Art Law Report

The Other Von Saher Shoe Drops: Cassirer v. Kingdom of Spain Dismissed Under Foreign Affairs Preemption

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on June 4, 2012 at 12:50 PM

An emerging new defense to wartime art restitution claims has claimed another case. Although still confined to one district in California, the trend of dismissing such claims as better suited to resolution through the foreign affairs operations of the federal government simply cannot be ignored; wartime claims already struggling to overcome statutes of limitations could be in real trouble. The procedural history is complex, but the effect could be sweeping.

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Topics: Legislation, Nazi Germany, Lilly Cassirer, Rue Saint-Honoré après-midi effet de pluie, California Code of Civil Procedure Section 338, Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation, conflict preemption, FSIA, Preemption, Restitution, field preemption, Goudstikker, World War II, Foreign Sovereign Immunities, Von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum, Cassirer v. Kingdom of Spain, California Code of Civil Procedure 354.3

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About the Blog


The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. It is authored by Nicholas M. O'Donnell, partner in our Art & Museum Law Practice.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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