Tag: Armenian Bar Association

14 May 2019

Armenian Bar Champions Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and N.Y. Judicial Conduct Commission Leader Robert Tembeckjian at Public Servants Celebration

New York—The Armenian Bar Association’s New York/New Jersey/Connecticut Chapter hosted its annual Public Servants Dinner at the Yale Club in midtown Manhattan on April 25, 2019, where it conferred its coveted Public Servant Award on two prominent public servants: Robert H. Tembeckjian, the Administrator & Counsel to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, and Rod J. Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice. The event, which was sold out well in advance, was attended by prominent members of the practicing Bar, over 70 judges of the appellate and trial courts, over 20 present and former federal and state prosecutors, and more than 25 other public servants at the international, national, state and local levels, including numerous bar association presidents.

“The Armenian Bar Association is committed to promoting public service, recognizing those who devote their professional lives to serving the public and embody the best qualities for such noble endeavor. Tonight, we acknowledge the distinguished lifetime achievements of two of our own, Robert H. Tembeckjian and Rod J. Rosenstein, as Public Servants of the Year for 2019. With the amazing co-chairs and committee members we look forward to carrying on this grand tradition in the years ahead,” said organizing committee co-chair Souren A. Israelyan.

The Public Servant Award was first conferred on Robert H. Tembeckjian, who has been a devoted public servant working at the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct since 1976, and since 2003 has been serving as the Commission’s Administrator & Counsel. With a Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Mr. Tembeckjian was a Fulbright Scholar who went to Armenia in 1994. There, he taught constitutional law and ethics at the American University of Armenia and Yerevan State University. Both honorees of the evening delivered substantive, timely and groundbreaking speeches.

Mr. Tembeckjian called attention to the need of our country’s leadership to show compassion and empathy to the plight of refugees and immigrants, as he recalled how his grandparents, survivors of the Armenian Genocide, arrived in America as undocumented aliens. He described the circumstances by which his grandmother eventually was allowed to remain in the United States and become a United States citizen: “. . . my illegal immigrant grandmother was reprieved by a government that understood it could both uphold the law and postpone its consequences for humanitarian reasons; a government that took time to examine and differentiate among the many who sought its refuge, that did not invoke scripture to promote exclusion at the expense of decency or justice.” (Full speech here.)

The evening’s next featured Public Servant Award recipient was Rod J. Rosenstein, the 37th Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Mr. Rosenstein began his legal career by serving as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He started his career at the Department of Justice at age 25. He also served as the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland from 2005 to 2017. As the second in command at the Department of Justice, Mr. Rosenstein advised and assisted the Attorney General in formulating and implementing the Department of Justice’s policies and programs and in providing overall supervision to all organizational units of the Department. Most recently, Mr. Rosenstein also oversaw the work of Special Counsel to the Justice Department, Robert S. Mueller III, as he investigated the question of Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.

Mr. Rosenstein’s speech, which was covered by major news organizations, including CNN, the Washington Post, New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal, were his first public comments on the Mueller Report since it was published just days earlier. Mr. Rosenstein explained in detail his role and that of the Justice Department during the Mueller investigation. He stressed: “As acting Attorney General, it was my responsibility to make sure that the Department of Justice would do what the American people pay us to do: conduct an independent investigation; complete it expeditiously; hold perpetrators accountable if warranted; and work with partner agencies to counter foreign agents and deter crimes.” He emphasized that the Department of Justice “. . . stands for the principle that every American deserves the protection of the rule of law.” (Full speech here.)

Lisa Barsoomian, the wife of Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and a past executive committee board member of the Armenian Bar Association, was also in attendance. Mr. Rosenstein delighted the audience as he recounted his life as an ABC – Armenian By Choice – and described his trip to Armenia in 1994 with the Armenian Bar Association, where he presented lectures to law students at Yerevan State University.

Photo Gallery here.

Read their remarks at the links in the captions below:

Robert H. Tembeckjian, Administrator and Counsel for the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Rod J. Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General.

 

 

 

 

 

15 Dec 2017

ArmenBar Launches Pro Bono Clinic in Artsakh, Armenia

On November 1, 2017, in the capital city of Stepanagert in the Artsakh Republic, the Armenian Bar Association in conjunction with Yerevan State University (YSU) and Artsakh State University (ArSU), teamed together to open the first of its kind, pro-bono legal clinic.

The establishment of the clinic came about through a memorandum of understanding developed by two-term Armenian Bar Chairman, Garo Ghazarian, Artsakh Human Rights Defender, Ombudsman, and Armenian Bar Association member, Ruben Melikyan, and representatives of YSU and ArSU, during Mr. Ghazarian’s recent trip to Artsakh in July of 2017.

“This pro-bono legal clinic brings much needed legal services to an underserved segment of Artsakh society.  We are thrilled that the Armenian Bar Association is a partner in this unique endeavor which seeks to better the lives of Artsakh citizens by promoting access to justice,” said Mr. Ghazarian in an interview following the grand opening of the event.

The clinic will primarily assist participants with legal questions in the field of administrative law, providing citizens with information to navigate through government, such as licensing, permits and regulatory compliance.   At its Mid-Year meeting in Washington, D.C., the Armenian Bar Association, upon the motion of Mr. Ghazarian, unanimously decided to approve both the provision of technical expertise as well as provide the monetary funds necessary  for the legal office to run efficiently.

At the ceremony celebrating the grand opening of the clinic,  Mr. Melikyan emphasized that, “This pro-bono clinic brings a constructive benefit to the citizens of Artsakh as well as providing an environment where Armenian law students and young lawyers can provide a vital public service to the community.”  The Armenian Bar Association will also be funding a six week internship program for Armenian law students from the United States to serve at the clinic in Artsakh.  “The pro-bono Legal Clinic and the Internship Program will be a win-win for all those involved, the citizen-participants, the law students and lawyers,” stated Lucy Varpetian, the Bar Association’s Chair of Student Affairs Committee.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to be of service to our brothers and sisters in the Republic of Artsakh,” stated Saro Kerkonian, Chairman of the Armenian Bar Association.

“The Armenian Bar Association will continue to strive to take every necessary step to defend the right of self-determination of the Armenians of Artsakh fulfilling the promise of a free and independent Armenian Nation.  Building a stronger Artsakh is a critical step towards realizing that sacred promise.  It is our duty to our forefathers and to future generations of Armenians,” concluded Armen Hovannisian, founding member and three-term Chairman of the Armenian Bar Association.