About

The Thai American Bar Association ("TABA") is the first organization to support Thai and Thai-American legal professionals in the United States. TABA was formed out of recognition that there is a growing number of Thai-American attorneys in the United States. TABA’s members are comprised of practicing attorneys at small and large law firms, corporate in-house counsel, government and non-profit attorneys, law students, and other members of the legal profession.

Mission Statement


TABA facilitates the professional development of our members, provides networking opportunities for our members, increases access to legal services for the greater Thai community, and fosters relationships with other legal organizations and the legal community.

TABA Activities:

TABA has the following committees. If you are interested in attending a meeting, joining a committee, or becoming the chair of a committee, please email president@tabalawyers.org.

TABA Committees:


  1. Community Concerns

  2. Law Student Outreach

  3. MCLE/Programs

  4. Media/Website

  5. Membership

  6. Social

For more information, please email contact@tabalawyers.org.

To RSVP for events, please email rsvp@tabalawyers.org.

Board


Executive Board:

Panida Rzonca is Directing Attorney at Thai Community Development Center. Panida oversees social and legal services at Thai CDC; including the Thai CDC legal unit that provides family based immigration and naturalization services. Panida’s experience includes advocating for Thai victims of human trafficking at Thai CDC since 2007. Currently, Panida is primarily assisting victims of sex trafficking from what may be the largest Thai sex trafficking enterprise to date. She provides counsel to victims who are called upon to be federal witnesses, provides immigration legal services and also case manages comprehensive social services including reporting trafficking cases to law enforcement and assisting victims in navigating the legal system to obtain immigration status, restitution, and ultimately, justice. In addition to her work in anti-human trafficking, Panida has been involved with both labor and housing rights advocacy. She is dedicated to workers’ rights advocacy within the Thai community working on public awareness campaigns and direct services to help workers navigate governmental agencies for wage and fair labor standard claims. Panida is also a board member of the California Access to Justice Commission and was the 2018 President of the Thai American Bar Association. Panida finished her J.D. at Southwestern School of Law and her B.A. in Political Science with a focus on International Relations at the University of California at San Diego.

Contact Panida at president@tabalawyers.org

Panida Anna Pollawit is an attorney at Coburn & Greenbaum, PLLC in Washington, D.C. where she practices criminal, civil and legal malpractice litigation. Prior to joining the firm, she was with BakerHostetler LLP in New York. She also clerked for the Alaska Court of Appeals, a state court that exclusively heard criminal cases. Anna attended Georgetown Law and was a member of the Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic and the Alternate Dispute Resolution team where she competed in the Vis East ADR moot competition in Hong Kong. She spent her first year of law school at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, MA. Anna is a graduate of Trinity College with a B.S. in Biochemistry and studied abroad in Japan.
Anna grew up in Queens, NY and spent much of her weekends and summers as a child at a Buddhist temple in Elmhurst, Queens where she learned how to read and write in Thai. She joined TABA because she wanted to meet other Thai-American attorneys in the hopes of learning from them given that both of her parents are not attorneys, but rather specialize in the making and selling of New York bagels. She also hopes to use her training as a lawyer to help Thais in America navigate the complex legal system.

Contact Anna at presidentelect@tabalawyers.org

Christopher T. Sukhaphadhana is senior intellectual property counsel for Becton, Dickinson and Company. His practice includes client counseling, overseeing freedom-to-operate analyses, and domestic and foreign patent preparation and prosecution. Chris has experience working for a major consumer products company, a large IP boutique law firm, and examining patent applications for the federal government. He earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Chris served as the treasurer for the Asian and Pacific American Law Student Association while at the University of Virginia, and as an advisor to the University of Illinois’ Thai American Insight undergraduate student organization while at UIUC. He is a founding board member of the Thai American Bar Association and served as its president from 2014-2015. Chris currently serves on the governing boards for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Thai American Samakkee Coalition.

Contact Christopher at treasurer@tabalawyers.org

Phatchara Udomsin was born and raised in Thailand. He graduated from the University of Hawaii School of Law and currently works as a staff attorney at the Thai Community Development Center, a non-profit organization in Los Angeles, CA. Phatchara has assisted victims of human trafficking as well as worked to assist and advocate for underprivileged members of the Thai community in the U.S. He hopes to bring a public interest perspective to TABA and to assist TABA in serving the Thai community.

Contact Phatchara at secretary@tabalawyers.org

Governors:




Mac Bunyanunda is a Lecturer in Political Science at Chapman University in Orange, CA. He is a former multi-term TABA Board Member, the former Chairperson of TABA's Committee on Law School Outreach, and a Founding Member. Mac graduated from the University of
Southern California Law School where he served on the editorial board of the Southern California Law Review. His previous experience includes work at Mayer Brown in Los Angeles, in Bangkok at the Royal Development Projects Board, and as an intern at the Thai law firm of Vickery & Worachai. Additionally, Mac has taught at the Claremont Colleges and at UCLA, where he was a recipient of the University Distinguished Teaching Award. He has been active in the Thai community of Southern California, having also served previously as a Board Member and Board Chairperson of the Thai Community Development Center.



