Case Review: Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation
June 12, 2019
By Timothy Chung
The artworks subject to claim for restitution frequently carry with them grim histories, often filled with heartache and tragedy in equal measure. Too often, looted objects can never be reunited with their owners or rightful heirs before the proper chain of title is discovered. The artwork in dispute in Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation is no exception in this regard. Its story is one steeped in melancholy, and like many other cases concerning Nazi-looted art, it begins with a museum.
Madrid-based Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza (the “Thyssen”) ranks amongst the world’s largest private collections of European art, and boasts membership to the beloved Golden Triangle of Art alongside museums El Prado and Reina Sofia. However, in May 2005, the Thyssen was thrust into the global spotlight for a less-than-desirable reason when Claude Cassirer (“Claude”), a man of Jewish descent, filed an action against the Kingdom of Spain and the Thyssen, seeking restitution of the Pissarro masterpiece, Rue St.-Honore, Apres-Midi, Effet de Pluie (the “Painting” or the “Pissarro”). The Painting, it turned out, was stolen by a Nazi agent in 1939 from Claude’s grandmother, Lilly Cassirer (“Lilly”).
After years of litigation, the case finally came to a close on May 1, 2019. The case bounced from the Central District Court of California to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and back again. U.S. District Judge John Walter ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant, the Thyssen, concluding that the museum was the lawful owner of the painting under Spanish law. Judge Walter, however, did express his displeasure by noting that the Thyssen’s refusal to return the painting to the Cassirer family was “inconsistent with the Washington Principles and the Terezin Declaration,” both of which the Kingdom of Spain endorsed. Judge Walter wrote, resignedly, that the “Court ha[d] no alternative but to apply Spanish law and cannot force the Kingdom of Spain or [the Thyssen] to comply with its moral commitments.” With that, the likelihood of Pissarro’s masterpiece returning to the Cassirers anytime soon became impossibly slim.
Although the ultimate outcome of Cassirer was decided over triable issues of fact in the Central District Court of California, the majority of its lengthy legal skirmishes were fought in the Ninth Circuit over questions of sovereign immunity and jurisdiction. This article analyzes the procedural history and legal issues of Cassirer, and briefly discusses the difficulties of trying art restitution cases under Spanish law as well as Spain’s obligations to restitute.
Background – History
On April 11, 1900, Paul Cassirer, a German art collector, purchased the Painting from Paul Durand-Ruel, Pissarro’s primary dealer in Paris. Julius Cassirer, a relative who also resided in Germany, later acquired the Painting before passing it onto his daughter-in-law, Lilly Cassirer Neubauer, in 1926. By 1939, Lilly was living in Germany with her husband, Otto Neubauer. In order obtain visas to escape persecution from the Nazi regime, she and her husband approached Jakob Scheidwimmer (“Scheidwimmer”), a Nazi art appraiser, who “bought” the painting for 900 Reichsmarks (roughly $360 at 1939 exchange rates), and deposited the money in a blocked account. Lilly was able to flee the country to find refuge in England, but neither she nor her family were ever able to access the money.
By 1951, the Painting had made its way to the U.S. after changing hands several times in Germany. In July, the Frank Perls Gallery (“Perls”) in Beverly Hills, California, sold the Painting to an art collector, Sidney Brody, for $14,850. Less than a year later, in February of 1952, Perls (for Brody) consigned the Painting with Knoedler Gallery (which you may remember for other reasons) for sale in New York. Missouri-based art collector, Sydney Schoenberg, was next to purchase the Painting; he sold it through New York’s Stephen Hahn Gallery several years later on consignment in 1975 or 1976.
In October of 1976, Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza from Lugano, Switzerland (the “Baron”) saw the Painting at the Stephen Hahn Gallery and purchased it for $300,000, along with several other paintings, including works by Jean-Baptiste-Camille-Corot, Paul Cézanne, and Fernand Léger. According to court documents, the Baron’s family had been allegedly known to purchase Nazi-looted property, and the Baron was “undoubtedly aware” of the tremendous art lootings that occurred in Europe during the Nazi regime.
