We have been dealing with an independent art advisor regarding the sale of an expensive painting. The art advisor has trod us that he doesnt know the buyer but represents a potential buyer's "advisory group" consisting of another art expert and an attorney with a law firm in Atlanta Georgia. Both the potential buyer's art advisor and his attorney have confirmed the agreed price to us , the advisor by a previous letter of intent LOI and the attorney today by a signed contract (with signature hidden) we assume to hide the name of the buyer - which is usually private. The contract is subject to a final viewing (we assume by the buyer or his advisor) which is written into the contract. (We have been told by the wharehouse where the work is stored that the potential buyer and his advisors have already seen it a number of times already and missed others). We are beginning tp wonder if all these missed viewings and back and forths is not a ploy to buy time by this group to find the buyer they never had or possibly to find a repalacement buyer for one they may have had but that lost interest.The owner who is in Europe has threatened to pull the painting back if we / they dont conclude this quickly (and is threatening our European associates through whom we got the paiting with legal action) The question is in the event we find out that the buyer is fictious and the Lawyers contract was simply a ploy to buy time for them to find a buyer - what is our legal recourse if any against the Lawyer and the art advisor who sent the documents given that they have been playing us along ?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): New York
Good evening. Does your contract have any representations and warranties by the representatives regarding the buyer? Are there any time deadlines in your contract?
The contract stipulates that the Atlanta Law firm in question represents a buyer whose address is c/o the Law Firm's address and gives the name as "PRIVATE ACQUISITION GROUP LLC" .
It describes the work we are trying to sell professionally and accurately using its name and Raisonne # XXXXX confirms the agreed price. It also stipulates that the buyer shall have the right of a final viewing the coming week of may 14th 2012 and that the buyer shall have a further 24 hours following his final viewing to decide whetehr to buy it or not.
Since all this has been going on we have organised at least 4 -5 warehouse visits to show it some of which have ended up as "no shows". Since we dont know the name of the buyer or the advisor and cannot be present at the viweings we dont know whats going on. Our contact who introduced us to thios "group" has given us many email and verbal assurances and as I said we have had an offer letter previously sent from an independent art advisor working (we assume with the attorney) for this client
Thanks for the clarification. Given the language, if you can in fact show there was no actual buyer at the time of the contract, you would have the ability to file a suit not only for Breach of Contract, but also Fraud. This would give rise to suing not only for actual damages, but also Punitive Damages. Additionally, because this is a law firm, you can also file a formal ethics complaint against the particular lawyers with the state bar association. Also, if the agreement contains no specific time frame, a reasonable time is going to be imputed for a time period within which they are going to have to have the final inspection. Given the history, you would be within your rights at this point to give them a short specified period of time to arrange this final viewing or you are going to terminate due to the breach of contract.
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If the owner in who is aware of whats going on sues for damages can we
Yes, you would also have a claim.
sorry senty before i had finished. Given client attorney privilege if necessary how could i get the law firm to confirm one way or another the existenece of a client - or would we have to sue first
You would likely have to file your suit first. Although you could possibly force the issue by letting the attorney know that unless the client will waive the attorney Client Privilege, you are going to terminate the contract and sue them for breach of contract and fraud.
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