Are You a Victim of the Norval Morrisseau Art Fraud?
SOMMER LAW, in co-operation with Dickinson Wright LLP, is currently preparing, on behalf of a group of clients, to bring one or more lawsuits for the purpose of obtaining compensation for the victims of the Norval Morrisseau art fraud that was found to exist by Ontario courts in the Hearn v. McLeod decisions.
If you are concerned that you may be a victim of the Morrisseau fraud, please contact us so we can assess, on a confidential basis, whether or not it is appropriate to include you in the planned litigation. It is important that, if you believe your artwork to be fake, you take action, as your potential claims may run out of time in accordance with the limitation periods applicable in different jurisdictions.
Below are some of the issues you may want to consider in deciding whether your Morrisseau artwork should be investigated. Please note that none of these factors are necessarily determinative of authenticity. Each work must be individually evaluated before an opinion regarding authenticity can be given. SOMMER LAW’s assessments of authenticity are not about whether a work is, in the absolute sense, authentic, but rather, whether or not there is persuasive legal evidence that a work may be a fake. If you wish to have your work evaluated on a legal basis for authenticity by us, we will require the opinion a Morrisseau art expert, for which we recommend Morrisseau Art Consulting Inc.
Consider these questions:
1. Is the work signed on the back with a black drybrush signature, title, date, copyright symbol and/or a thunderbird design? If so, you should have your work evaluated.
2. How clear is the provenance that was provided with your painting, if any? Provenance is the history of ownership tracing the work back to the artist, and may include information about transactions, places where the work was located, exhibitions in which the work appeared, restorative efforts performed on the work, as well as information, records and photographs of the work with the artist. Unless you were provided with clear and verified provenance, you should have your work evaluated.
3. When you bought the work did you pay a price that was considerably lower than normal market value or, alternatively, were you provided with a valuation stating a value for the work that was much higher than the price you paid? If so, you should have your work evaluated.
4. Is your work one of the many specific works identified by Norval Morrisseau in one of his sworn declarations as a fake? If so, you should have your work evaluated. Here is a link to view those declarations.
5. Is there any other reason that you have concerns about the work? If so, you should have it evaluated.
Depending on the complexity involved, evaluations are performed by SOMMER LAW for a modest fee.
Upon receipt of your request, you will be provided with a questionnaire and a list of photos and documents we require. You will have to complete the questionnaire and deliver the requested materials. SOMMER LAW will then provide you with a verbal or written report.
All evaluations are confidential. SOMMER LAW reserves the right to refuse to evaluate any work.