Category Archives: Articles – Brothers in Law

Virtual Reality

When buying and selling online, collectors need to know a whole new set of rules. We would have trouble bringing some of our clients home for dinner. Take Tobias, for example. He called us from Berlin and said he was … Continue reading

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Points of No Return

A generous bequest touches off an ownership dispute. How does the law interpret a donor’s intentions? Catalina had been a trustee of a respected New York museum for many years, and as it turned out, she was allergic to oysters. … Continue reading

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Murky Waters

The policy on sunken treasure used to be “finders keepers.” Now shipwreck salvagers must navigate complex laws to avoid being marooned in court. A faithful, long-time reader (OK, our sister Susan) once posed a very interesting question: “Who owns cultural … Continue reading

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The Big Picture

Artists don’t always need permission to cash in on a celebrity’s likeness. But how far can they go? Even our assistant, Juniper, was impressed when the call came from Elle one morning. Our client had been a Hollywood celebrity for … Continue reading

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Obscene Or Not Obscene

As a playwright (not our client) once wrote: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Under U.S. obscenity laws, if Rose looks younger than 18 but actually isn’t, the same amount of jail time would apply. A … Continue reading

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House Rules

Phantom bids, shill bids, secret signals – a lot more can happen in an auction salesroom. The two of us are such shameless technological Luddites that until recently we thought that eBay was a honeymoon destination in the Caribbean. By … Continue reading

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Powers of Deduction

You donate a valuable work of art and expect a big tax break. Here’s why you may not get it. When we last had seen Mr. Watson, he was a struggling sculptor in upstate New York, but the recent death … Continue reading

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Artistic License

Merchandising artwork can be very lucrative – and riddled with hazards. How does the law protect ideas, both business and creative? Some of our clients fly private jets, while others, we fear, may soon be driving yellow cabs. But most … Continue reading

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The Origin of Species

A prize purchase becomes a shipping nightmare because it uses ivory from a protected animal. How can you avoid being ambushed? The call came via satellite phone from our client vacationing in Zimbabwe, and he was furious. His safari was … Continue reading

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Loan Security

A painting you’ve lent to an exhibition is suddenly subject to a legal claim in that jurisdication. The museum agrees to return the work, but is it still at risk? The first call from one of our European clients came … Continue reading

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