Wilmington, Delaware, May 17, 2007 – The executive board of the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware (SABA-DE) announces the formation of the organization, a chapter of the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA). SABA-DE is a voluntary bar association, intended to serve attorneys, students and communities of South Asian descent throughout the State of Delaware. SABA-DE will host its inaugural event, “An Evening with Neal Katyal,” on Thursday June 7, 2007, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Wilmington Club.

According to Emilie Ninan, President of SABA-DE and a Partner at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, “Not only will SABA-DE work with other bar organizations to foster diversity within the Delaware bar, it will also provide the Delaware community at large with a forum and legal resource which promotes awareness of the global opportunities presented by the increasing social, economic and legal intersections between the U.S. and South Asia.”

SABA-DE’s leadership is drawn from attorneys working for Delaware courts, firms and corporations:

  • President, Emilie Rajaratnam Ninan (Partner, Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP)
  • Vice President, Sharan Nirmul (Associate, Grant & Eisenhofer, P.A.)
  • Treasurer, Faiz Ahmad (Associate, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP),
  • Secretary, Mona Parikh (Law Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of DE);
  • VP Attorney Outreach, Harshal Purohit (Assistant County Attorney, New CastleCounty)
  • VP Communications, Sanjay Bhatnagar (Associate, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor)
  • VP Program Development, Anuradha Gwal (Asst. General Counsel, Pepco Holdings)
  • VP Judicial Outreach, Raj Srivatsan (Associate, Morris James LLP)
  • VP Student Outreach, Sophia Siddiqui (Associate, Fox Rothschild LLP).

Geoffrey Gamble, President of the Delaware State Bar Association (DSBA) said, “The DSBA offers its support to SABA-DE and we look forward to working with its leadership on initiatives to increase the diversity of the Delaware bar.” Added Gregory B. Williams, Chair of the Multicultural Judges & Lawyers Section of the DSBA, “Minority bar associations such as SABA-DE enhance the diversity of the Delaware legal landscape and serve to make Delaware a more attractive destination to students of color.”

The featured speaker at SABA-DE’s inaugural event will be Neal Katyal, a Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and the lead attorney in the landmark Supreme Court case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. In a decision that has been described as “perhaps the most important separation of powers decision ever,” the Court in Hamdan sided with Prof. Katyal to overturn an executive policy establishing military tribunals for detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba. Prof. Katyal has recently appeared on every major national news program and several talk shows.

“We are thrilled to have Professor Katyal join us for our inaugural event and plan to continue to bring speakers of his caliber to Delaware,” said Sharan Nirmul, Vice President of SABA-DE. The Honorable Chief Justice Myron T. Steele of the Delaware Supreme Court, among others, will also address the gathering at SABA-DE’s inaugural event on June 7th.

Various private firms and law departments in the Delaware legal community have pledged their support to SABA-DE and its mission. To date, Founding Members Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP, Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP have each committed $5,000 to SABADE.