Federal judge rules in favor of Nixon Peabody clients in upholding internationally celebrated art-sharing settlement

November 20, 2020

Director of Media Relations
Nicholas Braude

Oklahoma City, OK. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has ruled in favor of Nixon Peabody clients, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc. (OU Foundation), ordering Ms. Léone Meyer to cease and desist her litigation, attempting to undo a 2016 art-sharing settlement agreement regarding the Camille Pissarro painting, Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep (1886).

Meyer, who voluntarily signed and agreed to the sharing agreement in 2016—which both U.S. and French courts previously approved—filed for a hearing in a Paris court seeking to nullify the settlement agreement and stop the upcoming public display of the painting at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in 2021. The internationally lauded 2016 art-sharing settlement established a model for how to fairly and justly settle modern-day art restitution cases. Heralded as a first-of-its-kind U.S.-France international art-sharing agreement, the settlement was negotiated by Thaddeus Stauber, partner, and leader of Nixon Peabody’s Arts and Cultural Institutions practice, and approved by the U.S. and French courts in 2016.

Earlier in November, the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors wrote a letter supporting the university and foundation’s position to protect and uphold the ratified settlement agreement.

Nixon Peabody’s legal team is led by Mr. Stauber and includes Complex Commercial Disputes partners, and members of the Arts and Cultural Institutions team, Kristin Jamberdino and Sarah André. Nixon Peabody’s co-counsel includes Olivier de Baecque of de Baecque Avocats in Paris, and Michael Avery and Michael McClintock of McAfee & Taft in Oklahoma.

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