Your Browser Does Not Support JavaScript. Please Update Your Browser and reload page. Have a nice day! From the January 2023 Newsletter – Center for Art Law

Cbre, Inc. v. Pace Gallery of New York, No. 17-CV-2452 (ALC)(SN) (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 12, 2022).

After nearly five years, a legal battle between the Pace Gallery and one of New York’s largest real estate firms CBRE has come to a close after a jury awarded the firm nearly $6.3 million in damages. In 2017, CBRE alleged that Pace had failed to proffer more that 3 million dollars owed for advising the gallery in negotiations with the buildings owner. According to the complaint, not only did the agreement between the gallery and the firm give CBRE exclusive rights to negotiate with Pace’s landlord, but also promised that the gallery would pay a commission to the firm. See Docket Here.

Adonis Real et al v. Yuga Labs, Inc. et al, No. 2:22-CV-08909 (C.D. Cal. Dec 8, 2022).

In a hundred-page complaint, a recent class action lawsuit names celebrities such as Madonna, Justin Bieber, Serena Williams and Jimmy Fallon who promoted the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT and were compensated without disclosing such details. Plaintiffs allege that such influential celebrities were a part of a “vast scheme” to inflate the value of the NFTs. Further, the complaint levels that Guy Oseary, who represents Bored Apes was also part of the scheme to compensate celebrities for their endorsement without disclosing such information. The complaint singles out Oseary repeatedly, stating that he “saw an opportunity to profit from using his celebrity contacts to promote the sale of Yuga securities, and he took it.”  Question, how were they damaged? Who will settle and how will the class action go? Let’s stay tuned. Read the complaint HERE or HERE.

Roberts v. Richard Beavers Gallery et al, No. 1:2022-CV-04516 (E.D.N.Y. Aug 1, 2022).

Deborah Roberts, a well known collage artist based in Austin, Texas, is suing Lynthia Edwards and her gallery, alleging copyright infringement. In her complaint, Roberts alleges that Edwards intentionally copied Roberts’ distinctive artistic style to confuse potential buyers. Roberts filed the complaint in August in New York’s Eastern District. Attorney for the Defense, Luke Nikas, described the lawsuit as “An attempt to prevent [his client] from thriving in the same artistic space and tradition as Roberts.” Docket available HERE.

Edelson PC v. David Lira et al, No. 2:2022-CV-08787 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 3, 2022). 

Star of the hit reality series Real Housewives of Beverly HIlls, Erika Jayne, and her ex-husband Tom Girardi, will be forced to give up their art collection among other valuables to pay off their creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding,   following a major legal battle. Girardi was a partner at the firm Keese and Girardi, known for handling high profile lawsuits. Girardi has been disbarred and is being sued for fraud. The complaints level accusations of theft from clients, falsified case expenses, and laundered money through his firm. Docket available HERE.

Judd Foundation v. Gallery et al, No. 4:2022-CV-00027 (W.D. Tex. August 5, 2022). 

The Judd foundation, an organization whose mission is to preserve the legacy of Donald Judd and manages his studios in New York and Texas, filed suit against two galleries. The complaint alleges that the galleries respectively caused irreparable damage to two one of Judd’s pieces while in their care. According to the complaint, the Tina Kim Gallery and the Kukje Gallery violated the consignment contract in place by leaving fingerprints on the aluminum and plexiglass installation. The artist states that “any fingerprints on the anodized aluminum surface must be removed quickly or over time the oils in the fingerprints can react with the surface and leave permanent, disfiguring, irreversible marks.” Complaint is available HERE.

Silver v. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, No. 3:22-CV-08914-SK (N.D. Cal. December 15, 2022). 

Heirs of a Jewish collector sue the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation for the return of Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 painting entitled Olive Picking. Filed in the Northern District of California, the complaint alleges that the Met sold the painting in secret to avoid having to return the work to Hedwig Stern, its allegedly rightful owner. Nazi persecution prevented Stern from bringing her art collection with her as she fled Munich for California. Olive Picking was left to the “Aryanized” Thannhauser Gallery who sold the piece to Theodor Werner, along with another Renoir in the collection for 55,00 Reichsmarks (or approx. $125,000 USD). Stern never received the money from the transaction. Complaint available HERE.