Thursday, April 12, 2007

Shake Suit

The Maine Antique Digest reports on a lawsuit recently filed by New York dealer Will Ameringer against a Florida dealer named Arij Gasiunasen. Ameringer claims that, at an art fair in February, he and Gasiunasen "shook hands" on the sale of a Helen Frankenthaler painting for $500,000, but Gasiunasen then backed out of the deal and refused to pay.

The obvious issue that arises is the statute of frauds, which requires that any contract for the sale of goods in excess of $500 must be in writing. See N.Y. U.C.C. § 2-102 (applicability to "transactions in goods"); § 2-201 (contract for $500 or more is unenforceable "unless there is some writing sufficient to indicate that a contract for sale has been made between the parties and signed by the party [charged]").