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South Asian Bar Association honors EDNY Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara

October 4, 2019 Rob Abruzzese
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The South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) held its 2019 Annual Leadership Awards Gala on Tuesday at Guastavino’s in Manhattan where it honored four people including Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara, of the Eastern District of New York.

Bulsara, who was installed as a magistrate judge in the EDNY in November 2016, received the Legal Trailblazer Award.

The other honorees included Ravi Purohit, of the Blackstone Group, who received the Corporate Leadership Award; Anthony Sammi, from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, who received the Litigation Achievement Award; and Chaumtoli Huq, an associate professor of law at the CUNY School of Law, who received the Access to Justice Award.

Officers and directors of SABANY.

The keynote speaker at the event was U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, (D-Illinois).

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Judge Bulsara, a Bronx native raised by immigrant parents from India, is the first South Asian-American to serve as a judge within the Second Circuit. He previously served as the deputy general counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bulsara had the award presented to him by Debo Adegbile, who worked alongside Bulsara at Wilmer Hale. Adegbile explained that the two became close when Bulsara helped to mentor him in his early days at Wilmer Hale.

From left: Hon. Deepa Ambekar, Vidya Pappachan, SABANY President Ryan Budhu, Hon. Shahabuddeen Ally and Hon. Alicea Elloras.

Adegbile referred to his friend as “the people’s choice” at the firm and shared a story from Bulsara’s high school days. Back then, he said, Bulsara had his heart set on attending Harvard University, but after he applied, he was waitlisted. Puzzled by this decision, his classmates started a petition and sent it to Harvard explaining that they had missed the “superstar” of their class.

“It’s not just that he’s been a first in his public service, it is the commitment that he brings to it. It’s the patience, the skill, the acumen that distinguish him and why his career is so bright,” Adegbile said.

In humble fashion, after Bulsara accepted the award, he immediately claimed that he doesn’t consider himself a trailblazer and then proceeded to give a speech in which he talked about all of the great things the people around him do, especially his wife Christine DeLorenzo.

SABANY President-elect Jayasri Ganapathy (left) and gala Chair Imran Ansari.

“At the end of the night, I will be handing off this award to her,” he said, “both because she’s a groundbreaking scientist in her own right but also someone who puts up with me every day deserves a prize.”

Judge Bulsara then told the story about his father’s journey to the U.S. in the summer of 1969. He said that he came over to be an engineer and was sponsored by a Mr. Malkani. After his father arrived in Brooklyn, he said, he spent the next 50 years searching for Mr. Malkani, a man he didn’t know, to thank him for the sponsorship, but never found him.

“For me, the story of my father and Mr. Malkani is the story about the U.S., a country that banks on the success and hard work of immigrants,” Judge Bulsara said, “a nation that has faith that helping strangers.”

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