Emily Snyder, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General and Carol Bosco Baumann for the Berkshire Museum convey a shared goal: “We are working together to resolve this matter, recognizing our shared responsibility for the collection of the Berkshire Museum and to the community the museum serves. We are committed to helping this museum secure its future.”
Here’s the complete joint status report:
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
Berkshire County, ss.
THOMAS ROCKWELL, JARVIS ROCKWELL, PETER ROCKWELL,
TOM PATTI, TOM PATTI DESIGN LLC, JAMES LAMME, DONALD MACGILLIS, JONAS DOVYDENAS, and JEAN ROUSSEAU,
TRUSTEES OF THE BERKSHIRE MUSEUM and MAURA HEALEY, in her capacity as Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Defendants.
JAMES HATT, KRISTIN HATT, AND ELIZABETH WEINBERG, individually and derivatively on behalf of the Trustees of the Berkshire Museum, Plaintiffs,
TRUSTEES OF THE BERKSHIRE MUSEUM, et al., Defendants.
On Appeal From Berkshire Superior Court
Joint Status Report of the Attorney General and Trustees of the Berkshire
The Substituted Plaintiff-Appellant Attorney General Maura Healey (“AGO”) and Defendant-Appellee Trustees of the Berkshire Museum (the “Museum”) submit this joint status report.
The AGO has now concluded its investigation into the decision by the Museum to sell 40 works from its collection. The additional time granted by this Court for the investigation permitted the AGO, with the Museum’s cooperation, to undertake additional review of inter alia over 1500 documents and interview further key Museum employees and board members. The AGO believes that the 40 works at issue are subject to restrictions, which the Museum does not believe exist. The AGO and the Museum have agreed to resolve these differences and will file a petition for judicial relief pursuant to the principles of equitable instruction, deviation and/or cy pres with the Single Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court on February 9, 2018 or shortly thereafter. The AGO will support the relief requested by the petition. In addition, the Museum will not sell any of the 40 works until the SJC acts on the petition or until the Berkshire County Superior Court enters final judgment regarding the AGO’s complaint in the matter captioned Rockwell et al. v. Trustees of the Berkshire Museum, No. 17-253 (allowing, if the Museum should prevail, for 7 calendar days post-judgment for the AGO to seek further relief pending appeal), should such proceedings again become necessary. The Museum and the AGO intend to file a motion in the trial court requesting that proceedings there be held in abeyance while the aforementioned petition is pending. As a result of these commitments by the Museum, the AGO does not seek any further injunctive relief or stay of Superior Court proceedings at this time.