NYC Creative Arts Lawyers
Art is an important asset class in building and maintaining wealth. However, art is a unique asset class – we understand that fine art has personal significance beyond its financial value. On the one hand, art always has an auction price, but on the other hand, they aren’t making any more Picasso’s.
The world of art has a lot of players, and we are proud represent everyone: art advisors, appraisers, artists, auction houses, collectors, copyright holders, estates, financiers, galleries, lenders, nonprofits, and private art dealers. Whether its a painting, sculpture, or the rights to literature, music, or movies, our firm has the knowledge and experience to advocate on your behalf.
You might not necessarily think that so many legal issues could be tied up in a single painting, but you might be surprised. The law of art is very dynamic and brings in principals of property law, criminal law, contract law, and tort law.
For example, if you want to buy or sell there are purchase contracts and delivery terms. Additionally, there will be issues of title, appraisal, and authenticity. If you want to the loan the art, there will terms of bailment and potentially negligence. If the art is stolen, of course theft will be a problem. But if the art is simply not returned from being borrowed, there may be replevin and recovery. If you want to display art for sale, the consignment shop’s creditors need to know your art belongs to you and not to the shop. If you want to borrow against the art, the laws of personal security will be in effect, and you will most likely have to hand over the art to the lender.
We don’t list all these things to scare people, but we want our clients to be educated. Art law and litigation is a multi-disciplinary field and requires a multi-disciplinary approach. You can’t be an art lawyer without being a property, criminal, contract, and tort lawyer also. You need lawyers with a wide variety of experience. The attorneys of our commercial litigation law firm have that wide variety of experience.
We are prepared to litigate art issues in both New York State and federal court. If the art is valuable enough, any litigation may be sent to federal court. If the art crosses state lines, there will be issues of which state has jurisdiction and perhaps the case may be sent to federal court in certain situations.
There is a special remedy available for art litigation that isn’t available in other types of cases. In litigation, courts general prefer compensation as the remedy — but for art, compensation doesn’t work well. Art is unique and personal and financial compensation really doesn’t capture the value of art. Therefore, the remedy of “specific performance” is available is matters of art. Specific performance will force the losing party to transfer possession of a specific piece of art if appropriate.
As stated earlier, art is very personal. As your art litigation legal team, we will never forget that your art has more than financial value. Our art lawyers can help you realize the financial value of your art as an asset while protecting is unique and personal value.
Please contact Wooldridge Law Firm if you have any issues with art, including:
- Buying & Selling
- Art as Collateral
- Ownership and Title
- Handling and Storage
- Loans of Art
- Repletion and Recovery