Bakalar v. Vavra

619 F.3d 136 (2010)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Bakalar v. Vavra

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
619 F.3d 136 (2010)

Facts

Franz Grunbaum, a Jewish man, owned a Schiele drawing (the drawing) while he lived in Vienna, Austria. In 1938, Grunbaum was arrested and imprisoned by the Nazis. The Nazis effectively forced Grunbaum to give his wife power of attorney over his affairs, including control of Grunbaum’s property. Grunbaum died in 1941, and his wife died in a concentration camp in 1942. Mrs. Grunbaum’s sister apparently sold the drawing to a Swiss art gallery in 1956. Later in 1956, a New York art gallery purchased the drawing. In 1963, the New York gallery sold the drawing to David Bakalar (plaintiff). Many years later, Bakalar tried to auction the valuable drawing in New York, but Austrian-recognized heirs to Grunbaum’s estate Milos Vavra and Leon Fischer (defendants) challenged Bakalar’s title. Bakalar filed a diversity action against Vavra and Fischer in the Southern District of New York, seeking a declaratory judgment that Bakalar was the rightful owner of the drawing. The district court granted summary judgment for Bakalar based on applying Swiss law. Under Swiss law, good-faith purchasers hold valid title to property after five years of possessing an item regardless of the property’s origin. Vavra and Fischer appealed, contending that New York law should apply.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Korman, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 733,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 733,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 733,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership