Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dunnington's 75 Last Minute Year-End Tax Saving Tips For 2015

Dear Friends, Family and Clients,

Each year Congress changes provisions in the laws affecting taxpayers.  Joe Michaels, the leader of our law firm’s tax practice, provides us with an annual update and sends out 75 last-minute tax savings tips.  I thought I would share Joe’s wisdom and holiday message with you (please see below).

I wish you a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous 2016.


Raymond J. Dowd
250 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10177
Telephone: 212-682-8811
Facsimile: 212-661-7769

Please note our new address!

Season’s Greetings!

As the year comes to a close, so does the period for tax planning for the year 2015.  I have composed a memorandum entitled “75 Last Minute 2015 Year-End Tax Savings Tips” that you may find to be helpful in doing some last minute 2015 income, gift and estate tax planning, as well as be of assistance in preparing your 2015 federal, state and local income tax returns and planning for the coming 2016 year.  It may be accessed by clicking  here.  The memorandum is interactive in the sense that if you “click” on a subject in the Index, it will take you directly to that subject.      

The first three introductory pages of the memorandum review some overall income, estate and gift tax provisions and some changes that became effective in 2015, as well as reminders regarding certain issues.  The top federal income tax bracket remains at 39.6% for 2015 and 2016, the maximum rate of tax on qualified  dividends is 20% for 2015 and 2016, the maximum Federal rate on most long-term capital gains is 20% for 2015 and 2016 (28% on the sale of  “small business stock” and “collectibles,” which include art work, coins, and stamps),  interest income is taxable at your ordinary Federal rate of tax (there is no reduced rate of tax) , and the Federal gift tax annual exclusion remains at $14,000 for 2015 and 2016; however, the lifetime federal gift/estate tax/generation-skipping tax  exemption rises from $5,430,000 to $5,450,000 effective January 1, 2016.  The 3.8% Medicare tax on high earners’ investment income and the additional 0.9% Medicare tax added to the 1.45% already paid by a high earning employee on his/her compensation and the earnings of “highly paid” self-employed individuals remain in place.  The New York estate tax exemption increases again on April 1, 2016 as described in the memorandum. .

These introductory pages also advise you that as of the date of this memorandum, there are some 50 tax provisions  (including Section 179 enhanced expense deductions, enhanced bonus depreciation, tax-advantaged  charitable distributions from certain IRA’s, and research and other tax credits) that have not been extended to 2015. Congress may extend these credits to 2015 and beyond, so please remember to consult with your tax advisor in future months to determine whether all or some have been extended.

Section 75 of this memorandum  includes a summary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, of which most provisions are now in effect, as well as a description of some Offshore and Foreign Tax Provisions enacted in prior years but which impact 2015 and future years.

This Memorandum is 56 pages in length.  If you are unable to print this memorandum on your printer, I will be happy to mail you a copy if you send me an email requesting one.  If you have any questions regarding any of the income, gift or estate tax planning ideas or other provisions summarized in “75 Last Minute 2015 Year-End Tax Savings Tips,” please let me know.

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.

Warmest Regards,

Joseph Michaels IV


Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP was selected as a 2014 Top Ranked Law Firm for Intellectual Property by Corporate Counsel/ALM/The American Lawyer.  Dunnington is a full-service law firm providing corporate, litigation, intellectual property, real estate, taxation, immigration and estate planning services for an international clientele.  Find out more at
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Austria's Holocaust Denial: Judge Korman and DA Morgenthau Were Right: Dead City III and 80 Other Artworks By Egon Schiele Were Stolen From Fritz Grunbaum

Egon Schiele's Dead City III - Stolen from Fritz Grunbaum

In 1998, District Attorney Robert Morgenthau seized Egon Schiele's Dead City III from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.   Here's what Judge Edward Korman said about Fritz Grunbaum and the evidence that the Nazis looted his art collection in a concurring opinion he wrote while sitting by designation on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Bakalar v. Vavra, 619 F.3d 136 (September 2, 2010)(the bolding is mine):

