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O Builders & Associates, Inc. v. Yuna Corp. of N.J.

Supreme Court of New Jersey
19 A.3d 966 (2011)


Facts

Kay Kang, a principal of Yuna Corporation of NJ (Yuna) (defendant), met with attorney Peter Lee to discuss Lee potentially representing Kang in a lawsuit against Koryeo Corporation (Koryeo case). The meeting lasted approximately three hours. Lee ultimately did not represent Kang and did not meet with Kang again. According to Lee, nothing else of substance was discussed in the meeting with Kang. Lee was able to provide detailed facts about the meeting and corroborated his account of facts with documents. Kang argued, however, that they had discussed matters concerning Kang’s business, pending legal disputes, and other confidential matters. Eighteen months after the meeting between Kang and Lee, O Builders & Associates, Inc. (OBA) (plaintiff) filed suit against Yuna, seeking payment for construction work. Lee represented OBA in the lawsuit. Yuna moved to disqualify Lee as counsel for OBA based on his meeting with Kang, claiming that Lee had received confidential information about pending business and litigation matters. The trial court denied Yuna’s motion, finding insufficient evidence that Kang had provided any confidential information to Lee at the meeting. The appellate division affirmed, noting that the lawsuit was not substantially related to the Koryeo case. Yuna appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rivera-Soto, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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