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Jinro America, Inc. v. Secure Investments, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
266 F.3d 993 (2001)



JR International Corp. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Jinro America, Inc. (Jinro) (plaintiffs), sued Secured Investments, Inc. and various other entities and individuals (defendants) for breach of contract, fraud, and racketeering arising from the failure of a business deal in the international trade for frozen chickens. The defendants claimed that the deal was a sham. At trial, over Jinro’s objections, the defendants introduced a purported expert witness, David Herbert Pelham, on Korean business practices, and particularly Koreans’ tendency to engage in fraudulent activity. Pelham was a private investigator living in Korea who had provided commercial security for various non-Korean companies doing business in Korea. Pelham had not investigated Jinro or had any direct contact with Jinro. Pelham testified how Korean businessmen behaved in general and that oral contracts with Koreans would go badly for the parties to the contract. Pelham based his conclusions on newspaper articles and unspecified information from his office staff. After the jury found for the defendants with respect to the characterization of the deal, the district court sua sponte entered judgment against Jinro. Jinro appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Fisher, J.)

Concurrence (Wallace, J.)

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