in Askeran town of Askeran region – 1 person, in Aygestan village – 2 persons, in the village of Shosh – 1 person, in the village of Hochants of Kashatagh region – 3 persons.

Since September 27, the Azerbaijani armed forces have targeted more than 120 civilian settlements in the Republic of Artsakh. As a result, numerous infrastructure, public and private property damages have been recorded. In particular, based on preliminary data, more than 6700 immovable private property (residential houses, shops, etc.), more than 640 cars, about 1110 infrastructural, public and industrial facilities were seriously damaged.

Find the updated Report on the following link:

We remind that the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman continues the fact-finding mission and the results will be regularly updated.


Зашитник  прав человека  Арцаха обновил свой промежуточный отчет, добавив последние события

Защитник прав человека Республики Арцах обновил свой второй промежуточный отчет о преступлениях Азербайджана против населения Арцаха, включая новые инциденты и факты, зарегистрированные с 9 по 12 октября.

В частности, в отчет добавлены статистические данные о человеческих и материальных потерях, некоторые данные о зверствах в Гадруте 10 октября, некоторые доказательства преступлений против военнослужащих и международно-правовой анализ.

По состоянию на 12 октября, в общей сложности были убиты 31 мирных жителей, в том числе – 1 девочка, 7 женщин и 23 мужчин. 18 человек погибли во дворе своих домов (в том числе ребенок и 5 женщин), 3 человека – на рабочем месте, 10 человек – в общественных местах различных населенных пунктов (центральная площадь, микрорайон и др.). Смертельные случаи зафиксированы в городах Степанакерт (10 человека), Мартуни (6 человек), Гадрут (6 человек) и Мартакерт (3 человека), в поселке Алашан (1 человек), в поселке Заглик (1 человек), возле села Мец Шен (1 человек) Мартакертского района и в поселке Айгестан (1 человек)  Аскеранского района, в местности Тигранакерт (1 человек).

Пострадали в общей сложности около 106 человек. Из них 86 получили серьезные травмы – 70 мужчин и 16 женщин.

45 пострадавших были ранены вследствие взрыва снаряда в их доме или рядом с ним , 6 человек были ранены при переезде в относительно безопасное место, 12 человек ранены в рабочих местах, и 23 – из-за обстрелов других общественных мест.

По проверенным данным, 36 человека получили серьезные травмы в Степанакерте или прилегающих районах, 5 человек – в районном центре Гадрута, 2 человека – в селе Тагасер, 1 человек – в посёлке Вардашат того же района, 15 человек – в районном центре Мартуни, 1 человек – в селе Спитак шен, 2 человека – в Мартакерте, 6 человек – в районе, прилегающем к поселку Магавуз, 2 человека – в поселке Н. Горатах, 3 человека – в поселке Алашан, 1 человек – в поселке Матагис, 2 человека – в городе Карвачар Шаумянского района, в городе Шуши – 3 человека, в городе Аскеран – 1 человек, в поселке Айгестан – 2 человека, в поселке Шош – 1 человек, в селе Хочанц Кашатагского района – 3 человека.

С 27 сентября азербайджанские вооруженные силы нанесли удар по более чем 120 гражданским поселениям в Республике Арцах, уничтожив или повредив многочисленные объекты инфраструктуры и частную собственность. В частности, серьезно пострадали более 6700 объектов частной недвижимости (дома, магазины и др.), более 640 автомобилей, около 1110 объектов инфраструктуры и промышленности.

Обновленный отчет можно найти по следующей ссылке:

Напоминаем, что Аппарат Омбудсмена Арцаха продолжают миссию по установлению фактов, результаты будут регулярно обновляться.

English                                  Russian















27 Aug 2020

Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission Judicial Mentor Program

Established in 1991, The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission (Commission) is charged with the responsibility for developing programs to improve both the perception and disposition of justice within the New York State court system. As part of this responsibility and in an effort to increase diversity in the judiciary, the Commission created a Judicial Mentor Program which pairs sitting judges with attorneys interested in appointed or elected judicial positions.

Please see attached a letter from the Chair of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission Judicial Mentor Program and a Judicial Mentor Request Form.

FHW Letter to the Attorneys re Judicial Mentorship


Judicial Mentor Request Form - 2020 - PDF Fillable Form


27 Aug 2020

NYC Bar Association | FULL Scholarship Opportunity: Surrogate’s Court Mediation Training

FINAL REMINDER | NYC Bar Association | FULL Scholarship Opportunity: Surrogate’s Court Mediation Training | DEADLINE: MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2020 AT 5:00PM


The City Bar and Community Mediation Services are pleased to offer a limited number of scholarships to the upcoming Surrogate’s Court Mediation Training – 16-Hour Online Training program in an effort to encourage diverse attorneys to consider adding Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to their practices. This programs is approved under Part 146 of the Rules of the Chief of the Chief Administrative Judge and satisfies the training requirements of many local court ADR panels.

Note that attendance at all four days of the program is required. The program will run virtually on the following dates: September 15, 17, 22 & 24, 2020 from 9 am – 1 pm on each day.

Interested candidates should send their resume, and optional statement of interest, to Paula Mukwaya at by close of business on Monday, August 31st.

For more information about this Surrogate’s Court Mediation Training, please see:

16 Jun 2020

Working Together – The New Workplace After COVID-19 June 16 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Collaborative Event Organized by

the Armenian Bar Association and

the Armenian American Medical Society

Working Together –

The New Workplace After COVID-19

Please join us for these educational and dynamic exchanges of the latest information and hands-on knowledge by experts from the frontlines of the fight against this global pandemic.

Presented by:

Nancy P. Doumanian, Esq.

Michael W. M. Manoukian, Esq.


No registration required to participate in this educational activity.

Tuesday, June 16th | 7:00 PM PSD


Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Questions are welcomed prior to the webinar at





Power Point (for 6-16-20)

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