Justin Ruaysamran is Vice President, Corporate Counsel at Jennison Associates LLC, a registered investment adviser offering active investment management services to institutional investors and registered and unregistered collective investment vehicles. Justin is the current President of TABA and is active in the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where he co-founded the Financial Services Network. Justin earned his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law (Pritzker) and his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago.



Tammy Sumontha graduated with a Bachelor degree of Law from Thammasat University in Thailand. During her time at Thammasat University, she served on the committee for the University Law Journal. After receiving her Bachelor degree, she worked as a legal consultant for Krung Thai Bank, where she provided legal advice to Bank officers and the Board of Directors at the headquarters and Krung Thai Bank branches nationwide. She was one of the team leaders spearheaded the introduction and implementation guidance of the Thailand Bankruptcy Act Reform of 1997 to the Krung Thai Bank Board of Directors. She also spearheaded the legal team in the seminar “Year 2000, where the internet and the law collide” to Krung Thai Bank Board of Directors. After almost 3 years of working in Thailand, she came to the U.S. to continue her legal studies at California Western School of Law, where she later received her Master’s Degree of Law. After graduation, Tammy worked at Sony Electronics Inc. and volunteered at several local nonprofit organizations. During this time, she was involved with providing federal and administrative advocacy to Thais with limited English proficiency who were eligible to receive benefits, but were in a situation where they were unable to provide proof of their eligibility or had difficulties accessing their records. She assisted Thais and other individuals in obtaining immigration status, and social security benefits, including free medical treatments. Due to her continued and tireless contributions to the community, Tammy was nominated and selected to receive several awards, such as the Judge Judith Keep award and The Outstanding Community Service Award, both of which are prestigious and rarely presented. Tammy was the first Thai-born lawyer who was nominated and selected to receive these awards. Currently, Tammy manages her immigration law firm that she founded since 2011 and her linguistic service that she founded in 2013, both are located in downtown San Diego, CA. The law firm focuses their practice in immigration for all family-based and employment-based petitions, including representation before the EOIR and BIA. The linguistic service provides translation and interpretations in the Thai and Lao languages. Tammy is licensed to practice with the state bar of New York and a member of the Judicial Council of California Court Interpreter Program.



Juthamas Judy Suwatanapongched is an associate in the business litigation group at the downtown Los Angeles office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP. She received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School in 2009 and her B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Northwestern University in 2005. As an undergraduate, Judy was actively involved in the Asian Pacific American community and served as president of Northwestern's Thai Club. Before law school, Judy taught Thai Classical Dance at the Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute in Chicago and various universities. At USC, she was Internal Vice-President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. Judy served as the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County's President in 2015 and now sits on its Advisory Board. Judy is one of the Founding Members of the Thai American Bar Association, was the founding President, and has served on TABA's Advisory Board and Board.



Tonya Vachirasomboon is a member of Dentons’ Corporate practice. She advises businesses in meeting their strategic objectives and focuses her practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, securities offerings, corporate governance, public company compliance and banking regulation. Tonya has extensive experience representing private and public companies, including financial institutions, in stock and asset acquisitions and divestitures, mergers and other reorganizations. She regularly advises banks and bank holding companies with respect to banking regulatory matters and securities law compliance. Tonya also frequently assists startup and emerging companies with forming and structuring their companies, private placements and other capital raises, and negotiation of commercial contracts. As chair of Dentons Bingham Greenebaum’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Tonya works with firm leadership to promote practices and procedures which support diversity and inclusion within the firm and in our legal communities. She represents the firm in a number of its diversity and inclusion initiatives on a local and national level.

Past Presidents:


2012-2013: Juthamas Judy Suwatanapongched

2014: Tanasawat Jacob Satayaviboon

2014-2015: Christopher T. Sukhaphadhana

2015-2016: Tanya Kiatkulpiboone

2016-2017: Sam Puathasnanon

2017-2018: Panida Rzonca

2018-2019: Jane Kespradit

2019-2020: Justin Ruaysamran

Founding Members:


Mann Bunyanunda

Michelle Bussarakum

Into Champon

Steve Chariyasatit

Wareewan Tina Charoenpong

Win Chevapravatdumrong

Luci-Ellen Chun

Gary C. Eto

Hon. Alan Friedenthal

Maria Harrington

Terry Huttayananont

Srivitta Kengskool

Jane Kespradit

Kathy Khommarath

Tanya Kiatkulpiboone

Edward W. Lew

Nedrudee Liu

Alisa Manasantivongs

Don Nghiem

Sam Puathasnanon

Panida Rzonca

Raymond Sakai

Tanasawat J. Satayaviboon

Vasudhsiri T. Sathienmars

Sanya Sukduang

Christopher T. Sukhaphadhana

Tammy Sumontha

Edmond Sung

William Sung

Juthamas J. Suwatanapongched

Lisa D. Tanner

Sirithon Thanasombat

Tonya Vachirasomboon

Phunphilas Viravan

Connie Charoonsrisavasd Wood

Lorraine Yu