For those who believe that one today is worth two tomorrows, prejudgment interest offers a significant judicial remedy. In an unprecedented holding on July 12, 2021, the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court, County of New York, applied the prejudgment rule in favor of the rightful owners
Continue Reading UPDATE—New York Court Awards Statutory Prejudgment Interest to Grünbaum Estate’s Heirs

On April 2, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art when it held in a summary order that the Met’s use of a 1982 photograph of famed guitarist Eddie Van Halen (the “Photograph”) in an online catalogue
Continue Reading You Really Got Me: Second Circuit Rules in Favor of Met Museum in Fair Use Case Involving Photograph of Van Halen

On June 1, 2021, Michael McLeer, a New York City-based street artist who goes by “Kaves,” filed a putative class action in the Eastern District of New York against the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) and the City of New York.[1] McLeer alleges that the NYPD’s graffiti cleanup
Continue Reading American Graffiti: Artist Moves to Protect Street Art Across New York City

On February 3, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Germany in a dispute over whether American courts may preside over a lawsuit brought by the heirs of German Jewish art dealers who alleged that the Nazi regime coerced the 1935 sale of certain artworks.

Background

As
Continue Reading The U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Holds in Favor of Germany and Against Heirs of German Jewish Art Dealers in Case Involving Nazi-Era Sale of Guelph Treasure

After nationwide government shutdown orders forced museums, galleries, theaters and other performance venues—as well as restaurants and other places of public accommodation—to close their doors, many organizations turned to business interruption insurance policies to try to recover some of their devastating financial losses.  As previously covered on this blog in
Continue Reading Art Institutions Will Not Find Financial Relief Under Business Interruption Insurance Policies In U.S. Courts—Where Will They Find It?

Just as Marcel Duchamp shocked the art world in 1917 with his absurdist creation of Fountain—a “readymade” sculpture consisting solely of an upside-down urinal with a signature on it—creators of non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) are now pushing the boundaries of the conventional art world by creating works that exist only
Continue Reading The Unknown Legal Future of the Art Market’s New Favorite Medium: Non-Fungible Tokens (“NFTs”)

Woman in a Black Pinafore (l) and Woman Hiding Her Face (r)

Following the New York Appellate Division’s affirmance of the New York State Supreme Court’s decision in Reif v. Nagy ordering the turnover of two works of art transferred under duress, if not stolen, following the Nazi takeover of
Continue Reading UPDATE – Dispute over Ownership of Nazi Victim’s Art Turns to Pre-judgment Interest

On January 1, 2021, Congress voted to override President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021,[1] which includes provisions that will have significant implications for the antiquities market, and could eventually impact the art market as well.

The New Legislation Extends Bank Regulations to
Continue Reading National Defense Authorization Act Imposes Anti-Money Laundering Regulations on Antiquities Market and Calls For Study on Role of Art Market in Money Laundering

On December 16, 2020, Judge Denise L. Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found that London-based auction house Phillips Auctioneers (“Phillips”) properly terminated its agreement governing the auctioning of a Rudolf Stingel painting for force majeure after postponing its spring auctions in the
Continue Reading Southern District of New York Finds that Phillips Auction House Properly Invoked Force Majeure Clause to Terminate Consignment and Guarantee Agreement in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

On December 15, 2020, Judge Lorna Schofield of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a Manhattan art gallery’s claims for insurance coverage for losses suffered as a result of the gallery’s suspension of business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]  The decision—one of
Continue Reading UPDATE: Southern District of New York Dismisses Art Gallery’s Insurance Claims for COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses