Park West Granted New Trial: Jury Verdict Vacated

Top Quote $500,000 Fine Also Thrown Out By Court. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) August 18, 2010 - The U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan granted Park West Gallery a new trial in its defamation case against Fine Art Registry (FAR). Park West Gallery filed the motion based upon severe misconduct on the part of FAR and their Counsel.

    Specifically, the Court concluded that "the misconduct of Franks and counsel for the FAR Defendants was pervasive, offensive and significant…Accordingly, the Court (1) vacates the jury's verdict with respect to the nine claims asserted by Plaintiff against the FAR Defendants, (2) vacates the jury's verdict on the Lanham Act counter-claim by FAR against Plaintiff, and (3) orders a new trial on the nine claims asserted by Plaintiff against the FAR Defendants and the Lanham Act counter-claim filed by FAR against Plaintiff."

    "We are pleased with the judge's ruling," said Rodger Young, lead counsel for Park West Gallery. "These types of decisions are extremely rare, and the Court's decision sends a clear message about the severity of the actions of the Defendants and their Counsel."

    In the scathing judgment, the Court found that Theresa Franks, founder of FAR, and counsel for the FAR Defendants engaged in a "deliberate course of conduct aimed at preventing a fair and impartial jury trial" and that, as a result, a fair verdict had not been reached.

    Judge Lawrence Zatkoff, who presided over the trial, stated in his 55-page order: "(T)he misconduct of Franks and counsel for the FAR defendants was egregious, frequent and ongoing…permeated the entire trial…(a)nd unfortunately occurred with regularity during trial, including on both occasions that Franks testified…Franks and counsel for the FAR Defendants not only continued to engage in such deliberate, intentional and highly and unfairly prejudicial conduct, the severity of their transgressions actually increased following the Court's March 30, 2010 comments and admonitions."

    Speaking of the Court's Opinion, Albert Scaglione, Founder of Park West Gallery said: "On behalf of all of the staff at Park West Gallery, the many artists we represent and the more than one million clients we have served, I am pleased with the Court's decision. We look forward to the upcoming new trial so that we can bring this unprecedented defamation campaign that has been waged against our company to an end."

    The Court has not yet determined the timing of the new trial.

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