KPL Partners Successfully Defend an Art Dealer in a two-week jury trial

February 22, 2024: KPL Partners Robert Klein and Alex Diaz secured a hard-fought defense victory on behalf of their art-dealer client after a two-week jury trial in Miami, Florida.

This lawsuit had its genesis in a mediated-settlement agreement between the Plaintiff and his ex-wife during post-dissolution proceedings initiated by the wife to enforce her husband’s delinquent obligations. Under the settlement agreement, the ex-wife agreed to sell off the Plaintiff’s art collection to offset significant owed equitable distributions. The husband argued the collection was to be sold individually at auction, with portions of the collection returned to him once his equitable distribution obligations had been met. The ex-wife, however, claimed the mediated-settlement agreement permitted her to sell the complete collection at one time to KPL’s art-dealer client.

KPL’s client was later accused by the Plaintiff of conspiring with the ex-wife and her attorney to steal the collection at a price far below fair-market value. The Plaintiff claimed the collection was worth millions more than was actually paid and pursued multiple diverse claims, including claims for breach of contract, tortious interference, and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Rob and Alex were ultimately able to demonstrate the artwork did not have anywhere near the value the Plaintiff was claiming based on the testimony of their client himself—who effectively served as an independent expert regarding the value of the art collection—and through the cross-examination of the Plaintiff’s expert, who conceded several key points. In addition, the defense was able to demonstrate a total lack of support for any hint of conspiracy or intentional misconduct.

The defense secured directed verdicts on several of the claims. The jury ultimately returned a defense verdict on the balance of the Plaintiff’s claims.

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