May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, and last year, the Society had the terrific fortune to interview two pioneering Asian-Americans in the New York State Judiciary – Hon. Randall T. Eng and Hon. Peter Tom – for its 2017 gala film Get to Know the Four Presiding Justices of the NYS Appellate Divisions. Interviewed by Society President Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt, both Justice Eng and Justice Tom gave insight into their lives and careers in these mini oral histories.
We start this celebration of Asian-Americans in the law with Hon. Randall T. Eng. Justice Eng retired after more than three decades on the bench, having been the first Asian-American appointed to the Criminal Court of the City of New York in 1983. Most recently, in another first, Justice Eng served as Presiding Justice of the Second Department. In addition to his judicial service, Justice Eng was a member of the New York Army National Guard from 1970 to 2004.
In this film, Justice Eng reflects on his family background and how he was drawn to the law at an early age, as well as how he had to deal with stereotypes as he progressed in his career. This film provides a fascinating personal look at one of New York’s top jurists.