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.
2021 EXECUTIVE BOARD AND TRUSTEES
Bhaveen R. Jani
Bhaveen R. Jani, Esq. currently serves as President of SABA-NJ. He is a personal injury trial attorney and has numerous South Asian clients. Bhaveen has multiple winning verdicts at trial including a six figure verdict right before the pandemic shut trials down in New Jersey. Bhaveen is an attorney in the Accident & Personal Injury Group at Stark & Stark. The firm has approximately 100 lawyers and he practices throughout the state of New Jersey. He focuses his practice in the areas of automobile and tractor trailer accidents, construction accidents, product defect cases, wrongful death and premises liability claims such as slip and falls. Bhaveen appears frequently in federal and state courts and appellate courts in New Jersey.
Prior to joining Stark & Stark, Bhaveen 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 Bhaveen to most effectively represent victims of personal injury. Bhaveen 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, Bhaveen attended The George Washington University, School of Business in Washington D.C. Bhaveen has a degree in Finance and worked at a large investment firm in New York City prior to attending law school.
Bhaveen has been a lifelong resident of New Jersey where he grew up in Edison. Additionally, Bhaveen is a very active member of the bar and community. SABA NJ is very important to Bhaveen. He has served as the President for this organization in past and has been on the Executive Board for the past 7 years in some capacity. Bhaveen received SABA-NJ’s 2017 Professional Lawyer of the Year award granted by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law.
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 in 2019 and 2020
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, advertising agencies, contact centers, supplier diversity, contingent workforce, recruiting and collection services. In addition to being a part of the Legal team, Rippi works with the Diversity & Inclusion Council, PACE (Pan-Asian Corporate Excellence) and WAVE (Women’s Association of Verizon Employees) organizations at Verizon.
At Verizon, she has received the prestigious Pro Bono Service Award for recognition of her 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 R&D 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.
In July 2020, Rippi launched a weekly LinkedIn Series entitled “Attorney of the Week” to highlight the notable achievements and designations of diverse attorneys.
Currently, she is the Vice-President of the South Asian Bar Association of NJ Vice Chair of the NJ Chapter of the Punjabi Chamber of Commerce Vice Chair of the Women of Excellence Networkand a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement.
Nakul Y. Shah
Nakul Y. Shah is an associate in the Princeton, NJ office of Hill Wallack LLP, where he is a member of the Complex Litigation practice group. Mr. Shah is a commercial litigator, and his practice covers a broad range of corporate disputes. Mr. Shah earned his J.D. from Rutgers Law School. He was an intern for the Honorable Eric N. Vitaliano, United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. He graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University, where he earned his B.A. in Political Science, Planning & Public Policy. Prior to joining Hill Wallack LLP, Mr. Shah was Assistant Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department, representing the City of New York in 42 U.S.C. 1983 civil litigation. Mr. Shah is admitted to practice in New Jersey (2017), New York (2018), and the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York (2018).
Chinsu Shajan is an Associate and member of Stark & Stark’s Accident and Personal Injury Group. Ms. Shajan concentrates her practice on serious personal injuries, motor vehicle accidents, premise liability claims, negligent security claims, wrongful death, and product liability matters.
Prior to joining Stark & Stark, Ms. Shajan served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Thomas W. Summers, Jr., J.A.D., of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division. As a law clerk, she worked with civil, criminal, chancery, and family matters on appeal. She also interned for Partners for Women and Justice and the City of Elizabeth Law Department.
Ms. Shajan received her law degree from Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey. During her time at Rutgers, she served as the Editor-in-Chief for the Rutgers Law Record. She was also president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and Stop Violence Against Women.
Ms. Shajan is admitted to practice in New Jersey (2018) and New York (2020) and speaks Malayalam fluently.
Akshar U. Patel
Akshar Patel concentrates his practice in the area of commercial litigation disputes.
Akshar handles leasing and commercial litigation, focusing on commercial landlord disputes and secured transactions before state and federal courts. He frequently engages in motion practice and argues summary judgment and discovery motions before the New Jersey Superior Court.
Akshar manages all aspects of discovery, including drafting requests and responses, performing document review, conducting depositions, and preparing witnesses for depositions. He is experienced in conducting client intakes, drafting correspondence to clients and opposing counsel, and drafting and filing complaints and answers.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Akshar 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. He also interned in the Office of Public Engagement at the White House where he assisted in drafting and preparing research and public policy memorandums.
