Volume 2 / Chapter 66
“Lawyer. A lawyer from Daejung Law Firm has come looking for you. He said that he would like to meet with you…..”
“Daejung? What for?”
“He said he would like to tell you in person.”
“Really? Where is he?”
“I showed him to the meeting room for now.”
Daejung is among the top 10 law firms of Korea. None of the lawsuits that Baek Seung Ho was currently working on involved Daejung. This must be in relation to a new lawsuit, and the only new lawsuit was that of Yoon Kwang Hun.
‘That Producer catches on quickly.’
A representative had come to take his offer on settling the case before going to court. Baek Seung Ho went to the meeting room, eager to meet the representative.
A familiar face was drinking coffee in the meeting room.
“Huh? Who is this? Lawyer Yoo.”
“You’ve been well? How long has it been? Has it been about… a year?”
Lawyer Yoo In Tae was two years Baek Seung Ho’s junior but since he was a year older, they spoke casually. They were not close friends, but had an appropriate relationship where they saw each other’s faces occasionally. It was the most comfortable distance to maintain in a professional relationship.
“You should have called before you came. You surprised me.”
“I thought of calling to meet somewhere outside too, but it’s official work.”
“Official work? What’s going on?”
When Baek Seung Ho slyly pretended he did not know, Lawyer Yoo scrounged his face as though his head hurt.
“It’s because of the reason why you’re getting so popular these days.”
“What? Are you talking about Jun Hyuk?”
“Stop. What show are you trying to put on when you know everything. I’m here because we took on that case.”
“Really? Where is it? It must be a big press office if they can get Daejung.”
A list of the biggest press offices passed through Baek Seung Ho’s head quickly.
“I got 8 press offices together. I thought you would find it bothersome to get everyone together, so I did it beforehand. You like it?”
“8 of them? Only Daejung.”
“You know we have pretty good business, it’s just our performance that falls short. Ha ha.”
Lawyer Yoo In Tae who was laughing casually began to speak comfortably,
“Lawyer Baek, let’s do it the easy way. Tell me what your conditions are.”
“First, what’s the extent of your authority? Do you have to report everything to your client?”
“I have to report it if it crosses the Maginot Line.”
“Don’t change the direction. How far is the Maginot Line.”
“Hey, Lawyer Baek! Isn’t it too much to ask to see the cards as soon as they’re dealt? Ha ha.”
After Jun Hyuk and Yoon Kwang Hun’s press conference, the internet had been on fire. Korean press offices had declined as tabloids and their dashboards had so many malicious comments that one outlet even shut down. After a week, it was quiet as though nothing had happened. It had already become a thing of the past.
If Peace’s lawsuit started here, they would be lighting the fire again. The press offices wanted to avoid this situation. Any lawsuit was the subject of press, but press offices should not become that subject.
“Since the ball is in your court, you throw it. Then we can decide if we’re going to avoid it or hit it. We’re in defense.”
“Okay. Give me the list of the press offices you’re representing. The amount we’re demanding is different for each outlet, so we need to check first.”
Yoo In Tae took a piece of paper out and threw it on the table. Baek Seung Ho called an employee in to take the paper and whispered something in his ear.
A short while later, the employee handed Baek Seung Ho a print out and quietly walked out. Baek Seung Ho looked over the sheet and passed it to Yoo In Tae.
Yoo In Tae fixed his glasses and read the paper carefully.
“Wow… this is… harsh.”
“Hey hey! You haven’t fixed your habit of starting off by saying something is harsh?”
“This amount of money is saying we should meet in court. You don’t want to settle? From what I recall, you don’t like going to court.”
“What are you talking about? There are times when I miss the smell of the court.”
Yoo In Tae realized that there may be a trap in the amount that Baek Seung Ho proposed from his smug face.
“You’re not assured you’ll win, are you? It’ll be hard to prove that the press offices did it deliberately.”
“You’re not asking what’s important.”
“The grounds for that amount.”
Lawyer Yoo In Tae looked at the paper with the press offices and amounts and his eyes widened.
“Hey, Lawyer Baek. Are you asking them to hand this money over?”
Yoo In Tae and a lawyer on the team had stayed up all night reading all of the articles. They had separated the articles that would be judged as defamation and those that would not, to assign amounts before coming here.
However, their expectations had been completely passed. The compensation that Baek Seung Ho had proposed from each outlet was not the amount for articles, but more like their revenues.
“Only you, Lawyer Yoo. You think fast and catch on quickly, so there’s no reason for us to fight. Let’s work well together. Ha ha.”
The public opinion was that the press offices were the adversary. Jun Hyuk was gaining more popularity by the week. His popularity was at the point where the outlets that had released articles insulting Yoon Kwang Hun had no choice but to write about Jun Hyuk. If they went to court like this, there was no judge who could not keep the public opinion in mind.
Baek Seung Ho had demanded the cost of all of the advertisements that the outlets had gotten while writing articles about Yoon Kwang Hun. Since they had raised that money with false content, that money belonged to Yoon Kwang Hun. They had to give more money on top of that in the spirit of apologies.
They could not know the exact amounts of the advertisements, so they put together industry estimates. Yoo In Tae felt like he had been hit over the head.
If they wanted to show the judge how unjust this amount was, they would need to present the exact amount the press offices had made from advertisements. There was no way to show this injustice without showing what was going on behind the scenes.
“Lawyer Baek. You really think they made this much just from those articles? Do you know the unit price of advertisement clicks attached to those articles?”
“Why are you being like this? You know well yourself. I’m just demanding that much because I was told it’s the industry average. We’ll have to go through the outlets’ books if we want to be exact.”
It was as he had expected. If Baek Seung Ho wanted to do a tax audit, he was going to the heart of the press offices and their media repression. If this went to court and the account books of their profits were revealed, they might try to use that as evidence. The press offices would want to avoid this as well.
“This is too harsh. Isn’t this nothing more than Peace saying that they want to turn on the press offices?”
“That’s why you need to do well. What if we go to court and Daejung loses? Daejung will be alienated from the press offices as well. We’ll at least be making money. What about Daejung?”
If this case went to court, everyone would be at a disadvantage no matter who won. Regardless of the winner, the media outlets would need to reveal their books and the two law firms would be alienated from the press offices.
Even if they went to court, it would be a stalemate. If they ruled in favor of Peace, the press offices would retaliate. If they ruled in favor of Daejung, the public would retaliate. Judges would be hoping that this case gets settled before it reaches the court. Figuring everything out adequately and ending on friendly terms would make everyone happy.
“Lawyer Yoo. Stop thinking about it and show your cards. I showed you mine. How much do you think is possible?”
Baek Seung Ho had no intention to take this all the way to court. He just wanted to wrap it up with money like he had told Jun Hyuk he would do.
“Hold on. Let’s continue after I make a call.”
Lawyer Yoo In Tae took his phone and went outside the meeting room.
He spoke again once he came back into the meeting room more than 10 minutes later,
“To start, I reported it. Since we can’t just make a decision right away, I’ll go back to consult and come again tomorrow.”