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NY court ruling allows auction seller secrecy

December 17, 2013
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's top court has ruled that auctioneers in the state will be able to keep confidential the names of clients peddling their valuables.

The unanimous ruling Tuesday by the Court of Appeals reverses a midlevel court, which had concluded an Orange County auctioneer couldn't sue to collect a $400,000 telephone bid for a 19th-century silver and enamel box because the auction documents didn't contain the seller's name.

The top court says the name of the seller's agent, in this case auctioneer William J. Jenack Estate Appraisers and Auctioneers in Chester, satisfies the contract requirement under state law.

Jenack and other auctioneers argued that their business is important to New York and would be undermined without the "time honored and necessary custom and practice" of keeping sellers' names confidential.



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