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Stephen Crane

Hon. Stephen G. Crane (Ret.)

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Case Manager
Virginia Corvey
T: 212-607-2754
F: 212-751-4099
620 Eighth Avenue , 34th Floor , New York , NY 10018

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
  • 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)
  • 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

Counsel Comments

    • "We're impressed with your involvement and the level of your commitment to the process. You not only demonstrate a sterling intellect, but keen understanding of the interpersonal aspects of negotiation."

      -Lawyer for Party
    • "We very much appreciate Judge Crane’s skillful approach and considerable efforts that enabled the parties to reach this settlement."

      -Law Firm Attorney
    • "I don't think that it would be premature to express, once again, our appreciation for your hard and skillful work in connection with the resolution of our case. We had been working on reaching a settlement for several years without success. In three short hours, you helped us work it out. We look forward to working with you again in the future."

      -Law Firm Attorney
    • "I want to thank you for being so instrumental in developing the basis to end this most unfortunate and unnecessary conflict.  Your judicial stature, knowledge of the critical aspects of the law, and capability to assess the relative significance of the factual issues were each vital in the mediation process."

      -CEO Family Business Client
    • "Thank you once again for your efforts... What a truly terrific job I thought you did. I have been singing your praises here since then. You are probably the best mediator we ever had the pleasure of working with. You really pulled a rabbit out of the hat on this one. We didn't think this one was going to settle. You did a superb job. Another round of thanks for you."

      -Attorney for party
    • "It was as painless as possible and Judge Crane deserves to be credited for his objectivity and pleasant manners in a surprisingly strife free situation."

      -Appraiser

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