California Court of Appeal Upholds Another Lee Tran Liang & Wang LLP Victory

Los Angeles, CA — November 2013

Lee Tran Liang & Wang LLP (LTLW) successfully defended an appeal involving a high-profile investor visa scheme.

LTLW represented Plaintiff/Appellee, a Chinese national who sought an EB-5 investor visa by investing $530,000 in a fund controlled by California attorney Justin Moongyu Lee, and his law firm Lee & Kent. Despite an arrangement whereby Plaintiff’s monies would be returned in full if her I-526 Petition was denied for any reason, Attorney Lee refused to refund the monies to Plaintiff/Appellee after her petition was denied and she chose not to continue with her I-526 Petition.

LTLW filed a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Lee, his law firm, and the investment fund in 2012. LTLW moved aggressively by obtaining a temporary protective order and writ of attachment against Defendants. Thereafter, Defendants settled within days and agreed to return the full amount of the investment plus attorneys’ fees in a written, executed short-form settlement term sheet. However, Defendants only ended up repaying $300,000, later claiming that the short-form settlement term sheet was just an “agreement to agree” on a later long-form settlement agreement.

LTLW moved to enforce the short-form settlement term sheet under CCP 664.6. The Superior Court ruled in favor of Plaintiff/Appellee. Defendants appealed.

The Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s entry of judgment and enforcement of the settlement term sheet, stating that under the circumstances of the case and the prior actions of the parties, there was no “uncertainty or incompleteness of the contract.” LTLW is currently investigating other potential actions involving Lee, his law firm, and related investment funds. The State Bar of California has filed disciplinary charges against Lee.

LTLW partner Enoch Liang and senior associate Cyrus Khojandpour represented the Plaintiff/Appellee.

Appellate Court Upholds Lee Tran Liang & Wang LLP’s Victory for City of Long Beach

Los Angeles, CA — November 2013

Lee Tran Liang & Wang LLP (LTLW) successfully blocked a plaintiff’s novel attempt to compel arbitration against a defendant who was not a party to the arbitration agreement.

LTLW represented the City of Long Beach in an action brought by Promise Hospital of East Los Angeles. The Hospital alleged that CIGNA and the City failed to pay for medical services that it provided to a City employee under the City’s health plan. (Promise Hospital of East Los Angeles, L.P. v. Cigna Corporation et. al., Case No. B243126). The Hospital argued that it could compel arbitration against the City, even though the City was not a party to the agreement containing the arbitration provision, which was entered into by the Hospital and CIGNA. The trial court ruled that the arbitration provision was not enforceable against the City, and the Court of Appeal affirmed. The Court’s detailed opinion adopted all of LTLW’s arguments, holding that none of the grounds to compel a non-signatory to an arbitration provision applied in this case. Namely, the Court ruled that: 1) the City was not a third-party beneficiary, 2) there were no grounds for “direct-benefits” estoppel, and 3) CIGNA was not the City’s authorized agent for purposes of agreeing to arbitration. A contrary ruling could have had far-reaching effects for companies and individuals seeking to exercise their constitutional right to a jury trial.

LTLW partners Henry Wang and Kevin Bringuel led the successful appeal on behalf of the City of Long Beach.