Thursday, April 23, 2009

"What appears to be a misguided lawsuit"

The LA Times had an update today on Clint Arthur's lawsuit against Louis Vuitton over the Murakami prints he bought in Jan. 2008 at the Louis Vuitton boutique that had been set up as part of the "Copyright Murakami" exhibition at L.A. MOCA.

I took a quick look on PACER, and it seems Arthur is doing better in the press than he is in court. In September Louis Vuitton moved to dismiss his first amended complaint (i.e., his second complaint), arguing that, since they had offered him "his choice of a corrected Certificate of Authenticity for each of his [two] prints or a full refund of the purchase price, plus interest, ... which is the relief afforded under" the relevant statute (the California Fine Prints Act), the lawsuit was "a complete sham." (I wondered about just this issue in my initial post on the case last summer.) In December, before deciding the motion, the court granted Arthur permission to file a second amended complaint, but, in doing so, said: "Before [Louis Vuitton] files a motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint, which would appear to be a serious challenge to what appears to be a misguided lawsuit, the Court orders the parties to" meet and try to settle the case. It also specifically "admonishe[d] counsel for [Arthur] to consider carefully and take into account the provisions of title 28 U.S.C. § 1927," which allows an award of attorneys' fees for bringing (or prolonging) a frivolous proceeding.

Somehow Arthur didn't take the hint. Settlement discussions failed, he went ahead and filed his second amended complaint (i.e., his third complaint), and in March Louis Vuitton moved to dismiss it, now calling the lawsuit "a gross abuse of the legal system" and asking for "sanctions in the form of its legal fees since the inception of this action." I wouldn't be surprised if they get them. According to the LA Times story, a hearing on the motion is scheduled for Monday.