Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Liz Dickinson, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva

News Feed Item

Chabad Responds to Russia's Misinformation Campaign Concerning A Federal Court's Imposition of Civil Contempt Sanctions Against Russia

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On January 16, a U.S. federal court issued civil contempt monetary sanctions in the amount of $50,000 per day against the Russian Federation, Russian Ministry of Culture and Mass Communication, Russian State Library, and Russian State Military Archive for refusing to comply with a July 2010 judgment ordering return of a large collection of sacred religious books and archives to its rightful owner, Agudas Chasidei Chabad of United States. 

This Statement responds to false and erroneous declarations made by Russian authorities in response to entry of the court's order.

(1) Russia claims that United States courts lack "jurisdiction."

Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA"), U.S. federal courts have jurisdiction over claims against foreign states involving the expropriation of property in violation of international law.  They also have authority to issue civil contempt sanctions against foreign states, as recently confirmed by the D.C. Circuit in the case FG Hemisphere Associates, LLC v. Democratic Republic of CongoRussia's position that yesterday's civil contempt sanctions order was "unlawful" reflects Russia's misunderstanding of American law.

(2) Russia claims that Chabad wants a Russian "national treasure."

Chabad, an international non-profit Orthodox Jewish organization, filed suit in 2004 under the FSIA to recover 12,000 books and manuscripts that were seized from it during the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Civil War (the "Library") and 25,000 pages of handwritten manuscripts and books seized by Nazis and then looted as "trophy documents" in Poland in 1945 by the Soviet Red Army (the "Archive"). 

Russia falsely asserts that it simply "recovered" property that had been "abandoned" by Chabad.  The truth is quite different.  Russia's Bolshevik government seized the Library from a private warehouse in Moscow in 1917, where Chabad's spiritual leader, the Fifth Rebbe, had sent it for safekeeping as he fled the German forces invading Russia.  The Soviet Union rejected numerous pleas for the return of the Library from Chabad's leaders, but never nationalized the books.  After arresting Chabad's new leader, the Sixth Rebbe, for "counter revolutionary activities" (namely establishing Jewish schools), the Soviets beat him and sentenced him to death by firing squad in 1927, but the sentence was commuted, because of international pressure, to exile. 

The Nazi German invasion of Poland in 1939 forced the Sixth Rebbe to flee yet again.  The Nazi forces seized the Archive and transferred it to a Gestapo-controlled castle in Poland, where Soviet military forces plundered the Archive in September 1945 and transferred it as "trophy documents" to a secret facility in Moscow, where it was hidden from the public for many decades. A document belatedly disclosed by Russia in discovery recites how the Archive was taken by the Red Army "in 1945 as part of German trophy documents." It contradicts the description Russia is giving today to these manuscripts.

(3) Russia claims that the court has treated it provocatively.

Following nearly four years of active litigation between the parties, during which Russia lost in the United States Court of Appeals, Russia and its agencies precipitously stopped speaking with the international law firm that had represented them and withdrew from the case. They stated that "[t]he Russian Federation views any continued defense before this Court and, indeed, any participation in this litigation as fundamentally incompatible with its rights as a sovereign nation." 

Chabad was required by United States law to present evidence to support its claim. The Court entered a judgment in favor of Chabad after finding that "[p]laintiff has met its burden of proving a prima facie case against defendants and has established its right to relief by evidence satisfactory to the Court."  The Court held that "the takings of the Library and the Archive by defendants and their predecessor regimes were not for a public purpose, were discriminatory, and occurred without just compensation to plaintiff."  As a result, the Court ordered Russia and its agencies "to surrender . . . the complete collection of religious books, manuscripts, documents and things that comprise the 'Library' and the 'Archive.'"  Order & Judgment of July 30, 2010. 

(4) Russia claims that it has not received due process of law.

The Court issued an Order to Show Cause in connection with Chabad's Motion for Civil Contempt Sanctions.  Russia failed to respond to the Court's Order to Show Cause within 60 days.  Chabad thereafter voluntarily requested two stays of enforcement of the judgment to create an atmosphere conducive to settlement negotiations.  The stays expired on March 1, 2012.

On January 13, 2012, Russian Culture Minister Alexander Avdeyev announced at a press conference that "A constructive dialogue over the Schneerson Library will be possible only after the U.S. court reverses its decision and the claimant withdraws its lawsuit."  On March 5, 2012, Chabad renewed its request that the Court enter an order finding defendants in contempt of court and issue monetary sanctions against them for refusing to comply with the Court's judgment in favor of Chabad. The Court delayed any action and requested the United States to state its view before issuing any further order.

(5) Russia claims that the sanctions will make settlement difficult.

Chabad has made a good faith effort to negotiate with Russia, including two meetings at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C.  Unfortunately, Russia has not complied with the Court's judgment. Nor has it agreed to return any portion of the "Schneerson Collection" as a result of diplomatic efforts or as an act of generosity. Only after the Court found Russia in contempt did Russian representatives agree to meet with Chabad's counsel.

(6) Russia asserts that the sanctions will impede exhibition of Russian art in the United States.

Chabad will not seek to enforce the judgment or civil contempt order by seeking to attach any art or objects of cultural significance subject to the immunity protections of 22 U.S.C. section 2459. It made that position clear to the District Court and to Russia long ago, and the Court has re-affirmed the immunity of such art under United States law. Russia's threat is a bogus attempt to turn American public opinion against Chabad.

Chabad is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York with over 4,500 international branches; it is the largest Jewish organization in the world today. 

Chabad is represented by attorneys Marshall B. Grossman and Seth M. Gerber of Bingham McCutchen LLP, and by Nathan Lewin and Alyza D. Lewin of Lewin & Lewin, LLP.

Offering a broad range of market-leading practices focused on global companies, Bingham, www.bingham.com, has approximately 1,000 lawyers in 14 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Follow the firm on Twitter @BinghamLaw.

Based in Washington, D.C., Lewin & Lewin LLP– www.lewinlewin.com – specializes in Supreme Court and federal appellate litigation and is available for consultation by lawyers and clients in complex criminal and civil matters in federal courts.  Lewin & Lewin also represents clients and assists attorneys in relations with federal legislative, executive and administrative agencies.

SOURCE Bingham McCutchen LLP

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that AgilePoint, the leading provider of Microsoft-centric Business Process Management software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 2nd International @ThingsExpo which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. AgilePoint is the leading provider of Microsoft-based Business Process Management (BPM) software products, has 1,300+ on-premise and cloud deployments in 25+ countries and provides the same advanced BPM feature set as J2EE vendors like IBM and Appian for the Microsoft .NET native environment. AgilePoint customer...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, will describe an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people’s real needs and desires.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.