EVW Dismisses $20M Claim

Attorney Steven Wolfe representing the estate of a celebrated art dealer, obtained dismissal, with prejudice, of an action brought by the Calder estate for more than $20 million for alleged improper retention of estate assets. EVW PARTNER OBTAINS VICTORY IN WIDELY PUBLICIZED LITIGATION. A front page New York Times article on October 30, 2013 thrust the case of Davidson v. Perls into the public’s consciousness. The estate of Alexander Calder had accused the estate of Klaus Perls, a celebrated art dealer and exclusive American dealer for Calder for more than twenty years, of improperly retaining assets worth more than $20 million belonging to the Calder estate. The Estate sought to add fraud accusations to their pleading, but Steven Wolfe, now an EVW partner, opposed the motion and cross-moved to dismiss. He argued documentary evidence showed there was no sustainable claim and that the claims, in any event, were time-barred. Hon. Shirley Werner Kornreich denied the Calder Estate’s motion to amend and dismissed the complaint, with prejudice. The court held the fraud allegations were: “an incoherent stew of irrelevance and innuendo” and that allegations relating to a Swiss bank account are “so patently inadequate that the court can only conclude that they were brought solely for the purposes of harassment or embarrassment.” More than a hundred entries relating to dismissal of this litigation are already on-line.