ACI LAW GROUP, PC We are a professional law corporation that is redefining the traditional law firm for the new global economy. In addition to providing the high-quality, efficient legal and business services our clients demand, we offer unique knowledge and specialized guidance designed to propel our clients to the forefront of the world’s rapidly evolving global marketplace.


As attorneys with years of experience negotiating special trade agreements, we offer valuable trade advisory services to our clients, and we help clients to minimize customs duties within the bounds of U.S. law. We regularly handle cases that involve the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), and others.



We regularly appear before state and federal courts throughout California, Florida, New York, and Washington, D.C., as well as ports of entry throughout the country. In addition, we have experience representing our clients before the U.S. Court of International Trade, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Our experience also extends to various other regulatory bodies, both domestic and international in scope.



J. J. Kim, Esq.

Attorney at Law

John A. Axtell, Esq.

Attorney at Law

Jacob B. Bach, Esq.

Attorney at Law

Matt Nakachi, Esq.

Attorney at Law

Amy Kim


Ji Min Lim

Attorney at Law

James Lee


Rachael Aguirre

Attorney at Law

Scott Kim


Stella Son


Jun Shim



J. J. Kim, Esq.

Attorney at Law

Main Practice Area

  • International Trade

  • Maritime

  • Customs

  • Food Safety



  • Michigan State University, College of Law – Food Law

  • Trinity International University, Trinity Law School – Juris Doctor

  • University of Washington, Ocean Engineering



  • Represented a foreign fish processing factory before the Food & Drug Administration. Modified Seafood HACCP plan, drafted a petition in response to FDA import alert requirements, reviewed company’ production process from harvesting to final labeling. Trained and advised client on record keeping and production process best food safety practices. 


  • Represented a large US food importer in connection with FSMA Compliance. Drafted numerous importer’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). Reviewed a foreign supplier HACCP Plan and Developed Food Safety Plan for US Food Manufacturer.

  • Provided advice and counsel to a large Korean food manufacturing company and importer as an outside general counsel. Drafted, food Safety plan, supply chain security plan. Attended FDA, US CBP audit on behalf of clients. Developed comprehensive import compliance programs under 19 & 21 CFR.


  • Represented numerous US importers in US Customs’ Section 592 penalty actions.    Represented clients before FDA and CBP on a variety of issues, including FDA warning letters, Penalty Actions, classification, origin marking, Food labeling, record keeping violations. Drafted over 500 CBP Form 28/29 responses, protests, petition for CBP’s liquidated damages claims & complaints on behalf of importers to avert civil monetary penalties and seizures.


  • Represented a US importer in connection with a 2.7 million intellectual property violation penalty action from US Customs & Border Protection (19 USC 1526(e), 1526(f).  The 2.7 million dollars penalty was mitigated in full and client saved 2.7 million dollars through our representation. 


  • Obtained more than 200 favorable protest decisions from CBP addressing the product classification, country of origin, valuation and the eligibility of products for preferential treatment under KORUS FTA, NAFTA and CAFTA. Helped clients recover and save tens of million dollars in duty and fees.


  • Represented import clients in prior disclosures of import violations related to tariff classification, valuation, Processing Fee and eligibility for preferential treatment. 

John A. Axtell, Esq.

Attorney at Law

Main Practice Area

  • Maritime Law

  • Transportation Law

  • Customs and International Trade

  • Real Estate Law

  • Business Litigation


Practice Experience

Mr. John Axtell concentrates his practice on maritime, transportation, customs and international trade matter. He has represented domestic and foreign companies and entities, in judicial, administrative and commercial settings, regarding transportation, importation and exportation of goods, before state and federal courts, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Maritime Commission, as well as the Court of International Trade and various other federal and state agencies, addressing issues such as corporate compliance programs; cargo security / C-TPAT / AEO; FDA compliance, qualification and labeling/advertising of goods; free trade agreements; international contracts for the sale of goods; Montreal Air Convention, carriage of goods by sea, transportation and logistics agreements, international cargo and warehouse insurance, multinational corporate shareholder transactions, intellectual property rights, classification of domestic employees, and state labor board and state administrative courts.



  • Coordinated out of state cargo litigation as pro hac vice counsel in various state and federal jurisdictions throughout the United States on behalf of NVOCCs and freight forwarders.

  • Frequently work with clients who are under investigation by US Customs and Border Protection and other government agencies and are facing civil fines and penalties to coordinate the cases and reach favorable outcomes.

