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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I consigned my collection to an art dealer. She and her husband

Customer Question

I consigned my collection to an art dealer. She and her husband came to Omaha NE to collect the collection. The contract was signed there.

Communication with this dealer has been difficult. Two lots were sold and I was paid but no documentation about the sale was sent to me. I have since, they took the collection, been unable to contact the dealer by phone, only getting voice mail, email communication has also been difficult--any answers I got were basically excuses for not answering with promises to answer in full later which never happened. For the past four months I have been unable to contact by email or telephone and my contract expired on 9 March this year. I repeatedly have written asking to discuss what has been happening. Recently I have told her that I will not renew the contract and want the collection to be sent back. But I am unable to get any response. Even her husband who assisted in taking the collection is unavailable--I am only able to leave voice mail messages but also send him cc of my email to his wife. He is a museum curator but I can oly get his voice mail with no results.

Many thanks for any ideas you might be able to give me. jpc

The contract was signed in Omaha Ne, she operates out of NY but now has no official gallery. She lives in another state where her husband works.

Do you have any idea what move I can make to retrieve my collection--or proceeds from any sale. The collection was valued at over 250,000 usd.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

Do you happen to have a copy of the consignment contract handy that you could scan into and either attach to your response or email to me?

If so, please do, or send toXXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Attn: ZDNLaw
Re: http://www.justanswer.com/law/7qjh5-consigned-collection-art-dealer-husband.html?mode=qa

Your options on what you can do will be potentially limited by the contract.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

-ZDN
Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
If you are able to email it to me, please let me know in a response so I can keep an eye out for it. Sometimes it takes a while to get to me from reception.

-ZDN
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I just saw that I did not attach the attn:ZDNLaw. I have re-sent the letter. Sorry for the mistake. jpc

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
No problem. I'll keep an eye out for it. The website is set up so that I cannot give you my personal email, so I have to wait for it to go through the system and get to me. This means it sometimes takes a few hours to get to me (and might even take overnight).

As soon as I get it, I will review it and then respond back to you with some options that we can discuss.

Thanks,
ZDN
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4213
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
TexLaw and 10 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
I've reviewed the documents you have sent.

Even though there was no final document sent to you, the fact that the document speaks to the terms of the agreement, states that the parties have agreed to the terms, and is signed by both of you is sufficient to form a contract.

The long and short of it is that there is no period of time which obligates Koo to return the painting to you. Thus, you will need to formally terminate the agreement and demand return of the unsold art.

You should start by sending a formal letter, delivered by certified mail return receipt requested, or by Federal Express with delivery confirmation. In the letter you need to state:

Dear Koo:

I am writing to provide you with formal notice that the Art Consignment Agreement between us is terminated as of the date of this correspondence.

I have received commissions on the sale of the following pieces:

(list)

Thus, you are still in possession of:

(list).

I demand that you immediately ship the remaining pieces listed above to me at _____________________.

Because you have failed to keep me informed of your progress of the sale of the art I consigned to you, and because you have refused to be forthright with me in the communication and accounting regarding the consignment, I am forced to demand that you return these pieces at your own expense within 30 days of your receipt of this letter.

Should you fail to do so, I will have no other choice but to initiate legal proceedings against you.

Signed ( by you)

As you can see, your only true course of action is to make a formal demand and then if it is not complied with, you must initiate litigation against Koo.

The fact that you signed the contract in Nebraska is not likely going to be good enough to establish jurisdiction over Koo in the courts of Nebraska. You could attempt it, but might face a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. This would add to your legal costs in the end.

Rather than file the suit in Nebraska, it is better to file the suit in the state where she lives. That way you know that there will be jurisdiction over her, and you will likely only have to travel to the state on 2 occasions (one for a deposition if requested, and two for the trial if reached and not settled). A high percentage of litigation settles.

Because you are talking about some very valuable property, you would need to hire an attorney to handle this matter for you.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response. What can I do if she refuses to accept the registered letter.


 

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
I was thinking that might be the case. That is why I suggest sending the letter by federal express. A letter by federal express does not say who it comes from and will be handed directly to her. You need to choose the option for signature confirmation. In my experience, I've found that people are much more likely to accept these rather a certified letter.

In the end, she may simply refuse to cooperate and you may have to sue her. It's really up to her as to how painful this has to be, as this is a sure win case for you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Has my payment been made and how can I give you a tip for your fine service. I initially clicked excellent service at your first quick response but did not leave a tip at that time intending to do that when I received your advice and when I clicked it again after your advice was received it did not give me a choice to tip you.


Many thanks for your assistance. I hope this mess can be cleared up without a major problem which would do no good for anyone. I don't know why they could not just communicate with me. I did confirm that the major painting was on exhibit in March so as of that time it was still in her hands.


 


Many thanks for your help. jc

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you very much for your kind words. I'm not certain on how the tip function works on your end.

-ZDN

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TexLaw
TexLaw
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Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs