William L. Charron
7 Times Square
New York, NY 10036-6569
William Charron is a partner at Pryor Cashman LLP in the firm’s Litigation Department. He is Co-Chair of the firm’s Art Law Practice Group and represents clients in art title and authenticity cases. Bill’s practice is focused on property rights cases in a number of contexts, including intellectual property matters arising under the Copyright and Lanham Acts, right of publicity and defamation laws, and real estate litigation. He has also represented clients in a number of complex cases involving civil rights, civil RICO, antitrust, securities fraud, and banking claims, as well as numerous contract, shareholder, and LLC membership disputes.
Bill has particular experience in handling appellate litigation, including successfully arguing appeals to the Second, Third, Sixth, and Eleventh U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, and to the First and Second Departments of the Appellate Division in New York. He also teaches appellate advocacy and legal writing as an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School.
Some of Bill’s recent and other representative court victories include:
- TechnoMarine SA v. Jacob Time, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2013): Obtained summary judgment dismissal of Copyright Act and related state law claim on behalf of Internet discount retailer of luxury watches in “grey market” context by successfully demonstrating that authorized first sales of watches had occurred from the manufacturer (plaintiff) to its authorized dealers, and by further demonstrating no evidence to support a claim for tortious interference with contract. In an earlier stage of the case, obtained pleadings-based dismissal of Lanham Act and related state unfair competition claims by successfully arguing that plaintiff watch manufacturer failed to “plausibly” allege that defendant was selling counterfeit or otherwise non-genuine watches bearing plaintiff’s name and mark.
- Soul Circus, Inc. v. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, et al. (Georgia Superior Ct. 2013): Obtained pleadings-based dismissal of defamation claims brought by circus company against client in connection with Internet postings highlighting alleged animal abuse, based upon First Amendment and local “anti-SLAPP” statutory grounds.
- Marriott International, Inc. v. Eden Roc, LLLP (1st Department 2013): Obtained vacatur of preliminary injunction on behalf of owner of renowned Miami, Florida hotel that required owner to permit hotel management company to continue to manage all hotel operations against the owner’s will, by successfully arguing that injunction inappropriately compelled performance of a personal services contract.
- Hyatt v. California Franchise Tax Board (Supreme Court – Westchester County, aff’d, N.Y. Appellate Division, 2d Department 2013): Successfully obtained New York judicial review and modification of out-of-state subpoenas issued by California taxing authority and California court under recently amended New York statute, thereby helping to establish new law in New York that its courts are not prevented from exercising such independent review by the “Full Faith and Credit Clause” to the U.S. Constitution.
- Bakalar v. Vavra (S.D.N.Y., aff’d, 2d Circuit 2012): Obtained fully-affirmed final judgment after trial in favor of owner of Egon Schiele artwork alleged to have been stolen by Nazis during World War II by successfully disproving Nazi theft and by successful invocation of "laches" defense. Previously successfully opposed rare motion seeking defendant-class action certification.
- Kernel Records Oy v. Timothy Mosley p/k/a Timbaland, et al., (S.D. Fla., aff’d, 11th Circuit 2012): Obtained summary judgment dismissal of music copyright infringement claims against internationally renowned singer Nelly Furtado and corporate co-defendants, with significant appellate court decision establishing the Copyright Act’s meaning of “publication” through various forms of Internet media. Previously obtained dismissal of claims against Ms. Furtado’s music publishing company on personal jurisdiction and “indispensable party” grounds.
- Claudia Evart v. Ralph Edwards/Stu Billet Productions d/b/a “People’s Court” (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County 2012): Successfully opposed application by unsuccessful litigant in “The People’s Court” television program for prior restraint and permanent injunction of episode broadcasting based upon contention that litigant had been treated unfairly and portrayed in a negative light in the episode, and obtained pleadings-based dismissal of action based upon conclusive documentary evidence that the plaintiff had agreed to release all claims of liability arising out of show’s taping and broadcast.
- Joan Banach v. The Dedalus Foundation, Inc. (Supreme Court – N.Y. County, aff’d, N.Y. Appellate Division, 1st Department 2011): Successfully represented foundation for internationally renowned artist Robert Motherwell in dismissing claims by former board member and employee for alleged “lifetime employment” and for wrongful removal and defamation.
To read about some of Bill's other successful representations, please click here.
In April 2010, Bill won a 2010 Burton Award for Legal Achievement. The Burton Award is one of the highest literary honors in law, with just 30 authors chosen each year out of entries submitted from the nation’s 1,000 largest law firms. Bill was selected as a recipient of the prestigious national award for his article, States Turn a Deaf Ear to the Constitution in an Effort to Promote "Truth in Music.”
Bill is frequently called upon by the press to comment upon intellectual property, litigation and other matters. To read samples of such press coverage, please click here.
Bill is a 1998 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a Moot Court competition semifinalist, a Dillard Fellow and an Editor of the Journal of Law and Politics. Bill graduated magna cum laude from Colby College in 1993 with a B.A. in Government. He was Phi Beta Kappa and won the Albert A. Mavrinac Prize for Best Senior Thesis in Government: The Presidential Precampaign and the Press.
- Author, A Comity of Error: Choice of Law Rules in Stolen Art Cases, New York Law Journal (November 2013)
- Author, When A Civil Rights Plaintiff Can 'Win' But Not 'Prevail', Bloomberg/BNA Law Week (May 2012)
- Author, Twitter: A 'Caveat Emptor' Exception to Libel Law?, 1 Berkeley J. Ent. & Sports L. (April 2012)
- Author, FCC v. Fox Television: The ‘Steven Spielberg Exception’ To Broadcast Television Indecency Rules?, The Wrap (February 2012)
- Author, States Turn a Deaf Ear to the Constitution in an Effort to Promote “Truth in Music,” BNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal (August 28, 2009) and University of Virginia Sports & Entertainment Law Journal (Fall 2009)
- Speaker, Addressing Title and Choice of Law Issues in International Art Theft Cases, Sotheby's Institute of Art (July 2013)
- Panelist, Practical Advice on Handling Legal Issues Confronting the Art World Today, New York City Bar Association (May 2013)
- Columbia University School of Law, Adjunct Faculty, Instructor of Appellate Advocacy and Legal Writing
- Advisory Board of the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court, Appointed Member
- New York City Bar Association, Member of Professional Ethics Committee and Liaison Member of Art Law Committee
- New York State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Named as a “Super Lawyer” in Intellectual Property Litigation by New York Super Lawyers – Metro Edition magazine (2013 edition)
- Burton Award For Legal Writing 2010
- Named a “Rising Star” in General Litigation by New York Super Lawyers – Metro Edition magazine (2011 edition)