Page 68 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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by’s lost all profits from the sale, the unique books were to end
up in public Jewish institutions, the Guttmanns were to get
nearly half of the sale’s proceeds, and the question o f the legality
o f the sale remained unanswered.
The Court proceedings ofAugust 14 record a lengthy statement
by Justice White, a statement that ended with his approval of the
settlement. He said that he had analyzed and reviewed the many
comments that had been submitted and had decided that there was
“no point to a trial when the Plaintiffs have achieved everything
they sought. . . . A trial would be expensive financially and in emo­
tional terms.. . the fact witnesses would all be at least seventy years
of age. . . and many would have to travel great distances. . . . ” 21
Parenthetically, I might point out that Sotheby’s and the Gutt­
manns had, in the consignment agreement, unlike the standard
agreement, arranged for insurance coverage of “all expense in­
curred in the course of defending any claim or suit, with a $25,000
deductible.22 Thus the financial burden was probably much more
severe for Plaintiffs and others who were not even party to the lit­
Justice White made special mention of the submission of HUC
in opposition to the proposed settlement. He said that he found it
“the most thorough and comprehensive presentation, and I did
spend considerable time reflecting upon [it].”23
What, then was this submission, what did it contain, and why is
it relevant to the Judaica Conversary Foundation?
HUC’s opposition of July 31, 1985, consisted of an attorney’s
memorandum of sixteen pages, accompanied by President Alfred
Gottschalk’s affidavit of another sixteen pages, each with mutliple
“exhibits.” The Affidavit asserts that HUC is entitled to the books
21. (Justice) Robert E. White [Statement], August 14, 1985, p. 7.
Plaintiffs ProposedFindings ofFact and Conclusions ofLaw,
May 15, 1985,
23. White [Statement], p. 9.