Jean Y. Rhee

Los Angeles Office



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  • University of Michigan Law School (JD, 2004, magna cum laude and Order of the coif)
  • University of Michigan (BS, 2001, James B. Angell Scholar, Rhodes Scholarship Finalist, and Philips Classical Studies Prize for Most Outstanding Graduate)

JEAN RHEE is a partner at Russ August & Kabat, where she specializes in complex business, employment, and intellectual property litigation, and employment law counseling. Ms. Rhee has represented numerous Fortune 100 and 500 clients in a variety of matters, ranging from complex civil to white collar criminal and regulatory matters. She has successfully litigated in both federal and state court, as well as in various domestic and international arbitral forums.

Prior to joining Russ August & Kabat, Ms. Rhee was an attorney at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and Bird Marella. Before entering private practice, she clerked for the Honorable Ronald M. Gould on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ms. Rhee has been recognized as a Super Lawyers’ Southern California Rising Star from 2013-2017, and both a Southern California Top 100 Rising Star and a Southern California Top 50 Women Rising Star in 2015 and 2017. She also serves on the Internet Committee for the International Trademark Association (INTA).

In her free time, Ms. Rhee stays active by rock climbing, surfing, running, and traveling. She is also focused on giving back to the local and legal community. From 2005 to 2007 she served as a director of the non-profit, Project by Project. From 2008 to 2014, she served as a director and acting General Counsel for the non-profit, Asian Professional Exchange, which was then the largest Asian American young professional organization in the US. In 2012, she co-chaired the Young Lawyers Subcommittee of the ABA White Collar Crime Committee. Currently, she serves on the Internet Committee for the International Trademark Association (INTA), and volunteers with Bet Tzedek.

Representative Matters:

  • First-chaired jury trial in California state court, and obtained unanimous verdict for client on all contract and quasi-contract claims.
  • Obtained favorable resolutions for Brotman Medical Center, Inc. in a variety of civil matters, ranging from employment discrimination lawsuits (sexual orientation, race and age), to successfully preventing shareholders from obtaining a preliminary injunction to bar a time-sensitive going-private transaction.
  • Counseled and represented numerous clients, including 99 Cents Only Stores, Battaglia Shops, Heathco, Brighton Collectibles, Centerplate, and Midnight Mission, regarding state and federal employment issues and termination decisions.
  • Counseled and represented numerous clients, including deadmau5, The Honest Company, and Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt, the world’s largest self-serve frozen yogurt brand, in trademark matters in district court and before the USPTO.
  • Defended Merrill Lynch and Fidelity against nationwide wage-and-hour class actions brought by financial advisors.
  • Second-chaired seven felony count healthcare fraud jury trial in federal court and obtained purely probationary sentence for client. Briefed appeal of judgment, including issue of first impression in the Ninth Circuit under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
  • Represented President and CEO of premium denim manufacturer in sentencing for a $15M workers’ compensation fraud case, and succeeded in obtaining sentence of only 1 month and reducing restitution amount to under $6M following a contested restitution hearing.
  • Represented individual client in abating $33M IRS jeopardy assessment.
  • Conducted internal investigation for and counseled international defense contractor regarding Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues relating to multi-million dollar defense contracts with Indonesian military.
  • Represented President of foreign subsidiary of Fortune 500 computer manufacturing company in connection with global federal government investigation into alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • Represented Global Head of Luxury & Lifestyle Brands for Hilton Hotels Corporation in civil litigation and parallel federal criminal investigation initiated by his former employer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Starwood had alleged that the client had breached his non-solicitation, confidentiality and intellectual property agreements and misappropriated trade secrets relating to the W Hotels. The civil matter was resolved via confidential settlement, and the United States Attorney’s Office ultimately declined to bring charges.
  • Represented Milberg LLP, lead plaintiffs’ counsel in a securities class action proceeding, in a sanctions hearing in federal court in San Diego where the defendant corporation alleged that Milberg knowingly received documents misappropriated by its former employee, and used them in the underlying class action. After a full-blown evidentiary hearing, the Court found that no misconduct had occurred.
  • Successfully demurred to claims against publicly-traded bank holding company, Hanmi Financial Corporation, its subsidiary bank and its directors and officers in shareholder derivative action.
  • Represented largest PVC pipe manufacturer in the world, J-M Manufacturing, Inc., in $1B+, bet-the-company qui tam case involving federal and state False Claims Act statutes through the pre-trial phase.
  • Successfully moved to compel arbitration of breach of contract claims against international pop and film star, Rain a.k.a. Jung Ji Hoon.
  • Represented CEO of major US airline in making an SEC proffer in connection with an insider trading inquiry.
  • Conducted stock options backdating investigation for the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a Fortune 500 company.
  • Second-chaired multi-week international arbitration in insurance coverage dispute for Shell Oil.