GLENDALE–The Armenian Bar Association, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the Zoryan Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation Wednesday jointly signed onto an amicus brief filed in the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Movsesian v. Versicherung.
On August 20th, a divided three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the California Code of Civil Procedure section 354.4, which refers to the Armenian Genocide and allows for certain claims arising out of the Genocide to be pursued in California courts, is pre-empted by statements of federal Executive Branch officials in the Clinton and Bush Administrations.
The decision came despite the fact that the statements do not carry the force of law, were not embodied in any international agreement, and were unrelated to the settlement of private claims, in this case, insurance claims. The brief requests a panel rehearing and a rehearing en banc.
The Armenian Bar Association secured pro bono assistance from the international law firm, Bingham McCutcheon, LLP, with attorneys David M. Balabanian, David B. Salmons, and Erin S. Conroy, drafting the brief for the amici curiae. In addition to assistance provided by the ANCA and the Zoryan Institute, research assistance was also provided by the Armenian National Institute.