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.
2020 EXECUTIVE BOARD AND TRUSTEES
Bhaveen R. Jani
Bhaveen R. Jani, Esq. is an Associate in the Accident & Personal Injury Group at Stark & Stark. He focuses his practice in the areas of motor vehicle and tractor trailer personal injury, construction accidents, product defect cases, wrongful death and premises liability claims. Mr. Jani appears frequently in federal and state courts and appellate courts in New Jersey.
Prior to joining Stark & Stark, Mr. Jani practiced at a personal injury firm and a large national firm in Princeton. He also has experience representing physicians, dentists, and hospitals in medical malpractice and other general liability matters. Combined, this has enabled Mr. Jani to most effectively represent victims of personal injury. Mr. Jani is in a unique position because he is able to utilize his knowledge and experience as a defense attorney in his current role at the firm.
Before he earned his law degree from Villanova University, School of Law, Mr. Jani attended The George Washington University, School of Business down in Washington D.C. Mr. Jani has a degree in Finance and worked at a large investment firm in New York City prior to attending law school.
Mr. Jani has been a lifelong resident of New Jersey where he grew up in Edison. Additionally, Mr. Jani is a very active member of the bar and community. Mr. Jani has served as the President for this organization and has been on the Executive Board for the past 5 years in some capacity. Mr. Jani received SABA-NJ’s 2017 Professional Lawyer of the Year award granted by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law.
Contact Bhaveen at 609-945-7602 or by email at [email protected]
Immediate Past President
Rachna B. Malkana
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 served on the board of SABA-NJ in 2016 as Executive Liaison to Law Students. Rachna has also served as Treasurer of SABA-NJ in 2017 and 2018 and as Vice-President since 2019.
Akshar U. Patel
Akshar Patel is a member of the Shopping Center & Retail Development practice at the firm. He concentrates his practice in the areas of leasing and commercial litigation, focusing on commercial landlord disputes and secured transactions before state and federal courts. Mr. Patel is also an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (“ICSC”).
Prior to joining Stark & Stark, Mr. Patel was an intern at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey where he drafted trial motions, performed legal research, and contributed to trial preparation. Mr. Patel also interned in the Office of Public Engagement at the White House where he assisted in drafting and preparing research and public policy memorandums.
Mr. Patel speaks Gujarati intermediately, as well as some Arabic and Spanish. While attending Seton Hall University School of Law, he was an Associate Editor on the Seton Hall Legislative Journal during his second year. As a third year law student, Mr. Patel served as the Executive Editor of the Seton Hall Legislative Journal. While on the Editorial Board, Mr. Patel was responsible for overseeing the selection and editing of articles written by legal scholars and practitioners for publication.
Sumana L. Murthy
Social Media Chair
As an Associate General Counsel in the Public Policy, Law and Security department at Verizon Communications Inc., Rippi handles contracts for Sourcing involving human resources benefits/plans, contact centers, contingent workforce, recruiting, collection services, advertising agencies and supplier diversity. In addition to being a part of the Legal team, Rippi works with the Diversity & Inclusion Council, SPICE and APEX organizations at Verizon.
Prior to entering the prominent Technology industry, Rippi worked at several Pharmaceutical and Biomedical companies such as Schering-Plough/Merck, Zimmer/Biomet, Mylan Laboratories, and Ferring Pharmaceuticals. In these various roles, she supported commercial as well as research and 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 complex matters related to antitrust, fraud and abuse, FCPA, Medicare, Medicaid, PhRMA Code and physician agreements.
Rippi received her Honors Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and Juris Doctor from Thurgood Marshall School of Law/Oxford University.
Rippi is involved with the Corporate Counsel Women of Color organization and attends their annual conference where she speaks on current and noteworthy corporate in house issues. As well, she 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. Furthermore, Rippi is an integral member of WEN – Women in Excellence organization that is dedicated to increasing its collective power to positively impact women of excellence in the legal profession.
Additionally, within Verizon, Rippi is an active participant of the Summer Legal Intern Program from interviewing and selecting candidates to mentoring hires throughout and beyond the summer. At Verizon, she has received the prestigious Pro Bono Service Award for recognition of her meaningful legal contributions in domestic violence and corporate matters. Rippi speaks frequently on diversity and corporate matters, as well as, provides pro bono legal services to those affected by domestic violence.
Tanya Y. Shah
Nakul Y. Shah
Law Student Liaison
Sharmila D. Jaipersaud
Sharmila graduated from Rutgers Law School- Camden and is licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey. Sharmila has been in practice for almost 15 years. In addition to her role with SABA-NJ, she is a board member and co-chair of the Diversity Committee of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association and a board member of the Women in the Profession Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. She is also a member of Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP), the Health Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and the American Health Lawyers Association. In addition, Sharmila serves as a board member for the Cancer Support Community of Central New Jersey, a non-profit organization providing psychosocial support services to address the emotional and social impact of cancer.
Her areas of practice are: health care, general corporate matters, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, commercial transactions, real estate, compliance matters, vendor contracts, and business counseling on day-to-day matters.
