Preliminary Attachments Encourage Settlements

Preliminary Attachments Encourage Settlements Appeared in the Korea Times on August 23, 2007.by Sean Hayes Dear Attorney Sean Hayes: I shipped items to a Korean retailer and I have not been paid. After the items were shipped, the retailer has been impossible to contact. The retailer will not return my calls, letters or e-mails. How can I get them to pay for the goods? Unpaid in Hong Kong. Dear Unpaid: One of the quickest and most cost effective ways to obtain money owed is to file for a preliminary attachment. A preliminary attachment often encourages defendants to settle a case. A preliminary attachment may be filed prior to the commencement of formal court proceedings. Before filing for an attachment you must send a demand letter. A demand letter is often more effective in encouraging payment if it is sent by a law firm. A law firm will charge a modest

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Foreigner dies as doctors stage protest

Foreigner dies as doctors stage protest An immigrant worker died Wednesday because doctors from across the country staged a protest in Seoul. The 33-year-old Thai man reportedly had been waiting to receive treatment to remove a chicken bone lodged in his throat. The man had collapsed while having lunch at a factory in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, according to local police. He was rushed to a nearby medical clinic by his colleagues, but no doctors were available. The worker died while he was being moved to a larger hospital in Bundang. His wife told police that he seems to have choked on a piece of chicken bone. Police are investigating the exact cause of his death. He was the first known casualty of the nationwide strike against a revision of the medical law. An acquaintance said that delay of an ambulance car worsened the situation. “We called the emergency service team

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25 instructors booked for fake diplomas

Korea Times March 21, 2007 Police yesterday booked 25 instructors at private institutes in Seoul on charges of forging their college diplomas. The National Police Agency sought an arrest warrant for the director of an institute in Seodaemun-gu, northwestern Seoul, while the rest are being investigated without detention. The 40-year-old director, identified as Lee, is accused of paying 5 million won ($5,300) to a broker in December 2004, and receiving five copies of diplomas from Seoul National University. Police said that since 1999 Lee had fraudulently claimed that he was an SNU graduate and taught Korean and comprehensive writing. He also accepted forged diplomas from 20 teachers he hired, earning a total 620 million won. “We’ve investigated 4,500 teachers at private institutes in Seoul who claimed to have graduated from Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University, and found out that 25 of them were fakes,” a police investigator

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Right to Publicity Lawsuit

Stars break new ground in publicity rights case March 20, 2007 Joonang Ilbo Seven South Korean movie stars and their management agency, iHQ, are suing a local movie magazine, Screen, seeking a total of 350 million won ($370,880) in compensation for commercially using the stars’ pictures without their permission, according to the Seoul Central District Court. The movie stars are Jun Ji-hyun, Jung Woo-sung, Kim Sun-a, Zo In-sung, Ji Jin-hee, Cha Tae-hyun and Yang Jin-woo ― leading stars of television and movies, and among the most visible faces of hallyu, the Korean pop culture wave that is sweeping Asian countries. In their complaint, the movie stars accused the monthly magazine of selling their pictures, taken for interviews with the magazine, on a Japanese Web site where online users pay to download photographs of hallyu stars, according to the court. “The pictures were taken for interviews with the magazine and the

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Lawsuits Against State to Get Tougher

By Kim Rahn Korea Times Individuals may have a lesser chance of winning lawsuits against the state, following a government measure to improve the quality of its lawyers. The measure came amid an avalanche of suits filed by individual citizens or companies against government agencies and public organizations, according to the Ministry of Justice. The number of suits against the nation climbed from 6,815 in 2000 to 10,027 last year, while money claimed amounted to 3 trillion won. The ministry announced Monday it had abolished a provision restricting lawyers’ payments in cases involving the state earlier this month. The provision, established in 1978, limited payment to lawyers representing the state. Lawyers used to receive a 2 million won retaining fee when the amount of claimed money in the suit was less than 50 million won; 3 million won in a 50-100 million won suit; and 5 million won when the

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The William Tell of Professors Gives the Court a Johnnie Cochran Like Argument

IF THE RULING DOESN’T SUIT – SHOOT The Sungkyunkwan University professor Kim Myung-ho that William Tell-ed a Judge in mid-January has developed and interesting “if the glove doesn’t fit – acquit” legal strategy for his appeal. The professor is now claiming that he was only acting in self-defense. He claims he is the victim and the judge is the real assailant, since “Wielding the weapon of judicial rulings, the justice system is creating many judicial victims.” So in memory of Cochran “if the glove doesn’t fit acquit” argument he pulled out his own version “if ruling doesn’t suit -shoot” argument. I doubt the judge will bite Prof. William Tell’s apple. His lawyer has also made an interesting (fill-in your own word) argument. He is claiming that the crossbow used to shoot the judge was a recreational item and not a dangerous weapon, thus the injury from the shooting was only

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Supreme Court Justice Kim Yong-dam on Judges/Prosecutors and Public Trust

A Joongang Daily editorial on Feb. 27, 2007 entitled Judges, prosecutors seeking to regain public trust summarizes a speech giving by Justice Kim Yong-dam to other judges. The editorial is enlightening to the fact that the legal system is trying to make a concerted effort to change its public image. The nation’s courts have given the impression that they are lenient to the haves but cold-hearted to the have-nots, Kim Yong-dam, a Supreme Court justice, said yesterday. During a lecture to criminal court judges, Mr. Kim urged the judiciary to study past rulings in an attempt to understand the public’s distrust. He also encouraged judges to make rulings based on courtroom testimony rather than relying on the prosecution’s investigative reports, which are submitted beforehand. “Public trust in the court system can only be recovered when judges make rulings based on the testimony given at a public hearing,” Mr. Kim said.

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Legal system hinders class action suits

Korea Herald Feb. 26, 2007 Experts say the burden of proof limits room for shareholders to maneuver Class action suits have mostly been cumbersome, costly and highly risky for shareholders filing complaints in the United States, but their gains clearly deserved such a demanding process. American firms had paid a total of $26 billion to settle collective legal complaints from 1997 to 2005, and each case cost $35 million on average. The record was rewritten as Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc., which collapsed due to huge accounting frauds, were forced to pay over $13 billion to shareholders in 2005 alone. The whopping figures have raised concerns that Korean firms may soon face similar legal challenges as the government allowed shareholders to file class action suits against all companies this year. But many experts point out shareholders will find it hard to wield their new legal power because the local legal

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Four oil companies fined for price rigging

Korea Herald Feb. 23, 2007 The Fair Trade Commission yesterday slapped fines of 52.6 billion won ($54.5 million) on four major oil refineries for illegal price-fixing. The antitrust watchdog said SK Corp., Hyundai Oilbank Corp., GS Caltex Corp. and S-Oil Corp. were found to have conspired to raise prices of petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene in 2004. The FTC also decided to file a complaint against the four companies to the prosecution. “The oil cartel, between April 1 and June 10, is estimated to have caused customer damage amounting to 240 billion won, or 15 percent of the companies’ total sales,” the FTC said. The four refiners’ combined sales from April to June were 1.6 trillion won, it said. “The refiners are suspected of fixing prices for longer periods but as of yet, we only have evidence of illegal practices during those two months.” The oil companies

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