The South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ) is a voluntary association of attorneys and professionals in the New Jersey area. SABA-NJ is dedicated to the needs, concerns, and interests of the South Asian community in New Jersey.
We support the professional development and advancement of our members through networking opportunities, educational events, mentoring, and advocacy. Our objectives are to provide a networking forum for all South Asian attorneys and law students in the New Jersey area, and to educate and disseminate information to the South Asian community in New Jersey about legal access and relevant legal issues. SABA-NJ also collaborates with other bar associations and voluntary organizations to maximize diversity in professional networking opportunities and the organization’s visibility in the community.
SABA-NJ is a chapter of the South Asian Bar Association of North America which provides a vital link between South Asian lawyers and the South Asian community across North America. Learn more about SABANA here.
2023 Executive Board and Regional Representatives
Rippi K. Karda, Esq.
Rippi serves as the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey’s President for the 2023 term. In the past, she held roles such as President-Elect, Vice President and Executive Liaison Director in addition to serving on the Scholarship and Recognition Committees.
As an Associate General Counsel in the Public Policy, Law and Security department at Verizon Communications Inc., Rippi handles complex contracts for Sourcing involving Human Resources Benefits/Plans, Supplier Diversity, Advertising Agencies, Contact Centers, Contingent Workforce, Executive Recruiting and Collection Services. In addition to being a part of the Legal team, she works with the Diversity Equity & Inclusion Council, PACE AND WAVE organizations at Verizon.
At Verizon, she has received the prestigious Pro Bono Service Award for recognition of her meaningful legal contributions in domestic violence and non-profit corporate matters. Rippi speaks frequently on diversity and corporate matters, as well as, provides pro bono legal services to those affected by domestic violence.
Prior to entering the Technology industry, she worked at several Pharmaceutical and Biomedical companies where she supported commercial and Research & Development contracts; reviewed multimedia-branded promotional materials; and participated in regulatory, medical and legal review boards for orthopedics, gastroenterology and oncology products. Also, Rippi has provided counsel and guidance on intricate matters related to antitrust, fraud and abuse, FCPA, Medicare, Medicaid, PhRMA Code and physician agreements.
Rippi is a member of the NAMWOLF organization that focuses on promoting diversity in the legal profession by fostering successful relationships among preeminent minority and women-owned law firms and private/public entities. In 2021, she was appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. Furthermore, she is a Board Member and Treasurer WEN - Women’s Excellence Network - an organization that is dedicated to increasing its collective power to positively impact high performing women in the legal profession. Additionally, she serves as a Co-Chair of the Punjabi Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey. Lastly, as of May 2022, Rippi was appointed to the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Commission of New Jersey by Governor Murphy.
As an independent service to the legal industry, she runs a LinkedIn series titled “Attorney of the Week” to highlight and amplify the notable achievements and designations of diverse attorneys.
Prema Roddam, Esq.
Prema is a senior associate with Fragomen, Del Ray, Bernsen & Loewy in its Matawan NJ office. She focuses her practice in the areas of corporate immigration, related global corporate compliance and advisory services. Her experience spans across various industry verticals such as Telecom, IT, Healthcare, Pharma and Entertainment. Prema is an experienced and passionate advocate who understands the unique needs of companies that have a global workforce and footprint. Prema has clerked for Judge Diane Clarke Streett in the Delaware Superior Court and for Judge Arnold New in the Philadelphia Commerce Court. She received her J.D with pro-bono distinction from Widener University Delaware School of Law. She is admitted to practice in the State of New York. She is actively involved and supports several non-profit organizations that benefit the South-Asian diaspora. She is dedicated to advocating for women empowerment and women's rights and serves as the Vice-President, Board of Directors for Manavi (manavi.org). She also serves as the co-chair for the TiE-NJ Women Special Interest Group with a mission to foster women entrepreneurs (nj.tie.org). Prema is the 2023 President-Elect and the 2024 President for the South-Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (sabanj.org).
Gigio K. Ninan, Esq.
