Thursday, September 11, 2014

The strange, self-defeating breach of confidentiality lawsuit brought by Marguerite Hoffman took another turn last week (UPDATED)

The background is here.  A news story on the latest developments is here.  The judge threw out the jury verdict against the buyer of the work (David Martinez) on the grounds that the gallery was not his agent when it entered into the contract that contained the confidentiality clause.  (So the court viewed the sale as a two-step transaction -- Hoffman to the gallery to Martinez -- rather than a sale from Hoffman to Martinez through the gallery.)  The $500,000 verdict against the gallery remains, and that's another strange aspect of the case:  the theory is that that's the amount Hoffman gave up by selling the work privately (with a confidentiality clause) rather than at auction, as if sales at auction always do better than private sales.  One wonders why anyone would ever sell anything privately if that's the case.

UPDATE:  Art and Artifice:  "Four year of litigation and no additional millions to show for it....distressing."