The Baron returned to Lugano and introduced the Painting into the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection (the “Collection”) at his Villa Favorita estate. The Baron had inherited the Collection from his father, and expanded it to include over 1,000 works from a varied mix of both old and modern masters. Simon de Pury, former curator for the Collection, remembered the Baron as having “very, very eclectic” tastes. By the late 80’s, the Baron was looking to find another permanent home for his Collection. In 1988, he reached a loan agreement with Spain through his entity, Favorita Limited Trustees Limited (“Favorita”), in which the state agreed to display the Collection at the Villahermosa Palace in Madrid. As part of the agreement, the Palace was restored and renamed the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (the “Thyssen”), which received the Collection in 1992 after verifying that Favorita had clear title to the Collection. None of their investigations at the time revealed that the Baron had acted in bad faith in obtaining the paintings. In 1993, Spain sought to purchase the Collection; the Spanish cabinet authorized the government to enter into a contract with Favorita and purchased the Collection for $350,000,000, funded entirely by the state. The Painting, along with the rest of the collection, has remained at the Thyssen since.
Cassirer’s Efforts to Repatriate
In 1948, after the conclusion of the war, Lilly Cassirer made a claim for restitution in Germany against Scheidwimmer under American Military Zone Law No. 59, which provided for restitution of property or compensation in its place. In 1954, the Court of High Restitution Appeals of the Allied High Commission voided the sale to Scheidwimmer, and confirmed that Lilly was the true owner of the Painting. However in 1957, Lilly dropped the claim and brought one against the German government for compensation due to wrongful taking. A year later, Lilly settled for 120,000 Reichsmarks, but did not waive her claim for restitution.
The Cassirer family did not uncover the whereabouts of the Painting until 2000, when Claude Cassirer, Lilly’s grandson and heir, discovered that the Painting was being displayed at the Thyssen. He quickly enlisted the help of the World Jewish Congress to file a petition to the Kingdom of Spain and the Thyssen to repatriate the Painting. After years of being rebuffed, Claude initiated an action on May 10, 2005 against the Kingdom of Spain and the Thyssen, seeking the return of his grandmother’s Painting.
The Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA)
A major point of legal contention for the Cassirer suit, to be discussed below, revolved around the expropriation exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA). The Act itself established the specific basis and procedures through which a plaintiff could bring a lawsuit against a foreign nation in the United States. Ordinarily, the state would be protected from lawsuit on the basis of sovereign immunity. However, enumerated within FSIA are four exceptions to sovereign immunity – among them, the expropriation exception. The FSIA is almost always raised in looted art cases as they often have an international component.
The expropriation exception of FSIA is stated as follows:
“A foreign state shall not be immune from the jurisdiction of courts of the United States or of the States in any case…in which rights in property taken in violation of international law are in issue and that property or any property exchanged for such property is present in the United States in connection with a commercial activity carried on in the United States by the foreign state; or that property or any property exchanged for such property is owned or operated by an agency or instrumentality of the foreign state and that agency or instrumentality is engaged in a commercial activity in the United States.”
In other words, to meet the requirements of the expropriation exception, the plaintiff must show that (1) property was taken in a manner that violates international law, and that (2) the foreign entity (state) conducted “commercial activity” in the U.S.
The exception remains particularly relevant in modern-day art restitution cases, particularly in claims that originate from WWII. Historically the exception was used in cases involving takings by foreign states. However, in the recently resolved de Csepel v. Republic of Hungary, the D.C. Circuit expanded the limits of the exception by interpreting it to apply in cases involving acts of genocide instigated by a government against its own citizens. The court did so because it deemed such acts violations of international law.
Initial Legal Proceedings (2006-2013)
The District Court (2006)
Issues of fact were essentially put on hold from the get-go, as Spain immediately moved for dismissal of the suit on several grounds, among them: (1) on the basis of the FSIA, arguing that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction (i.e. Spain was immune from jurisdiction in U.S. Courts in connection with this dispute because the expropriation exception did not apply); (2) the district court lacked personal jurisdiction under Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington; and (3) the district court was not the proper venue for the suit.
