November 22, 2022
On November 10, 2022, the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court granted the Israel Museum’s motion to dismiss a complaint seeking turnover of a 14th-century Jewish manuscript known as the Birds’ Head Haggadah. In its ruling, the court found the plaintiffs lacked personal jurisdiction, and that their claims did not meet the necessary standards under the doctrine of forum non conveniens.
In April 2022, the plaintiffs brought suit against the Museum in New York state court, seeking to remove the Birds’ Head Haggadah from the Israel Museum’s collection and claiming the court had jurisdiction to hear the dispute. Weil, on behalf of the Museum, prepared a motion to dismiss that established that the plaintiffs lacked personal jurisdiction to assert the claims. In its opinion, the court agreed with Weil’s arguments, holding that the case “has virtually no connection to New York,” none “of the parties are in New York,” and “the events giving rise to at least two out of the three causes of action occurred entirely outside of New York.” The court dismissed the complaint with prejudice.
The Weil team was led by Complex Commercial Litigation partner Yehudah L. Buchweitz, and included associates Michael Betts, Yonatan Shefa, Josef Trachtenberg and Zoe Buzinkai (Not Yet Admitted in New York).