Art Law Report

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

New York Times Analyzes Jenack Appeal, Art Law Report Quoted

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on February 4, 2013 at 6:56 AM

The New York Times has stepped into the fray in reviewing the New York Court of Appeals's decision to review the Rabizadeh/Jenack appeal concerning the application of New York's Statute of Frauds to compel disclosure of a consignment seller at auction. The article zeroes in on the potential impacts to the ways in which auction houses do business. I am quoted in the article and the Art Law Report is referenced on the topic of mandatory disclosure.

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Topics: New York General Obligations Law § 5-701, Auctions, Collections, Statute of Frauds, Albert Rabizadeh, William J. Jenack, New York Times, Nicholas M. O'Donnell, Art Law Report

New York Court of Appeals to Address Jenack Decision Requiring Disclosure of Consignment Seller’s Identity to Enforce Sale Contract

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on January 18, 2013 at 4:15 AM

There is a new development in the decision last fall in which the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court 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 consistent with New York General Obligations law § 5-701, the New York Statute of Frauds. After the adverse decision, the William J. Jenack auction house petitioned the Court of Appeals for leave to appeal (in New York, as in many states, one can only appeal to the highest court with that court’s permission).

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

Does Jenack Decision Really Require Disclosure of Seller’s Name? Yes, if the Buyer Won't Pay

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

The Jenack decision addressed recently at the Art Law Report has been the subject of intense comment and criticism since being widely reported.

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Topics: Donn Zaretsky, New York General Obligations Law § 5-701, Appellate Division, New York Court of Appeals, Jonathan Olsoff, Jo Laird, Christie's, Statute of Frauds, William J. Jenack, Sotheby's, Art Law Report

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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