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Sotheby's Motion for Judgement

Sotheby's Motion for Judgement

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Published by Jason Felch
Sothebys Motion for Judgement
Sothebys Motion for Judgement

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Jason Felch on Sep 17, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/10/2015

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK ----------------------------------------------------------------------- X UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ) ) Plaintiff, )- v. - )
12 Civ. 2600 (GBD)
 ) A 10th CENTURY CAMBODIAN SANDSTONE ) SCULPTURE, CURRENTLY LOCATED AT ) SOTHEBY’S IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK, ) ) Defendant in rem. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- X
MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMANTS’ MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS AND FOR A STAY OF DISCOVERY
Case 1:12-cv-02600-GBD Document 59 Filed 09/09/13 Page 1 of 38
 
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT .................................................................................................... 1 STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL FACTS ................................................................................... 4 1. Cambodia Requests That The Statue Be Withdrawn From Auction ................................... 5 2. Constructive Seizure Of The Statue ..................................................................................... 7 3. The U.S. State Department Invents A Legal Theory ........................................................... 8 4. The Government Directs Cambodia Not To Negotiate A Resolution ............................... 10 5. The Government’s Representations To The Court ............................................................ 11 ARGUMENT ................................................................................................................................ 14 I. Claimants’ Expert Declaration Demonstrates that the Government Has Not Identified Any Law – Let Alone a Clear and Unambiguous Law – Declaring Cambodia to Be the Owner of the Statue ........................................................................................................... 16 A. Classification Orders, Including The 16 May 1925 Classification Order, Do Not Confer Ownership On The Government ........................................................... 19 B. The Remaining Colonial Laws On Which The Government Relies Do Not Declare The Statue To Be Government Property ........................................................... 22 II. The Government’s “Inherent Right of Kings” Theory Fails as a Matter of Law .............. 25 III. This Court Should Stay Discovery Pending Resolution Of Claimants’ Motion For Judgment On The Pleadings ........................................................................... 29 A. The Court’s Authority To Stay Discovery ..................................................................... 29 B. The Government Has Sought Broad And Burdensome Discovery ................................ 30 C. Staying Discovery Would Not Prejudice The Government ........................................... 32 D. Claimants’ Motion for Judgment On The Pleadings Presents Compelling Arguments Justifying A Stay ......................................................................................... 32
Case 1:12-cv-02600-GBD Document 59 Filed 09/09/13 Page 2 of 38
 
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TABLE OF AUTHORITIES CASES PAGE(S)
 Baker v. Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.
,358 F. App'x 476 (4th Cir. 2009) .................................................................................22
 Bigio v. Coca-Cola Co.
, No. 97 Civ. 2858, 2010 WL 3377503 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 23, 2010),
aff’don other grounds
, 675 F.3d 163 (2d Cir. 2012) ............................................15, 22
 Bridgewater v. Taylor 
,745 F. Supp. 2d 355 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) ..........................................................................24
Chavous v. Dist. of Columbia Fin. Responsibility and Mgmt. Assistance Auth.
,201 F.R.D. 1 (D.D.C. 2001) .........................................................................................30
Chesney v. Valley Stream Union Free Sch. Dist. No. 24
,236 F.R.D. 113 (E.D.N.Y. 2006) ...............................................................................30
Contemporary Mission, Inc. v. U.S. Postal Serv.
,648 F.2d 97 (2d Cir. 1981)...........................................................................................25
 Figueiredo Ferraz Consultoria E Engenharia de Projeto Ltda v. Republic of  Peru
, 655 F. Supp. 2d 361 (S.D.N.Y. 2009),
rev’d and remanded on other grounds
, 665 F.3d 384 (2d Cir. 2011)....................15, 16
Gov't of Peru v. Johnson
,720 F. Supp. 810 (C.D. Cal. 1989),
aff'd 
, 933 F.2d 1013 (9th Cir. 1991) ..................................................................................28
 Hawkins v. Barney's Lessee
,30 U.S. 457 (1831) .......................................................................................................27
 Hayden v. Paterson
,594 F.3d 150 (2d Cir. 2010).........................................................................................14
 Hong Leong Fin. Ltd. v. Pinnacle Performance Ltd.
, No. 12 Civ. 6010, 2013 WL 2247794 (S.D.N.Y. May 22, 2013) ..........................30, 33
 Integrated Sys. & Power, Inc. v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc.
,09 Civ. 5874, 2009 WL 2777076 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 1, 2009) ........................................33
 Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, Inc.
,153 F.3d 82 (2d Cir. 1998)...........................................................................................16
Case 1:12-cv-02600-GBD Document 59 Filed 09/09/13 Page 3 of 38

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