About - BAUM LLC, founded by David R. Baum

BAUM LLC was founded by David R. Baum in 2018 as a boutique law firm.  David represents a select group of individual and institutional clients in a variety of matters across multiple practice areas.  Prior to founding the firm, David was a long-time partner at Dentons, where he built a renowned international practice.

David is widely recognized for his work in art, music, and entertainment law, and has extensive experience in complex commercial matters as well.  He has been ranked by Chambers USA and Chambers High Net Worth as a leading lawyer in multiple categories since 2013 and honored in each edition of Best Lawyers since 2018.  He is ranked as one of the "Top 75 Art Professionals" by ARTnews and named as one of the "Art World's 10 Most Powerful Lawyers" by Artnet Magazine.  He is the Secretary of the Cy Twombly Foundation and serves on the Board of the American Foundation of The Courtauld Institute of Art in London and The Drawing Center in New York.  He has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level, including classes and lectures at NYU School of Law, Columbia Law School, New York Law School, and Sotheby's Institute of Art, and has presented CLE programs for clients and institutions such as Sony Music Entertainment and The Copyright Society of the U.S.A.  His writing on art and has been published by the French academic journal Les Cahiers du Musée National D'Art Modern.  

David graduated from NYU School of Law in 1997 and Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, with honors, in 1994.

SELECT REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

* In the most important case ever litigated on moral rights, David successfully represented the Cy Twombly Foundation against the Louvre.  The high-profile lawsuit was filed under French law in Paris in 2021 to reverse alterations in the Salles des Bronzes, the historic gallery that houses Twombly’s 3,800-square foot mural.  David secured a pledge from the museum to reverse the changes to the walls, panels, and display cases.

* David successfully represented a foundation against the Estate of Madeline Gins in Surrogate’s Court on a claim for ownership of The Mechanism of Meaning, a major work of conceptual art with 82 canvases.  David prevailed on summary judgment with a record that exceeded 6,000 pages and secured an agreement from the Estate in 2023 to divest the work under the supervision of the NY Attorney General.

* David has extensive experience negotiating the sale of important collections at auction on behalf of individuals, estates, and commercial and non-profit organizations, including the $69.6 million sale of an iconic Cy Twombly "blackboard" painting at Christie's in 2014 on behalf of a private party that more than tripled the record price for the artist.

* David successfully represented Swiss curator Oliver Wick in two parallel actions in Switzerland and New York regarding a forged Mark Rothko painting sold by Knoedler Gallery.  As reported by The New York Times, David won a dismissal of the claims against Wick in the Swiss courts together with a judgment for Wick's legal fees, which ultimately led to a dismissal of the case in New York.  Wick is the only defendant in any of the Knoedler cases to win a dismissal and an award of attorneys fees.

* David brought a successful action concerning the unlawful sale by a prominent New York gallery of the painting "Girl in Mirror" by Roy Lichtenstein.  Featured multiple times in The New York Times, the Financial Times, and New York Magazine, the case is now taught and referencd as a seminal case on the fiduciary duties of art dealers with respect to sellers and consignments. 

* David won summary judgment for two banks against a billion dollar hedge fund that refused to redeem millions in trust preferred securities (known as "TruPS").  TruPS are a recent focus of bank regulators and this was the first known decision establishing liability.  Leawood Bankshares Inc. v. Alesco Preferred Fundings X, Ltd., 823 F. Supp. 2d 244 (S.D.N.Y. 2011).

* David successfully defended Ozzy Osbourne and his record label and publisher in California federal court in a lawsuit filed by the bassist and drummer on two classic multi-platinum albums, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, seeking millions in royalties.  The case was dismissed on summary judgment.  Daisley v. Osbourne, et al., 78 Fed. Appx. 594 (9th Cir. 2003), cert. denied, 541 U.S. 1030 (2004).  The case was featured in a front-page Wall Street Journal article.

* In a landmark copyright case, David won summary judgment on a claim brought against the Beastie Boys and others for a sample in "Pass the Mic," a track on the multi-platinum album Check Your Head.  A California federal court accepted David's legal and musical analysis in finding that the sample is insufficiently original to warrant protection.  The decision was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.  Newton v. Diamond et al., 204 F. Supp. 2d 1244 (C.D. Cal. 2002), aff'd, 349 F.3d 591 (9th Cir. 2003).

* As reported by ESPN and sports journals nationwide, David won summary judgment in Michigan federal court for NASCAR star driver Kasey Kahne on a breach of contract claim brought by Ford arising out of Kahne's departure to a Dodge-sponsored team.  The court declareda key agreement non-binding because it failed to set forth material terms.  Ford Motor Co. v. Kahne, 379 F. Supp. 857 (E.D. Mich., 2005).

