Lawyer: Clients who filed racketeering lawsuit have failed to pay his law firm

Mark Scoggins wants to withdraw as lawyer for a businessman and his former company after they allegedly failed to pay his law office for the racketeering lawsuit his law firm filed on their behalf.

Scoggins said his clients—Il Hwan Kim and KSA Corp.—have not responded despite his efforts to get in touch with them daily for several months.

Scoggins said some of these communications have been in the Korean language and that they have no doubt that the communication was sent to a source to which Kim and KSA have access.

He said Kim and KSA did have one phone conversation with him, in which promises of payment and also further communication on a specific time frame were agreed.

Scoggins said Kim and KSA did not follow through despite his clear instruction, through an interpreter.

“Because of these failures, the lawyers of this office have been unable to obtain necessary information to properly represent KSA and Mr. Kim in this matter,” he said.

This, Scoggins said, coupled with the fact that racketeering cases are difficult and intensive to begin with, renders the representation “unreasonably difficult.”

The lawyer said that Kim and KSA have not paid his office for some months now, despite repeated attempts to communicate with them.

“KSA and Mr. Kim have made promises, but have not kept their promises,” he added.

Scoggins cited the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility for his bid to withdraw from the case.

Last March, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed Kim’s and KSA’s claims against Joann P. Hensley, the remaining defendants in the lawsuit.

Manglona dismissed with prejudice the claims against Hensley at the request of Kim and KSA.

Dismiss with prejudice means Kim and KSA can no longer re-file the claims against Hensley.

The other defendants in the case were Hun Jin An and Jeong Eun Tack. Both have been dismissed from the case on technical grounds.

Kim and KSA alleged in their lawsuit that the defendants conspired to steal millions of dollars from him for his hotel and casino project on Saipan.

Aside from those three defendants, Kim and KSA Corp. also sued former House speaker Oscar M. Babauta, Department of Public Lands employee Ramon S. Salas, and 10 unnamed co-defendants pursuant to Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act and other causes of action.

In 2017, the court dismissed with prejudice the claims against Babauta.

In January 2018, Manglona also dismissed the claims against Salas.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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