The Los Angeles Times covered the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit’s decision in favor of the heirs of a Jewish family whose great-grandmother had been forced by the Nazis into “selling” a painting by the renowned Impressionist artist Camille Pissarro. Manatt filed an amicus brief, pro bono, for The 1939 Society (a Holocaust survivors organization), supporting the family who has been attempting to recover this artwork for many years. This Ninth Circuit decision is the third published opinion reversing the district court and remanding the case for further proceedings in this long-running saga.
The district court had granted summary judgment for the defendant museum in Madrid (created by the Spanish government), concluding that the museum had acquired good title to the painting through Spain’s law of prescriptive acquisition—similar to adverse possession, but for personal property.
Manatt’s amicus brief challenged the district court’s choice-of-law analysis and argued for a more thorough examination of the correct factors in determining whether Spanish or California law should apply.
The Manatt team, led by Stan Levy, counsel in the firm’s employment and labor practice, included associates Christie Bahna, Sarah Gettings and Connie Lam, with assistance from partner Ben Shatz, co-chair of Manatt’s appellate practice.
Read the article here.