This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/03/2019 at 02:05:20 (UTC).

SANG HYEUN LEE ET AL VS DOK KYUN KIM ET AL

Case Summary

On 01/03/2018 SANG HYEUN LEE filed a Contract - Professional Negligence lawsuit against DOK KYUN KIM. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JOHN P. DOYLE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8875

  • Filing Date:

    01/03/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Professional Negligence

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

JOHN P. DOYLE

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

CHO SEONMEE

LEE SANG HYEUN

Respondents and Defendants

DOES 1-20

LAW OFFICE OF DOK KIM

KIM DOK HYUN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

LAW OFFICE OF ARTA WILDEBOER

CHOI SUNG WOO

WILDEBOER ARTA KAMI

Defendant Attorneys

FELDMAN KENNETH CHARLES

NEFULDA LARISSA

 

Court Documents

Minute Order

5/14/2018: Minute Order

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

6/8/2018: FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

PLAINTIFFS' STATUS CONFERENCE STATEMENT

7/17/2018: PLAINTIFFS' STATUS CONFERENCE STATEMENT

Minute Order

7/26/2018: Minute Order

DEFENDANTS DOK KYUN KIM AND LAW OFFICES OF DOK KIM'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; ETC.

8/1/2018: DEFENDANTS DOK KYUN KIM AND LAW OFFICES OF DOK KIM'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; ETC.

DEFENDANTS DOK KYUN KIM AND LAW OFFICES OF DOK KIM'S NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; ETC.

8/1/2018: DEFENDANTS DOK KYUN KIM AND LAW OFFICES OF DOK KIM'S NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; ETC.

PLAINTIFFS' MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFNDANTS' DEMURRER

8/24/2018: PLAINTIFFS' MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFNDANTS' DEMURRER

PLAINTIFFS' MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE

8/24/2018: PLAINTIFFS' MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE

DEFENDANTS 00K KYUN KIM AND LAW OFFICES OF DOK KIM'S REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

8/30/2018: DEFENDANTS 00K KYUN KIM AND LAW OFFICES OF DOK KIM'S REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

DEFENDANTS DOK KYUN KIM AND LAW OFFICES OF DOK KIM'S REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

8/30/2018: DEFENDANTS DOK KYUN KIM AND LAW OFFICES OF DOK KIM'S REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Minute Order

9/10/2018: Minute Order

ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

9/24/2018: ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Minute Order

12/18/2018: Minute Order

Certificate of Mailing for

12/18/2018: Certificate of Mailing for

Minute Order

1/8/2019: Minute Order

Certificate of Mailing for

1/8/2019: Certificate of Mailing for

Minute Order

2/8/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

3/29/2019: Minute Order

27 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/01/2019
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department 58; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 06/28/2019
  • DocketRequest for Refund / Order; Filed by Dok Hyun Kim (Defendant); Law Offices of Dok Kim Erroneously Sued As Law Office of Dok Kim (Defendant)

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  • 06/25/2019
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department 58; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 06/17/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 58; Status Conference - Held

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  • 06/17/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 58; Conference (ReMediation Setting) - Held

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  • 06/17/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Conference Re: Mediation Setting; Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by Sang Hyeun Lee (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/04/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (In Support); Filed by Dok Hyun Kim (Defendant); Law Offices of Dok Kim Erroneously Sued As Law Office of Dok Kim (Defendant)

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  • 06/04/2019
  • DocketExhibit List; Filed by Dok Hyun Kim (Defendant); Law Offices of Dok Kim Erroneously Sued As Law Office of Dok Kim (Defendant)

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  • 06/04/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (In Support); Filed by Dok Hyun Kim (Defendant); Law Offices of Dok Kim Erroneously Sued As Law Office of Dok Kim (Defendant)

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53 More Docket Entries
  • 02/14/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 02/14/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 02/14/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 01/08/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/08/2018
  • DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/08/2018
  • DocketORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 01/08/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 01/03/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Sang Hyeun Lee (Plaintiff); Seonmee Cho (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/03/2018
  • DocketVERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR 1) LEGAL MALPRACTICE; ETC

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  • 01/03/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: ****8875    Hearing Date: June 23, 2020    Dept: 58

Judge John P. Doyle

Department 58


Hearing Date: June 23, 2020

Case Name: Lee, et al. v. Kim, et al.

Case No.: ****8875

Motion: Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication

Moving Party: Defendants Dok Kyun Kim and Law Offices of Dok Kim

Responding Party: Plaintiffs Sang Hyeun Lee and Seonmee Cho


Tentative Ruling: The Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication is denied.


This is an action in which Plaintiffs allege that, among other things, Defendants negligently represented Plaintiffs for various immigration matters. On June 8, 2018, Plaintiffs filed the operative First Amended Complaint for (1) malpractice, (2) intentional misrepresentation, (3) negligent misrepresentation, (4) injunctive relief, and (5) constructive fraud.

Defendants Dok Kyun Kim and Law Offices of Dok Kim move for summary judgment or, alternatively, summary adjudication of all causes of action as well as Plaintiffs’ claim for punitive damages.

Previously, the Court tentatively ruled as follows,

The thrust of the Motion is that Defendants did not cause Plaintiffs’ damages. Specifically, “after the petitioner (My Eagle Express, the prospective employer) received the Notice of Intent to Revoke letter, My Eagle Express decided it did not want to go forward with the Form I-140 petition. As a result, Mr. Kim did not respond to the USCIS' Notice of Intent to Revoke letter, and the Form I-140 petition was revoked. (UMF Nos. 17 and 18) Since the Form I-140 petition was revoked, Plaintiffs' Form I-485 applications could never be approved.” (MSJ at p. 24.)

However, Plaintiffs have shown triable issues by pointing to the fact that Defendants were involved in the submission of the subject I-140 petition: “Kim has declared that he drafted and filed the Form I-140 application. Declaration of Dok Kyun Kim, ¶3. He also declared that he assisted My Eagle Express with the application. Declaration of Dok Kyun Kim, ¶5.” (Opposition at p. 7.) Further, Plaintiffs contend the subject I-140 petition was denied due to incorrect employment information therein.

In reply, Defendants provide new evidence. First, they point to an employment verification for Plaintiffs they received from a mediator for this action to argue that all employment information provided in the I-140 and I-485 forms was correct. (Supp. Feldman Decl., Exhibit 23.) Second, they point to a court order indicating that an arrest warrant was issued and revoked as to Plaintiff Lee to indicate that his action is barred by the doctrine of unclean hands to the extent Lee responded in a prior E-2 Visa application that he had never been arrested. (Supp. Kim Decl., Exhibits 24-25; 8 U.S.C. ; 1182(a)(6)(C)(i) [“Any alien who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure (or has sought to procure or has procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States or other benefit provided under this chapter is inadmissible.”].)

Ordinarily, for the Court to consider new evidence, it must give Plaintiffs an opportunity to respond. (Wall St. Network, Ltd. v. New York Times Co. (2008) 164 Cal. App. 4th 1171, 1183.) However, such is not necessary under the circumstances. Indeed, Exhibit 23—which is Plaintiffs’ purported employment verification—is inadmissible as hearsay. Further, while Exhibit 25 shows that an arrest warrant was issued and revoked, there is technically nothing to indicate that Lee was actually arrested, which was the call of the interrogatory within the prior E-2 Visa application. The Court, thus, concludes that there are triable issues as to causes of action 1-3 and 5.

Defendants also argue the fourth cause of action for injunctive relief fails because they have no documents to return to Plaintiffs. However, a motion for summary adjudication cannot be directed at injunctive relief, which is neither a cause of action nor claim for damages. (Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c(f)(1) [“A party may move for summary adjudication as to one or more causes of action within an action, one or more affirmative defenses, one or more claims for damages, or one or more issues of duty, if the party contends that the cause of action has no merit, that there is no affirmative defense to the cause of action, that there is no merit to an affirmative defense as to any cause of action, that there is no merit to a claim for damages, as specified in Section 3294 of the Civil Code, or that one or more defendants either owed or did not owe a duty to the plaintiff or plaintiffs. A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty”].)

Defendants lastly argue that Plaintiffs are not entitled to punitive damages because there is no clear and convincing evidence of malice, oppression or fraud. However, there remains a fraud claim in this action; further, the Court cannot say at this time that the evidence of malice, fraud, or oppression (Civ. Code ; 3294), could not approach clear and convincing at trial (Basich v. Allstate Ins. Co. (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 1112, 1121.)

In sum, the Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication is denied.

Ultimately, however, the Court continued the Motion for supplemental briefing. Defendants now argue that Plaintiffs’ employment verification is not hearsay and that a FBI fingerprint report provides that Plaintiff Lee was in fact arrested in the past.

As to the issue of Plaintiffs’ employment verification, Defendants argue such is not hearsay becuase the information therein is not being used for the truth of the matter asserted. Specifically, Defendants argue, “The Verification is being introduced to directly refute Plaintiffs’ claim in their Opposition that the information in the ETA 9089 was false because, according to Plaintiffs, they did not provide any employment information to Mr. Kim.”

However, as Plaintiffs point out, the mere existence of the employment verification does not demonstrate that Defendants did not fabricate Plaintiffs’ employment information. Rather, the truth of the information in the subject verification must be used to demonstrate that the employment information furnished to USCIS was accurate. Thus, to be admissible, there must be a hearsay exception for such document. Defendants argue that the employment verification is an official record per Evid. Code ; 1280 because it was created by the National Health Insurance Service, which is a subdivision of the government of South Korea.

While the subject employment verification could very well be admissible at trial, it is currently inadmissible because proper foundation has not been provided for the information required by Evid. Code ; 1280(a)-(c). This is because such foundation is provided by a person without personal knowledge. Indeed, the employment verification is supported by Sang Kweon Lee who is employed by a bank in Korea rather than the National Health Insurance Service. In sum, the employment verification is currently hearsay and, therefore, inadmissible.