EDWARD R. KORMAN, District Judge, separately concurring:
Often, when a verdict after a trial is reversed, other issues will be addressed which, though they do not affect the result, are likely to arise again on remand. While such a discussion may constitute dicta, it is justified by the desire to avoid the burden and expense that would result from the repetition of uncorrected error. Whether to undertake such an exercise is, of course, discretionary. While my colleagues, for perhaps understandable reasons, decline to engage in it, I take a different view and write to address more fully Part III of the panel opinion, which takes issue with the district judge's finding that the Grunbaum heirs had failed to produce “any concrete evidence that the Nazis looted the Drawing or that it was otherwise taken from Grunbaum.” Bakalar v. Vavra, 2008 WL 4067335, at *8.
While the panel opinion observes that “[o]ur reading of the record suggests that there may be such evidence,” [Panel Opinion, ante at *9] it does not say what that evidence is, nor does it discuss the legal principles applicable to what is essentially a mixed question of law and fact. The district judge is left to comb the record without assistance, looking for evidence he did not see the first time around, and without guidance as to the legal principles that make the evidence particularly relevant. I write to fill this gap.
Grunbaum was arrested while attempting to flee from the Nazis. After his arrest, he never again had physical possession of any of his artwork, including the Drawing. The power of attorney, which he was forced to execute while in the Dachau concentration camp, divested him of his legal control over the Drawing. Such an involuntary divestiture of possession and legal control rendered any subsequent transfer void.
“Under American law and the law of many foreign states there is only one scenario in which a good-faith purchaser's claim of title is immediately recognized over that of the original owner. This scenario arises when the owner voluntarily parts with possession by the creation of a bailment, the bailee converts the chattel, and the nature of the bailment allows a reasonable buyer to conclude that the bailee is empowered to pass the owner's title.” Patricia Youngblood Reyhan, A Chaotic Palette: Conflict of Laws in Litigation Between Original Owners and Good-Faith Purchasers of Stolen Art, 50 Duke L.J. 955, 971 (2001) (emphasis added). The principle to which Professor Reyhan alludes is codified in more limited form in section 2-403(2) of the Uniform Commercial Code, which was adopted by New York, and which provides that “[a]ny entrusting of possession of goods to a merchant who deals in goods of that kind gives him power to transfer all rights of the entruster to a buyer in ordinary course of business.” No such voluntary entrustment took place here. Nor did Grunbaum's flight from the Nazis constitute a voluntary abandonment.
Section 2-403(1) of the Uniform Commercial Code, which addresses principally the consequences of the transfer of title, rather than mere possession, provides that a person with voidable title has the power to transfer good title to a good-faith purchaser for value, and provides four examples of circumstances in which this rule applies. “The key to the voidable title concept appears to be that the original transferor voluntarily relinquished possession of the goods and intended to pass title.” Franklin Feldman & Stephen E. Weil, Art Law § 11.1.3 (1986). The Feldman *149 & Weil treatise continues: “He may have been defrauded, or the check he received may have bounced, or he may have intended to sell it to Mr. X rather than to Mr. Y, but, nevertheless, he intended to pass title. In such cases, the transferor has an option to void the sale, but the transferee can pass good title. A person who acquired the goods from a thief, however, has no title and consequently neither he nor successive transferees can pass ownership.” Id.; see also Thomas M. Quinn, Quinn's Uniform Commercial Code Commentary and Law Digest § 2-403[A][6] (2d ed., 2002). Grunbaum never voluntarily intended to pass title to the Drawing. On the contrary, the circumstances strongly suggest that he executed the power of attorney with a gun to his head.
Nevertheless, the district judge, relying on U.C.C. § 2-403(1), concluded that “Galerie St. Etienne was a seller with voidable title to the Drawing, having acquired it from Galerie Gutekunst in 1956,” and that Bakalar, a good faith purchaser for value, acquired good title to the Drawing. 2008 WL 4067335, at *6. While the district judge did not identify the defect in the title acquired by Galerie Gutekunst, which rendered voidable the title it passed to Galerie St. Etienne, his conclusion that the title was voidable implicitly recognizes that there was some legal defect in the passage of title to the Drawing as it made its way from Grunbaum to the Galerie Gutekunst. Otherwise, the district judge would have had no basis to characterize as “voidable” the title the latter conveyed to the Galerie St. Etienne. This characterization, however, ignores the fact that, if the power of attorney signed by Grunbaum was involuntary, any subsequent transfer was void and not merely voidable.
