Thursday, January 02, 2014

"In fact, all these allegations are so patently inadequate that the court can only conclude that they were brought solely for the purposes of harassment or embarrassment, without any consideration of their legal sufficiency."

Catching up on some pre-holiday news, I see that Justice Kornreich was really unimpressed with the Calder estate's lawsuit against Klaus Perls's estate:  "plaintiffs are attempting to litigate issues that necessarily stretch back decades without any personal knowledge or contemporaneous records, where nearly all of the people who had personal knowledge of the facts are dead.  Rarely has the court encountered a better justification for the statute of limitations."

She had little patience for all the stuff that got commentators excited about the case, calling the allegations "an incoherent stew of irrelevance and innuendo":  "Briefly, allegations of tax fraud by defendants are the sole concern of the United States government and have nothing whatsoever to do with this case.  Any curiosity in the Perls' method of keeping their own business records is immaterial, as there is no allegation that the estate ever relied on those records for any purpose.  That Klaus Perls may have deposited some of the proceeds from the sale of Calder works into a Swiss bank account does not amount to fraud against plaintiffs, nor does it give plaintiffs the right to see the records of that account.  That Klaus never disclosed to the estate that Calder also maintained a Swiss bank account is also immaterial, as it was not his obligation to do so."

The decision is here.   The New York Times is here.  Judith Dobrzynski says, so far, she's with the judge.  Lee Rosenbaum was skeptical from the start.