Gigio K. Ninan is the Vice President of the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey, the current Chancellor of Rutgers Law Alumni Association-Camden (10000+ alumni), Director of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, and the Chair of the Solo/Small Firm Section of the South Asian Bar Association of North America. Gigio is also only one of two alumni appointed by the Chief Academic Officer of Rutgers University to serve on the Rutgers Law School’s Dean’s Selection committee. He was formerly a Regional Representative for SABA-NJ last year. Gigio served as VP of Young Lawyers, and as the VP of Private Sector for the South Asian Bar Association of NY from 2018-2020.
Gigio practices in the area of business and employment counseling and litigation in NY/NJ/PA. Gigio exemplifies the passion for paying it forward to future leaders through his stellar accomplishments, leadership and service to others. After graduating cum laude from Binghamton University in 2008, Gigio earned his law degree from Rutgers University in 2011, where he served on a Journal. Gigio went on to clerk for the Hon. Stephen M. Holden, Ph.D., and worked national firms before founding Shankar Ninan.Gigio has been recognized several times:
- 2023 Rutgers Law School MAPS Award
- 2016-23 Superlawyers Rising Star (8 consecutive years)
- 2021 Rutgers Law Alumni Distinguished Recent Graduate Award recipient
- 2019 Binghamton Lois B. DeFleur Distinguished Alumnus award recipient
- 2017 New Leader of the Bar by New Jersey Law Journal (“40 under 40”)
Gigio's professional accomplishments, hard work, energy and drive are impressive, but equally impressive is his commitment to Rutgers Law School, Binghamton University, the Asian and South Asian American Bar Associations.
Akum K. Singh, Esq.
Akum K. Singh is an associate in the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice group. She represents clients in a wide range of complex litigation issues, focusing on commercial and contract dispute matters. She also provides counseling and advice on general corporate and intellectual property matters. Akum is also an active member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association.
Prior to joining Bressler, Akum interned at several prominent New Jersey law firms and major corporations. She earned her J.D. from Rutgers Law School, 2022 with a Certificate in Corporate and Business Law. While at Rutgers Law, she was a clinical law student in the Community and Transactional Lawyering Clinic, where she helped provide legal services to New Jersey nonprofit organizations and the Newark community at large. Akum was also Senior Editor for the Rutgers Business Law Review. Her note China's Passing of the National Security Law in Hong Kong and Its effect on Global Business was published in the Fall 2021 issue. She received her B.A., cum laude, in Political Science with a minor in International and Global Studies from Rutgers University in 2019.
Amrit P. Singh, Esq.
Amrit Singh focuses his practice on Business Litigation. Amrit represents corporate clients in state and federal courts in commercial disputes and handles all stages of litigation, including fact investigation, complex written discovery, depositions, dispositive motion practice, and trial preparation. Prior to joining the firm, Amrit also counseled clients in employment matters, professional liability matters, and securities litigation.
Amrit is dual barred in New York and New Jersey and practices in both jurisdictions. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Rutgers University School of Law where he was the Senior Notes and Comments Editor for the Rutgers University Law Review. He received his B.A., cum laude, from Stony Brook University. Amrit speaks Punjabi and Hindi.
Ravipal Singh, Esq.
Ravi Singh is clerking for the Honorable Rukhsanah L. Singh, U.S.M.J. for the District of New Jersey. He is also the Co-Secretary for SABA-NJ. Although he has been involved with SABA-NJ since he was a 2L, this is his first term as an Executive Board member. He graduated from Rutgers Law School-Newark in January 2022, and received his B.S. in Public Health from Rutgers University-New Brunswick in May 2017. During his years at Rutgers Law, he served as a student attorney for the Rutgers Tax Clinic, providing assistance to low income tax payers. In addition, he was also a member of the acclaimed Rutgers Minority Student Program.
Sunita Patel, Esq.
Director of Public Relations
Sunita is Counsel at Bristol Myers Squibb, supporting the company’s Global Product Supply & Development organization. Prior to joining BMS, she was a Senior Counsel at AmerisourceBergen where she supported the Health Systems and Government Services unit and an Associate at Lowenstein Sandler LLP where she focused primarily on corporate and life science matters. She was also a committee leader in Lowenstein Sandler’s Diversity Leadership Network and helped organize events such as the firm's first Law School Summit for Diverse Law Students.
