BAUM LLC was founded by David R. Baum in 2018 as a boutique law firm. We represent 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 consistently ranked by Chambers USA and Chambers High Net Worth as a leading lawyer in multiple categories dating back to 2013, honored in each edition of Best Lawyers since 2018. He serves as the Secretary of the Cy Twombly Foundation and also serves on the Board of the American Foundation of The Courtauld Institute of Art in London and The Drawing Center in New York. David teaches 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. He has also presented CLE programs for clients and institutions such as Sony Music Entertainment and The Copyright Society of the U.S.A. David's writing on art has been published by the French academic journal Les Cahiers du Musée National D'Art Modern. He graduated from NYU School of Law and Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, with honors.
* In the most significant case concerning moral rights under French law, David successfully represented the Cy Twombly Foundation in a high-profile lawsuit against the Louvre. Filed in Paris in 2021, the lawsuit sought to reverse alterations in the Salles des Bronzes, an historic gallery that houses Twombly’s 3,800-square foot mural. The lawsuit was settled based on the museum’s pledge to reverse the alterations, including the colors of the walls, panels, and display cases.
* David successfully represented the Architectural Body Research Foundation against the Estate of Madeline Gins in New York Surrogate’s Court in connection with the unlawful taking of The Mechanism of Meaning, a major work of conceptual art with 82 panel canvases. After prevailing on a motion for summary judgment with a record that exceeded 6,000 pages, the Estate agreed in 2023 to divest the work under the supervision of the NY Attorney General and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to reimburse legal fees.
* 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.
* For a private client, David negotiated the $69.6 million sale of an iconic Cy Twombly "blackboard" painting. Sold at auction through Christie's, the deal more than tripled the artist's prior record price.
* David won summary judgment for two banks against a billion dollar hedge fund that breached a contract to redeem millions of dollars 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 in California federal court on a claim brought against the Beastie Boys and corporate parties for a digital sample in the song "Pass the Mic" from the multi-platinum album Check Your Head. Based on David's legal and musical analysis, the court's held that the sample was not sufficiently 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).
* 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 declared the parties' agreement non-binding because it failed to set forth material terms. Ford Motor Co. v. Kahne, 379 F. Supp. 857 (E.D. Mich., 2005). The case was reported by ESPN and sports journals nationwide.
* 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 have included The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Mariah Carey, 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 the history of rock and roll. Beck, a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, lost the famed guitar due to a theft during the 1969 tour of the Jeff Beck Group. David obtained a dismissal of a lawsuit in New York brought by a dealer in 2018 who bought the guitar and sought to declare it as his own.
* David represented the Cy Twombly Foundation in an action against two of its directors for taking improper legal and investment fees. Following parallel high-profile actions in Delaware Chancery Court and New York Surrogates Court, David achieved the resignations of both directors. Featured in The New York Times and other news outlets worlwide, the case is frequently cited as a leading precedent for the governance of non-profit institutions.
* David has handled major gifts to museums that include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, 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 the premier independent record label, Rounder Records, in an action by Napster to recover large settlements paid to a consortium of publishers that accused the peer to peer music 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).