Korea’s President Lee to Pardon Cronies and “Too Big to Fail” Companies

Once upon a time, end-of-tenure presidential pardons served a useful purpose as reformers tried to correct past wrongs, such human rights violations, which were too politically problematic at those times. And in some cases involving foreigners, pardons could be used to flush jails of non-Korean miscreants to planes heading for their home countries. But over the past decade, this presidential prerogative has been misused to rescue political cronies and executives

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Alternative Legal Fee Arrangements at Korean-based Law Firms: Limited Scope Representation

Many Korean law firms have been willing to work in relationships based on a non-time charge flat-fee or contingency basis for Korean clients.  However, many of these law firms in Seoul have been unwilling to work on alternative fee arrangements with non-Korean clients, because of, among other things, the requirement to represent the client in a far different manner than that of a Korean client and, also, reduced competition in

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Prostitution at the Korean Constitutional Court

The petition of a 41-year-old alleged prostitute to forward a case on the constitutionality of punishing a prostitute for exchanging sexual favors for money has been accepted by a judge at the Seoul Northern District Court. The Korea Times has reported, in part, that: She was accused of having sex with a man in his 20s at a brothel in Seoul in July. The district court clarified that the judge’s

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Senior Prosecutor Arrested for Bribery in Korea

Kim Kwang-joon, according to local Korean vernaculars, was arrested on Monday for receiving bribes. The prosecutor is suspected of receiving close to USD 1,000,000 in bribes relating to a pyramid scheme and influence peddling for Eugene Group (Korean conglomerate). This type of case occurs throughout the world, but in Korea the punishment, rarely, fits the crime. Korea must realize that the most serious crimes to the nation are crimes concerning

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10 Top Cities in Asia for FDI in 2012- One Korean City on the List

The Financial Times, yearly,  posts on its Financial Intelligence site a ranking of the top 10 destinations in Asia for Foreign Direct Investment.  One Korean city appears on the list, three Chinese cities and four Australian cities along with the usual characters.   1.   Singapore2.   Melbourne3.   Hong Kong4.   Brisbane5.   Sydney6.   Busan7.   Auckland8.   Perth9.   Guangzhou10. Chengdu ________Sean Hayes may be contacted at: [email protected] Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice

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Finally All Criminal Cases to Be Disclosed to Public in Korea

The Korea Times has reported that all court rulings in criminal cases, starting next year, will be disclosed to the pubic in writing.  Civil cases will, all, be reported starting in 2015.  The Korea Times notes that: All courts here, including the appellate and highest courts, will be obliged to provide access for citizens to the texts of their rulings in all criminal cases via online or offline, the top

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Constitutional Court of Korea Declares Internet Real-Name Online Identification System Unconstitutional

The Korean Constitutional Court, unanimously, declared Clause 5 of Article 44 of the Act on the Promotion of Information and Communication Network Utilization and Protection implemented in 2007 unconstitutional in late August of this year.  This Korean law was passed in reaction to suicides of Korean celebrities.  These celebrities were criticized online for various improprieties and alleged improprieties.  The law required, on certain websites, the logging into the website with

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CEO/Chairman of Chaebols Serving Time in Jail in Korea?

Things may be changing in Korea.  The Chairman of Hanwha Group was sentenced by the Seoul Western District Court, today, to a KRW 4 billion fine and four years in jail for misappropriating/embezzling Hanwha Group funds.  Hanwha’s Chairman Seung-youn Kim, a few years back, was convicted of beating a young man with a pipe and threatening the life of other individuals.  The Korean Court System sentenced Kim to no time

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There Goes the Neighborhood: Samsung “Union” Allowed to Protest in Front Of Samsung Headquarters

The Korea Times has reported that the Administrative Court in Seoul has overturned the decision of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Force to disallow a rally in front of Samsung headquarters.  The rally was to honor the memory of a Samsung Electronics employee who died of leukemia.  Samsung has been accused of using chemicals in their manufacturing processes that are harmful to the health of workers.  Some have claimed that these

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Korea’s Supreme Court Ruled Drug Test Unreliable if Evidence of Guilt in a Criminal Trial in Korea is Based Solely on the Test

The Kyungyang Daily has reported on an interesting development in Korea criminal law that may lead to issues for the prosecution in obtaining convictions based, primarily, on testing hair for the presence of drugs.  Hair tests are widely used in Korea and have been considered by the Korean police and prosecution as one of the most useful tools for determining if a suspect is a drug user.  Often, no other

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Proud to Have Been a Member of Korean Court System: Korea Legal System is Changing for the Better

As many of IPG’s Blog readers know, I formerly worked for the Korean Constitutional Court for over six years.  I believe, to date, I am still the only non-Korean attorney to have been a regular employee of the Korean court system.  This opportunity led me to gain great insight into the operation of the court and build friendships with judges, prosecutors, government officials and government attorneys.  These friends are some

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IPG Quoted by Stars & Stripes on US-Korea SOFA and Crimes by GIs in Korea

Sean Hayes (NY attorneys-at-law) the Chair of the Korea Practice Team was interviewed and quoted by Stars & Stripes. “However, a New York attorney working in Seoul said the fact that Flippin was an American played a crucial role in his receiving what is an “exceptional” sentence in South Korea. “It’s kind of a political statement, and I think the judge probably was influenced (by politics),” said Sean Hayes, who represents

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Protecting the Right to Free Speech? MBC’s PD Notebook on Trial

An interesting case has worked its way through the courts on free speech in Korea.  As we all have become aware, not one human case of mad cow disease has been linked to the consumption of U.S. beef.  With the Lee Myung-Bak Administration reassurance that Mad Cow disease would not affect citizens, the Administration decided in 2008 to resume the import of U.S. beef with strict restrictions. MBC’s “PD Notebook”

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So Your Korean Company’s Employees Violated Law in Korea: What you Should Do? by Tom Coyner at Soft Landing Consulting

This is not a pleasant topic, but multinational firms and/or their employees occasionally trip over the law in Korea. Actually, this is sometimes easier to do than one might imagine. To illustrate the point, a long-term foreign resident investigated why his vehicle had been issued a parking ticket, given that others had been parking along the same curb for years. He soon discovered that most parking along curbs in Seoul

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Check Kiting Scam Hits Korea (Beware)

I was contacted by an attorney needing assistance in placing a block, via injunction, on a Korean bank account. The attorney was the victim of a check kiting scam targeting attorney trust accounts. A number of these scams have been running through Missouri.  My firm’s case involves an attorney’s trust account, in which a “client” claiming to be from Malaysia contacted the attorney and asked for assistance in having insurance

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Misunderstanding of Suspension of Sentence

There are many misconceptions concerning suspension of the execution of sentences in Korea. Today, Brendan Carr, an American attorney working for a medium-sized law firm, noted on his blog that in the first jury trial case a 4-year sentence was suspended. It is impossible to suspend a 4-year sentence. Criminal ActArticle 62 (Requisites for Suspension of Execution of Sentence) (1) In cases where a sentence of imprisonment or imprisonment without

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First Jury Trial in Korea Defendant Found Guilty

In the first jury trial in Korea the defendant was found guilty. The defendant a 27-year old man admitted to battery and robbery of a 70-year old woman in her home, but claimed that he did so because his younger sister needed money in order to pay debt collectors that were threatening the life of his sister. A month, prior to the trial, The Daegu District Court, notified 230 citizens

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New Public Defender System Successful

The Law Times, a Korean language law newspaper, reported that the new public defender system, initiated a few years back, has received positive reviews by defendants and judges. The court system recruited attorneys, throughout Korea, with at least 2 years experience in criminal matters. Many of the attorneys had numerous years of experience and have been noted for zealously advocating for defendants. A criminal judge at the Seoul Central District

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Criminal Punishment of Corporation for Acts of Employees

According to the Law Times, a Korean legal vernacular, laws which punish corporations or presidents of corporations, regardless of their “intent” or “negligence,” when a corporation’s manager commits a crime may be amended in the near future. President-Elect Lee intends to abolish most of these criminal laws and allow sanctions to be handled through administrative procedures. The Ministry of Justice and some progressive NGOs may oppose the amendments. However, some

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