San Francisco – The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) will honor San Francisco Superior Court Judge Cynthia Lee and Judge Andrew Cheng at the 42nd Annual Gala: “Better Together, Stronger United” on March 22. Each will be awarded the AABA Outstanding Jurist Awards for their exemplary law and judiciary careers.
Hon. Lee has worked with vulnerable communities throughout her career as a judge. She grew up in Chinatown, New York, earned a scholarship to Mount Holyoke College, and came to San Francisco for law school. She was appointed in 1998 and has tried hundreds of civil and criminal cases. She received the Trial Judge of the Year 2014 award from the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. In 2013, Hon. Lee was elected as the first Asian Woman Presiding Judge in the history of the Superior Court. She founded programs to help veterans in the criminal justice system and to help with truancy in elementary public schools. She is also dedicated to teaching and mentoring young lawyers. "Judge Lee is a stellar example of someone who has worked hard, accomplished greatness, but has never forgotten her roots,” said Hon. Lillian Sing, retired San Francisco Superior Court judge. “She strives hard to give back to the community and serves tirelessly to improve the legal and non-legal community to achieve equality and justice."
Hon. Andrew Cheng has dedicated 24 out of his 26 years since law school to public service as a Deputy City Attorney, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and judge. He grew up in the Midwest, graduated from Yale Law School, clerked for a federal district judge, practiced in the private sector, and then joined the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office in 1997. As a Deputy City Attorney, he worked on the tobacco cases that resulted in a $500 million settlement used to revitalize Laguna Honda Hospital. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Civil Division, he helped to resolve hundreds of federal civil cases. Appointed in 2009, Judge Cheng has presided over criminal, civil, and probate cases, including the Robin Williams trust case. “Judge Cheng is a rising star in the judicial community, highly respected and trusted with very difficult assignments,” said Hon. Julie Tang, retired San Francisco Superior Court judge. “He’s also easy to get along with, no airs, just kindness to everyone.”
Join AABA to celebrate these judicial leaders in the community on March 22 at the 42nd Annual Gala: “Better Together, Stronger United”. Over 50 state and federal judges serving across the San Francisco Bay Area will be in attendance. With more than 800 attendees expected, the Gala has sold out.