Kim OK’d to seal exhibits that back her call for payment of fees, costs


U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has allowed Jung Ja Kim to file under seal exhibits to support her motion for payment of attorney’s fees and costs against his former lawyer, Ramon K. Quichocho, his wife Frances, his law firm, and their company Karissa LLC.

In an order last week, Manglona said the exhibits contain, describe, or refer to communications, documents or information that is protected by the attorney-client or work product privilege.

The judge said she recognizes that documents supporting applications for attorney’s fees contain confidential information that should be protected from public disclosure.

“Further, the court recognizes that protection of communications and thought processes protected by the attorney-client and/or work product privileges outweighs the presumption of the public’s right to access court documents,” Manglona said.

Kim, through counsel Robert T. Torres, asked the court to allow her to file the exhibits under seal. Torres said that Kim wants the court to issue an order allowing her to file the exhibits under seal to prevent the documents from being made part of the public record. The documents contain her billing records.

Kim recently asked the court to award her at least $250,000 more on top of the jury’s verdict that awarded her $2.4 million in connection with her racketeering lawsuit and other claims against Quichochos, his law firm, his wife Frances, and Karissa LLC.

Kim, through her other counsel, Colin M. Thompson, asked the court to amend its final judgment to include an award of $225,000 instead of $75,000 for damages sustained under her RICO claims.

Kim also asked the court to award her attorney’s fees for the prosecution of her RICO claims and for an award of all costs incurred in the prosecution of all claims and the defense of the counterclaims filed by the Quichochos. Thompson estimated Kim’s attorney’s fees in excess of $100,000.

Quichocho has opposed Kim’s request.

In their opposition, Quichocho and his counsel Michael Dotts said that to award Kim treble damages on each RICO theory is tantamount to triple recovery on alternative theories.

The lawyers said the court should instead award Kim zero damages for the RICO claims because there is no basis in the record to justify the $25,000 award for each of the alternative RICO claims.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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