The district court ultimately denied Spain’s motion to dismiss, concluding that the expropriation exception of the FSIA applied, thereby giving the court subject matter jurisdiction. Judge Gary Allen reasoned that the first element regarding violations of international law was satisfied, because such violations included “injury resulting from: (1) a taking by the state of the property of a national of another state that[:] (a) is not for a public purpose, or (b) is discriminatory, or (c) is not accompanied by provision for just compensation…” These requirements were met as the taking of the Painting by the Nazis was manifestly discriminatory, and the $360 promised (but never received) in consideration of the Painting to Lilly Cassirer did not constitute just compensation.
The court also found that the Thyssen engaged in “commercial activity,” as the museum had media licensing agreements in the U.S., entered into speaking engagements for which they received payment, advertised its exhibitions in internationally distributed art magazines, and sold reproductions and merchandise of the Painting to U.S. residents. Personal jurisdiction was also satisfied as the issue was subsumed into the question of subject matter jurisdiction. The question of venue was similarly resolved. 
The First Appeal (2009-2010)
Spain and the Thyssen immediately brought interlocutory appeals in the Ninth Circuit. During appellate review, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s reading of the expropriation exception, confirming that there was no requirement that “the foreign state against whom the claim is made be the foreign state that took property in violation of international law.” Following the Ninth Circuit’s decision, the Thyssen entered a petition for a rehearing en banc, which was granted. However, the Ninth Circuit, en banc, affirmed the district court’s decisions to apply the expropriation exception. The court also determined that an exhaustion of judicial remedies in the state where the property was located was not required before bringing suit in the U.S. under the FSIA.
In 2010, Claude Cassirer passed away at the age of 89. Before his death, Claude remarked of the Spanish government, “They have been most unfriendly, not cooperative in any way.” By this time, Claude’s heirs – his son, David, and daughter, Ava – had taken up the suit to repatriate the painting back to the Cassirer family. In 2011, Spain was also dismissed from the suit per the stipulations of the parties.
Second Appeal (2013)
In 2013, the Cassirers’ efforts were nearly cut short when the district court granted Thyssen’s motion to dismiss, having found that California Code of Civil Procedure § 338(c)(3), which provides for a six-year statute of limitations for the recovery of art against a museum, gallery, auctioneer, or dealer, was unconstitutional on the basis of field preemption (essentially meaning that state law was preempted by federal legislation). The Ninth Circuit disagreed, affirming the district court’s decision in part and reversing the order dismissing the Cassirers’ decision.
Enter Spanish Law (2015)
In 2015, the parties found themselves once again in the Ninth Circuit for the appellate court to consider the question of whether Spanish or Californian law governed the dispute after both parties moved for summary judgment. Applying the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws, the court concluded that Spanish law governed the Thyssen’s claim to the Painting through adverse possession. The significance cannot be understated: the Ninth Circuit’s decision effectively meant that the Thyssen acquired legal title to the Painting because California law does not extend the doctrine of adverse possession to personal property; Spanish law, on the other hand, does.
By this point, the Court’s weariness with the dispute had started to become apparent. In the final lines of its opinion, the Ninth Circuit expressed a cautionary word to the parties, recommending that “the [Thyssen] pause, reflect, and consider whether it would be appropriate to work towards a mutually-agreeable resolution of this action, in light of Spain’s acceptance of the Washington Conference Principles and the Terezin Declaration, and, specifically, its commitment to achieve ‘just and fair solutions’ for victims of Nazi persecution.” Its words, however, were not heeded as the Thyssen chose to press forth with its legal defense.
In the next iteration of the case, the Ninth Circuit decided, on appeal, that the six-year statute of limitations provided by the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act (HEAR Act) of 2016 applied. Under the HEAR Act, a claim must be brought forward within 6 years of actual discovery (i.e. when the claimant receives actual knowledge of the location of the work or their interest in the work). However, the Act does not specify which state’s substantive law governs the merits of the claims. As before, the Court determined that Spanish law governed.
