Art Law Report

Reactions to Jenack Decision Are Surprisingly Limited So Far

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 19, 2013 at 4:34 AM

Since the Court of Appeals’ decision in William J. Jenack Estate Appraisers and Auctioneers, Inc. v. Albert Rabizadeh was released on Tuesday (a decision that the New York Times noted was “first reported by the Art Law Report blog”), reactions have started to come in to the decision. Somewhat surprisingly, they have thus far been relatively few in number. On the whole, few seem exercised about the decision, and no one is gloating, probably because it restores the age-old status quo to which everyone had become accustomed.

Read More

Topics: Legislation, consignment, New York General Obligations Law § 5-701(a)(6), Appellate Division, Auctions, New York Court of Appeals, Ivan Petrovich Khlebnikov, agency, Inc. v. Albert Rabizadeh, New York Supreme Court, Hicks v. Whitmore, Morris Cohon & Co. v. Russell, disclosure, Statute of Frauds, anonymous seller, identity, auction, William J. Jenack Estate Appraisers and Auctioneer

Jenack v. Rabidazeh Decision Reversed: Auction Sellers and Consignors Can Remain Anonymous

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 17, 2013 at 5:39 AM

The New York Court of Appeals reversed this morning the decision in Jenack v. Rabidazeh last fall by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court that had held that an auctioneer must disclose the name of the actual owner who has consigned the work, to enforce that sale consistent with the state’s Statute of Frauds. The court concluded that “there exists sufficient documentation of a statutorily adequate writing” such that the Statute of Frauds was satisfied and the agreement is enforceable against Albert Rabizadeh, the winning auction bidder. The result is a sensible one both for stability in the market—the most important jurisdiction in the United States for that—as well as for anyone concerned about provenance and smuggling, as counterintuitive as that might initially appear. The decision is William J. Jenack Estate Appraisers and Auctioneers, Inc. v. Albert Rabizadeh (still unpublished).

Read More

Topics: Legislation, consignment, New York General Obligations Law § 5-701(a)(6), Appellate Division, Auctions, New York Court of Appeals, Ivan Petrovich Khlebnikov, agency, Inc. v. Albert Rabizadeh, New York Supreme Court, Hicks v. Whitmore, Morris Cohon & Co. v. Russell, disclosure, Statute of Frauds, anonymous seller, identity, auction, William J. Jenack Estate Appraisers and Auctioneer

Auction Consignors’ Names Must be Disclosed in New York: an Art Twist on a Very Old Law

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 26, 2012 at 11:46 AM

It is a busy fall for consignment law in New York. News has been making the rounds this month about a decision by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, New York’s intermediate appeals court. The Appellate Division ruled that an auctioneer must disclose the name of any owner who has consigned the work for sale, or a sale against a successful bidder cannot be enforced. The auction world is in an uproar, but the result actually derives from a version of a very old law called the Statute of Frauds about what has to be in writing for a contract to be enforceable, for reasons that have nothing to do with art or auctions.

Read More

Topics: Legislation, consignment, New York General Obligations Law § 5-701, Ivan Petrovich Khlebnikov, Court of Appeals, Collections, Statute of Frauds, Albert Rabizadeh, William J. Jenack, auction

About the Blog


The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities.

Meet the Editor

Learn more about our Art & Museum Law practice

Subscribe to Blog

Posts by Topic

see all