Halim Dhanidina remembers Sept. 12, 2001. He was in trial in Department 119 of Los Angeles Superior Court. "Something about the way jurors were looking at my face was unmistakable," Dhanidina said. "My appearance was the elephant in the room."
When he joined the district attorney's office 12 years
ago, Dhanidina, who is of Indian ancestry, was the only South Asian out of more than 1,000 attorneys. There are 17 now, but Dhanidina is
still aware of his other-ness in court. He recalled his shock at once hearing a
judge muse openly about bombing the entire
Oakland City Attorney John Russo introduced Dhanidina. Also recognized Friday were Monty Agarwal of Arnold & Porter; Inderpreet Sawhney
of The Chugh Firm; Hozefa Botee of Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin
& Hachigian; San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra; and Jayashri Srikantiah of