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A case pending in the Western District of Pennsylvania should provide the opportunity for a federal judge to clarify the pleading requirements for the “recognized stature” element of a VARA claim. In April 2018, street artist Kyle Holbrook and two arts organizations that he founded brought VARA claims against forty-four defendants, including the City of Pittsburgh, in the federal court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, alleging that the defendants had mutilated and destroyed murals…
Last year, two trade groups of New York-based art and antiques dealers brought claims against New York State officials in the federal court for the Southern District of New York, seeking to invalidate a 2014 New York law that opens dealers up to criminal penalties for buying and selling antique ivory.[1]  On March 21, 2019, Judge Lorna Schofield of the Southern District of New York permitted the trade groups’ Third Amended Complaint to…
On April 1, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in a series of Ninth Circuit cases that found that the California Resale Royalty Act (“CRRA”) was partially preempted by section 301(a) of the 1976 Copyright Act. Under the CRRA, secondary-market sellers of fine art would be required to pay to the artist who created a work a five percent (5%) royalty on each resale of that work. After the Ninth Circuit ruled that…
Robert Cenedella – a satirical American artist – has apparently decided not to replead his antitrust case against five major New York City museums. On December 19, 2018, Judge John G. Koeltl of the Southern District of New York dismissed Cenedella’s class action complaint, but gave him the opportunity to submit an amended complaint by January 15, 2019.[1] That deadline has since passed, with nothing from Cenedella but a defiant email statement attacking…
In a special video, members of Hughes Hubbard’s Lehman team reveal the challenges they faced and overcame after Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years earlier in what remains the largest bankruptcy in history. The team serves as counsel to James W. Giddens, the trustee overseeing the $123 billion liquidation of Lehman Brothers Inc., the largest single estate in the entire Lehman failure.   https://vimeo.com/288592567…
Above: Plaintiff Chuck Close. __________________ The Ninth Circuit recently issued its decision regarding the validity of the California Resale Royalty Act (“CRRA”) in three consolidated appeals: Close v. Sotheby’s, Inc., No. 16-56234, The Sam Francis Foundation v. Christie’s, Inc., No. 16-56235 and The Sam Francis Foundation v. eBay Inc., No. 16-56252. 2018 WL 3322222 (9th Cir. July 6, 2018). As previously discussed on this blog, the CRRA provides that an artist may recover a…
A recent decision by the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas in In re Palmaz Scientific, 2018 WL 1036780, at *5 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. Feb. 21, 2018) serves as a cautionary tale of the importance of monitoring the plan confirmation process. In Palmaz, the bankruptcy court held that a chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan would not bar investors from pursuing direct claims against the directors and officers of debtor. However, this was a…
The District of Delaware Bankruptcy Court recently sustained the objection of the Litigation Trustee to the claims of three former employees (together, the “Claimants”), based on their participation in their employer’s two-year retention program created prepetition (the “Prepetition Retention Program”). Opinion, In re Old BPSUSH, Inc., No. 16-12373 (KJC) (Bankr. D. Del. June 1, 2018), D.I. 1635. Largely adopting the arguments of the Litigation Trustee, the court held that the Claimants had waived their right…