Korean Defamation Law

As an attorney educated in the United States, one of the greatest differences I’ve noticed between the Korean and American legal systems is in the area of defamation.Back in the US, the extent to which speech can be curbed by the law is tempered by First Amendment protections. US law protects truthful statements and even false statements, when in the form of parody, hyperbole, or not with malice etc. In the case of potentially defamatory speech, the burden falls on

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Adultery in Korea: Suspended Sentences Under Korean Law

News of the Korean authorities having blocked adultering spouse hook-up site “Ashley Madison” has been getting a lot of attention this month.  Citing moral issues, the Korean government blocked internet users from accessing the site from Korea.  Those that are more tech savvy can, obviously, get around this block. The Republic of Korea is one of the few countries in the industrialized world where adultery is a criminal offense and still punished.  It is, however, rare for someone to be

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Required Traits of a Great Criminal Lawyer in Korea: Hiring a Defense Lawyer in South Korea

There are few great criminal lawyers working in Korea, because of the nature of the Korean criminal justice system and other realities. In Korea, in all cases, where you are accused of a crime and you fear that you may be sentenced to time in a Korean jail, may be deported from Korea or the Korean conviction may harm your future – hire, quickly, an experienced and proactive attorney in Korea with experience in Korean criminal law prior to any

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Public Defenders in Korea: 77.6% of Defendants Satisfied with Public Defenders

The Korean Prosecution Service, recently, conducted a survey of defendants and found that 77.6% of defendants were “satisfied” with their public defender. The survey, only, polled 134 suspects and, only, for a five-week period.  It would be interesting to see how many of the suspects plead innocent.  I would assume most of these defendants plead guilty, thus, the role of the public defender was not as significant of a role as a case when a defendant is pleading guilty.  A

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Executive Compensation Necessary to be Publicly Disclosed in Korea: Korean Commercial Law

Until a recent amendment to the Korean Commercial Code, the compensation of executives in listed companies was not required to be disclosed to shareholders.   Most developed economies require this disclosure. The prior law, only, required the total compensation for all directors to be disclosed to shareholders. The new rule, which comes into effect on November 29, 2013, requires that all registered directors of companies annual compensation be disclosed if the amount of the individual’s annual compensation exceeds KRW 500

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Ten Steps to Protecting your Brands, Trademarks, and other IP in the Korean Market

I just participated as a panelist for the United States Commercial Service Trade Winds-Asia Seminar for U.S. companies considering investing and/or exporting to Korea, China, the Philippines, Japan, and Taiwan. The Seminar brought together over 150 U.S. investors and exporters of products and services. The U.S. Commercial Service did a wonderful job bringing together some of the leading experts on doing business in Korea. I was impressed. At the event, the most frequent question I was asked was related to

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Criminal Convictions Finally Leading to Prison Sentences for Chaebol Leaders

Chey Jae-Won, younger brother of Chey Tae-Won (the former chairman of SK Group that was convicted of embezzling USD 43 million and sentenced to four years in prison earlier this year) just had his acquittal overturned last week by the Seoul High Court.  Jae-Won had, until now, managed to avoid experiencing the same fate as his older brother by convincing the Court that he had little to do with his brother’s fraudulent conversion of SK Group’s assets.  Now, Jae-Won is

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Ministry of National Defense Abolishes Entertainment Soldiers

The majority of Korean men have to serve two years in the Korean military.  Refusal to serve or attempting to avoid service, typically, leads to a jail sentence.   The situation, in the past, was a little less burdensome for the rich, connected and for entertainers (singers, actors etc.).  The situation is changing.  Many of rich and connected that have attempted to avoid military service have been prosecuted and now entertainers will, also, have to serve in a fashion typical to

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Korean Unions Turning Violent Again: Solution is Jail

Labor competition from Korea’s Asian neighbors is leading to Korea becoming a less than favorable place for international and Korean manufacturers.  The Korean unions make the situation more dire. China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian countries are, in many cases, able to produce products that are of an equal quality to Korean products when the operations are managed by skilled management.  Korea, however, in many cases has a technological advantage that allows it to still dominate in certain industries,

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Korea Legal News for the Week of June 16, 2013

This Week’s Korean Legal News Reported by Media North Korea says surveillance leaks prove U.S. is “kingpin” of rights abuse Mark Zuckerberg Went To Korea To Ask Samsung To Make A Facebook Phone And Samsung Said No Korea completes price talks in Thai Flood Prevention Project After FTA, EU exports fall S.Korean shipper STX Pan Ocean seeks protection from US creditors Korea toughens sex crimes law Korea should address its weakness to tackle liquidity risk: BOK head Park unveils ‘Government

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