On March 4, 2022 at 5:30 pm, Dunnington Partner Raymond J. Dowd will lecture on Dunnington’s landmark 2013 NY Court of Appeals victory in Matter of Flamenbaum for German museum recovering a golden Assyrian tablet (excavated from the Temple of Ishtar in 1913 by archeologist Walter Andrae). The Assyrian tablet surfaced in 2003 in a decedent’s Nassau County NY safe deposit box. Flamenbaum is an historic landmark: clearly rejecting the spoils of war doctrine and reaffirming the common law rule that no one can take good title to property from a thief (and rejecting the Surrogate’s Court’s ruling that the museum’s claim was barred by the laches doctrine). Following the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 outlawing wars of aggression, Flamenbaum’s logic removes the profit motive from war and genocide – even when criminal proceeds surface generations later. Dowd will be joined by Yale University Professor Eckart Frahm, an internationally renowned Assyriologist who served as the museum’s expert witness.
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