This case is analogous to the circumstances in two reported cases. In Vineberg v. Bissonnette, 548 F.3d 50 (1st Cir.2008), aff'g 529 F.Supp.2d 300, 307 (D.R.I.2007), the Nazis issued an edict directing the Jewish owner of an art gallery to liquidate the gallery and its inventory after determining that he “lacked the requisite personal qualities to be an exponent of German culture.” Id. at 53. After unsuccessfully appealing this edict, the owner “surrendered to the inevitable,” and consigned most of the affected works to a government-approved purveyor. Id. The consigned pieces, including a painting by Franz Xaver Winterhalter known as “Mädchen aus den Sabiner Bergen” (“Girl from the Sabine Mountains”), were auctioned at prices below their fair market value. Fearing for his life, the owner fled Germany shortly after the forced sale. Consequently, he never retrieved the auction proceeds. Id. The district court had little trouble in concluding that the owner's “relinquishment of his property was anything but voluntary,” 529 F.Supp.2d at 307, and that holding was not challenged on appeal.
Similarly, in Menzel v. List, the Jewish owners of a painting by Marc Chagall entitled “Le Paysan a L'echelle” (“The Peasant and the Ladder”) left their apartment in Brussels when they fled in March, 1941, before the oncoming Nazis. 49 Misc.2d 300, 301-2, 267 N.Y.S.2d 804 (1966), modified as to damages, 28 A.D.2d 516, 279 N.Y.S.2d 608 (1st Dep't 1967), rev'd as to modification, 24 N.Y.2d 91, 298 N.Y.S.2d 979, 246 N.E.2d 742 (1969). The painting was seized by the Nazis, who left a certification or receipt “indicating that the painting, among other works of art, had been taken into ‘safekeeping.’ ” Id. at 301, 267 N.Y.S.2d 804. The New York State Supreme Court Justice hearing the case concluded that the painting had not been abandoned because it did not constitute “a voluntary relinquishment of a known right.” Id. at 305, 267 N.Y.S.2d 804. The *150 Justice continued: “The relinquishment here by the Menzels in order to flee for their lives was no more voluntary than the relinquishment of property during a holdup.” Id. Consequently, he ordered the current possessor of the painting, and good-faith purchaser, to either return it to Mrs. Menzel or pay her $22,500, its fair value at the time of the case. Moreover, he also held that the good-faith purchaser could recover the $22,500 for breach of warranty of title from the Perls Galleries, from whom the painting was purchased. In so doing, the Justice explained:
It is of no moment that Perls Galleries may have been a bona fide purchaser of the painting, in good faith and for value and without knowledge of the saga of the Menzels. No less is expected of an art gallery of distinction. Throughout the course of human history, the perpetration of evil has inevitably resulted in the suffering of the innocent, and those who act in good faith. And the principle has been basic in the law that a thief conveys no title as against the true owner.
Id. at 314-15, 267 N.Y.S.2d 804 (citations omitted).5
Based on the historical record of the time, to which reference has already been made, the power of attorney Grunbaum signed in the fourth month of his confinement in Dachau does not appear to be any more voluntary a relinquishment of his legal interest in the Drawing than the acts discussed in Vineberg and Menzel. Bakalar's suggestion that the power of attorney constituted a voluntary entrustment of property to his wife is a proposition that remains for him to prove. Unless he does so, even if Mrs. Grunbaum “subsequently transferred the Drawing to her sister, Mathilde Lukacs, in 1938, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Nazis,” as Bakalar alleges, she could not convey valid title to the artwork. Significantly, the district judge made no finding that any entrustment for this purpose even took place.
On this score, Bakalar's amended complaint, which was filed on the eve of trial, posits two theories for what happened to the collection: 1) “that Elisabeth succeeded in hiding the [Drawing] from the Nazis prior to her deportation, and that her sister, Lukacs-Herzl, managed to take the collection with her into exile in Belgium,” or 2) “that after the Grunbaum's apartment was aryanized by the Nazis in 1938, the family's library and art collection were purchased by a Viennese antiquarian bookseller who lived in the same neighborhood for approximately $90, and that the Viennese bookseller then either sold or gave the collection to Lukacs-Herzl at some point thereafter.” (A-277.) Of course, the second alternative assumes that the property was taken by the Nazis, and Bakalar acknowledges that, even under the first theory, scholars believe it is unlikely that Lukacs-Herzl could have saved the entire collection given the circumstances under which she left Austria. Indeed, Grunbaum's heirs offered expert evidence consistent *151 with the premise that Lukacs-Herzl could not have removed or salvaged the paintings because “she was a Jewish woman who was interned in a Belgian work camp by the Nazis until 1944 after she fled Vienna together with her husband. It is more likely that a person like Kieslinger with direct ties to the Nazis took possession of the Grunbaum collection.” (A-1273.) Significantly, neither of the two theories posited by Bakalar are predicated on the assumption that Mrs. Grunbaum voluntarily gave over Fritz Grunbaum's art collection to either Lukacs-Herzl or the Nazis who aryanized her apartment.
Nor do the district court's findings of fact support Bakalar's argument “that someone in the Grunbaum family more likely than not exported the Drawing from Vienna.” The district judge merely speculated that “[t]he Drawing could have been one of the 417 drawings Elisabeth Grunbaum possibly exported ... in 1938,” or that the Drawing “could have been one of three drawings Lukacs's husband exported,” or that “it could have been” one of the three watercolors exported by Lukacs's brother-in-law. 2008 WL 4067335, at *8 (emphasis added). These scenarios, based on pure speculation, do not constitute findings by a preponderance of the evidence that what “could have” happened, actually did happen.
Moreover, although Bakalar now claims that there is no “direct evidence that all of the Schiele art sold by Lukacs had once belonged to Fritz Grunbaum,” or that “the Drawing belonged to Fritz Grunbaum prior to or during the war,” there is significant circumstantial evidence that this artwork had belonged to him. Indeed, the district judge decided the case on this premise, and it was supported by the deposition testimony of Eberhard Kornfeld, a partner at Galerie Gutekunst, and the trial testimony of Jane Kallir, the current director of the Galerie St. Etienne. Significantly, the Sotheby's Catalogue Description for the Drawing, February 8, 2005, which it prepared on Bakalar's behalf, listed the provenance as follows:
Fritz Grunbaum, Vienna (until 1941)
Elisabeth Grunbaum-Herzl, Vienna (widow of the above; until 1942; thence by decent)
Mathilde Lukcas-Herzl (sister of the above)
Gutekunst & Klipstein, Bern (on consignment from the above by 1956)
Galerie St. Etienne, New York
Norman Granz, New York
Galerie St. Etienne, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
The admission by Sotheby's as to the initial provenance of the Drawing was confirmed by the judicial admission regarding its provenance in Bakalar's original complaint. See Official Comm. of the Unsecured Creditors of Color Tile, Inc. v. Coopers & Lybrand, LLP, 322 F.3d 147, 167 (2d Cir.2003). Specifically, Bakalar alleged in his complaint that:
The Drawing has an established and documented provenance. It originally belonged to the collection Fritz Grunbaum, a well-known Vienesse cabaret performer. In 1938, the Nazis confiscated Grunbaum's residence and inventoried the contents of his art collection. Grunbaum was deported to Dachau, where he died in 1941. His wife, Elisabeth, died the following year. By all credible accounts, however, the Grunbaum art collection escaped confiscation by the Nazis, and the collection, including the Drawing, subsequently came in to the possession of Grunbaum's sister-in-law, Mathilde Lukacs-Herzl, after the war.
*152 (A-217.) On the eve of trial, Bakalar moved to file an amended complaint, deleting his admission as to the initial provenance of the Drawing, because it was based on information he obtained from Kornfeld, who had come to this conclusion in 1998 after he learned of Fritz Grunbaum's relationship to Lukacs-Herzl. While Bakalar was apparently permitted to file an amended complaint, Kornfeld and Kallir had sufficient expertise in the field to provide competent evidence on this score. Nor is it any answer to argue, as Bakalar does here, that their opinion was based on circumstantial rather than direct evidence. Moreover, notwithstanding the amended complaint, Bakalar's admission as to the provenance of the Drawing constitutes competent evidence that the trier of fact is free to consider, along with Bakalar's explanation for its inclusion in the original complaint.
In sum, my reading of the record suggests that there is substantial evidence to support the claim of the Grunbaum heirs that the Drawing was owned by Grunbaum and he was divested of possession and title against his will.


As set forth above, both Swiss art dealer Eberhard Kornfeld and art dealer Jane Kallir swore that each of the Egon Schieles sold in a 1956 sale in Berne, Switzerland at the Gutekunst & Klipstein gallery (now Galerie Kornfeld), belonged to Fritz Grunbaum when he was deported to Dachau and murdered.   Right now Austria is engaging in Holocaust denial by refusing to restitute these stolen artworks to the heirs of Fritz Grunbaum.  The story of a Grunbaum family member selling the works in Switzerland is a complete fabrication.  But even if true, as Judge Korman correctly points out, artworks stolen stolen from a concentration camp victim remain stolen even if a family member later stole it back from Nazis (this is the actual nutty Austrian theory).

The actual Nazi records show that they robbed everything from the Grunbaums.  The Jewish Property Declarations have stamps that say "Gesperrt" and "Erledigt" which indicate that the art collection and other property had been liquidated for the Reich by 1939.

How can Austria continue to deny the Holocaust in the face of such clear evidence?

For more information on the life and art collection of Fritz Grunbaum, please visit
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Join Us November 20 - 2015 Art Litigation and Dispute Resolution Institute in NYC

8th Annual Art Litigation and Dispute Resolution Institute

Friday, November 20, 2014

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM      Welcome  and Introduction by Program Chairs

Hon. Stephen Crane (Ret.), JAMS, Raymond Dowd, Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP; Judd Grossman,   Grossman LLP, Chair, NYCLA's Art Law Committee

9:15 AM – 10:30 AM       Panel 1: Challenges Faced by Claimants Navigating the World of

                         Holocaust Art Restitution

Moderator: Hon. Stephen Crane (Ret.), JAMS,
Clarence Epstein, Ph.D., Senior Director, Urban and Cultural Affairs, Concordia University
Thomas R. Kline, Andrews Kurth LLP
Elizabeth Rynecki, Director/Producer/Writer, Chasing Portraits
Connie Walsh, Holocaust Claims Processing Office, NYS  Dept. of Financial Services

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM     BREAK

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM    Panel 2: Wallflowers -- Equal Pay, Equal Wall Space?

Moderator: Hon.  Barbara Jaffe, NYS Supreme Court
 Frieda Kahlo, Guerrilla Girls
 Jonathan Meyers, Meyers Fried-Grodin LLP    
 Elizabeth Sackler, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum           

12:00 PM – 12:35 PM     Overview: What’s New in Art Law

Judd Grossman,   Grossman LLP, Chair, NYCLA's Art Law Committee

12:35 PM – 1:30 PM        Lunch/Lunchtime Program

A Tribute to Charles Goldstein and His Legacy as an Advocate for Recovering Holocaust Looted Art
Speakers: Lawrence M. Kaye and Howard N. Spiegler, Herrick Feinstein LLP

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM           Keynote Panel: Mediation And The Art of Bankruptcy
                                                Moderator: Hon. Loretta Preska, Chief Judge, SDNY
                                                Hon. Gerald Rosen, Chief Judge, ED Michigan 
                 Alfredo R. Pérez, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM          BREAK

2:45 PM –3:45 PM            Panel 3:   Who’s Listening? Amicus Briefs in Art Law Cases

Moderator: Hon. Robert Katzmann, Chief Judge, 2d Circuit
Ed Gaffney, Jr., Valparaiso University
Virginia Rutledge, Esq.

3:45 PM – 4:45 PM          Panel 4:  Art and Charitable Foundation Governance: The Cautionary
Tale of the National Arts Club
Moderator: Hon. Frederic Block, EDNY
Kevin P. Foley, Condon O'Meara McGinty & Donnelly LLP
Chris Poe,  President, National Arts Club Board of Governors
Roland Riopelle, Sercarz & Riopelle, LLP

4:45 PM –5:00 PM            Closing Remarks/Questions and Answers

Register today
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dunnington Partner & Copyright Litigation Handbook Author Raymond J. Dowd To Speak At Federal Litigation Conference In Washington DC

The Federal Bar Association's Federal Litigation Section is holding its annual Federal Litigation Conference in Washington D.C. starting tomorrow with a cocktail party hosted by Chip Molster at  Winston & Strawn.  This has been billed as the federal litigation networking event of the year and I am certainly looking forward to it.

If you are not yet a member of the FBA's Federal Litigation Section, now would be a great time to join.   Thanks to Chair Rob Kohn of the Kohn Law Group in Los Angeles and Vice Chair John McCarthy a New York partner of Smith Gambrell & Russell for all of the great work and vision in putting this event together.

The event has a superstar lineup of judges and attorneys from around the country. SCOTUS Blog Co-Founder Tom Goldstein's presentation will surely be a highlight.

I am bolding and highlighting the panel that I will be on so that it does not get lost in the shuffle of luminaries and dignitaries (and because we have to compete with the Supreme Court!), so if any IP practitioners or litigators with an interest in intellectual property litigation can make it, we would all enjoy meeting you and networking.

