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Friday, March 05, 2010

Artist Shepard Fairey And The Hyde Park County Club Share Something In Common: Legal Doctrine Of Unclean Hands

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The attorney defending Cincinnati's swanky Hyde Park Country Club against a whistleblower's lawsuit contends the plaintiff is not innocent of wrongdoing and unfair conduct. Arthur Schlemmer said in a court filing that Ted Marinakis's "claims are barred by the Doctrine of Unclean Hands." That is the same legal strategy invoked by artist Shepard Fairey -- creator of the Obama Hope poster -- in a copyright dispute with the Associated Press. Fairey's work is the subject of a showing now under way at Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center. The AP says Fairey used a photo owned by the wire service without permission to create Obama Hope; Fairey says the AP has distributed copies of his work without permission. Background on the copyright dispute is available here. A copy of Fairey's counterclaim against the AP's lawsuit is available here (pdf).

For those interested in learning more about the doctrine of unclean hands, there are a variety of sources online offering definitions and explanations. This one was fairly succinct: "Doctrine of Unclean Hands is a defense used by a defendant against a lawsuit when the complainant himself has done a wrong thing in the subject matter in which the plaintiff is seeking a court's assistance. For example, Mr. Smith advanced money to Mr.Kelly to beat his neighbor, and Kelly failed to do the work. Here Mr.Smith is having an Unclean Hand."

Schlemmer, who is defending the country club, has not yet offered any details of the conduct that he wants to pin on Marinakis, who was the club's food and beverage director. Marinakis claims the club hired illegal aliens and allowed gambling. Schlemmer's answer to the lawsuit denies all allegations.

1 comment:

  1. Teddy = UNclean Hands. Go away Teddy & take your 'creepers' with you.