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Art Law: Navigating Authenticity in the Context of Purchase and Sale Transactions

(349 reviews)

Produced on November 02, 2017

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Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Arts & Entertainment

Course Description

This program, presented by art law attorneys Paul Cossu, Megan Noh, and Chris Robinson, will discuss common legal scenarios encountered when navigating issues of authenticity in the context of purchase and sale transactions.

They will provide an overview of the various contractual and statutory provisions underlying purchase/sale transactions, such as what warranty (if any) a seller provides, what a consignor is representing to a secondary market seller, and what a buyer’s obligations are in regard to timing for bringing an authenticity issue to the seller’s attention. They will also discuss the various meanings of authenticity in the marketplace and where they arise, including the relevance of factors such as a work’s age, medium, provenance, rarity, value, and the role of expertise/connoisseurship versus scientific examination. Finally, the program will cover how authenticity disputes are resolved from a litigation standpoint, and will include a review of relevant cases.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain an overview of the contractual and statutory provisions underlying purchase and sale transactions in the art world
  2. Define authenticity in the marketplace, and explore possible conditions under which these issues might arise
  3. Comprehend how to successfully litigate authenticity disputes, and become familiar with relevant cases
  4. Review what different claims can be brought when litigating authenticity disputes, what the procedural hurdles and burdens are, and what alternative dispute resolution methods are available

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Paul Cossu is a litigator and transactional lawyer who concentrates his practice on general commercial matters with a particular focus on art law. Paul represents a wide range of clients in the art world including auction houses, non-profit institutions, artists/performers, collectors, and others.

He was previously the Secretary of the Art Law Committee for both the New York City Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association, and is currently a Steering Committee member of the Junior Associates at the Museum of Modern Art.

Paul graduated from McGill University and received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, cum laude, and was subsequently the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Brooklyn Law School’s Art Law Association for his contributions to the field of art law. He has spoken at the Center for Art Law, and is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York, the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, and the Second Circuit.

Megan Noh

Cahill Cossu Noh & Robinson LLP

Megan E. Noh joined the firm in March 2017, reentering private practice after developing a broad range of expertise over the course of seven years' combined business and in-house legal experience in the auction world. Most recently, as Vice President and Senior Counsel for an international auction house, she handled all day-to-day U.S. legal affairs, including drafting and negotiating auction, private treaty, advance loan and other contracts, insurance inquiries and claims resolution, and questions of cultural property and provenance, regulatory and materials compliance. Prior to her work in the auction sector, Megan practiced at the law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP (2005-2010).

Megan's education includes dual degrees in Studio Art and Government & Politics from the University of Maryland and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently Co-Chair of the New York County Lawyers' Association's Art Law Committee, a member of the New York City Bar Association's Art Law Committee, and an Advisory Committee member for the New School’s Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and has spoken on the topics of authentication and pre-transaction diligence to various professional and academic audiences, including the American Society of Appraisers, the New York State Bar Association's Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section, Fordham University School of Law, and U.S. Trust, and at conferences including those organized by the NYU Schools of Law and Professional Studies, the University of Cambridge, and the London School of Economics. Her publications include related articles in the ArtWatch UK Journal and the Institute of Art & Law’s journal, Art Antiquity and Law.

Chris Robinson

Cahill Cossu Noh & Robinson LLP

Christopher J. Robinson practices art law and intellectual property law, as well as general commercial litigation. A former art dealer, he brings a practical knowledge of the art world to his practice of art law. His clients for both litigation and transactional matters include dealers, artists, art advisors, museums, auction houses, appraisers, art foundations, collectors, restorers, developers and publishers. He is outside legal counsel to the Private Art Dealers Association and the New Art Dealers Alliance, and he has spoken widely on art issues, in particular on stolen art, consignment fraud, forgeries, copyright and moral rights, public art, dealer transactions, and artists’ rights.

Chris also has extensive experience in copyright and gray-market goods enforcement and litigation. His practice includes trademark, unfair competition and false advertising, as well as libel defense and the first amendment. He has also represented clients with respect to compliance with sanctions regulations promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Chris joined the firm as a partner in 2017. He started his art career in graduate studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, followed by nearly twenty years as an art dealer in New York, including six years as an independent dealer in old master and nineteenth century drawings. He received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 2001 where he served as editor in Chief of Law Review. Chris practiced at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP where he specialized in intellectual property, before moving to Davis Wright Tremaine LLP where he became a partner in 2011.


patricia C.

Really enjoyed the presentation ad subject matter. Took the course for a break from construction

Mia V.

Thank you

Gabrielle Z.

Really informative. Presentation divided up very well. Great real world examples. Great presenters!

Kathleen S.


Richard K.

Highly recommended

Wendy O.

I sat through one rod the trials they discussed and thought they did a good job of describing it.

Caroline M.

Great course!

Richard C.

Excellent concise presentation and discussion of art authenticity issues, and potential remedies. Thank you.

Barbara N.

Excellent presentation. Information packed. Interesting.

Keith B.

Well presented. Good blend of presenters with solid expertise.

Linda B.


Lois S.

Enjoyed the tripartite (triptych?) structure.

Claudia Q.

Excellent presentation!

Anna C.

The best lawline class I have seen/heard so far.

Alfred S.

Very interesting program. Thank you.

Elizabeth P.

Excellent presenters!

Dana L.

Excellent program

Andrew S.

Excellent presentation on a limited specialty.

James A.

helpful for my needs

Loren S.

Enjoyed this delving into the art legal world.

Craig M.

Highly informative presentation.

Rachel G.

Very well done thorough presentation.

Monroe S.

Excellent program.

Tara L.

One of the best CLE corses I’ve taken!

Henry G.

Excellent, informative, multi-dimensional course with great visual and legal examples.

Thomas K.

Excellent program. Well-organized, straightforward, clearly presented.

michael f.

I am new to art law. this presentation was interesting to me and presented in a way that a novice can understand.

jeffrey h.

excellent course

Ann P.

Very informative and enjoyable.

Florence D N.


Carrie B.

Super course that touches on all the issues! Great use of examples and cases too.

Deborah T.

I am an artist and this program was fascinating. I learned many things about how to protect my art (which is probably never going to be sold for much more than a few hundred dollars). Thanks for having a program that is so different from many cle programs.

Earl B.

very thorough and up to date

Ann-Kathryn S.

Very knowledgeable presenters. Very interesting.

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