During law school, Akshar was a member of the Seton Hall Law Mock Trial Board and the Seton Hall Center for Social Justice’s Equal Justice Clinic. He was also Executive Editor of the Seton Hall Legislative Journal.
Tanya Y. Shah
Public Relations Director
Tanya Y. Shah represents clients in complex environmental, toxic tort, contract, and consumer fraud litigation matters. She has experience in all aspects of litigation including factual investigation, discovery management, motion practice, and trial. Tanya previously worked in the complex litigation practice group of a law firm, and served as an assistant corporation counsel in the Brooklyn Tort Division of the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel.
Director of Sponsorships
Jason Sumbaly is Director of Sponsorships for the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey. This is his third term as an Executive Board member, previously serving as Secretary and Law School Liaison. Jason currently clerks for the Honorable Zahid N. Quraishi, U.S.M.J. for the District of New Jersey.
Prior to his clerkship, Jason was an Associate with McCarter & English in their Insurance Recovery, Litigation & Counseling group. Jason received his B.A. in Philosophy and History from Seton Hall University, his M.A. in International Relations from Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy and International Relations, and his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.
Jason lives in Morristown, NJ with his girlfriend, Paige Oberle, who is currently a Nurse in the Pediatric ICU at St. Barnabas Medical Center. Paige is currently in her last semester of studying towards becoming a Nurse Practioner. Jason and Paige have a Cavachon puppy named Oliver.
Law Student Liaison
Kedar Venkataramani is the Law Student Liaison for SABA-NJ. He is a second-year law student at Rutgers Law School-Newark where he received the Justice Morris Pashman Scholarship. Before law school, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Genetics and Political Science from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. In law school, he also currently serves as the President of the Intellectual Property Law Society, Vice President of Community Relations of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and Associate Editor of the Rutgers Law Record. Kedar has worked in the biologics industry and domestic violence outreach before starting law school and, most recently, was a 1L Law Clerk at McCarter & English where he experienced working with various practice groups. Upon graduation from Rutgers Law School, Kedar plans to pursue a career in business litigation, with a focus on life sciences litigation.
Immediate Past President
Rahil Darbar is Counsel to Porzio's Litigation Practice Group, where he focuses on representing individuals and business entities in commercial disputes, design and construction companies in complex construction defect lawsuits, and manufacturers in products liability and personal injury litigation. An experienced litigator, Rahil routinely appears in the State and Federal Courts of New York and New Jersey and has represented sole proprietorships, mid-size businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. He prides himself on approaching each matter with a primary focus on his client's overall goals and directing the litigation to achieve those specific goals. Rahil maintains strong ties to a diverse set of local organizations including the Justice Morris Pashman Inn of Court in Bergen County, the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, and the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey.
Sharmila D. Jaipersaud is a Senior Counsel in the Legal Department of RWJBarnabas Health, Inc. She practices primarily in health care transactional matters. She has extensive experience with general corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions, business succession planning, employment matters, real estate, software licensing, EMR agreements, day-to-day operations and other transactional matters. She advises on a variety of corporate health care transactions and regulatory matters such as: business structuring, leasing, contracting, regulatory compliance, Anti-Kickback laws, Stark law, HIPAA and the corporate practice of medicine. Sharmila graduated from Rutgers Law School-Camden and is licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey. 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. She is also a member of the Health Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association and the American Health Lawyers Association. 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.
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.
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 as its Parliamentarian. He is also on the NJAJ Board of Governors and is an NJAJ PAC Trustee. Raja is a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court's Model Civil Jury Charge Committee, a Hudson County Ethics Committee Member and a Selective Service Board Member.
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.
Abdul Rehman Khan
Abdul Rehman Khan is the Pro Bono Fellow for the City of Newark with McCarter & English. In this capacity, he leverages the firm’s pro bono resources to represent low-income tenants facing eviction, and he collaborates with stakeholders to influence public opinion about the critical societal aspects of eviction.
Prior to his fellowship, he was an associate with McElroy Deutsch and a law clerk in the N.J. Appellate Division. He was recently appointed to the Supreme Court Special Civil Part Practice Committee. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the Political Science Department at St. Peter's University.
