Chinyere Okogeri and Nick O'Donnell are among the alumni covered in Boston College Law Magazine's Summer Issue.
Chinyere (pronounced "Chin-year-e") was one of Sullivan's 2020 Summer Associates and will be an incoming First Year Associate this fall. In the article Hear Her Voice, Chinyere discusses what led her to choose law school and what motivates her in being the best advocate she can be:
I’m motivated to do what I do by family and the people I have had the privilege to work for. We often talk about privilege as characterized by race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, body type, and more. But privilege is actually opportunity, and not everyone has opportunity. I am still constantly learning from others and checking my own biases because we all can be better allies and advocates for the communities we have the privilege to serve and support.
Chinyere's full article can be accessed here.
Nick is a partner in our Litigation department and also leads Sullivan's Art & Museum Law Group. His article Looted: A Saga of Nazi-Stolen Art summarizes the international battle over the Guelph Treasure theft. After a lengthy and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle in Europe, the heirs of the original owners retained Nick, who subsequently filed suit for restitution of $250 million in federal court in D.C. The case presented considerable jurisdictional challenges. Nick prevailed at the district and appellate levels, arguing that the forced sale of the Guelph Treasure was part of the Nazis' genocidal project against the Jewish people, thus satisfying the "in violation of international law" exception to the principle of sovereign immunity.
The case eventually made its way to the US Supreme Court in December of last year, with Nick presenting his oral argument over the phone due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the Court ultimately held that US courts do not have jurisdiction over cases involving a foreign government's taking of the property of its own nationals, the rise of international human rights law and the law of genocide notwithstanding.
The Supreme Court did agree with our clients’ argument that takings of art are covered by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The court remanded the matter for further proceedings concerning whether the victims were German nationals, and whether the present-day Plaintiffs may now argue that their ancestors were not German nationals
Nick's full article can be accessed here.