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.

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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 The decision is William J. Jenack Estate Appraisers and Auctioneers, Inc. v. Albert Rabizadeh (still unpublished).

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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

The Auctioneer is the Agent of the Seller in Every Auction: Buyer Gets the Better of Argument in Jenack Appeal Oral Argument. Are Auction Houses Ready if Result Stands?

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 19, 2013 at 5:01 AM

The New York Court of Appeals held oral argument last week in the appeal from the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court’s ruling in Jenack v. Rabizadeh 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 consistent with New York General Obligations law § 5-701, the New York Statute of Frauds (video in Windows Player). The court actively questioned both sides before taking the case under advisement. The view here is that the buyer (Rabizadeh) got the better of the argument, but one has to wonder how the equities will weigh on the court in a case where the winning bidder simply repudiated a voluntary transaction.

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Topics: Legislation, New York General Obligations Law § 5-701, § 5-701(a)(6), Auctions, Jenack v. Rabizadeh, New York Court of Appeals, Ivan Petrovich Khlebnikov, Fine Russian Silver/Enamel Covered Box with Gilt I, New York Supreme Court, Chester, Statute of Frauds, 12 Wend. 548, William J. Jenack, Uniform Commercial Code, Hicks v. Wigmore

Jenack Case Set for Oral Argument, Appeal Tests Obligation for Auction Houses in New York to Disclose Seller’s Name

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on July 22, 2013 at 4:56 AM

The New York Court of Appeals has set a hearing date on the appeal of the William J. Jenack action house of the Appellate Division’s ruling last year 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 consistent with New York General Obligations law § 5-701 (the New York Statute of Frauds). The oral argument will be on November 13, 2013. The high court of New York elected to accept the appeal earlier this year, following coverage in the New York Times and elsewhere (in which the Art Law Report is quoted).

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Topics: Legislation, consignment, New York General Obligations Law § 5-701, Auctions, New York Court of Appeals, Ivan Petrovich Khlebnikov, Statute of Frauds, auction house, William J. Jenack, Hicks v. Wigmore

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.

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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

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