Northern California Record

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Los Angeles attorney disbarred for allegedly unlawfully obtaining Whole Foods' food without paying for it


By Karen Kidd | Apr 23, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – Los Angeles attorney Judy Unkyung Paik has been disbarred by default following an April 10 California Supreme Court order after she was convicted of defrauding an innkeeper, according to a recent announcement issued by The State Bar of California.

The Supreme Court imposed discipline recommended by the California State Bar Court in December and also ordered Paik to pay all costs in the matter.

Paik's disbarment will be effective May 10, according to an announcement posted to the state bar's website Friday

Paik was admitted to the bar in California on June 1, 2004, according to her profile at the state bar website. Paik had no prior history of discipline and no other disciplinary matters pending, according to the seven-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued Dec. 3 by the State Bar Court.

In September 2013, Paik allegedly entered a Whole Foods Market and "began eating food from throughout various sections of the store, and walked out without paying," the decision and order said. "The manager complained that he had witnessed [Paik] do the same at least on 12 occasions within recent weeks."

In January 2014, Paik pleaded no contest in Los Angeles Superior Court to a misdemeanor charge of defrauding an innkeeper by nonpayment, which the state bar considers a crime involving moral turpitude, according to the decision and order.

"Specifically, [Paik] was charged with and convicted of unlawfully obtaining food and accommodations, without paying therefore, with intent to defraud," the decision and order said. "The imposition of sentence was suspended and [Paik] was placed on summary probation."

The case was dismissed in July 2017, according to the decision and order.

The State Bar Court's recommendation included an involuntary inactive enrollment order that rendered Paik involuntarily enrolled as an inactive member of the State Bar of California. That order was effective three calendar days after service, according to the recommendation.

Paik allegedly failed to participate in person or via counsel and state bar's decision and order for disbarment was entered by default. In such cases, in which an attorney fails to participate in a State Bar of California disciplinary proceeding despite adequate notice and opportunity, the bar invokes Rule 5.85, which provides the procedure for the state bar to recommend an attorney's disbarment.

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