Don W. Joe, J.D.

          Don W. Joe's father, David Joe, emigrated to America in 1920 at the age of 13, landing at Angel's Island after a month at sea. His surname "Chou" was anglicized into "Joe". After working in San Francisco, he followed the oil boom to Louisiana and settled in Dallas, where he and his brother opened the China Clipper Restaurant, one of the city's first Chinese restaurants. During World War II, David wore an "I am Chinese" button to prevent beatings; he never owned a Japanese car. When Chinese- Americans were allowed to become American citizens, enabling them to leave the U.S. without forfeiting their American residency, he flew back to Hong Kong to marry. Soon four children, including Don Wayne Joe, were born. (A very Texan name, indeed). After David died, a woman wrote to thank him for feeding her and her sister during the Great Depression.

          Don graduated with a B.A. in political science from Columbia University and a J.D. from Columbia University Law School. He participated in the political struggle to make Columbia College co- educational, which doubled its applications overnight. Columbia now receives more applications than Yale.

          After law school, he practiced with the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation in Washington, D.C., helping to resolve the savings and loan debacle. His most prominent case to date is FDIC v. Henderson (E.D. Tex.) in which the jury found liability and damages of $7 million, but under a Fifth Circuit precedent, found no tolling of the statute of limitations before the FDIC acquired the claims. FDIC v. Henderson, 849 F.Supp. 495 (E.D. Tex. 1994) and 61 F.3d 421 (5th Cir. 1995). The Henderson case and corrective legislation were featured in: (i) a front page story in the May 25, 1994 Washington Post; (ii) page 50 of the July 4, 1994 Business Week; and (iii) an op ed article by the FDIC chairman in the July 15, 1994 New York Times. As a result, Section 201 of the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 was enacted. In October 1998, the Office of Thrift Supervision settled with Henderson by ordering him to pay $1.25 million in restitution and prohibiting him from working in a financial institution.

          While in Washington, Don and attorney Robert Kwan helped a Chinese-American restaurant owner deal with a racist boycott led by a black minister. (Oct. 3, 1986 Washington Post). The owner outlasted the boycott and stayed in business. Don has also raised funds for: (1) Korean- American grocers in New York City subject to racist boycotts (May 23, 1990 Wall Street Journal), and (2) Korean- American victims of the Los Angeles riots. He urged Asian- Americans to deposit funds in Hanmi Bank of Los Angeles, which made loans to Korean- Americans. Thanks to their local attorneys (such as Richard Izzo), the NYC grocers remained in business and after a while sold their stores to other Korean- Americans. Some of the LA victims have recovered while the rioters' economic status does not appear to have changed much.

          Because of allegations the University of California at Berkeley imposed quotas or ceilings on the admission of Asian-Americans, Don has been collecting, since 1991, data on the admission of Asian-Americans to the nation's 25 most selective colleges. He distributed the data to Asian-American organizations and now posts the information on his web site, Asian American Politics (

          He also compiles statistics identifying law firms which have poor records of hiring Asian- American attorneys (see his web site). He has filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against law firms which have poor records of hiring Asian-American attorneys.

          Don has been a member of the Asian-American Legal Defense Fund, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the Organization of Chinese- Americans for over ten years. He is also a member of Citizens Against Government Waste and the American Corporate Counsel Association. Don has contributed to the National Right to Life Committee since 1983. He usually votes Republican.

          Don co-founded the Dallas Asian- American Bar Association ( and served as its first president. Currently, he practices in Fort Worth, Texas. His web site address is:


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