The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently issued an opinion affirming the District Court’s dismissal of a legal malpractice claim against a client.
The central issue on summary judgment involved the interpretation of German property law regarding the identity of heirs entitled to the restitution of artworks and other assets confiscated by the Nazis in 1939. Following the reunification of West Germany and East Germany, a property law was enacted in 1990 to restore all such confiscated property to the original owners or, in the case of a deceased owner, to that person’s heir. The case concerned the propriety of an attorney’s identification of entitled parties within the scope of his representation of members of the community of heirs. The case also discussed in detail the correlation between claims of negligence by attorneys and breaches of fiduciary duty in the context of conflicts of interest.
Partner Andrew N. Krinsky and Counsel Debra Bodian Bernstein defended this case for our client.