Standing by your side

About Us

Welcome to The Houck Firm, where we’re dedicated to standing by your side through life’s legal challenges. Founded by Ji-In Houck and Ryan Houck, our firm is built on a foundation of compassion, integrity, justice, and personalized care.

Our Story

What began as a shared passion for justice and advocacy has blossomed into a thriving partnership and family. Ji-In and Ryan’s journey from law school classmates to life partners mirrors our firm’s commitment to building lasting relationships with our clients, rooted in trust, empathy, and understanding.

Our Mission

At The Houck Firm, we believe that everyone deserves access to compassionate and effective legal representation, and that wrongdoers should be held accountable. Whether you’re facing workplace discrimination, navigating a trust and estates dispute, or seeking justice for legal malpractice, we’re here to listen, support, and fight for your rights.

Our Approach

As a family-oriented firm, we know that legal challenges can impact every aspect of your life. That’s why we take a holistic approach to each case, considering not just the legal issues at hand, but also the emotional and practical implications for you and your loved ones. We are here to provide guidance, support, and solutions tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.

What we focus on

Our Practice Areas

Legal Malpractice

When trust is broken, we're here to hold negligent attorneys accountable and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

Trusts and Estate Litigation

Dealing with matters of trusts and estates can be complex and emotionally charged. Our firm is equipped to handle disputes involving wills, trusts, probate, and estate administration, ensuring that your loved one's wishes are honored, and your interests are.

Employment Litigation

Whether you're facing discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, or wage disputes, we are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. We will make sure your voice is heard in the workplace.

How we operate

Our Values

Compassion

We approach each client with empathy and a genuine desire to make a positive difference in their lives. We understand that navigating the legal system can be daunting, especially during times of crisis. That’s why we approach each case with a commitment to understanding our clients’ unique needs and concerns.

Honesty, transparency, and integrity are at the heart of everything we do. You can trust us to always act in your best interests, with your needs and goals guiding our every decision.

As members of the community ourselves, we’re committed to giving back and making a difference, both inside and outside the courtroom.

We are dedicated to achieving excellence in every aspect of our practice, from legal advocacy to client service. We continuously strive to expand our knowledge, refine our skills, and deliver outstanding results for our clients.

get in touch

Book a FREE Consultation

Image of Ji-In

Ji-In Lee Houck

The Houck Firm Co-Founder & Partner

A button with "Hear my name" text for name playback in email signature
Pronunciation Notes:
Gee-in How-k
Gender pronouns:
she/her/hers

Biography

Meet Ji-In

Ji-In is a fierce litigator and trial attorney. She has first and second chaired jury and bench trials to verdict in state and federal court and in arbitration.
 
Prior to co-founding The Houck Firm, Ji-In served as the managing partner of Stalwart Law Group, a boutique litigation firm in Los Angeles. Prior to that, she represented some of the biggest companies in the world at Steptoe and Johnson. Her experience on the other side of the “v” has given her valuable tools to fight for her clients’ rights.
 
To help combat workplace and street harassment and biases, Ji-In also founded a social media campaign called @interruptingbias to highlight the experiences of women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and other historically and systematically marginalized communities.
 
Ji-In grew up in Detroit and attended college at the University of Michigan. After living and working in Chicago, she moved to Washington DC to attend law school at Georgetown. While at Georgetown, Ji-In represented low-income DC youth in their juvenile delinquency actions and successfully first-chaired a trial to verdict as a student attorney. After graduation, Ji-In became an advocate for employees at a boutique employment litigation firm, helping her clients obtain millions in damages from employers. 
 
Ji-In has been recognized as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” every year since 2022 and as a “Rising Star” from 2017-2021, an achievement limited to no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in Southern California. She has been a speaker for numerous organizations such as the California Employment Lawyers Association, California Lawyers Association, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Consumer Attorneys of California, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, and Beverly Hills Bar Association on a variety of employment law, mediation, trial, and DEIB topics. Ji-In is also a contributing author to The Advocate and Forum magazines.
Ji-In’s recent representative successes include the following:

Successfully represented an employee in an employment arbitration who was subjected to race harassment by his manager securing a $700,000 settlement. 

Successfully represented an employee in an employment arbitration who was denied reasonable accommodations for his disability caused by a workplace injury securing a $300,000 settlement. 

Successfully represented a client in trust litigation whose siblings took their elderly mother to change her estate plan just months before she died to unjustly benefit them to the detriment of all other beneficiaries securing a $400,000 settlement. 

