ABCs of Art Law: D is for Divorce
December 7, 2023
Join the Center for Art Law as we discuss the intersection of divorce and the world of art. Our expert panel, comprising Magnolia Levy, divorce and family law attorney and Courtney Christensen, Senior Director of Trusts & Estates at Winston Art Group, will guide us through the complex landscape of dividing assets, with a focus on high-value art collections.
The panel will explore the concept of property–separate, marital, or pre-marital, the methods to ascertain the ownership, whether through bills of sale, invoices, or other legal documentation. The session will also look into the art of valuation with real-world examples, including the landmark Macklowe case to understand different approaches such as fair market value and marketable cash value, and the impact of valuation on property division.
Through the program, the audience will gain insights into legal analyses of art ownership and division of assets in divorce, and how attorneys navigate these disputes, choose experts, and present compelling testimony in court. The session will also briefly look into how different states approach property division, with a focus on examples from New York and California. The program also hopes to delve into the dynamics of valuing art held by entities, the role of pre-nuptial agreements in avoiding messy valuations, and the protection of inherited wealth and art.
The session will also differentiate between the various challenges and processes that arise for artists as well as dealers and collectors in divorce and divison of art.
About the Speakers
Magnolia D. Levy
In an effort to bring dignity to the end of a relationship, Ms. Levy endeavors from the outset to effectively and efficiently achieve the best results for her clients without the need for court intervention. However, when a negotiated settlement is not possible, she is comfortable going to court, drawing on her commercial litigation background as a tenacious and passionate advocate for her clients.
Ms. Levy’s practice includes the handling of complex financial matters, child custody issues, post judgment matters, pre and post nuptial agreements and other family law matters, both in and out of court.
Ms. Levy’s practice also includes mediation and in 2020 she was selected to serve on the New York Supreme Court roster as a court-appointed mediator with the Matrimonial Mediation Pilot Program. Ms. Levy is a member of the Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York and, with her training from The Center for Mediation & Training, she expertly guides her mediation clients through all matters related to matrimonial and family law. As part of her mediation practice, Ms. Levy regularly serves as a consulting attorney for clients involved in mediation with an outside mediator.
Courtney brings more than 20 years of experience in the art world to Winston Art Group. The child of passionate collectors, she has parlayed a lifetime of attending auctions and galleries into a career in the arts. As Director of Trusts & Estates for Winston Art Group, Courtney works with fiduciaries, executors, families and advisors on strategic estate planning, appraisal and disposition of tangible personal property. Prior to joining Winston, Courtney had an 18 year career at Sotheby’s where she was most recently Vice President and Head of Department, Trusts & Estates and a specialist in American Art and Prints, working in both the New York and London offices. She has also worked in the firm’s Philadelphia and San Francisco offices. Courtney has been a licensed auctioneer since 2008, and continues to offer her auctioneering expertise to a host of museums and charitable organizations. As Vice President of the Board of East Side House Settlement, an educational and community service organization in the South Bronx, she has been closely affiliated with the Winter Show since 2009 and presently serves as Vice Chair. Currently on the Planned Giving Committees for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Historical Society, Courtney has also worked closely with the Shelburne Museum, where she curated exhibition of John James Audubons’ The Birds of America. She has been a lecturer and panelist on a full range of art and art market topics at museums and continuing education organizations across the country, including the Heckerling Institute Annual Trusts and Estates Conference and Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Courtney holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Princeton University, and is compliant with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Courtney lives with her husband and two daughters in Manhattan.
If you are an attorney seeking CLE credit in NY for this event you must purchase a legal professional ticket. THIS PROGRAM IS PENDING CLE ACCREDITATION.
If you are experiencing financial hardship and need assistance for the purchase of a legal professional ticket specifically, please fill out our financial aid application HERE.
This course or program is pending approval in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of 1 credit hour in Professional Practice, acceptable for transitional credit for established and newly admitted attorneys.