A Final Decision (2019)
When the case returned to the district court one last time, the court considered the issues of whether (1) the Thyssen was an accessory to theft (encubridor), and (2) whether the Thyssen obtained proper ownership of the Painting through acquisitive prescription (the Spanish equivalent of adverse possession). On both issues, the district court applied Spanish law and found in favor of the Thyssen. Under the Spanish legal regime, an accessory to theft must have actual knowledge of theft, which the court found that Spain and the Thyssen lacked. Although the court determined that the Baron never obtained good title to the Painting, and therefore did not pass on good title to the Thyssen, the museum lacked knowledge of the theft and did not exercise a willful blindness to theft.
Under the Spanish principles of acquisitive prescription, therefore, the Thyssen had acquired ownership of the Painting since it had possessed the Painting for the requisite years for title to vest. With that determination, the Central District Court of California ruled that El Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza was the lawful owner of Pisarro’s Rue St.-Honore, Apres-Midi, Effet de Pluie.
The Spanish Conundrum
If nothing else, the prolonged litigation between the Cassirer family and the Thyssen demonstrates the lengths that current owners of looted artworks are willing to go to in order to retain possession. In the end, the Thyssen was well within its rights under Spanish law. Yet as indicated by opinions’ dicta, the U.S. courts and the drafters of the Washington Principles and the Terezin Declaration would rather that Spain and the Museum had released their claim to the Cassirer family heirloom on moral grounds.
Even in cases like Cassirer, where the facts and provenance history of the work are well-documented, the outcomes of art restitution cases involving foreign state parties are often difficult to predict and manage. Whilst part of the issue is differing legal conceptions of property and conversion across borders (the aforementioned Spanish law concerning acquisitive possession is a clear example of this), the larger obstacle is usually the doctrine of sovereign immunity. On one hand, prominent U.S. restitution cases like Republic of Aus. v. Altmann and de Csepel v. Republic of Hungary resulted in decisions opting to limit sovereign immunity, and thereby favor restitution claimants. However, the recent case of Von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena shows that the courts are equally prone to rule in the opposite direction.
It is believed that 600,000 paintings were stolen throughout World War II by the Nazi regime, and approximately 100,000 works still remain lost. Although some nations have made efforts to restitute these works, Cassirer may be an indication that Spain is not steadfastly among them. Stuart E. Eizenstat, a State Department advisor on Holocaust issues and drafter of the Washington Conference Principles, cited Cassirer as an example of Spain being one of the few countries that “have made virtually no effort to comply.”  Of course, it is clear even to an untrained eye that a majority of claims launched against museums holding looted art are, as a rule, met with resistance.
The Spanish reluctance to return the Painting may strike onlookers as ironic, considering that Spain, alongside Portugal and Israel, is one of the few countries in the world that have a return law for Jewish people. In 2015, Spain passed a law that granted descendants of Sephardic Jews, expelled from the country in 1492, fast-track dual citizenship rights as a modern measure to atone for historic wrongs committed against Jewish communities. In light of initiatives like this, the attitude displayed by Spain in the Cassirer case may come off as inconsistent, to say the least.
One way to look at all this is to consider the fact that the Kingdom of Spain was not responsible for the theft that occurred between the Nazis and Lilly Cassirer. Indeed, Spain was not directly involved in the expropriation of the Painting. On one hand, Spain and the Thyssen might have been negligent (not legally speaking) in assuming that the Baron had passed to them good title for the Painting. However, the district court noted that the Baron had been publicly displaying the Painting in his Collection for a number of years, and that no adverse title claims were made whilst the Painting was in his possession. Furthermore, Spain and the Thyssen had obtained legal opinions that indicated the conveyance was lawful, and that what evidence they had did not manifestly reveal that the Painting was stolen.
