Judge Preska was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on August 12, 1992 and entered duty on September 18, 1992. She served as Chief Judge from June 1, 2009 to the May 31, 2016. Judge Preska received a B.A. from the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York in 1970, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1973, and an LL.M. in Trade Regulation from New York University Law School in 1978. Following graduation from Fordham, Judge Preska was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and an associate and, beginning in January 1983, a partner at Hertzog, Calamari & Gleason until her induction as a United States District Judge in September 1992.
This program will provide an analytical framework for attorneys seeking to navigate issues of foreign law and choice of law.
Introduction & Overview: Raymond J. Dowd, Partner – Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP, President American Foreign Law Association – Overview of FRCP Rule 44.1 and New York CPLR 4511, application of French law in de Fontbrune v. Wofsy
Presentation: Hon. Loretta Preska – A View from the Bench: Picasso’s The Actor: Choice of Law Lessons for International Practitioners.
Pablo Picasso’s artworks and estate have sparked controversies requiring U.S. courts to grapple with issues of foreign law. In de Fontbrune v. Wofsy, 838 F.3d 992 )(9th Cir. 2016) a decision involving a U.S. enforcement proceeding Picasso’s copyrights, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals accused other federal circuit courts of “semantic sloppiness” in requiring parties seeking to apply foreign law to bear the burden of proving it. The Ninth Circuit looked to Rule 44.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (enacted in 1966) which permits a court to consider “any relevant source” of foreign law and treats the court’s determination of foreign law as a ruling on a question of law.
In Zuckerman v. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 307 F.Supp.3d 304 (S.D.N.Y. 2018) aff’d 928 F.3d 186 (2d Cir. 2019) Judge Loretta Preska considered a claim of duress made by victims of Nazi persecution under the Italian law of duress to recover Picasso’s The Actor from the Metropolitan Museum following transactions in Switzerland, Italy, France and ultimately New York. In Zuckerman, Judge Preska analyzed the choice of law issues, including (i) whether Italian law and New York law conflicted and (ii) how New York’s “interest analysis” applied to the jurisdictions through which the artwork had passed and (iii) how choice of law rules differ in contracts versus torts.
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