Clearly, Plaintiff was not satisfied with the results of the Board’s deliberations. Instead of sending white smoke into the air, the parties went to court, where the judge moved to dismiss the complaint.
On appeal just last month, Judges from the First Department Appellate Division, Friedman, Sweeny, Renwick, Freedman and Roman affirmed that “Plaintiff’s claims must be dismissed, as defendants’ only duty to plaintiff was that undertaken by the letter agreements.” They held that the relationship was not fiduciary and most importantly repeated that “the market place is the appropriate place to resolve authentication disputes” (citing Thome v Alexander & Louisa Calder Found., 70 AD3d 88, 890 N.Y.S.2d 16 . Finally, the court declined to impose sanction on either side “contrary to the parties’ arguments” regarding their respective conduct.
If hard cases make for bad law, this was clearly an easy case (or there is another explanation to the seemingly good law making here).
Attorneys on the case: Michael D. Rips with Steptoe & Johnson LLP for Thompson and Luke Nikas with Boies Schiller & Flexner, LLP for the Board.
Sources: Thompson v Andy Warhol Found. for the Visual Arts, Inc., 33 Misc. 3d 1221(A) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2011), aff’d by Thompson v Andy Warhol Found. for the Visual Arts, Inc., 103 A.D.3d 528 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep’t 2013)