1:15-2:05 p.m.CLE 3B - IP: Cease and Desist Letters: Ethics & Practice

The full schedule below!  To register

5:30-7:00 p.m.Welcome Reception at Winston & Strawn LLP
  • 1700 K Street, N.W. (Rooftop/12th floor)
    Washington, D.C. 20006
OCTOBER 27, 2015 - FHI 360 Conference Center
8:30-9:00 a.m. Registration and Networking Continental Breakfast
9:00-10:20 a.m.
CLE 1 - Cyber Security & Data Breach
  • Grey Burkhart, Esq., Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.
  • Jeffrey T. Cox, Esq., Partner, Faruki Ireland & Cox
  • Kevin Minsky, Esq., Associate General Counsel, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.
  • Michael Woods, Esq., Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Verizon
  • Moderator: Charles B. Molster, III, Esq., Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP
10:30-NoonCLE 2 - New "Magic Tricks" for Federal Practice
  • John McCarthy, Esq. Partner, Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP; Vice Chair of the FBA's Federal Litigation Section 
  • Hon. Loretta A. Preska, Chief U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York
  • Hon. Gerald E. Rosen, Chief U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of Michigan; co-author of Federal Civil Trials and Evidence (Rutter Group)
  • Hon. Suzanne H. Segal, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge, Central District of California
  • Moderator: James M. Wagstaffe, Esq., Partner and co-founder, Kerr & Wagstaffe; Faculty Member of the Orientation Seminar for Newly Appointed Judges ("Baby Judges School") of the Federal Judiciary Center; principal author of Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial (Rutter Group)
Noon-1:00 p.m.Luncheon with Keynote Speaker
  • Thomas C. Goldstein, Esq., Partner, Goldstein & Russell P.C.; co-founder of
1:15-2:05 p.m.CLE 3A - Supreme Court Preview: Experts Discuss the Term's Top Cases
  • Michael A. Carvin, Esq., Partner, Jones Day
  • Thomas H. Dupree Jr., Esq., Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Elizabeth Wydra, Esq., Chief Counsel, Constitutional Accountability Center
  • Moderator: Steffen N. Johnson, Esq., Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP 
1:15-2:05 p.m.CLE 3B - IP: Cease and Desist Letters: Ethics & Practice
  • Raymond J. Dowd, Esq., Partner, Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP; author of Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters 2014-2015)
  • John G. Froemming, Esq., Partner, Jones Day
  • Matthew T. Salzmann, Esq., Associate, Arnold & Porter LLP
  • Moderator: Hon. Lisa Margaret Smith, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York
2:10-3:00 p.m.CLE 4 - In-House Hot Topics: Key Advice From the Experts - Yeats, Alice, Cyber and More
  • Joseph Clark, Esq., Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Investigations, Hewlett-Packard
  • Neuman Leverett, Esq., Senior Corporate Counsel, Compliance, Tyco International
  • Rachel V. Rose, JD, MBA, Principal, Rachel V. Rose Attorney at Law, PPLC; Chair of the FBA's In-House Counsel Division
  • Timothy Wilson, Esq., Senior Intellectual Property Counsel, SAS Institute Inc.
  • Moderator: Karla Palmer, Esq., Director, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C. 
3:15-4:10 p.m.CLE 5 - Obtaining and Using Electronic & Social Media Evidence
  • Mark H. Churchill, Esq., Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
  • Daniel D. Mauler, Esq., Partner, Redman, Peyton, & Braswell LLP
  • Mark J. McLaughlin, Computer Forensics International
  • Mark K. Vincent, Esq., U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Utah; FBA President
  • Moderator: Charles B. Molster, III, Esq., Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP 
4:15-5:15 p.m.CLE 6 - Wisdom From the Bench
  • Hon. Gerald E. Rosen, Chief U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of Michigan; co-author of Federal Civil Trials and Evidence (Rutter Group)
  • Hon. Suzanne H. Segal, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge, Central District of California
  • Hon. Lisa Margaret Smith, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York 
  • Moderator: Robert E. Kohn, Esq., Principal, Kohn Law Group Inc.; Chair of the FBA's Federal Litigation Section 
5:15 p.m.Networking Cocktail Reception
*Agenda, CLE session and speaker information is tentative and subject to change
OCTOBER 28, 2015
11:00 a.m.Golf Tournament & Reception at Army Navy Country Club
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Who Should Profit From The Holocaust? Nazi Looted Art in US Museums

The University of Toledo College of Law and the Toledo Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo present                  

The David S. Stone Law Lecture


Raymond J. Dowd

Raymond J. Dowd

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Noon (1.0 CLE) & 7 p.m. (1.5 CLE)
McQuade Law Auditorium

"Who should profit from the Holocaust? Legal controversies over Nazi art looting" 

The problem of unrestituted Nazi looted art is one facing museums, governments, and private collectors worldwide. In 1998 the issue hit the front pages of the world press when District Attorney Robert Morgenthau seized two works at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This seizure led the U.S. State Department under the Clinton Administration to convene 44 countries and prominent art world players to sign on to the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art.
In the wake of the Washington Conference, many countries created commissions to oversee restitution of Nazi-looted art. Join attorney Ray Dowd as he discusses recent federal litigation and international developments involving the unfinished business of World War II and the legacy of the Holocaust.

