Update: Park West vs Fine Art Registry

Crain' Detroit Business had a recent report stating that Park West vs Fine Art Registry will proceed to a new trial without an appeal.  It appears that after the judge vacated the award and ordered a new trial the parties have decided to go back to court.  A new Federal trial is likely in 2011.  The legal fees must be extraordinary, but I assume both sides have hit the point of no return regardless of cost and will continue to defend their positions.

Crain's reports

Park West had sought $46 million in damages against the Phoenix registry, its CEO Teresa Franks and a contract writer for the registry, in a 2008 lawsuit stemming from a series of reports the Registry published online. Those articles focused mainly on buyers alleging fraud and violations of consumer protection laws in several states in art auctions that the Park West at Sea subsidiary company manages aboard cruise ships.

A multi-district prospective class action lawsuit against Park West, a couple of the cruise companies and other defendants awaits trial at a federal court in Seattle, and combines buyers' claims from Michigan, Florida and Washington state.

The Zatkoff jury in April awarded no damages to Park West and none in six of the seven counter-claims that Fine Art Registry and the other defendants had filed against the dealer. But it awarded $500,000 against Park West on a single count of violations of the federal Lanham Act governing several aspects of trademark law.

Zatkoff last month denied a request from Park West for a new judgment in its favor as a matter of law, but did grant a new trial in all of the claims except for a small subset of them involving Hochman.

“Unfortunately the case law is against us going forward on (an appeal) right now. You can't really appeal a decision for a new trial, because it isn't a final order,” said Donald Payton at Farmington Hills-based Kaufman Payton & Chapa PC, who is defending Fine Art Registry in Park West's suit and represents several buyers in a separate lawsuit filed at Oakland County Circuit Court.

“You generally have to wait to complete the second trial, and then go from there on your appeal. I really researched it, and wanted to do it, but you can't at this point.”

The Oakland County case remains pending before Circuit Judge Nanci Grant.
To read the full article in Crain's, click HERE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Theresa Franks and Fine Art Registry, check out this expose`: