Thursday, January 17, 2019

Milestones: Commonwealth v. Long, 419 Mass. 798 (Mass. 1995)

Summary:

Defendant, a Cambodian American, was convicted of first degree murder, armed robbery, etc. During voir dire, one of the jurors stated he would "lean to the police officer over the civilian" and he "opposed the Khmer Rouge." The defendant's counsel challenged for cause, but the juror was seated.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court reversed the appellate court affirming the district court's decision and vacated the conviction. The court noted that the juror only said "I would really hope that I could be [fair]," which was not sufficient when there was a flag that there could potentially be racial bias.

Takeaway:

This decision seems correct, but at the same time oddly formulaic.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Case of the Day: Patrick's Rest. v. Singh, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2535 (D. Minn. Jan. 7, 2019)

Summary:

Defendant appealed the magistrate judge's ruling that allowed service by email to India after the plaintiff has been unable to serve under the Hague Convention. Defendant argued, inter alia, that because India's objection to service by mail includes service by email. 

The district court rejected the argument. While the courts are split on this issue, the court found a "strong majority of courts" have held that email is not transmission through "postal channels" as provided for in the Hague Convention.

Takeaway:

We are back for the new year! Here is a nice, straightforward service issue to kick off the new season. This appears to be a straightforward and correct decision as emails are plainly not sent through postal channels as stated in the Hague Convention.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Media Appearance: CNN's Most Popular Op-eds of 2018

What a way to end the year! My op-ed from June 2018, in which I argued for the long-shot case for friendship between United States and North Korea, was selected to be one of the most popular op-eds of 2018 for CNN Opinion. It's quite an honor to share the same space with distinguished people like Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and Parkland High School shooting survivor Cameron Kasky.

With that, goodbye to 2018 and happy new year 2019! This blog has gotten slow as my wife and I welcomed our second daughter Sehwan Louisa late this year, but we will pick up again next year in full strength!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Media Appearance: 한반도 평화, 트럼프에만 기대선 안된다 on Kyunghyang Shinmun

For the first time, I tried my hand at writing an op-ed in Korean for a major Korean newspaper. In this op-ed, I caution against South Korean diplomacy's over-reliance on Donald Trump, whose term will end one way or the other and will be succeeded by someone who is likely to be less amenable to South Korea's initiative for a peaceful relationship with North Korea.

It's been an interesting experience adapting to the conventions of Korean journalism. For Korean speakers, a sample:
트럼프에게만 의존하는 평화프로세스는 시한폭탄이다. 어떠한 형태로든 트럼프는 조만간 대통령직에서 물러날 것이며 그 후임이 민주당 출신이든 공화당 출신이든 한반도 평화프로세스에 우호적일 확률은 높지 않을 것이란 점은 충분히 예상할 수 있다. . . . 한반도 평화프로세스를 지지하는 대한민국 정부 구성원 및 언론, 시민사회는 트럼프 개인을 넘어선 미국의 정가, 외교가 전반에 평화프로세스의 타당함을 전달하는 데 모든 힘을 다해야 한다. 더불어민주당 대표를 지낸 추미애 의원을 단장으로 한 민주당 외교특사단이 지난 10월 워싱턴을 방문하여 미 국무부 및 상하원 의원들과 만나 한반도 비핵화 의지를 전달한 것은 괜찮은 시도였다. 이러한 노력이 지속적, 반복적으로 계속되어야 한다.
한반도 평화, 트럼프에만 기대선 안된다 [Kyunghyang Shinmun]

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Media Appearance: "Why a Joint Inter-Korean Railway Survey Matters" on NK News

I am all-in on the peace train! Here's the second part of the two-fer from yesterday:
Although the UNSC includes the United States, the survey obtained the exemption from the sanctions. This exemption from sanctions given by the United States, in its role as a member of the Security Council, does not appear to be accidental. In a working group meeting between U.S. and South Korea, Stephen Biegun, Special Representative for North Korea for the US Department of State, expressed “strong support” for the joint survey. Significantly, Special Representative Biegun was giving his support for the joint survey to his South Korean counterparts precisely at the same time as Secretary Pompeo was delivering his remarks on the need for the denuclearization process to keep pace with the inter-Korean progress. Rather than being displeased with South Korea’s efforts for better relations with North Korea, the United States appears to be quietly backing such efforts, at least as to certain projects.

The fact that US granted sanctions exemptions to the railway project is a big, big, big deal, and I am not sure if most North Korea observers are properly appreciating this point.

Media Appearance: "Hopeful Signs of Progress on Peace with North Korea" on CNN

Folks, I am still trying to get back in gear with updating Case of the Day involving Asian litigants. Turns out the difficulty of  having a newborn in the house rises exponentially when you have two of them! But in the meantime, please enjoy my latest with CNN:
[T]he latest one is a true blockbuster: a joint survey for the Inter-Korean Railway Project. Last week, for the first time in a decade, a South Korean train rolled into North Korea in order to conduct a study on the possibility of connecting North Korea's decrepit railways to South Korea's. If completed, the Inter-Korean Railway Project, estimated to cost approximately $35 billion, will be the largest outside investment into North Korea by a wide margin. When the joint survey was announced, Seoul's stock market soared, with some rail-related companies' shares jumping by over 20% overnight. The fact that the Inter-Korean Railway Project is moving forward is a major departure from North Korea's modus operandi. With the joint survey, North Korea would be revealing the state of its key infrastructure to South Korea -- an unprecedented level of openness.

The Inter-Korean Railway Project truly is a big honking deal. It would be a mistake to look past it just because people are only focused on North Korea's denuclearization.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Media Appearance: "Korean Bar Association Urges Clarity in Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency Regulations" on Law.com

It's been a hiatus for the blog! My wife and I welcomed our second daughter to the world recently, and the times have been crazy. I managed to squeeze in this interview as I was taking care of the newborn:
Such sparsely regulated “favorable conditions” have lead to some investment fraud, said a Washington, D.C.-based attorney.  
“South Korea’s market is so hot, a lot of fraud and Ponzi schemes are happening at a crazy level,” said Kobre & Kim of counsel Nathan Park. “The government has been looking into protecting systems for regular investors and not necessarily big companies.” 
South Korea’s won is the third-most traded national currency for bitcoins, behind Japan’s yen and the U.S. dollar, according to bitcoin-tracking website Coinhills. Park said fintech is popular in South Korea without government regulations because of the fast speed of innovation in the country, although government oversight and clear laws are needed to protect investors and regulate companies.
Korean Bar Association Urges Clarity in Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency Regulations [Law.com]

South Korea is a very important market for cryptocurrency, and the regulations there will have international implications. All eyes are on the South Korean regulators--particuarly on the Financial Services Commission--who are expected to announce a comprehensive regulatory scheme soon.