On March 26, 2012, L. Eden Burgess, senior attorney with Andrews Kurth LLP came from the Capital of the United States to address New York law students about pros and cons of practicing art law outside of New York. Her talk focused on cases such as Vineberg v. Bissonnette, 529 F. Supp. 2d 300 (D.R.I. 2007), aff’d, 548 F.3d 50 (1st Cir. 2008) and State of Baden-Württemburg v. Shene, 04-cv-10067-TPG, 2009 WL 762697 (S.D.N.Y. March 23, 2009). There seemed to be no cons for attorneys, their spouses and kids with better priced real estate, easier public school admission, shorter commutes, more flexible hours of work and ease of coming to New York if some matter requires the trip.
Eden’s practice areas are litigation and dispute resolution, primarily in the areas of cultural property, museum and art law. She spends most of her time working from her DC office but clients and matters may be situated all around the United States, New York not excluded.
On March 27, 2012, Jan Hladik, the Acting Chief of the Cultural Heritage Protection Treaties Section, Division for Cultural Expressions and Heritage of UNESCO gave an insightful presentation about the UNESCO mission, the 1954 Hague convention and the purposes for the two protocols. He also touched upon limited opportunities for students to intern with UNESCO on project by project basis.
Hladik, on his way from his home town, the Capital of France to Washington DC to present a paper at the American Society of International Law, admitted that in light of the recent budget cuts, UNESCO is unlikely to be hiring full time attorneys in a foreseeable future. But then again, who is?!
While engaged in a cross-Capital exchange of experiences and insights, Burgess and Hladik reminded New Yorkers aspiring to practice art law that the issues of restitution, abandonment, human right and preservation are much more widespread and universal than one island or even five boroughs.