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Center For Art Law Case Law Updates

The following case selection first appeared in this week's Center for Art Law newsletter:

Accent Delight International Ltd. et al v. Sotheby's et al, 1:18-cv-09011-JMF (Oct. 2, 2018).
In another international and voluminous case, now against Sotheby's, the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev claims that Swiss businessman and art dealer Yves Bouvier defrauded him in connection with the purchase of a world-class art collection, to the tune of approximately $1 Billion. The Complaint alleges that Sotheby's aided and abetted the fraud. It is available upon request at itsartlaw@gmail.com.

US v. Chowaiki, 1:18-cr-00323 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 2018).
Manhattan art dealer Erza Chowaiki pleaded guilty to charges of fraud (https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/press-release/file/1059951/download?utm_source=Center+for+Art+Law+General+List&utm_campaign=5b751c1117-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_022731d685-5b751c1117-346773625&mc_cid=5b751c1117&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8), and was sentenced to spend 18 months in prison. This is the end of a procedure following his bankruptcy and three years of supervised release for defrauding art dealers and collectors of millions of dollars. He was also ordered to give up his interest in more than 20 works of art involved in the fraud, including pieces by Picasso and Alexander Calder.

Adrian Falkner v. General Motors Company et al., 2:18-cv-00549 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 17, 2018).
A California federal judge allowed the street artist Adrian Falkner to move forward in his copyright lawsuit against General Motors (GM) over an advertisement that incorporated his work. GM failed to convince the judge on summary judgment that the mural was inseparable from the parking garage (https://news.artnet.com/art-world/judge-greenlights-street-artists-copyright-lawsuit-against-gm-1352788?utm_content=from_&utm_source=Center%20for%20Art%20Law%20General%20List&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5b751c1117-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_term=0_022731d685-5b751c1117-346773625&mc_cid=5b751c1117&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8). This sets aside the classification of the mural as an architectural work, which copyright law permits as pictorial representations. Nonetheless, the court denied Falker's punitive claim for punitive damages. The Order is available upon request at artlawteam@itsartlaw.com.

Matter of Salz, 2018 NY Slip Op 04965 (App. Div. July 5, 2018).
New York's First Department Appellate Division affirmed the Surrogate's court decision to dismiss the petition for discovery by a newly-appointed administrator of the Sam Salz Estate on the grounds that fraud, which might have been conducted in settling the affairs of the renowned private art dealer, should have been discovered sometime after 1999. It was the second ruling from the court in connection with the Salz estate, see Matter of Salz, 80 A.D.2d 769, 436 N.Y.S.2d 713 (App. Div. 1981).

The Center for Art Law strives to create a coherent community for all those interested in law and the arts. Positioned as a centralized resource for art and cultural heritage law, it serves as a portal to connect artists and students, academics and legal practitioners, collectors and dealers, government officials and others in the field. In addition to the weekly newsletter (http://cardozo.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=78692bfa901c588ea1fe5e801&id=022731d685), the Center for Art Law subscribers receive updates about art and law-related topics through its popular art law blog (http://itsartlaw.com/blog/)and calendar of events (http://itsartlaw.com/events/). The Center for Art Law welcomes inquiries and announcements from firms, universities and student organizations about recent publications, pending cases, upcoming events, current research and job and externship opportunities. To contact the Center for Art Law, visit our website at: www.itsartlaw.com or write to itsartlaw@gmail.com.

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