Rasmeet K. Chahil
Rasmeet Chahil is an associate in the White Collar Criminal Defense group at Lowenstein Sandler. Rasmeet represents clients in internal investigations, commercial litigation, and white collar criminal defense matters. She has successfully represented individuals and companies in government investigations, including SEC and state attorneys general investigations. Rasmeet also has significant experience litigating all phases of bankruptcy matters. That experience encompasses every stage of bankruptcy litigation from investigating potential claims and causes of action through Rule 2004 examinations to commencing adversary proceedings on behalf of liquidating trusts. Rasmeet also maintains a robust pro bono practice, representing children seeking asylum and domestic violence victims in their final restraining order proceedings through the firm’s partnerships with Kids in Need of Defense and Partners for Women and Justice.
Rasmeet graduated from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Law School. While in law school, Rasmeet served as executive editor of the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law. She was president of the Michigan Law ACLU Chapter and culture chair of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.
Chirali is an attorney at Carella Byrne and is part of the Firms class action litigation group and is involved in complex litigations in Federal court across the Nation. She devoted the early years of her career to serving the public, previously working for the County of Passaic, the City of Hoboken, and the County of Bergen. Serving as Municipal Prosecutor, Asst. County Counsel, and Asst. Corporation Counsel, Chirali was exposed to a myriad of issues like the broken criminal justice system and the mental health care system but was also provided with opportunities to find solutions to those problems. Chirali also has experience in the cannabis industry in New Jersey and frequently lectures and writes articles on this evolving practice area.
Chirali received her Bachelor’s in Business Management from Rutgers University Business School in New Jersey and her J.D. from Yeshiva University, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. She is licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey and the District Court of New Jersey. Chirali is an Executive Board Member of the New Jersey State Bar Association Cannabis Law Committee, member of the Legislative Subcommittee and is a member of the NJ CannaBusiness Association, and was the South Asian liaison for NJ CAN 2020 - the "vote yes" initiative.
Reema Sethi Kareer
Reema Sethi Kareer is an Assistant Prosecutor with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. She is currently assigned to the Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit where she prosecutes and directs the investigations of allegations of sexual assaults against adult and child victims and cases involving child physical abuse and child endangerment. She was previously assigned to the General Investigations Unit where she was a Team Leader handling a wide variety of cases including attempted murder, endangering the welfare of children, narcotics, assault, burglaries, and robberies. She has taught law enforcement officers de-escalation techniques as well as search warrant preparation, search and seizure, and building a better prosecution at the Morris County Training Academy. She has served in her capacity in both the Domestic Violence Unit and the Appellate Unit, where she argued cases before the Appellate Division and the N.J. Supreme Court. Reema was also an Assistant Prosecutor at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office where she was assigned to the Juvenile Unit and then Trial Team where she successfully brought seven cases before a jury in two years.
Reema attended New York University where she received her B.A. and then attended Seton Hall University where she received her J.D. At Seton Hall, she was awarded the Mary Franzese Humanitarian Award and the Pro Bono Service Award. She served as the Vice-President of the Asian Pacific Law Students Association (APALSA) and was Co-Founder of the Public Interest Network (PIN). Reema worked part-time while in law school for the Legal Aid Society in Morris County where she was a recipient of an IOLTA Fellowship. After graduating law school, she clerked for the Honorable Barbara Zucker-Zarett, J.S.C. in the Civil Division and she has also worked as an Adjunct Professor at Raritan Valley Community College teaching various courses including Torts, Criminology and Basic Litigation Procedure.
Reema is currently a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement and was appointed to the Supreme Court Working Group on Remote Grand Jury Operations. She is also a member of the Morris and Somerset County Bar Associations and the New Jersey State Bar Association where she is Co-Chair of the Government, Public Sector and Public Interest Lawyers Special Committee and is a Trustee with the Criminal Law Section. Reema grew up in Somerset County, NJ where she now resides with her husband and two children.
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 Committee.
Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev
Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. is a Shareholder at Capehart Scatchard and concentrates her practice on the representation of boards of education in all areas of school law including: labor and employment, special education, Section 504, student discipline, student records, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, School Ethics Act, student residency, civil rights, tenure, negotiations, Open Public Records Act, and Open Public Meetings Act. In connection with these representations, she is experienced in handling matters before State and Federal courts, including the Office of Administrative Law. Ms. Dev is an experienced special education litigator and defends school districts in due process hearings from inception through trial. In addition, she litigates matters before governmental agencies, including the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, and New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. Ms. Dev routinely conducts training and seminars, drafts policies and manuals, and provides strategic advice to school administrators regarding school law issues. Ms. Dev also leads Capehart Scatchard’s School Law Blog (www.njschoollawblog.com) which focuses on cases, court decisions, and current developments affecting education law in the State of New Jersey.
Ms. Dev founded and serves as the Chair of Capehart Scatchard’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In 2017, the New Jersey Law Journal selected Ms. Dev as a Diverse Attorney of the Year. In July 2018, Ms. Dev was appointed as Capehart Scatchard’s Hiring Shareholder.
Ms. Dev earned her B.A. degree from Boston University in 2008 and her J.D. degree from Rutgers Law School in 2011. During her time in law school, she served as the Managing Research Editor of the Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy where her article, Implications of the Parental Right to Unilaterally Revoke Consent of Services on the Rights of a Child with Learning Disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, was published in 2011. She also served as the Vice-President of the Asian Pacific-American Law Students Association. Immediately after graduating from law school, Ms. Dev served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Ronald E. Bookbinder, A.J.S.C. in Burlington County. Ms. Dev is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Supti Bhattacharya is Partner-in-Charge of the Family Law Practice Group at Hill Wallack. Ms. Bhattacharya litigates cases throughout New Jersey in the areas of family law and matrimonial law, including: Divorce, Separation, Domestic Violence, Child Custody, Parenting Time and Visitation, International Custody, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), Relocation, Grandparent Rights, Child Support, Alimony, Private Education Expense, College Tuition and College Expense, Child Emancipation, Name Changes, Equitable Distribution of Assets, Hidden Assets and Foreign Assets, High Asset and High Net-Worth Divorce, Property Settlement Agreements and Marital Settlement Agreements, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO’s), Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Mid-Marriage Agreements, and Appeals.
Ms. Bhattacharya‘s professional volunteer activities are extensive. She is Chair of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, a Trustee for the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey of which she also is a lifetime member, serves on the NJSBA’s Family Law Section’s Executive Committee, and is a member of the NJSBA Bylaws Committee. She also is a lifetime member of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association, as well a member of the Garden State Bar Association and the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey. She is a former Trustee of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and a past Chair of the NJSBA’s Minorities in the Profession Section, its Diversity Committee, and its Bylaws Committee. Ms. Bhattacharya also is Past Panel Chair for the Supreme Court’s District VII Fee Arbitration Committee, Past Chair of the Mercer County Bar Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and Past Trustee of the NJSBA’s Women in the Profession Section.
Ms. Bhattacharya handles complex cases while maintaining the personal touch she developed during her years prior to Hill Wallack when she was a solo practitioner. She has successfully guided hundreds of individuals through family disputes, including the separation and divorce process, all with strong advocacy and thoughtful counsel.
Ms. Bhattacharya has strong ties to New Jersey, and works with clients of all cultural backgrounds, with particular knowledge of divorce and family law as it applies to people of Indian and South Asian background. She is fluent in Bengali.
Ms. Bhattacharya is admitted to practice in the State of New Jersey, the United States District Court for New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. She earned her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law-Newark and her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, where she triple majored in Sociology, Urban Studies and South Asia Studies. Ms. Bhattacharya’s legal career began as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Michelle C. Hollar-Gregory (Ret.).
Prema L. Roddam
Prema is an attorney with the New York office of Chugh LLP. She focuses her practice in the areas of Corporate Law, Immigration and Commercial Litigation. She is admitted to practice in the State and Federal Courts in New York. Prema clerked for Judge Diane Clarke Street in the Delaware Superior Court and for Judge Arnold New in the Philadelphia Commerce Court. She received her JD with pro-bono distinction from Widener University Delaware Law School. Prema is a dedicated advocate, volunteering, assisting and advising several non-profit organizations. She serves on the board of Manavi (www.manavi.org), a New Jersey based South-Asian Women’s Organization with a mission to end all forms of violence against women.