Lim Ruger mourns the loss of our colleague, partner and friend, Sam Oh. Sam passed away on April 7, 2013 after a brief but valiant fight against an insidious cancer. Sam was just 49 years old, and is survived by his wife Helen, and their children Sarah, Lisa and Andrew. Sam left us too soon and will be sorely missed.
Sam joined Lim Ruger in 2005. He was a litigation partner, handling creditors’ rights matters in the context of bankruptcy and civil litigation. Sam was known as a fiercely dedicated advocate for his clients — one who simply did not accept legal impediments to the result he sought. He believed that there was no roadblock which could not be surmounted by creative legal thinking and hard work.
Sam’s innovative legal work is exemplified by his handling of the Trigem bankruptcy. He successfully guided the client through a Chapter 11 proceeding and followed up with the first-ever filing under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code (the U.S. version of the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency promulgated by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law).
Even as Sam was battling his illness, he wrote a published article on an unresolved issue of great public importance. Samuel Oh, Constitutional principles clash in City bankruptcy, Los Angeles Daily Journal, November 28, 2012. Sam’s article focused on whether the State of California may consent to the filing of Chapter 9 bankruptcy petitions by California municipalities but limit the power of those municipalities to use bankruptcy procedures to reject their retirement plan contracts with CalPERS.
Sam was a 1993 graduate of UCLA School of Law where he was Order of the Coif. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from U.C. Berkeley in 1986. For 15 years Sam served on the board of directors of the non-profit Neighborhood Legal Services, which provides free legal services to the needy and underprivileged in Southern California. Lim Ruger has dedicated its annual scholarship through the Korean American Bar Association in Sam’s honor, and the scholarship will henceforth be known as the Sam Oh Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded in conjunction with KABA to a promising law student who embraces the ideal of expanding diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession – goals which Sam wholeheartedly supported.