Sunita graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University, where she was a member of the Honors Program and served on the Executive Board of the Association of Indians at Rutgers. She then earned her J.D. cum laude from Seton Hall University School of Law with a concentration in Health Law and was Business Editor of the Seton Hall Law Review. During her time in law school, Sunita also served as President of the Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association.
Sara Khan, Esq.
Director of Sponsorships
Sara Khan is an Associate at the law firm of Burns White LLC. She focuses her practice in the area of Healthcare and Long-Term care law.
Prior to joining Burns White, Ms. Khan was an attorney at a New Jersey firm where she defended clients in matters involving automobile accidents, personal injury and commercial liability. She also served as a Judicial Law Clerk to The Honorable William J. Anklowitz in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Civil Part/Special Civil Part.
Ms. Khan received her Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law. During law school, she studied Internal and Comparative Business Law at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany and additionally received a certificate in Management and Leadership for Lawyers. She received her Masters degree in Public Health from Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health and her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science from Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Law Student Liaison
Basma Qazi is a third year law student at Rutgers Camden pursuing a dual degree with a Masters in Social Work. She currently works as a Law Clerk for Kearney & Associates, P.C. and is very active in the law school community. She has served as the Diversity & Inclusion Representative of the Student Bar Association, President of the Muslim Law Student Association and Secretary of the South Asian Law Student Association and is an active member of the Minority Student Program. Before returning to pursue dual graduate degrees, she worked in several project management and operations roles after receiving her Bachelor's in Communications and English from Rutgers New Brunswick.
Rachna B. Malkana, Esq.
Immediate Past President
Rachna B. Malkana is an attorney admitted to the State of New Jersey. Her area of practice is real estate law, both commercial and residential. Ms. Malkana obtained her B.S. degree from Rutgers University with a major in Administration of Justice and a minor in Psychology. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law. She worked with a private law firm in New York and New Jersey in areas of litigation, class action suits and mediation/arbitration. She formed her own practice in 2003 as Law Offices of Rachna B. Malkana and has been serving on the board of SABA-NJ since 2016 as Executive Liaison to Law Students, Treasurer, Vice-President. President-Elect and then President. Along with her role as Immediate Past President, Rachna was recently appointed to serve as SABA North America's Election Commissioner in the 2023 election to oversee their entire national election process.
Hozaifa Cassubhai, Esq.
Regional Representative for North Jersey
A partner at Bailey Duquette P.C., Hozaifa Cassubhai practices civil and complex commercial litigation, overseeing the firm’s New Jersey and Washington State matters. With Big law training combined with a federal district court clerkship and in-house counsel background, Hozaifa is a versatile advocate and counselor with significant experience in state and federal courts and arbitration forums covering a broad range of business-to-business, corporate governance, employment, and other commercial disputes. He has been recognized as a Rising Star (2014-2018) and Super Lawyer (2019-2022) for business litigation.
Hozaifa received his B.A. in History from Boston College and attended the Seattle University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude, served as the Note & Comment Editor on the Law Review, and, upon graduation, was named his class’s Faculty Scholar and Student Speaker. A product of Bergen County, Hozaifa spent nearly ten years in the Pacific Northwest before returning to New Jersey, which he is proud to call home.
Naju R. Lathia, Esq.
Regional Representative for North Jersey
Naju R. Lathia, partner in the New Jersey office of Day Pitney LLP, assists clients in a broad spectrum of areas, from litigating complex commercial matters in state and federal court to conducting sensitive internal and white-collar investigations. She also represents employers in a wide range of matters where she provides criminal defense advice and representation to management when they are faced with criminal issues. She also has experience litigating product liability and tort matters. Naju frequently writes articles on topics including cannabis, employment and cybersecurity issues. Naju gained invaluable trial and investigatory experience when she served as a Deputy Attorney General with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Justice, in its Financial & Computer Crimes Unit. She is the co-chair of the Law Partners section of the South Asian Bar Association of North America, and a member of both the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey and the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey. Naju was chosen as one of the “2021 New Leaders of the Bar” by the New Jersey Law Journal and was a recipient of Day Pitney’s Coleman Award for outstanding pro bono work in 2018. Naju earned her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Rutgers University. She is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York.
Reema Sethi Kareer, Esq.
