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Case Summary

John v. Sotheby’s, Inc.

John v. Sotheby’s, Inc., 141 F.R.D. 29 (S.D.N.Y. 1992), granting motion to interplead, but denying motion to dismiss; No. 90-cv-5867 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 11, 1994), denying motion for summary judgment; 858 F. Supp. 1283 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 1, 1994), judgment for plaintiff in part and intervenor in part; 52 F.3d 312 (2d Cir. 1995), aff’g without opinion.


This case, involving a purported Rembrandt painting, addressed the effects of divorce on a couple’s ownership rights in a painting they had purchased while still married. A federal court in New York ruled that the painting was “marital property,” equally shared by the husband and wife at the time of purchase. When the two divorced, therefore, each retained a 50% interest in the painting and . . . .

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