As to Plaintiff Lee’s arrest, it may be true that Lee cannot obtain damages in connection with Defendants’ alleged failure to obtain approval for Form I-485, but there still remain triable issues as to why Defendants would accept attorneys’ fees for a matter they might have known was an impossibility. Indeed, Plaintiffs provide evidence that Defendants had Lee’s E-2 Visa application as well as knowledge of Lee’s arrest in 2013 (or prior to the I-485 application). (Second Supp. Kim Decl. ¶ 2; Lee Decl. ¶ 7.)

In sum, the Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication is denied. The objections are otherwise overruled. (Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c(q).)



Case Number: ****8875    Hearing Date: February 07, 2020    Dept: 58

Judge John P. Doyle

Department 58


Hearing Date: February 7, 2020

Case Name: Lee, et al. v. Kim, et al.

Case No.: ****8875

Motion: Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication

Moving Party: Defendants Dok Kyun Kim and Law Offices of Dok Kim

Responding Party:      Plaintiffs Sang Hyeun Lee and Seonmee Cho

Tentative Ruling: The Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication is denied.

This is an action in which Plaintiffs allege that, among other things, Defendants negligently represented Plaintiffs for various immigration matters.  On June 8, 2018, Plaintiffs filed the operative First Amended Complaint for (1) malpractice, (2) intentional misrepresentation, (3) negligent misrepresentation, (4) injunctive relief, and (5) constructive fraud.

Defendants Dok Kyun Kim and Law Offices of Dok Kim move for summary judgment or, alternatively, summary adjudication of all causes of action as well as Plaintiffs’ claim for punitive damages.  The thrust of the Motion is that Defendants did not cause Plaintiffs’ damages.  Specifically, “after the petitioner (My Eagle Express, the prospective employer) received the Notice of Intent to Revoke letter, My Eagle Express decided it did not want to go forward with the Form I-140 petition. As a result, Mr. Kim did not respond to the USCIS' Notice of Intent to Revoke letter, and the Form I-140 petition was revoked. (UMF Nos. 17 and 18) Since the Form I-140 petition was revoked, Plaintiffs' Form I-485 applications could never be approved.”  (MSJ at p. 24.)

However, Plaintiffs have shown triable issues by pointing to the fact that Defendants were involved in the submission of the subject I-140 petition: “Kim has declared that he drafted and filed the Form I-140 application. Declaration of Dok Kyun Kim, ¶3. He also declared that he assisted My Eagle Express with the application. Declaration of Dok Kyun Kim, ¶5.”  (Opposition at p. 7.)  Further, Plaintiffs contend the subject I-140 petition was denied due to incorrect employment information therein.

In reply, Defendants provide new evidence.  First, they point to an employment verification for Plaintiffs they received from a mediator for this action to argue that all employment information provided in the I-140 and I-485 forms was correct.  (Supp. Feldman Decl., Exhibit 23.)  Second, they point to a court order indicating that an arrest warrant was issued and revoked as to Plaintiff Lee to indicate that his action is barred by the doctrine of unclean hands to the extent Lee responded in a prior E-2 Visa application that he had never been arrested.  (Supp. Kim Decl., Exhibits 24-25; 8 U.S.C. ; 1182(a)(6)(C)(i) [“Any alien who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure (or has sought to procure or has procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States or other benefit provided under this chapter is inadmissible.”].)

Ordinarily, for the Court to consider new evidence, it must give Plaintiffs an opportunity to respond.  (Wall St. Network, Ltd. v. New York Times Co. (2008) 164 Cal. App. 4th 1171, 1183.)  However, such is not necessary under the circumstances.  Indeed, Exhibit 23—which is Plaintiffs’ purported employment verification—is inadmissible as hearsay.  Further, while Exhibit 25 shows that an arrest warrant was issued and revoked, there is technically nothing to indicate that Lee was actually arrested, which was the call of the interrogatory within the prior E-2 Visa application.  The Court, thus, concludes that there are triable issues as to causes of action 1-3 and 5. 

Defendants also argue the fourth cause of action for injunctive relief fails because they have no documents to return to Plaintiffs.  However, a motion for summary adjudication cannot be directed at injunctive relief, which is neither a cause of action nor claim for damages.  (Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c(f)(1) [“A party may move for summary adjudication as to one or more causes of action within an action, one or more affirmative defenses, one or more claims for damages, or one or more issues of duty, if the party contends that the cause of action has no merit, that there is no affirmative defense to the cause of action, that there is no merit to an affirmative defense as to any cause of action, that there is no merit to a claim for damages, as specified in Section 3294 of the Civil Code, or that one or more defendants either owed or did not owe a duty to the plaintiff or plaintiffs. A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty”].) 

Defendants lastly argue that Plaintiffs are not entitled to punitive damages because there is no clear and convincing evidence of malice, oppression or fraud.  However, there remains a fraud claim in this action; further, the Court cannot say at this time that the evidence of malice, fraud, or oppression (Civ. Code ; 3294), could not approach clear and convincing at trial (Basich v. Allstate Ins. Co. (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 1112, 1121.)

In sum, the Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication is denied.[1]


[1] The objections are overruled.  (Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c(q).) 



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