Ji-In's Practice Areas

Employment Litigation

Ji-In has litigated employment claims both against and on behalf of Fortune 500 companies. In her former life as a defense attorney, she was part of a team that represented Walmart in a groundbreaking wage and hour class action, and has defended claims of discrimination on behalf of other large companies such as Am Law 100 law firms, healthcare conglomerates, and clothing retailers. On the employee-side, Ji-In has represented hundreds of individuals – from those earning minimum wage to high-income earning executives – in their disputes against public and private employers, recovering millions of dollars for her clients. Ji-In’s experience representing both employees and employers has given her a unique perspective and insight into all aspects of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases. Currently, Ji-In is proud to use her employment litigation experience to fight exclusively for workers’ rights, representing employees in their disputes against employers. She is passionate about achieving true diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace and in our lives, and takes pride in holding companies accountable for violating the rights of their employees. 

Financial Elder Abuse

Ji-In is passionate about fighting for the rights of our most vulnerable, which includes our elders. Too many times we see elders taken advantage of at the end of their lives with people preying on them for money by changing their will or trust. Ji-In's successes include obtaining a settlement for a client that was 100 times more than the inheritance in the contested trust document. 

Professional Liability

Ji-In has represented lawyers and clients in a variety of legal malpractice claims including those involving legal advice and representation on employment litigation, tax, licensing deals, trusts and estates, and partnership dissolution. Ji-In's successes include obtaining seven-figure restitution from attorneys who breached their duty of care to their clients. 

More About Ji-In

Yonsei University – Study Abroad 

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, B.S.

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.

Southern California Super Lawyer 2023-2024

Southern California Rising Star 2017-2021

CAALA Presidential Award 2023

CAALA DEI Committee Vice-Chair 2020-2023

CAOC Women’s Caucus Legislative Chair 2024

CAOC Women’s Caucus Education Chair 2023

CAOC Women’s Caucus Secretary 2022

WLALA Foundation Board Member, Co-Chair Power Lunch Committee 2022-2024

Graduate of CELA Trial College

LACBA TAP Attorney (Volunteer Prosecutor with the LA City Attorney’s Office)

Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles

Consumer Attorneys of California

Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles

California Employment Lawyers Association

American Association for Justice 

Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Los Angeles

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Association, Lifetime Member

Black Women Lawyers 

Fund Her, Advisory Board Member

Korean Community Lawyers Association

September 2023, CAOC Forum, Volunteer Spotlight: Kelly Hanker

May 2023, CAOC Forum, Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Scott

September 2022, CAOC Forum, Volunteer Spotlight: Jason Argos

May 2022, CAOC Forum, Volunteer Spotlight: Curtis Legal Group

March 2022, CAOC Forum, Volunteer Spotlight: Loren Schwartz

January 2022, CAOC Forum, Volunteer Spotlight: Mari Bandoma Callado

November 2021, CAOC Forum, Volunteer Spotlight: Denisse Gastélum

September 2021, CAOC Forum, Volunteer Spotlight: David Angeloff

July 2021, CAOC Forum, Volunteer Spotlight: Laura Sedrish

March 2021, CAALA Advocate, Is Your Referral-Fee Agreement Ethical and Enforceable? 

Jan 2024, California Lawyers Association (CLA) Labor & Employment New Employment Practitioner’s Conference, Leave of Absence and Accommodations Compliance, Speaker

Sept 2023, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) Las Vegas Annual Convention, Elimination of Implicit Bias in Case Selection, Speaker

August 2023, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), Microaggressions, Panelist

June 2023, Korean Community Lawyers Association (KCLA), Implicit Bias in Jury Trials, Moderator

May 2023, Granada Hills Charter High School, Women in Business, Girl Up, Girls in STEM, Robo Girls, Girls Who Code, Women’s Empowerment Conference, Panelist

May 2023, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), Live Roundtable: Pre-Filing Requirements in Employment, Personal Injury, and Sexual Abuse Cases, Panelist

March 2023, Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) & San Gabriel Bar Valley Bar Association (SGVBA), Flying Solo, Panelist

March 2023, Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) Sonoma Travel Seminar, Effective Tips for Employment Mediations, Speaker

Jan 2023, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), What You Need to Know About Trust Accounting to be Prepared for a State Bar Audit, Moderator

Jan 2023, California Lawyers Association (CLA) Labor & Employment New Employment Practitioner’s Conference, Leave of Absence and Compliance, Moderator

Oct 2022, Gemini Legal, Employment Law Crossover Cases, Panelist

Oct 2022, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) San Diego Annual Convention, How to Avoid Losing your Appeal Before it Starts, Moderator