This is not to say that Spain and the Thyssen ought to be excused for their reluctance to restitute the work. After all, the Kingdom of Spain is a signatory to both the non-binding Washington Conference Principles on Nazi Confiscated Art and the Terezin Declaration. Principle VIII of the Washington Principles, signed in 1998, called upon signatories to follow restitory steps that “should be taken expeditiously to achieve a just and fair solution, recognizing this may vary according to the facts and circumstances surrounding a specific case.” Similarly, the Terezin Declaration, signed in 2009, recalled the conference and pronounced that its parties supported its principles. It further went on to “urge all stakeholders” to “facilitate just and fair solutions with regard to Nazi-confiscated and looted art,” and also to “make certain that claims to recover such art are resolved expeditiously and based on the facts and merits of the claims and all the relevant documents submitted by all parties.” Neither document burdens Spain with any legal obligations, but they do reflect an internationally-accepted, collective moral obligation and responsibility to rectify the lingering repercussions of the Holocaust. As a signatory to the Washington Conference Principles and the Terezin Declaration, Spain is obligated to uphold the values it has so publicly championed. Yet when it came time to act, in plain view of all, Spain and the Thyssen fell disappointingly short.
Despite their best effort to recover Pissarro, the Cassirer family lost their lengthy legal battle for restitution. Works of lesser financial value than Rue St.-Honore, Apres-Midi, Effet de Pluie, do not get the chance of recovery because the outcome of litigation is not guaranteed but for mounting costs. For some similar claims, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) avenues may offer better outcomes. Advisory committees and special restitution committees, like those in Germany, France, and the Netherlands, at times also offer effective solutions to restitution claims outside of the courts. However for the Cassirer family, further (A)DR remedies may now be out of reach.
There is no question that the Lilly Cassirer’s Painting was unjustly expropriated by the Nazi regime. There is, also, no question as to the current ownership of the Painting, under Spanish and US law. Yet regardless of legal rights, or whether Spain and the Thyssen were complicit in creating this unfortunate situation, they nevertheless chose to perpetuate the historical injustice. Failure to find a “fair and just solution” here may not lie in the inadequacies of the law, but rather in the apathy of the generations. Though we may not be complicit in the tragedies of the past, to turn a blind eye is to bless the status quo.
 See, e.g. Associated Press, Polish-made golden ring and chain found hidden under false base in Holocaust victim’s mug, National Post, May, 2016. https://nationalpost.com/news/world/polish-made-golden-ring-and-chain-found-hidden-under-false-base-in-holocaust-victims-mug
 Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Found., No. 05-CV-3459-JFW (C.D. Cal. 2019).
 Cassirer v. Kingdom of Spain, 461 F. Supp. 2d 1157 (C.D. Cal. 2006), rev’d sub nom. Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Found., 737 F.3d 613 (9th Cir. 2013).
 Cassirer v. Thyssen, No. 05-CV-3459-JFW at 34.
 Id. at 34.
 Id. at 2.
 Id. at 2.
 Id. at 2.
 John Wilkens, Family seeking return of Nazi-looted masterpiece from Spanish museum gets new day in court, San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 2018. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/courts/sd-me-painting-nazi-20181127-story.html
 Cassirer v. Thyssen, No. 05-CV-3459-JFW at 3.
 Id at 4.
 Id. at 5.
 Jonathan Kandell, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, Industrialist Who Built Fabled Art Collection, Dies at 81, New York Times, Apr. 2002. https://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/28/nyregion/baron-thyssen-bornemisza-industrialist-who-built-fabled-art-collection-dies-81.html
 Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Found. No. 05-CV-3459-JFW at 9-10.
 Id. at 11.
 Id. at 12.
 Id. at 3.
 Id. For further reading see United States Court of Restitution Appeals of the Allied High Commission for Germany, Reports Vol. IV at 724, on file with Harvard Library at https://iiif.lib.harvard.edu/manifests/view/drs:427002099$745i
Cassirer v. Thyssen, No. 05-CV-3459-JFW at 3.
 Carol J. Williams, Pisarro masterpiece travels a twisted history, LA Times, Apr. 2010. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-apr-07-la-me-pissarro7-2010apr07-story.html
 Cassirer v. Kingdom of Spain, 461 F. Supp. 2d 1157 (C.D. Cal. 2006).
 28 U.S.C. §1605(a)(3) (2012).
 de Csepel v. Republic of Hungary, 859 F.3d 1094 (D.C. Cir. 2017), cert. denied, (U.S. Jan. 7, 2019) (No. 17-1165).
