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Case of the Day: County of Los Angeles Child Support Services v. Superior Court

The case of the day is County of Los Angeles Child Support Services Department v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. 2015). Fernanda Bischoff lived in Switzerland with her child. She brought an action in the District Court of Zurich alleging that Barry Youngblood, who resided in California, was the child’s father. Youngblood was personally served with documents in the Swiss case, but he claimed that “service was defective because the unsigned Swiss order that he received was not a summons and did not identify the court action, the location of the court, how to contact the court, or the name of the issuing judge.” In any event, he did not appear in the Swiss action, and a judgment entered declaring him to be the child’s father and ordering him to pay child support, based on the testimony of Bischoff. The Los Angeles Child Support Services Department registered the Swiss judgment under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Youngblood challenged the registration, asserting that the Swiss court lacked personal jurisdiction and that paternity had not been determined in the Swiss action.
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Case of the Day: Lombard-Knight v. Rainstorm Pictures

The case of the day is Lombard-Knight v. Rainstorm Pictures, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App. 2015). Rainstorm was a California movie production company. It entered into two investment agreements with Fortnom & Co. SA, under which Fortnom was required to provide $300 million upon Rainstorm’s delivery to it of performance bonds. It turned out, according to the court, that “Fortnom was never formed and did not exist as a separate legal entity at the time the agreements were executed.” Oops! Both contracts were signed on Fortnom’s behalf by Anthony Lombard-Knight. Both agreements had arbitration clauses, and both contained the following provisions:
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Case of the Day: Hyundai Securities v. Lee

The case of the day is Hyundai Securities Co. v. Lee (Cal. Ct. App. 2015). Lee was the CEO of Hyundai Securities from 1996 to 2000. Several Hyundai shareholders brought a shareholder derivative action against Lee in the Seoul Southern District Court, claiming that Lee was guilty of securities fraud. Lee appeared and defended. The Korean court entered judgment in favor of Hyundai for approximately $24 million plus interest at 20%. A portion of the damages were for a criminal fine Hyundai paid in Korea on account of Lee’s acts. Lee appealed to the Seoul Court of Appeals and then to the Korean Supreme Court. Both appellate courts dismissed the appeals. The dismissals were based on the merits. Hyundai then sought recognition of the judgment in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The court entered judgment in favor of Hyundai in a summary proceeding, but the Court of Appeal reversed on the grounds that Hyundai could not proceed by way of a petition but had to seek summary judgment. I covered this aspect of the case in April 2013. On remand, Hyundai moved for summary judgment. Lee argued that the court could not recognize the portion of the judgment attributable to the criminal fine, or the 20% interest rate. The court entered judgment in favor of Hyundai, and Lee appealed.
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