Selected Cases

Agence France Presse v Morel, 769 F. Supp. 2d 295 (SDNY 2013)

Represented photographer Daniel Morel in copyright infringement action for more than $120,000,000, against AFP, Getty Images and the Washington Post in litigation arising from wire services unauthorized use of photographs of the 2010 Haiti earthquake posted on Twitpic. Morel settled with in-house counsel of CBS, ABC and CNN for separate infringements arising out of use of the photographs. A federal judge in New York ruled that Twitter does not give AFP license to steal images of Haitian photo journalist.

United States v The Painting Known as Le Marché, 648 F. 3d 84 (2d Cir 2011)

Innocent owner Defense did not apply to §1595a(c) customs claim notwithstanding the Civil Asset Forfeiture Law of 2000 enacted to protect innocent owners and total lack of evidence of any customs violation. Unprecedented application of
the National Stolen Property Act to defeat state property law and statute of limitations.

Flack v Friends of Queen Catherine, 139 F. Supp. 2d 526; 2001. (April 18, 2001)

Represented successful plaintiff Audrey Flack in a Visual Artists Rights case arising out of foundry and not-for-profit organizations willful distortion and mutilation of a sculpture of Queen Catherine of Braqanza. Court denied motion to dismiss VARA and copyright claims and held that notwithstanding, VARA's exclusions, Flack's sculptural model (maquette) fell within the scope of VARA and that the completion of the sculpture by her assistant stated a claim for violation of her moral rights as an artist under VARA.

Ringgold v Black Entertainment Television, Inc., 126 F. 3d 70 (2d Cir 1996)

Represented successful plaintiff Faith Ringgold in copyright infringement lawsuit involving use of unlicensed poster in a sitcom. BET's defense of de minimis and fair use rejected by the Second Circuit. Changed film and TV industry practice of using artwork without a license in film and TV.

Finley v NEA, 795 F. Supp. 1457 (C.D. Calif. 1992)

Amicus Brief filed on behalf of College Art Association and Pen Writers Association cited by the District Court in finding that the decency restrictions placed on NEA funding constituted an unconstitutional abridgement of speech in violation of the First Amendment.

Columbus America Discovery Group v Atlantic Mutual Insurance (4th Cir June 14, 1995)

Amicus Brief filed on behalf of the Explorers Club for the Columbus America Discovery Group formed in 1985 to conduct multidisciplinary research, to develop deep ocean technology, and to explore and recover the remains of the SS Central America. The Group raised over 10 million dollars with the help of 161 investors. The group recovered over 100 million dollars in gold and treasure off the east coast of the U.S. to which 39 insurance companies made claims.

George Barris v Richard Hamilton, Tate Gallery and D'Offay Gallery, 1999, U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7225 (S.D.N.Y. May 17, 1999).

Successfully represented Richard Hamilton and the Tate Gallery in a copyright infringement action brought by photographer George Barris against appropriation artist Richard Hamilton. The case illustrates the complications which can arise when domestic and international copyright laws intersect, particularly with regard to publication and renewal formalities.