Attorney and Armenian rights advocate Vartkes Yeghiayan will share his experiences and insights on how the Armenian people, as victims of Genocide, can and should make the transition from talking about justice to obtaining justice through court proceedings for the loss of life, property, and homeland. Yeghiayan will highlight his current work on Armenian property claims in Turkey.
Vartkes Yeghiayan is an Armenian-American attorney based out of Los Angeles. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mr. Yeghiayan is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and of the Lincoln Law School. In 1974, he was appointed by President Richard Nixon to become the assistant director of the Peace Corps, where he was in charge of formulating policy, coordinating with foreign governments, and overseeing volunteer service programs. In 1999, Mr. Yeghiayan began the first legal action on Armenian Genocide restitution when he filed a class suit against New York Life and its failure to pay the families of the victims who had purchased polices with the company prior to the war. This was followed by a similar suit against French insurance giant AXA. Agreements reached between these two companies netted more than $55 million in payments for not only Armenian, but also Greek and Assyrian genocide heirs. In recent years, lawsuits have been filed against Deutsche Bank and German insurance company Victoria, as well as against the Turkish government for its seizure of Armenian properties and, in a landmark case on Armenian art looted during the genocide, against the J. Paul Getty Museum for its possession of the renowned medieval illuminated manuscript pages known as the Zeytun Gospels. He currently has several ongoing cases awaiting adjudication in American courts, with plans to file more in the Republic of Turkey.
His publications include
• Pro Armenia: Jewish Responses to the Armenian Genocide. Glendale, CA: Centre for Armenian Remembrance, 2012.
• Raphael Lemkin's Dossier on the Armenian Genocide. 2008 (in English, Turkish & Greek).
• British Reports on Ethnic Cleansing in Anatolia, 1919–1922: The Armenian-Greek Section Glendale, CA: Centre for Armenian Remembrance, 2008
• Vahan Cardashian: Advocate Extraordinaire of the Armenian Cause. Glendale, CA: Centre for Armenian Remembrance, 2007.
• The Case of Misak Torlakian. Glendale, CA: Centre for Armenian Remembrance, 2006.
• The Case of Soghomon Tehlirian. Glendale, CA: Centre for Armenian Remembrance, 2006.
Organizer: College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Phone: +374 10 32-40-40
Venue: Alex and Marie Manoogian Hall
Phone: +374 60 69-40-40