Hon. Stephen G. Crane (Ret.)

T: 212-751-2700
F: 212-751-4099


Available worldwide

A retired Senior Justice of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court and former Commercial Division Justice, Judge Crane has confronted at trial, and mediated and arbitrated a broad range of disputes in the art world. Co-Chair for the past eight years of The Prestigious Art Litigation and Dispute Resolution Institute of the New York County Lawyers Association and of its renowned annual Art Law CLE. Judge Crane has specialized in this field in various neutral roles: arbitrator, mediator, neutral evaluator, umpire and most court preparation of advocates for oral argument in various courts.

Representative Matters

  • Arbitrated claims by artist of site-specific installation art to prohibit its alleged distribution by owner’s plan to remove or relocate it
  • Acted as umpire, pursuant to an insurance policy, between art appraisers who evaluated the extent of damage to a mural created by a well-known photographer
  • Mediated a dispute between a photographer and his studio against a collector and dealer over ownership of three works that he had enhanced for his hand-work at the request of the collector/dealer
  • Mediated a claim for landscape damages caused by a public art installation of a waterfall of salt water adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Presided at trial of a case by an artist against his landlord for the fair market value of 100 paintings destroyed when a steam pipe burst where they were stored
  • Mediated a claim for damage to a 17th Century mughal diamond and emerald necklace that the owner had loaned to a museum
  • Mediated a claim for damages to artworks by patrons at a museum where they were on display due to insufficient supervision by guards
  • Mooted appellate lawyer in suit by German museum to recover missing gold tablet that ended up in the estate of a Holocaust survivor
  • Mooted appellate lawyer in a suit to recover for heirs of Holocaust victim two 17th Century works from a California museum

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Robert L. Haig Award for Distinguished Public Service, New York State Bar Association
  • Jack Newton Lerner Award for outstanding contributions to Continuing Legal Education, New York County Lawyers’ Association
  • Louis J. Capozzoli Gavel Award, New York County Lawyers’ Association
  • Distinguished Service Award, Law Secretaries & Law Assistants Collegium
  • Harold A. Stevens Jewel Award, New York County Lawyers’ Association–Tort Section
  • Past President, Cornell Law Association and Past Chair, Cornell Law School Advisory Council
  • Past Member, Pattern Jury Instructions Committee of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York
  • New York County Lawyers’ Association
    • Co-Chair, Institute on Continuing Legal Education; Chair, History Committee
    • Member: Public Service Awards Committee, Cromwell Award Committee 
    • Past Member: Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Criminal Justice Section (founding co-chair)
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Past Chair, Committee on Civil Practice Law and Rules
    • Member: Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Executive Committee, Dispute Resolution Section Executive Committee
    • Former Member, House of Delegates 
    • Life Fellow, New York State Bar Foundation
    • Member of former Commission on Legal Services for the Middle Income
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America and New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • Honorary Board Member, formerly Member of New York Regional Board and its Executive Committee, and Chair of By-Laws Committee, Anti-Defamation League
  • National Center for State Courts: Project Advisory Committee for A Manual for Managing Notorious Cases, 1990-1992
  • Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the City of New York and Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York
  • Member, Board of Justices, First Judicial District
  • Former Chair, Board of Trustees, New York County Public Access Law Library
  • Museum Memberships:  The Guggenheim Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art; The Frick Collection; The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; The Museum of Jewish Heritage; Frank Lloyd Wright Association
  • Neutral, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR)

Background and Education

  • Justice, Supreme Court, New York County, 1984-2007 (Supreme Court Justice, 1990-2007; Acting Supreme Court Justice, 1984-1989)
    • Senior Associate Justice, Appellate Division-Second Department, 2008
    • Associate Justice, Appellate Division-Second Department, designated 2005
    • Additional Justice, Appellate Division-Second Department, designated 2001
    • Administrative Judge of Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County, 1996-2001
  • Judge, Criminal Court, City of New York, 1981-1984
  • Partner, Glass Howard and Crane, New York, 1980-1981
  • Counsel to the Office of Court Administration, New York, 1979-1980
  • Chief Law Assistant, Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, 1976-1979 (Senior Law Assistant, 1966-1976)
  • Associate, Poletti Freidin Prashker Feldman & Gartner, New York, 1963-1966
  • J.D., with distinction, Cornell Law School, 1963
  • B.S., Cornell University, 1960


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