Friday, May 23, 2014
O’Keeffe v. Bry case brief summary
1. Bry was acting as the sales agent of O’Keeffe
a. They had a falling out, and O’Keeffe requested all of her art back
2. Key question
a. Without a written agreement, when an artist transfers work to an agent, does he transfer title or just a right of consent to sale the artwork?
3. Quantum meruit
a. Latin phrase meaning “as much as its worth”
b. You can only have quantum meruit if there is no contract
c. Party argues that a person has to pay
4. Federal court sitting in diversity normally applies law of the forum state
a. Bry wants New Mexico law
b. Judge says that New York law will apply because it is more involved in the dispute than is New Mexico
5. New York Statute of Frauds mentioned in the case requires a written agreement for something that can’t be fully performed before the conclusion of one of the party’s life
a. Bry tries to show that documents show an agency relationship
6. Bry wants to be O’Keeffe’s agent for life and to represent the estate of O’Keeffe after her death
a. She predicates this on what she says O’Keeffe represented to her but has no written document to prove this relationship7. You’re an artist starting out, and you need a contract
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