Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sotheby's Accused of Undisclosed Conflict of Interest

Peacable kingdonHalsey Minor, founder of CNET, and Sotheby's are involved in a legal dispute regarding, among other things, the sale of an Edward Hicks painting entitled The Peaceable Kingdom with the Leopard of Serenity.  Details are below:

  • Halsey bought the Hick's painting at a Sotheby's auction last year.
  • Halsey claims he was not informed that Sotheby's was selling the painting to reclaim money owed to Sotheby's by the painting's prior owner. 
  • Sotheby's sued Halsey when he failed to pay for the Hicks painting and two others.
  • Halsey counter-sued, asserting Sotheby's conflict of interest.
  • Sotheby's denies any ownership interest in the painting, claiming that it only had a security interest.

See Matthew Garrahan, Sotheby's accused of painting conflict, Fin. Times, Aug. 27, 2009.

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this to my attention.


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