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.
The New York Court of Appeals has rejected the must-watched effort by Nite Moves, a Albany-area strip club, to exempt itself from sales tax on the grounds that exotic dancing was protectable First Amendment expression. The high court ruled that the club failed to carry its burden to prve that the dances were “choreographed performances.” The quote of the day, however, goes to the dissent: