TIFF and CILP are pleased to present: A Judge, a Lawyer, a Scholar and a Woman in Gold

Friday, October 23, 2015 - 10:30 to 14:00
TIFF Bell Lightbox 350 King Street West, Toronto

TIFF and CILP are pleased to present Justice Ed Morgan, Mr. Don Burris and Prof. Michael Marrus: A Judge, a Lawyer, a Scholar and a Woman in Gold

In 1938, Gustav Klimt’s painting ‘The Woman in Gold’ was stolen from its rightful owner when the Nazis invaded Austria. In 1999, Maria Altmann began her legal battle to have the painting returned to her family, which culminated in the 2004 US Supreme Court ruling in Altmann v. Republic of Austria. Join us for a special screening of ‘Woman in Gold’, the film that captured Maria Altmann’s tireless efforts to reclaim the painting she remembered as a child. The screening will be preceded by a conversation between Don Burris, one of the lawyers in the firm that won the Altmann case, and Michael Marrus, a Holocaust historian. Mr. Burris has spent many years championing the rights of victims of Nazi looting, and he continues his ongoing quest to vindicate the rights of his clients, and to correct a series of grievous historical wrongs. But Professor Marrus has carefully examined Holocaust restitution efforts, and he asks us some troubling questions: Should American Courts decide the fate of European property? And what is ‘historical justice’, especially when present owners of displaced property may be completely innocent of wrongdoing? This spirited discussion will be joined by Justice Edward M. Morgan, of the Ontario Superior Court, and former national president of the Canadian Jewish Congress.


On Friday, October 23, join our Distinguished Guests from the Bench, the Academy and the Bar, as they discuss the Woman in Gold.

To see the schedule and RSVP, go here: Woman in Gold, RSVP


don-burrisMR. DONALD S. BURRIS has been an international lawyer and law lecturer for forty-five years. Mr. Burris currently resides in Santa Monica, California and is the senior partner in the AV-rated firm of Burris, Schoenberg & Walden, and LLP. For the past fourteen years, Mr. Burris has devoted a considerable amount of time to the pursuit of art works and other assets stolen by the Nazi authorities before and during World War II. These efforts culminated in 2004 with a successful argument to the Supreme Court in Altmann v. Republic of Austria541 U.S. 677 (2004), at the conclusion of which the Austrian government returned a number of priceless historic paintings by Gustav Klimt. He is currently involved as lead or local counsel in a number of cases in the state and federal courts dealing with the restitution of Nazi-looted art, including the Von Saher case in the California federal courts.


MarrusPROFESSOR MICHAEL MARRUS is the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto, and focuses on the Holocaust, international human rights, and the relationship between law and history. He is the author of eight books on these and related subjects. Among them are Vichy France and the Jews(1981), with Robert O. Paxton; The Unwanted: European Refugees in the Twentieth Century (1985); The Holocaust in History (1987) and The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial 1945-46: A Documentary History (1997). His latest book,Lessons of the Holocaust, is to be published in December by the University of Toronto Press.


Ed MorganJUSTICE EDWARD M. MORGAN was appointed a judge of the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto in June 2012. Prior to that, he was a Professor of Law at the University of Toronto and taught in the fields of Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, and International Law. He practiced civil litigation at Davies, Ward & Beck in Toronto, first as an associate (1989-1992) and then as a partner (1992-1997) before joining the University of Toronto. He was a law clerk to Madam Justice Bertha Wilson of the Supreme Court of Canada (1984-1985), and has guest-lectured and taught as a visiting professor in the United States, Europe, Israel, and East Africa. He has published International Law and the Canadian Courts (Carswell, 1990) and The Aesthetics of International Law (U. of T. Press, 2007). From 2004-2007 he was national president of the Canadian Jewish Congress.