SABA of Sacramento Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary

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SABA of Sacramento Board of Directors with the honorees, from left to right: Jaya Badiga, Brad Coutinho, Kishwer Vikaas, Hiren Patel, Commissioner Shama Mesiwala, Judge Alka Sagar, Aparna Agnihotri, Shilpa Girimaji, Mira Patel, & Vishali Singal
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Vishali Singal is an attorney with CalPers. She can be contacted at
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Hiren Patel is Chief Counsel at the Department of Developmental Services. He can be contacted at

by Hiren Patel and Vishali Singal

On June 29, 2017, the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) of Sacramento celebrated its Tenth Anniversary with a reception at the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District. The reception highlighted SABA’s work over the past decade to ensure legal representation for the South-Asian community and other minority groups in the region; promote political and community involvement by underrepresented groups; promote the career advancement of attorneys of South-Asian descent; seek involvement of the South-Asian community in government; and provide scholarships and mentorship to students at UC Davis and Pacific McGeorge law schools. Over 70 guests enjoyed an evening of celebration and South Asian cuisine.

The reception celebrated the appointment of Shama Mesiwala as Commissioner with the Sacramento County Superior Court, the first South-Asian bench officer in the region. Retired Justice Art Scotland introduced Commissioner Mesiwala. She gave an inspiring speech about her personal and professional journey to the bench.

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Commissioner Shama Mesiwala & Judge Sagar Alka

The keynote speaker was Magistrate Judge Alka Sagar of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the first South-Asian female federal judge west of the Mississippi. Judge Sagar spoke eloquently of her immigrant journey from Africa, Canada, and finally to the United States, and how she realized her dream of serving on the bench.

In addition to Commissioner Mesiwala, Judge Sagar, and Justice Scotland (Ret.), SABA was honored by the presence of U.S. District Court Judges Morrison England, Jr. and Kimberly Mueller, and Magistrate Judge Allison Claire from the Eastern District of California; Presiding Justice Vance Raye and Justices George Nicholson, Elena Duarte, William Murray, and Ronald Robie from the Third District Court of Appeal; and Judges Thadd Blizzard, Stacy Boulware Eurie, David De Alba, Laurie Earl, Steven Gevercer, Jennifer Rockwell, Raoul Thorbourne, Emily Vasquez, Christopher Krueger, and Alan Perkins from the Sacramento County Superior Court. Many of the judges in attendance have graciously supported SABA of Sacramento events over the past decade. Also in attendance were representatives from the Sacramento County Bar Association and its affiliate member organizations, and SABA of North America, which generously helped underwrite the reception.

The 2017 SABA of Sacramento Board of Directors expresses its gratitude to the Sacramento legal community for its support this past decade.

The next SABA of Sacramento event, the annual Diversity Law Student Reception, takes place on September 9, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the home of Commissioner Mesiwala. The keynote speaker will be California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

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