Regional Representative for Central Jersey
Reema Sethi Kareer is a Supervising Assistant Prosecutor with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. She currently supervises the Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit where she prosecutes and supervises child sexual and physical abuse cases, adult sexual assault cases, human trafficking, internet crimes against children, and Megan's Law cases. Reema has also worked as an Adjunct Professor at Raritan Valley Community College teaching various courses including Torts, Criminology and Basic Litigation Procedure.
A longtime member of SABANJ, Reema served as Trustee for the central region in 2019 and 2020. As an attorney for over 22 years, she has tried over a dozen cases before a jury. She has dedicated her time to the legal community by serving as an active member of the NJ State Bar Association as well as the Somerset and Morris County Bar Associations. She has served as a Trustee with the Criminal Law Section of the NJ State Bar Association for the past 4 years and was selected to be a member of the Pandemic Task Force-Resumption of Criminal Jury Trials Committee during the height of the pandemic. She is a past Co-Chair for the Government, Public Interest and Public Sector Lawyers Special Committee and is also a member of the Criminal Practice Committee with both the Somerset and Morris County Bar Associations.
Based on her legal experience and knowledge of Criminal Law, she also currently serves on the NJ Supreme Court Committee on Criminal Model Jury Charges where she helps create and revise Model Criminal Jury Charges to be utilized for all criminal trials in NJ. A strong believer in diversity in our community, she has served on the NJ Supreme Court Committee on Diversity Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) for the past 4 years. During the pandemic, Reema was also appointed to the NJ Supreme Court Working Group on Remote Grand Jury Operations.
Mahesh Rajan, Esq.
Regional Representative for Central Jersey
Mahesh Rajan is the founder of Rajan Legal PC, with more than 20 years of legal experience serving as one of New Jersey’s established practitioners and an incredibly shrewd negotiator and litigator. Mahesh previously was the managing partner at Rajan & Rajan, LLP where he helped transform a small general practice into a premier mid-size firm which handled matters for clients across the United States and abroad. Mahesh formed Rajan Legal PC in 2021driven to advance his practice into a boutique that concentrates on his core specialties but also establishing trusted relationships with other specialists to meet their every growing client needs. Mahesh graduated from Boston University where he earned a B.A. in Business Administration with dual concentrations in Finance and Operations Management, and later received his Juris Doctorate and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Seton Hall University.
Mahesh is admitted to the New Jersey and New York State Bars and District Court of New Jersey. Mahesh concentrates his practice on complex commercial transactions including representing developers, owners and managers of large real estate holdings including hospitality, large retail establishments, and apartment complexes. His commercial team has handled over a billion dollars in real estate transactions. His experience includes representing clients in acquisition, development and management of hotels, apartments, gas stations, shopping centers, pharmacies, adult medical daycare facilities, liquor stores, daycares, and all forms of franchised businesses.
In addition to managing a thriving commercial practice, Mahesh manages the firm’s matrimonial group which includes representing individuals in complex divorce and family matters. He is an accomplished attorney who provides legal representation in all aspects of family law, including divorce, child and spousal support, child custody, interstate and foreign custody and relocation disputes, as well as domestic violence matters. His extensive corporate background and education enhances his ability to effectively represent clients with high-net-worth cases involving significant assets, as well as cases concerning owners of closely held businesses. He also serves as an Early Settlement Panelist in Mercer County providing his professional advice and guidance to resolve divorce cases.
Mahesh is the past founding Vice President of SABA-NJ, past Trustee and Regional Representative for SABA-NJ and has served on the District VIII Ethics Committee for the Office of Attorney Ethics. Mahesh received the 2021 SABA Solo/Small Firm Award.
Amit Parikh, Esq.
Regional Representative for South Jersey
Amit Parikh is a registered patent attorney currently in-house at Comcast. Amit has vast experience in software patent prosecution and has prepared numerous patent applications and successfully obtained patents for his clients in various technical areas, including video delivery, broadband, network management, home security, IOT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, advertising, blockchain, and many other areas. Amit also provides counseling in patent licensing, mergers and acquisitions, open source, and other intellectual property matters. Amit received his J.D. from Fordham Law School, and is currently admitted to practice in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Prior to becoming an attorney, Amit was an engineer at Citigroup, and received his B.S. in Computer Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.