Judge rules gallery assistant to inherit photographer’s fortune

Discussion in 'Brews 'n Jews' started by The Bobster, Nov 12, 2017 at 8:37 PM.

  1. The Bobster Forum Veteran

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    Judge rules gallery assistant to inherit photographer’s fortune
    By Julia Marsh
    October 20, 2017 | 12:32am

    Saul Leiter

    A decades-younger gallery assistant will inherit late photographer Saul Leiter’s $5 million fortune after a judge found that he disinherited his Orthodox Jewish family members because they didn’t approve of his bohemian lifestyle.

    Leiter, a pioneer of early color photography, left his native Pittsburgh, where his father was a renowned Talmud scholar, in 1946 at age 23 to pursue his dream of becoming an artist in New York City.

    He had his first showing at the Museum of Modern Art just four years later. Over the ensuing decades, his work was featured in fashion magazines like Elle and Harper’s Bazaar.

    His brother Abba Leiter objected to his will after Saul died in 2013 at 89.

    The 2008 document says, “I intentionally make no bequest for my brother Abba Leiter . . . not out of lack of affection but for reasons best known to me.”

    Abba Leiter claimed that his older brother’s friend Margit Erb, who worked at the Howard Greenberg Gallery, “fraudulently induced” him to leave her his fortune when he was too frail to object.

    But in a recent ruling, Manhattan Surrogate’s Court Judge Rita Mella sided with Erb — who is 40 years younger than the artist.

    Mella said she found no evidence that Erb had “disparate power and control over” Leiter.
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  2. WFHermans Forum Veteran

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    Their imported golems are turned against them, oy veh!

    Judge Rita Mella was born and raised in Santo Domingo and moved to New York City in the 1980s. She came to the United States when she was 22 years old, on a scholarship to the University of Florida, and received her J.D. degree from the City University of New York Law School in 1991. Mella served as court attorney and law clerk for Hon. Richard Rivera of the Kings County Family, Civil and Supreme Courts until 2002 and for Hon. Margarita López Torres of the Kings County Surrogate's and Criminal Courts through 2006. She was elected to the Civil Court in 2006, and served in Criminal Court for the next seven years. In 2012, Judge Mella became the first Latina elected to sit on the prestigious New York County Surrogate's Court in Manhattan.

    The importance of working for the public good, and in particular to benefit her community, is something Judge Mella learned from an early age. "I was raised in a household where morals and ethics played a significant role. From when I was very little, public service was encouraged by example in my house. And those values were reinforced in school. I attended an excellent school in Santo Domingo. If I had to go back to the influences that have informed what I am about today, I would say it would be the values with which I was raised. If I had to define my life right now, I would say it is about public service. My need to do public service and my devotion to it come from those influences and from being raised with those values."
    In a previous interview with NBC Latino, Judge Mella spoke eloquently about her commitment to working for social justice. I followed up on that by asking about what progress has been made on issues that affect Dominicans most. "The Dominican presence has grown tremendously in New York and the United States," the judge replies,"and the influence of our community has also grown significantly, to the point that members of the community are now very visible in different spheres, including the public sphere—we have a significant presence in all areas of public life. For instance in the legal field, we now have eleven Dominican judges that have been elected or appointed in the city of New York. That's only in the judiciary. In higher education, at both the administrative and faculty levels, the Dominican presence is growing. It has also increased in politics. Our presence has grown and the presence of individuals in visible positions in the public sphere has also grown. Through all of that growth, and through those individuals who continue to play a role in public life, a lot has been accomplished in addressing the issues that affect underserved and immigrant communities, including Dominicans. Our presence in all of those spheres has made a difference. The policies that are being set and priorities that have been established are informed by this."
    Latest Given Reputation Points:
    Georg Schoenerer: 41,080 Points (I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.) Nov 14, 2017 at 12:35 PM

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