Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

New York Business Litigation Blog

Artwork subject of intellectual property litigation in Manhattan

A complex lawsuit was filed last week in federal court in Manhattan. The suit stems from from an intellectual property dispute involving a work of art that lies at the center of a challenging set of legal circumstances.

The work, entitled "The Mechanism of Meaning," is a series of paintings by Arakawa and Madeline Gins, who passed away in 2010 and 2014, respectively. The piece itself dates back to the early 1960s. A second edition sold for $3 million in 1989 and both are presumably worth significantly more today.

Possible outcomes after a contract is breached

When a business in New York enters into a contract with another party, the business seeks to secure either goods or services in exchange for providing the other entity with compensation. This generalized statement covers the foundational elements of creating a contract, from an offer by one party that is accepted by the other in exchange for some form of consideration. While creating a contractual relationship may seem simple, working out the problems that can arise when one party fails in their contractual responsibilities can be anything but simple.

For example, consider a business that agrees to pay another party $100,000 for ten new machines that the buying business needs for its enterprise. Imagine that the parties agree that the buyer would pay half of the fee upfront and the other half upon delivery of the machines. Imagine further that delivery was scheduled to occur on December 1.

What is fraud and how is it proven in court?

New York business people know that not everyone out there is completely honest all the time. Dishonesty on the part of others can be costly for businesses. What options does a business person have in dealing with these costs? Depending on the circumstances, a fraud lawsuit may be a reasonable course of action. It is important to know how fraud might be proved in court.

A lack of honesty is always an element of fraud, whether it be deceitful conduct, a false statement or a misrepresentation. A person committing fraud does so by gaining something of value by misleading or deceiving another person. In order to sue someone for fraud, there usually must be evidence of bad faith on the part of the alleged fraudster.

Experienced representation for New York contract disputes

One of the most basic rules of law is that parties must do what they agreed to do in a contract. This rule allows business relationships to work smoothly in Manhattan and elsewhere. While most people do this most of the time, sometimes parties don't do what they agreed to do. Performing parties don't perform and paying parties don't pay.

We recently told the story of a contract party who claimed that the other party failed to pay what it was supposed to under the contract. Some members of the creative team behind the "Walking Dead" TV show alleged that they were denied their share of the profits from the successful series. These people sued, alleging breach of contract. The defendant disputed the plaintiffs' allegations, describing the allegations as baseless and opportunistic.

What is a copyright and how is it enforced?

Huge numbers of books, websites, musical pieces, promotional materials, performances, computer software and more are protected by the copyright laws of the United States. Many New York businesses have such works that they may wish to protect with copyright protection. But what is copyright protection?

Copyright is defined as an exclusive right to reproduce, publish or sell an original work of authorship. Items that can be protected by copyright include literary, dramatic, musical, architectural and artistic works. In order to be eligible for copyright protection, a work must be fixed in a tangible form. This means that ideas, concepts and facts themselves are not protected by copyright. But, when these things are used to create a work such as a book, piece of art or website, that work is protected.

A New York real estate brokerage commission dispute

Commercial real estate is big business in the Big Apple. And, like many business matters, contracts largely govern the way commercial real estate is done in Manhattan. This means that the resolution of a real estate brokerage commission dispute will very likely depend on the language of the contract that the broker and the seller enter into. This is why it is important to pay attention to the details of a real estate brokerage contract.

How might this play out in real life? Let's say that a seller and a broker enter into an agreement in which the seller agrees that the broker will have the sole and exclusive right to represent the seller in the sale of property during a certain timeframe. Let's also say that during this timeframe the seller becomes dissatisfied with the broker and signs an agreement with another broker, and the property then is sold. Because of the existence of the first agreement, it may be the case that the seller will still owe a sales commission to the first broker.

5 questions you should ask about non compete agreements

In today's job market, employees making frequent job changes, as well as changing companies, has become commonplace. Non compete agreement are typically used to protect employers from having trade secrets exposed when an employee leaves the company. But how enforceable are these agreements? An employer can have a better chance of protecting themselves and their business by creating non compete agreements that are more specific and reasonable.

Here are five questions to consider when creating and implementing these types of agreements.

What is tortious interference with contract?

Vigorous competition is a part of doing business in New York. But, when other parties "cross the line" and engage in unfair and improper conduct, the courts may be able to step in and award damages for the loss of business suffered by victims. One way that this could be done is by a victim filing a lawsuit alleging tortious interference with contract.

Tortious interference can happen whenever there is a valid contract or economic expectancy between a third party and the plaintiff. If the defendant has knowledge of the contract or expectancy and intentionally interferes with it, the plaintiff may be able to recover damages if the interference is improper and the plaintiff suffers damages because of the interference.

"Walking Dead" team alleges breach of contract in lawsuit

It's a phenomenon that has no doubt captured the attention of many New York business people: the rise of quality television programming over the past few years. Many award-winning shows are available for viewing both on traditional television and on-demand streaming. With all the awards and viewers come big revenues and big disagreements over who should get those revenues and how much they should get. A good example of this is a contract dispute that reached the courts of the Empire State.

The plaintiffs in the dispute are members of the creative team behind the hit TV show "The Walking Dead." They say that the entertainment conglomerate AMC has exploited its corporate structure to unfairly deny the profits from the show to the creative team. The plaintiffs allege that this constitutes a breach of contract. The lawsuit was filed in New York state court a few weeks ago. The lawsuit is the latest salvo in a contract dispute that has been ongoing since 2013.

Preparing small business owners for business litigation

Many compare starting a business to having a new baby. Many responsibilities come with starting a business, and many unexpected events could occur in the first couple of years. Thus, business owners, like new parents, take the time to protect their rights and interests in a new business. Yet, no matter how careful you are or what protective measures you take, the unexpected can still occur. No one expects to be involved in a business litigation situation. However, it is a matter that small business owners can prepare themselves for.

No one said opening and operating a small business is easy. Many families and individuals in New York take on this adventure each and every year. When business disputes occur, this can be very damaging for a small business owner. Even a dispute that might appear to be minor could have significant financial consequences. It is important to understand what necessary precautions can be taken now and what courses of action could help you resolve these business law issues.