 For further reading, see Mia Guttmann, Case Review: de Csepel v. Republic of Hungary, Center for Art Law, May 2019. https://itsartlaw.org/2019/05/03/case-review-de-csepel-v-republic-of-hungary/#_edn46
 326 U.S. 310 (1945).
 Cassirer v. Kingdom of Spain, 461 F. Supp. 2d 1157, at 1161-1162.
 Cassirer v. Kingdom of Spain, 461 F. Supp. 2d 1157, 1170 (C.D. Cal. 2006) (quoting Altmann v. Republic of Aus., 317 F.3d 954, 968 (9th Cir. 2002)).
 Id. at 1170 – 1178.
 See id. at 1166 – 1169.
 See id. at 1177.
 Cassirer v. Kingdom of Spain, 580 F.3d 1048, 1058 (9th Cir. 2009).
 Cassirer v. Kingdom of Spain, 616 F.3d 1019 (9th Cir. 2009).
 Matthew S. Schwartz, Jewish Family Loses Legal Battle to Recover Painting Stolen by Nazis, NPR, May 2019. https://www.npr.org/2019/05/02/719367874/jewish-family-loses-legal-battle-to-recover-painting-stolen-by-nazis
 Cassirer v. Kingdom of Spain, 737 F.3d 613 (9th Cir. 2013).
 Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Found., 153 F. Supp. 3d 1148 (9th Cir. 2015).
 Id. at 1155.
 Id. at 1157
 Id. at 1168.
 Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Found., 862 F.3d 951 (9th Cir. 2017).
 Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016, Pub. L. 114-308, Stat. 1524. For some further reading, see Simon J. Frankel and Sari Sharoni, Navigating the Ambiguities and Uncertainties of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016, 42 Colum. J.L. & Arts 157 (2019).
 Cassirer, 862 F.3d 951 at 961-962.
 Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Found., No. 05-CV-3459-JFW (C.D. Cal 2019).
 Id. at 28-30.
 Id. at 20-34.
 Id. at 26-29.
 Republic of Aus. v. Altmann, 541 U.S. 677 (2004)
 de Csepel v. Republic of Hungary, 859 F.3d 1094 (D.C. Cir. 2017)
 Von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, No. 07-56691, 2010 WL 114959 (9th Cir. Jan 14, 2010). For further reading, see Shlomit Heering, Twice Looted, Twice Returned? Center for Art Law, Nov. 2018. https://itsartlaw.org/2018/11/05/twice-looted-twice-returned/
 Joel Rubin, Nearly 80 years ago, Nazis stole a family’s painting. Now an American judge will decide if it should be returned, L.A. Times, Dec. 2018. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-nazi-art-trial-20181203-story.html
 For further reading, see Patty Gerstenblith, International Art and Cultural Heritage, 44.1 The International Lawyer 487 (2010).
 Joel Rubin, Nazis stole a family painting, supra.
 See Sidney Zabludoff, At Issue: Restitution of Holocaust-Era Assets: Promises and Reality, 19.1 Jewish Political Studies Review 3 (2007).
 Raphael Minder, Spain Approves Citizenship Path for Sephardic Jews, NY Times, June 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/12/world/europe/spain-approves-citizenship-path-for-sephardic-jews.html.
 Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Found., No. 05-CV-3459-JFW 1, 29 (C.D. Cal 2019).
 Id. at 28.
 Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conference: Terezin Declaration, Department of State (June 30, 2009), https://2009-2017.state.gov/p/eur/rls/or/126162.htm.
 Marie Cornu and Marc-André Jean Renold, New Developments in the Restitution of Cultural Property: Alternative Means of Dispute Resolution, 17.1 International Journal of Cultural Property 1, (2010).
About the Author: Timothy Chung is a Summer 2019 Legal Intern for the Center for Art Law, and a J.D. candidate at Columbia Law School, Class of 2021. In 2016, he graduated from Oberlin College with a double major in Latin and Creative Writing and a minor in Greek, before working as a paralegal at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP. Timothy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.