Art Law: NY Court of Appeals Grants Petition for Review

On February 22, 2011, the NY Court of Appeals granted our petition for review in Mirvish v. Mott, a case involving a dispute over ownership of a Jacques Lipchitz sculpture known as The Cry. Petitions for review are granted in about 6% of civil cases. (In 2010, the Court of Appeals received 1045 petitions for leave to appeal and granted leave to appeal in 63 cases.) The appeal will be argued in the fall. The case raises important issues of New York law concerning the interplay between the statute of limitations and property ownership rights, the elements of a conversion claim, proof of inter vivos gift after the donor’s death, and the power of the Surrogate’s Court to determine ownership of property claimed by a decedent’s estate.  Litigation partner Gary D. Sesser, art law counsel Ronald D. Spencer, litigation counsel Susan B. Kalib and litigation associate Judith Wallace worked on the appeal.

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