Ryul Kim, Esq. has served as a general civil practitioner, corporate general counsel, and ADR professional since 1984. In addition to handling domestic legal matters, he has handled numerous international legal matters between the United States and Korea. His assistance has helped many U.S. and Korean clients ranging from individuals, companies, and churches in legal disputes valued from a few thousand dollars to multi-millions of dollars.

For five years, Mr. Kim served as Vice President and General Counsel for a large technology company specializing in the production of high-performance computer systems and monitors. During this time, he was responsible for overseeing the company’s legal matters, especially in the areas of business and commercial contracts, employment, intellectual property, and real estate.

Mr. Kim is fluent in both English and Korean and has a thorough understanding of the interplay between U.S. and Korean law. He is considered a preeminent scholar on Korean law and is a popular choice for any cases with Korean elements, including Korean parties, legal issues, or business customs which could significantly affect the outcome of a case. He is the current chair of the U.S.-Korea Law Foundation and a former President of the Orange County Korean-American Bar Association.

View Ryul Kim’s Korean bio

Areas of Practice

  • Business & Commercial Contracts
  • Employment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate, Estates & Trusts
  • Real Estate


  • Western State University, College of Law – Juris Doctorate 1983 University of
  • California, Los Angeles – Bachelor of Arts in Economics 1980

Teaching Experience

  • Trinity Law School
  • Adjunct Professor, “ADR” and “Mediation Clinic” courses – 2013-Present
  • University of California, Irvine, School of Law
  • Founder and Executive Co-Chair, Korea Law Center – 2009-2012
  • Special Academic Faculty, “Survey of the U.S. and Korean Law and Legal System” and “Jurist-in-Residence” courses  – 2009-2012


  • Fluent in English and Korean
  • Studied Mandarin Chinese and German

Professional Associations & Memberships (Former/Present)

  • U.S. Korea Law Foundation, Chair
  • American Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • California State Bar Association, Section Executive Committee Member 2001-2002
  • California Trial Lawyers Association
  • Korean American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Intellectual Property/Entertainment Section
  • Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Orange County Amicus Publico
  • Orange County Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section, International Law Section
  • Orange County Korean-American Bar Association, President 2005-2006
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Transportation Lawyers Association


  • Alliance Defense Fund (Honor Guard) 2005
  • The Wiley Manuel Award for Pro Bono Services 1993
  • The State Bar of California – Board of Governors Award for Pro Bono Services 1989


  • U.S.-Korea Law Journal, Author and Editor-in-Chief 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Laws of Korea, Author 2013
  • “Enforcement of U.S. Arbitral Awards in Korea” – U.S.-Korea Law Journal 2012
  • “Enforcement of Foreign Judgment in Korea” – California State Bar Association 2000

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Kim is a frequent speaker in both English and Korean on a wide variety of legal topics with U.S. and Korea cross-border implications, including alternative dispute resolution and discovery issues. A few of his topics are listed below:

  • “Alternative Dispute Resolution in the United States”
  • “How Much Does Litigation Cost You?”
  • “Korean Law Practice in the United States”
  • “Legal Developments Affecting the Conduct of U.S.-Korea Business Transactions”
  • “Mediation for Intellectual Property Dispute Resolution”
  • “U.S. vs. Korean Judges”
  • “Working With Korean Clients: The Nuances to Watch”

Representative Cases

Business Disputes

  • Disputes arising from parallel distribution of products involving the Korean manufacturers and US resellers (vice versa) in high-tech industry.
  • Breach of buy-sell agreements involving Korean sellers and US buyers (vice versa) in bio-tech industry.
  • Breach of joint venture agreements involving US and Korean investors.
  • Enforcement and breach of illegal contract.
  • Breach of commission contract involving US and Korean pharmaceutical companies.
  • Korean “Karaoke” and Alcohol at Work.
  • Shareholder voting agreement between U.S. and Korean shareholders.
  • Korean corporate officer’s authority to binding contract.
  • “Golden Parachute” for Korean affiliates in U.S.
  • A Korean trade association’s legal authority to enter into a contract with a U.S. company.
  • Korean business practice regarding tenant’s security deposit and goodwill.
  • Korean business practice regarding “real name” transaction.
  • Doing business in Korea with U.S. Citizen’s Power of Attorney.
  • Commission for U.S. medical providers referral.
  • U.S. Company’s Investment in infrastructure in Korea.
  • Enforcement of Contract involving U.S. businessman’s corrupt acts in Korea.
  • U.S. Company’s acquisition of Korean company regarding Anti-trust law.
  • Enforcement of confidentiality agreement between U.S. and Korean parties.
  • U.S. company’s Korean agent’s exclusivity under the Korean anti-trust law.
  • U.S. job recruitment agency activities in Korea.
  • Korean Corporate policy regarding scope of employment for Korean intra transferees in U.S.
  • Korean Employment issues regarding "at will" for intra transferees in U.S.

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  • Disputes or claims by employees against employers in the garment industry for wages, overtime and benefits.
  • Disputes or claims by employees for personal injury, wrongful death, discrimination and sexual harassment against small to large companies.
  • Claims by employers against former employees for a breach of noncompetition agreement and confidentiality agreements, and for unfair competition and for embezzlement.

Intellectual Property

  • Disputes arising from protection and enforcement of trademark, copyright and patent.
  • Royalty and warranty disputes between the parties from Korea and US under the software and hardware-licensing agreements, and technology transfer, and franchise agreement. Korean copyholders’ right to enforce Korean music in U.S.
  • Korean copyholders’ right to enforce Korean on-line clip arts in U.S.
  • U.S. company in security industry of trademark infringement.
  • U.S. patent’s priority in Korea under PTC.
  • Assignment of Korean Patents to U.S. affiliates.
  • Korean filmmaker’s copyright enforcement in U.S.
  • U.S. Insurance Advertising Policy’s application to the products made in Korea.

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Personal Injury/Products Liability

  • Mass tort lawsuits in Korea arising from U.S. products.
  • Wrongful death claim of Korean national in U.S.
  • Wrongful death claim of U.S. citizen in Korea.

Probate, Trusts & Estate

  • Disputes arising from the inheritance issues involving the US and Korean heirs’ claims over the estates in both US and Korea. • Disposition of Korean national’s estate in U.S.
  • U.S. citizens’ inheritance rights in Korea.
  • U.S. Probate Court’s Jurisdiction regarding Disposition of U.S. Citizens’ estate in Korea.
  • U.S. estate administrator’s authority to dispose U.S. citizen’s bank accounts in Korea • Korean court jurisdiction in wrongful death cases.
  • “Real Name” registration regarding naturalized U.S. citizen’s right to inheritance and condemnation award.

    Real Estate

    • Disputes arising from a breach of escrow agreements involving commercial or residential properties.
    • Fraudulent conveyance of real properties in Korea and US between creditors and debtors.
    • Breach of homeowner’s association rules and regulations.
    • He dealt with several hundred commercial and residential leases and, furthermore, litigated and settled numerous lease disputes between lessors and lessees under the premise or equipment lease.