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Trials - Appearance

There are two types of agents for litigation purposes: (1) Legal litigation agent, who becomes the agent in litigation involuntarily; and (2) Discretionary litigation agent who becomes the agent in litigation voluntarily.

Legal litigation agent


If a party in a lawsuit is a minor, quasi-incompetent or incompetent, such an individual may not act as an effective party to litigation. A legal litigation agent may act as such individual’s agent in such circumstances. The following are the legal litigation agents:

Minor: individuals with parental authority, or if there are no individuals with parental authority guardian.
Quasi-incompetent/incompetent: guardian
In order to act as a legal litigation agent, documents proving such person’s identity, i.e., certificate of familial relationship or transcript of resident registration must be submitted.
A legal representative should submit a document certifying his/her relationship with the relevant person, including a copy of his/her resident registration.
Scope of agency

The scope of agency of the legal litigation agent is as follows:

Individuals with parental authority: may engage in all litigations conduct.
Guardians: In principal, the consent of the family council must be obtained. Although the consent of the family council is not required when engaging in passive litigation conduct as regards filing of complaint or appeal by another party, for such conducts as withdrawal of complaint (including withdrawal of appeal), settlement, waiver of claim, assumption of risk, withdrawal from lawsuit, etc., special authority from the family council shall be obtained.

Discretionary agent

Qualifications The qualifications vary depending on whether the case is one decided by settlement, a single-judge case or a small claims case. In all cases, the agent must have the capacity to carry on a lawsuit and must prove its agency through documentation. Explanation for each case is provided as follows:
Scope of agency

Scope of agency deals with to what extent the litigation agent can act on behalf of a party’s behalf.

Generally: Agent can engage in all litigation conducts
Exception: Filing counterclaim, withdrawing complaints, settlements, waiver of claim, assumption of risk, withdrawal from lawsuit, filing or withdrawing appeal and appointing sub-agent requires special consent from the party.
Cases decided by the
settlement board
These are cases whose amount in controversy exceeds 200 million won.
Only lawyers, managers, government lawsuit officers may act as litigation agents.
Cases decided by single

In cases where a single judge deliberates and decides, non-lawyers may become litigation agent with the consent from the court. The eligible parties are limited only to family members who have close relationship with the party or someone who was hired by the party and has executed day-to-day matters relating to the case. The individual subject to the court’s consent shall meet one of the following:

The party’s spouse or a relative (cousin or closer) who is deemed adequate in light of daily relationship with the party.
An individual who has executed an employment or other comparable contract with the party and processes and supports day-to-day business of such case, which is deemed adequate in light of such person’s work and the nature of the case.

. In order to obtain consent as litigation agent from the court, a power of attorney entrusting the agent with the lawsuit as well as application for consent for litigation agency must be submitted in advance. In the event of failure to obtain consent, the party may be deemed to have failed to make appearance.

Litigation agent in small
claims cases
Small claims cases are trials of first instance in which the amount in controversy does not exceed 30 million won and the objective is payment of money, other replacement goods or certain quantity of securities.
. In small claims cases, the party’s spouse, a lineal relation and siblings may become litigation agents even without the court’s consent. However, family relationship certificate or resident registration transcript that can prove the family relationship or a power of attorney that can prove the grant of authorization must be submitted.
. Aside from what is mentioned in the foregoing, if there is a special relationship such as family relationship or employment relationship, such parties may become litigation agents upon the court’s authorization.