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Zaretsky v. William Goldberg Diamond Corp.

820 F.3d 513 (2016)

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Zaretsky v. William Goldberg Diamond Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

820 F.3d 513 (2016)

Facts

In 2003, William Goldberg Diamond Corp. (WGDC) (defendant) consigned a large diamond to celebrity stylist Derek Khan to dress his clients. The consignment agreement did not give Khan any title or rights to sell the diamond. If a client wanted to buy it, WGDC had to approve and invoice the sale. Khan never returned the diamond. Eventually a diamond supplier sold it to a couple, who later gave it to their daughter and son-in-law, Suzanne and Stephen Zaretsky (plaintiffs). When the Zaretskys had the diamond appraised for insurance purposes in 2012, it was identified as stolen and held until its ownership was resolved. The Zaretskys sued, arguing Khan could transfer title as a dealer, and presented Kahn’s written declaration claiming specialized knowledge or skill in the trade. The trial court found that Khan was a jewelry “merchant” under the New York Uniform Commercial Code (NYUCC) with power to transfer title to entrusted jewelry and denied WGDC summary judgment. WGDC appealed, arguing that Khan never sold any jewelry entrusted to him and did not qualify as a dealer. The Zaretskys countered that even if Khan was not a dealer, he held voidable title that could be transferred because WGDC’s consigning the diamond qualified as a transaction of purchase.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sack J.)

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