Eddie Jae K. Kim
Eddie Jae K. Kim is a partner at Carlson Lynch and manages its Los Angeles office. Eddie grew up in Southern California and received an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of California, at Berkeley, and a law degree from Cornell Law School. He has devoted his entire career to protecting the rights of individuals and small businesses.
During law school, Eddie clerked for the Orange County Public Defender and the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, where he advocated for the civil and criminal rights of indigent defendants. Upon graduation from law school, he worked and became a partner at the Southern California law firm McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP, where he played a substantial role in building a nationally-recognized consumer class action practice.
His work includes a number of significant and high profile cases, including Gutierrez v. Wells Fargo, which resulted in the $203 million trial verdict on behalf of one million California bank customers based on the unlawful assessment of overdraft fees. Gutierrez subsequently spawned a national multi-district litigation against many of the largest banks in the country that resulted in several billion dollars’ worth of settlements. Eddie then managed a series of class actions against banks and credit unions throughout the country based on another unlawful overdraft fee practice, resulting in over $28 million worth of settlements.
He also worked on class actions relating to product liability, including developing the first-filed case Espinosa v. Hyundai, which challenged the auto manufacturer’s advertisement of inflated fuel efficiency numbers and became the basis for the multidistrict litigation In re Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation and the resultant $200 million settlement. He served as co-trial counsel in a class action against the boat manufacturer Correct Craft which resulted in a verdict for the class that included reimbursement of the purchase price and an injunction requiring the recall of dangerous boat showers that put people at risk of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.
In addition to representing individual consumers, Eddie has also represented small businesses through collective action, including a series of class actions on behalf of small trucking companies in California against nine of the largest intermodal shipping companies in the world, including MOL, MSC, Evergreen, Hyundai, and Wan Hai, based on the unlawful assessment of per diem fees for the lease of cargo containers. The lawsuits resulted in restitution and cessation of the unlawful practice.
Eddie has handled successful appeals in both state court and multiple federal circuit courts that have resulted in significant rulings, including rulings banning heads-I-win-tails-you-lose indemnification provisions from home purchase contracts and finding unconscionable the intermodal shipping industry’s industry-wide arbitration provision.
He served as the co-chair of the Pro Bono Committee of the Korean American Bar Association of Southern California in 2013, which assists low-income, Korean-speaking clients at a Legal Aid Foundation clinic in Los Angeles.
When he is not practicing law, Eddie enjoys hiking in the mountains and composing music.