Trustee - North Jersey
Rajiv D. Parikh
Trustee - North Jersey
Rajiv D. Parikh is a Partner at Genova Burns in Newark, NJ office. He is Chair of the Corporate Political Activity & Election Law Practice and Co-Chair of the Hotels & Restaurants Industry Group. He is a member of the Complex Commercial Litigation, Crisis Management, Intellectual Property & Information Technology and other Practice Groups as well as the Cannabis Industry Group. Mr. Parikh is a highly acclaimed litigator, strategist and counselor to his esteemed clientele. He served as Senior Counsel to Governor Phil Murphy for Transition 2018 and has worked closely with the Governor on issues of statewide importance.
Mr. Parikh has a proven track record in franchise-related matters. He is a lead Partner in the Intellectual Property and Information Technology Practice Group. He handles matters from the initial stages of disputes through trial, often involving complex technological questions. His trial experience encompasses all aspects of complex commercial disputes, intellectual property litigation, franchise disputes, cybersecurity and technology law, large-scale construction disputes and complex Constitutional and civil rights matters.
Mr. Parikh expertly defends clients on issues related to online reputation management, harassment and internet/social media defamation campaigns. In addition, he counsels candidates and potential candidates as well as campaign officials throughout the country.
In the political realm, Mr. Parikh is one of only a handful of lawyers in the nation to handle complex election-related litigation as well as advise candidates on strategic matters. His clients include the New Jersey Democratic National Committee and candidates for local, state and federal office. He has served as general counsel to the New Jersey Democratic State Committee for more than four years and is lead counsel on dozens of campaigns including those of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, N.J. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman and N.J. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, among others.
Member, Board of Directors. New Jersey Needs You General Counsel, Share & Care Foundation General Counsel, Hindu American Seva Communities Board of Directors, New Leaders Council – New Jersey Parliamentarian, New Jersey Democratic State Committe<./p>
Trustee – North Jersey
K. Raja Bhattacharya
Trustee – Central Jersey
K. Raja Bhattacharya is a partner with Bendit Weinstock in West Orange. He is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney. His practice areas are Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, and Commercial Litigation. Raja is a Past-President of SABA-NJ. He serves on the New Jersey Association of Justice (NJAJ) Executive Committee and Board of Governors and is NJAJ's Minority Caucus Representative to AAJ. He is a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court's Model Civil Jury Charge Committee and its Arbitration Committee. He's also a member of the District V-B Ethics Committee and is a Selective Service Board Member in the State of New Jersey.
Raja obtained his law degree from Seton Hall Law School. He obtained his B.A. in Economics and Government from the University of Texas at Austin. Raja has given numerous lectures on civil litigation to members of NJAJ and the New Jersey State Bar Association. He has been recognized for his achievements by Super Lawyers, the National Trial Lawyers, and other organizations. He was also a past winner of SABA-NJ's Solo/Small Law Firm Attorney of the Year award.
Reema Sethi Kareer
Trustee - Central Jersey
Trustee – Central Jersey
Trustee – South Jersey
Rajat K. Gupta
Trustee – South Jersey
Rajat K. Gupta is President and Counsel at Om Title Agency, LLC. He has over 25 years experience as a real estate Attorney and Title Insurance Agent and prior experience as a Certified Public Accountant. He is a graduate of Rutgers College and Rutgers Law School.
Mr. Gupta's specializes in larger transactions requiring experience and personalized service provided by a multi-licensed professional. He is also available as an Expert for real estate and title insurance related litigation.
Mr. Gupta's Past Service to the Bar: NJ Supreme Court Committee on Character; NJ Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics; NJ State Bar Assoc., Real Property, Trusts and Estates Section - Board of Consultors. He has served on the Boards of the Asian-Indian Chamber of Commerce, and the Asian Real Estate Assoc. of America - Central Jersey Chapter.
Trustee - South Jersey
Rishi K. Desai formed RKD Law, LLC, in 2017 to focus on closing commercial transactions for lenders, buyers, and sellers. Utilizing technology to enhance accuracy, efficiency, and responsiveness, Mr. Desai represents both lenders and business owners in a variety of commercial transactions, from conventional loans to SBA loans, as well as complex financial transactions with specialized loan facilities.
Additionally, Mr. Desai regularly counsels small- and mid-size business owners on the purchase, sale, lease, and finance of their businesses and commercial real estate. He brings an in-depth understanding of the law and business transactions to the practice, providing clients with enthusiastic support in various aspects of business, banking, and commercial law. Mr. Desai’s experience, knowledge, and understanding of both the law and the practical realities of the business world enable him to successfully close a diverse range of transactions in a thorough and efficient manner. He most enjoys working closely with clients as a partner in their business and is committed to the success of each organization he counsels.
Mr. Desai is licensed to practice in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
While in law school, Rishi realized that he wanted to work with business owners just as his grandfather did with the CPA practice he founded in 1978, which grew to over 500 South Asian clients. Rishi focused his law studies and, later, his practice, on representing the various needs of small business owners. Over time, he began to specialize in closing commercial transactions. His experience representing borrowers naturally extended to representing lenders in SBA and Conventional loan closings. In representing lenders, he brings his borrower-side experience to ensure deals close on time, and at a cost that makes both lender and borrower happy – a win-win.
Upon reflection, Rishi decided to start a firm focused exclusively on closing commercial transactions, but with a twist: embracing technology at the cutting edge to ensure effectiveness, efficiency, and the highest levels of customer service seen in the legal industry. In addition, RKD Law utilizes an alternative billing model that reflects our desire to do great work with the highest level of efficiency. Please contact us to close your deal!