News & Announcements

Weil Secures Affirmance of Dismissal of Replevin Action Regarding 14th-Century Jewish Manuscript

On March 26, 2024, the Appellate Division, First Department unanimously affirmed dismissal of a complaint against Weil’s client, the Israel Museum. The plaintiffs first brought suit in April 2022 against the Israel Museum in the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court, seeking turnover of a 14th-century Jewish manuscript, known as the Birds’ Head Haggadah, from the Israel Museum’s collection.

The First Department held that the lower court properly dismissed plaintiffs’ complaint pursuant to the doctrine of forum non conveniens. The First Department found that the “New York connection to the litigation [wa]s minimal,” considering that the parties, alleged tortious acts, and documents and witnesses were overwhelmingly located outside New York. The court also agreed with the Israel Museum that the potential applicability of foreign law and the Israel Museum’s ties to Israeli government entities supported a finding of inconvenient forum.

The Weil team was led by Complex Commercial Litigation partner Yehudah L. Buchweitz, and included associates Yonatan ShefaJosef Trachtenberg and Zoe Buzinkai.