Wilmington, Delaware, June 8, 2007 – More than 140 people attended â€œAn Evening with Neal Katyal,â€ the inaugural event of the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware (SABADE) held June 7 at the Wilmington Club. The event had more than a dozen law firm and corporate sponsors, which allowed SABA-DE to open up the event to attendees free of charge. â€œWe are extremely pleased by the support and interest we have received from a broad cross section of our community for what we expect will be the first of many such events,â€ said Emilie Ninan, President of SABA-DE. Attendees included lawyers from Delaware and other states, as well as elected officials and business and community leaders. Judges from every state and federal court in Delaware, including the majority of the Justices on the Delaware Supreme Court, were also in attendance.
Neal Katyal, a Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, was the featured speaker. Professor Katyal was the lead attorney in the landmark Supreme Court case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. In Hamdan, the Court sided with Prof. Katyal and overturned the then-existing policy of military tribunals for detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba. Professor Katyal delivered a powerful and moving speech, discussing the significance of the decision for American jurisprudence, the impact he expects it to have on executive and congressional authority in a time of war, and the importance of adhering to the rule of law. Professor Katyal also shared some of his personal experiences during the Hamdan case, including his trip to Guantanamo and his first meeting with Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the plaintiff in the case.
The Honorable Chief Justice Myron T. Steele of the Delaware Supreme Court also addressed the gathering at the inaugural event, remarking, â€œTonightâ€™s event demonstrates the importance of SABA-DEâ€™s role in Delaware.â€ Geoff Gamble, the President of the Delaware State Bar Association (DSBA), also gave his support saying, â€œMinority bar associations such as SABA-DE are a great addition to Delaware and we at DSBA congratulate and give our full support to SABA-DE.â€
SABA-DE will next host lawyer-author Saira Rao, author of The Chambermaid, at a luncheon on July 25.
SABA-DE is a chapter of the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA) and is composed of attorneys and law students of South Asian heritage. Its mission is to serve the needs of attorneys, law students, other individuals and communities of South Asian descent, and act as a resource at large regarding the increasing social, economic, and legal intersections between the U.S. and South Asia. For more information on SABA-DE, visit www.sabade.org