About Raymond J. Dowd

Raymond J. Dowd is a partner in the law firm of Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP in New York City. His practice consists of federal and state trial and appellate litigation, arbitration and mediation. He served as lead trial counsel in notable cases involving art law, copyrights, trademarks, cybersquatting, privacy, trusts and decedents estates, licensing, corporate, and real estate transactions. He has litigated questions of Austrian, Canadian, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Swiss law and handled matters in Surrogate’s Court, including Matter of Flamenbaum (2013), recovering an ancient Assyrian tablet for the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
Mr. Dowd is a graduate of Manhattan College and Fordham Law School.

CLE & Registration

The Noon course has been approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education for 1.0 total CLE hour(s), with 1.0 of attorney professional conduct instruction.
The 7 p.m. course has been approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education for 1.5 total CLE hour(s), with 1.5 of attorney professional conduct instruction.
The cost for the CLE is free, but we ask that you RSVP by email to
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

Monday, September 28, 2015

Join Us! Swearing In New SDNY Federal Bar Association Chapter Officers October 6

Swearing-In of
Officers and Directors

The Honorable Loretta A. Preska
Chief Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of New York

October 6, 2015, 5:00 p.m.
Courtroom 12A
Daniel P. Moynihan United States Courthouse
500 Pearl Street, New York, NY

˜  Light refreshments 


Michael J. Zussman
Wylie M. Stecklow
Vice President:
Stacy E. Yeung
Ira R. Abel
Steven S. Landis
National Delegate:
Danielle Lesser
Delegate to the Network
of Bar Leaders:
William F. Dahill


Hon. Frank Maas, Chief U.S. Magistrate, SDNY

Ira R. Abel
Simeon H. Baum
Joseph Conley
William F. Dahill
Raymond Dowd
Elyssa Emsellem
Donna Frosco
Amy Gell
Alexandra Goldstein
Danielle Lesser
Steven S. Landis
John G. McCarthy
Olivera Medenica
Liam O’Brien
Philip R. Schatz
Barbara Silverstone
Wylie M. Stecklow
Wendy Stein
Gabriella Varobey
Stacy E. Yeung
Michael J. Zussman

R.S.V.P. to
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

U.S. Copyright Lawsuit Filings Increase By Over 10% In One Year, Double Since 2010

Source - U.S. Courts - Federal Judicial Caseload Statistics

According to the latest annual report on Judicial Business found at, for the period 2013-2014, filing of copyright cases increase 10.2 percent for the year ending September 30, 2014.  In 2010, 2,013 copyright cases were filed.   In 2014 4,041 cases were filed.  This means that filings of copyright litigations have practically doubled in a four-year period.

Patent litigation filings saw an overall significant four-year increase ( 3,301 in 2010 versus 5,686 in 2014).  From 2013 to 2014 however, patent case filings dropped 12.5 percent.

Trademark litigation filings remained relatively constant over the four-year period (3,652 in 2010 versus 3,693 in 2014), but saw a 16.4 percent increase from 2013 to 2014.

From 2010 to 2014 overall intellectual property case filings (combined copyright, patent and trademark)  increased substantially (8,966 in 2010 versus 13,420 in 2014).

Here are the stats:

                            2010         2011         2012        2013          2014       %change 2013/14

IP Total               8,966       9,940          11,666     13,335      13,420               .6
Copyright            2,013       2,297            3,074       3,666        4,041           10.2
Patent                  3,301       4,015            5,189       6,497         5,686         -12.5
Trademark           3,652       3,628            3,403       3,172        3,693           16.4

Intellectual property cases pending for over three years in the U.S. district courts remained stable in the 2013-2014 period

                         2013      2014

IP Total             702         726
Copyright            82           80
Patent                455         482
Trademark         165         164

As the federal courts continue to tackle important and novel issues raised by new technology and its impact on social and legal relationships that previously had little to do with copyright law, it is likely that the trend of increased copyright claims will continue.   For the full 2014 report on federal judicial caseload statistics, go here.
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw