Warhol Foundation Kills Antitrust Lawsuit Over Authentication

The closely watched federal lawsuit in which a private collector is suing the Andy Warhol Foundation and its subsidiary Art Authentication Board is about to reach an abrupt and unexpected end. Joe Simon, the London-based American whose 2007 complaint challenges the board’s rejection of the authenticity of the 1964 Warhol self-portrait that he owns, says that he and his lawyer, Seth Redniss of New York, will withdraw from the case at the next hearing, scheduled for November 10 in federal court in the Southern District of Manhattan. A parallel lawsuit in which Redniss is counsel, filed last year by U.S. collector Susan Shaer after the rejection of a self-portrait from the same series, also will be dropped, says Simon.

. . .

The Warhol Foundation will likely argue that it won on the merits, but the case is an example of how money, power, and legal expertise can often dictate the course of lawsuits in the U.S. justice system. The Warhol Foundation, which reported assets of $309 million in 2008 tax filings, hired the preeminent antitrust lawyer in the country, David Boies of Boies Shiller & Flexner, who teamed up with other firms to outman and outmaneuver the sole practitioner Redniss and his co-counsel, the small New York and Los Angeles litigation firm Browne Woods George, LLP.

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