Sept 2022, Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA), Emotional Distress Damages at Trial – Demystified, Panelist

Sept 2022, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) Las Vegas Annual Convention, Representing LGBTQ+ Clients, Speaker

Sept 2022, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) Las Vegas Annual Convention, Specialty Credits and Basic Trial Skills, Moderator

August 2022, Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) New Lawyers Division, Insight About Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Panelist

June 2022, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) New Lawyers, Writing Effective Demand Letters in Employment Cases, Speaker

March 2022, Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) Sonoma, Expanded Leave Laws for Employees and Their Families, Speaker

October 2021, California Lawyers Association (CLA), From Start to Finish with Clients: From Intake Through Termination of Attorney Client Relationship, Moderator

January 2021, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), What You Should Know About Prop 22, Speaker

October 2018, Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL) 45th Annual Seminar, Mediation Best Practices, Panelist 

Testimonials

Image of Ryan

Ryan Houck

The Houck Firm Co-Founder & Partner

Gender pronouns:

(he/him/his)

Biography

Meet Ryan

Ryan is a trial lawyer practicing in the areas of trusts and estate litigation, including elder abuse.  His cases include will and trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty claims against trustees and other fiduciaries, and elder abuse claims. He represents both fiduciaries and beneficiaries, ranging from professionals to charities and individuals, in such matters through trial and appeal. Ryan represents clients both on an hourly and contingency fee basis.
 
Prior to founding The Houck Firm, Ryan was a partner at probate litigation boutique Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise LLP.  Prior to that, Ryan was a patent litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. 
 
Ryan combines zealous advocacy with pragmatism, enabling him to achieve favorable and efficient results for his clients through skillful negotiation, strategic counsel and accomplished trial work.  He offers comprehensive, results-oriented advice at all stages of representation.  Ryan is also sensitive to the personal dynamics and non-monetary components of trust, estate and conservatorship litigation, and he thoughtfully tailors his representation to reflect those case-specific situations and his clients’ goals. 

Having obtained favorable results for individual trustees, individual beneficiaries, corporate trustees and entities, nonprofit organizations and others, both through mediation and trial judgments, Ryan’s recent representative successes include the following:

Successfully represented a client in trust litigation whose siblings took their elderly mother to change her estate plan just months before she died to unjustly benefit them to the detriment of all other beneficiaries securing a $400,000 settlement.

Defeated a conservatorship petition brought by his client’s siblings against their mother and her $100+ million estate in a complex, multi-week trial to judgment, resulting in his client’s mother’s strong religious convictions regarding her end-of-life care being honored.

Successfully defended an executor at trial against a third-party claim to estate assets in a case of first impression involving conflicting revisions of the California Probate Code and the Uniform Statutory Form Power of Attorney.

Successfully represented a beneficiary at trial in a trust accounting dispute, including obtaining a rare judgment of bad faith resulting in recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs for his client.

Successfully represented a Fortune 500 bank in its capacity as trustee in a complex array of accounting and related disputes, resulting in no liability for his client and a recovery of trustee’s fees and attorneys’ fees.

Successfully defended a non-profit university’s multimillion-dollar gift in a trust contest, including utilizing a novel application of statutory bar against trust contests, and obtaining the swift suspension and removal of an adverse and self-interested trustee. Ryan ultimately secured more than $2.4 million, including the payment of his client's attorney's fees and costs.

Represented multiple siblings as co-trustees against their sibling co-trustee’s attempts to improperly prevent the sale of a closely-held family business for her personal benefit at the expense of the trust, resulting in the successful sale of that business and resignation of the rogue co-trustee.

Represented a modest-income individual beneficiary in trust contest, resulting in a highly-favorable pre-litigation settlement with minimal cost to the client.

Ryan has been recognized as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” every year since 2023, and a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine from 2016 through 2022, which is an achievement limited to no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in California..  He has been a speaker to the California State Bar Trust and Estate Section on a variety of trust and estate litigation issues, including appellate intricacies unique to probate litigation.  Ryan is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Trust and Estate Executive Committee.  Ryan is also a registered patent attorney. 

More About Ryan

Education

Georgetown University, B.S.

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.

Los Angeles County Bar Association Trusts

Estates Section Executive Committee Member

March 2017, The State Bar of California Trusts & Estates Section and California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA), An Introduction to Practicing Trusts and Estates Law: Will Contests, Trusts Petitions, and 850 Petitions, Speaker

April 2016, The State Bar of California’s Trusts & Estates Spring Education Conference, Appellate Issues in Trusts and Estates Matters, Speaker

Skip to content