Both Sides Can Claim Victory in Rothko Secrecy Case


The Wall Street Journal reports that both sides will have reason to claim victory in the Marguerite Hoffman trial over revealing her ownership of a Rothko sold privately to David Martinez:

Jurors in U.S. District Court found all three defendants did breach the agreement, and the panel assessed two types of damages, one of $500,000 and another totaling $1.2 million. The judge ruled that Mrs. Hoffman will have to choose between the two sums, although it is conceivable her counsel may try to claim both types of damages, for a total of $1.7 million.”I am elated,” said Mrs. Hoffman after the verdict. “This case was always about something other than money. It was about justice and integrity and honesty and trust and friendship.”Jonathan Blackman, an attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, who represented Mr. Martinez and Studio Capital, said the limited damages amount to a defense victory. “We feel very good,” he said. “After three years and enormous legal expenses on the part of the plaintiff, the elephant labored and came forth with a mouse.” He said his clients plan to challenge the damages and breach-of-contract findings.

Art Figures Violated Secrecy Agreement Surrounding Rothko Sale, Jury Finds (WSJ)