  • Represented several logistics companies drafting transportation and logistics agreements with multinational companies throughout the United States, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Central and South America.

  • Consult with international logistics companies regarding cargo and warehouse insurance coverage.

  • Represented several importers before US Customs and Border Protection with regard to classification of goods, DR-CAFTA free trade agreement.

  • Drafted transaction documents and corporate minutes for shareholder transactions, foreign parent and domestic subsidiary, and domestic shareholder transaction for purposes of meeting federal licensing requirements.


Court Admissions

  • State of Texas

  • U.S. District Court of the Central District of California

  • U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California

  • U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit

  • U.S. Court of International Trade


Pro Hac Vice Litigation

  • prior Pro Hac Vice admission Southern District New York

  • prior Pro Hac Vice admission Southern District Florida

  • prior Pro Hac Vice admission Northern District Texas

  • prior Pro Hac Vice admission Southern District Texas

  • prior Pro Hac Vice admission Tarrant County District Court, Texas

  • prior Pro Hac Vice Admission Western District of Washington



  • Whittier College School of Law, J.D., Magna Cum Laude, 1996

  • California State University Long Beach, 1991


Matt Nakachi

Attorney at Law

Main Practice Area

  • Customs and International Trade

  • Maritime Law


Practice Experience

With 18 years of focused experience in the field of customs and trade, Mr. Nakachi advocates for clients in ports across the country in matters such as tariff classification, valuation, admissibility, origin, marking/labeling, intellectual property rights, and etc.

Mr. Nakachi represents companies undergoing government audits, federal investigations, or dealing with penalties, detentions, seizures, or other legal issues related to trade.

Examples of prior representation include:


  • Customs audits.  (including focused assessments (FAs), quick response audits (QRAs), and audit surveys.

  • Government investigations (including False Claim Act investigations, counterfeiting investigations, and pre-penalty actions).

  • Duty demands, penalty actions, detentions/seizures, liquidated damages assessments, and the like.

  • “Reasonable care” guidance on general import issues, (e.g., tariff classification and ADD/CVD scope guidance). 

  • Challenging government decisions (e.g., rate advances, binding tariff rulings, and the like). 

  • Litigation to defend against enforcement or seek changes to the federal laws concerning imports

  • Defensive strategies (e.g., prior disclosures, or binding tariff/scope rulings)

  • Antidumping and countervailing duties (ADD/CVD) strategy (e.g., scope rulings, administrative reviews, new shipper reviews).

  • Intellectual property issues (IPR).

  • Export related issues, including AES penalty defense, license applications, C.J. requests, etc.


As an administrative attorney, Mr. Nakachi’s experience extends further to include many areas of federal and state administrative law as these matters apply to imported goods.  For example, imports may be subject to laws administered by the CPSC, DOA, DOC, DOT, EPA, FCC, FTC, FDA, F&WS, ITA, ITC, NOAA, USDA, as well as other federal (and state) agencies.

As a compliance attorney, Mr. Nakachi assists clients generally in the functional application of laws and regulations within their complex supply chains.  This may be related to C-TPAT, ISA programs, or to structuring, training related to compliance.  It may also include strategic planning around efficiency and costs, such that the creation of Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ), or the implementation of a first-sale, duty-saving program.


As a practicing California attorney, Mr. Nakachi is authorized to advise clients with regard to the application of California state law, including California’s Unfair Competition matters, CARB enforcement, California Proposition 65 enforcement, or the California’s Supply Chains Transparency Act


Judicial Activities

  • U.S. Court of International Trade

  • Advisory Committee on Court Rules, 2008

  • Implementation of Electronic Case Filing and Case Management Advisory Committee, 2003 – 2004


Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Association of Exporters and Importers

  • Women in International Trade, Northern California Chapter

  • Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of Northern California

  • Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Northern California RoundTable

  • TechAmerica, Customs and Trade Committee

  • California Minority Counsel

Amy Kim


Practice Experience

Amy Kim is the trade specialist for ACI Law Group. As a trade specialist, she specializes in compliance with U.S. export control requirements. Ms. Kim also provides research in regards to various Free Trade Agreements, such as KORUS  FTA and NAFTA. She assists clients to ensure they are following proper trade laws, such as the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).



Orange County

6 Centerpointe Drive, Suite 630

La Palma, CA 90623 USA


Tel: +1 714 - 522 - 3300

available at 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PT

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