Case of the Day: Larson v. Yoon

The case of the day is Larson v. Yoon (Wash. Ct. App. 2015). Keith and Cynthia Larson sued Kyungsik Yoon after an auto collision in King County, Washington. The Larsons lived there; Yoon was a resident of South Korea. The Larsons sued and sought to serve Yoon with process by service on the Washington secretary of state, as provided by Washington statutes. The secretary of state then mailed the documents to Yoon, again as provided by statute. Yoon sought summary judgment on the grounds that he had not been properly been served. The court denied the motion, and Yoon took an interlocutory appeal.

The court held, correctly, that the statute is inconsistent with the the Hague Service Convention for service in Korea, because Korea has objected to service by postal channels. Thus, as the court noted, the Supremacy Clause preempted the Washington statute.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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