* David won an injunction in Connecticut federal court against former employees, Genworth Financial, a leading investment firm, for the misappropriation of client information.  Genworth Financial v. McMullan, 2010 WL 2428749 (D. Conn. 2010).  David also won sanctions for defendants' failure to preserve electronic information.  Genworth Financial v. McMullan, 267 F.R.D. 443 (D. Conn. 2010), often cited as important precedent regarding e-discovery obligations.

* Other clients in the music and entertainment space include The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Mariah Carey, The Allman Brothers, Pink, 'NSYNC, Wyclef Jean, TLC, and the Estates of The Notorious B.I.G., Jimi Hendrix, Woody Guthrie, and others, as well as most major record and music publishing companies.  Clients in the movie and television industry have included Dreamworks, AETV, MTV and others.

* David successfully represented Jeff Beck in connection with one of the most famous stolen instruments in rock and roll history .  The two-time inductee into the Hall of Fame lost the guitar during the 1969 tour of the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.  David obtained a dismissal of a lawsuit in New York brought by a dealer in 2018 who bought and sought to declare the guitar as his own.

* David represented the Cy Twombly Foundation in litigations against two of its directors for taking improper legal and investment fees.  Following high-profile actions in Delaware Chancery Court and NY Surrogates Court, David achieved the resignations of both directors.  Featured in The New York Times and other news outlets worlwide, the case is cited as a leading precedent for the governance of non-profit institutions.

* David has handled valuable gifts and grants to museums and institutions that include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Whitney Museum of American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Tate Museum in London.

* Based on an impromptu cross-examination of a witness on the stand, David won a multi-party Chapter 11 trial in California federal court over the control of Fremont General, a lender with over $800 million in NOLs and $100 million in book value.  The victory was reported in business and bankruptcy journals across the country.

* David successfully represented a collector in efforts, together with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to recover a famous painting by Mark Tansey that was sold unlawfully by a prominent New York gallery.  As featured in The New York Times, the painting was recovered and thereafter donated in full to the museum.  Metropolitan Museum of Art v. Safflane, 2012 WL 928148 (S.D.N.Y. 2012).

* David won summary judgment on behalf of Jay-Z and his production company, Marcy Projects, in New York Supreme Court on tortious interference claims asserted by R. Kelly.  The dispute arose out of the artists' "Best of Both Worlds" tour in 2004.

* David represented Ford Models in connection with various ventures including the hit television show "Ameria's Next Top Model."

* David successfully represented Carl Icahn and affiliate companies in Delaware federal court regarding CIT, a large commercial lender, and its pre-packaged bankruptcy plan involving a $4.5 billion credit facility.  

* David successfully represented Britney Spears, BMG Music Publishing, and Zomba Records in Indiana federal court, winning dismissal of a copyright infringement claim over the hit “Sometimes” from Spears' debut album Baby One More Time.  David established that the song was written by Jörgen Elofsson, who also penned Spears' hit song "You Drive Me Crazy."

* David won dismissal of an action brought by an investor against the director and producers of the film “The Education of Charlie Banks,” the winner of the “Made In New York” award at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Dismissal was granted on the grounds of forum non conveniens and lack of personal jurisdiction.

* David represented OnDeck Capital, the pioneer Fintech company, as it grew from a start up into the country's largest small business lender issuing over $6 billion in loans.

* David successfully defended Rounder Records, the premier independent record label, in an action by Napster to recover settlements paid to publishers that accused the peer to peer service of exploiting hundreds of musical compositions without proper licenses.  David established that Napster misrepresented the license agreements at issue.  Napster, LLC v. Rounder Records Corp., 2011 WL 240397 (S.D.N.Y. 2011).

* David won dismissal of a case for Sony Records concerning recordings by the group Third World.  The decision is widely cited for the legal standard on the tolling of the statute of limitations on a copyright claim and the Copyright Act preemption of state law.  Cooper v. Sony Records Int'l, 2001 WL 1223492 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 15, 2001).

* Other notable reported decisions on copyright include: Tisi v. Patrick, 97 F. Supp. 2d 539 (S.D.N.Y. 2000); Jorgensen v. Epic/Sony Records, 2002 WL 31119377 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 24, 2002); Jorgensen v. Careers BMG Music Pub., 2002 WL 1492123 (S.D.N.Y. July 11, 2002); Selletti v. Mariah Carey, 194 F.R.D. 476 (2d Cir. 2000); and Dimmie v. Mariah Carey, 88 F. Supp. 2d 142 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).