Richard Allen Altman

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Intellectual Property Litigation Attorney in New York, NY

Law Office of Richard A. Altman
 | 150 E 56th St, Suite 12B
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-633-0123
Fax: 212-633-0123
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1978
Practice Areas:
  • Intellectual Property Litigation (40%),
  • Appellate (20%),
  • General Litigation (20%),
  • Media and Advertising (20%)
Languages Spoken:
  • English,
  • French
    Attorney Profile

    The Law Office of Richard A. Altman has represented clients in New York and the surrounding areas, and European countries, in matters involving intellectual property counseling and litigation, including landmark cases in art law.  He also has an extensive practice in defamation and media law, and commercial and business litigation. Two recent successful defamation cases are Cohen v Broad Green Pictures, against a film production company, and Leffler v Kotick, where he represents an attorney who was defamed. He is an experienced appellate lawyer in State and Federal courts, and has filed petitions for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Mr. Altman has over four decades of experience serving his clients. In 1977, he earned his Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law in New York City, and prior to law school earned a Bachelor of Engineering Science from the University of Miami.

    Mr. Altman is admitted to practice in the state courts of New York and before the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York,  the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

    Practice Areas
    • 40%Intellectual Property Litigation
    • 20%Appellate
    • 20%General Litigation
    • 20%Media and Advertising
    Focus Areas

    Litigation, Defamation, Libel


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 8 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2021

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    About Richard Altman

    Admitted: 1978, New York

    Professional Webpage:


    • New York Metro Super Lawyers, 2015-2016
    • Profiled in American Lawyer, August 1994

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Contributing writer for Plenty, an environmental magazine. Author of “Dick Nixon–Tree Hugger?” (March 2005) and “Should Rivers and Trees be Able to Sue?”
    • Member, Panel of Neutrals, World Intellectual Property Organization
    • Member, Mediation Panel of Commercial Division of Supreme Court, New York County
    • Member, Union Internationale des Avocats, Paris
    • Municipal Art Society
    • U.S. Copyright Office
    • Chair, Subcommittee on the Visual Artists Rights Act, New York City Bar Association
    • Member, Art Law Committee, New York City Bar Association
    • Member, New York City Bar Association
    • U.S. Supreme Court, 2000
    •  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1981
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 2008
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1981
    •  U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1979
    • New York, 1978
    • Frequent speaker at bar associations and law schools regarding aspects of art law, and frequently interviewed in the press about pending art law cases.

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Pro bono work with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Southern District of New York

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Member, Sotheby’s, Columbia Law School
    • Speaker, Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts, “For Real? Legal and Economic Perils of Art Authentication, October 2011
    • Speaker, Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts, “For Real? Legal and Economic Perils of Art Authentication, October 2011
    • Speaker, Union Internationale des Avocats in Bilbao, Spain
    • Speaker, New York Law School
    • Speaker, Cardozo Law School
    • Artists’ moral rights: Controversy and the Visual Artists Rights Act, 48 SMU L.Rev. 639 (1995).
    • The Work for Hire Doctrine and the Second Circuit’s Decision in Carter v. Helmsley-Spear, 7 DePaul-LCA J. Arts & Ent. L. 103 (1996)
    • The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990: American Artists Burned Again, 17 Cardozo L. Rev. 373 (1995).
    • Speaker, Fashion Institute of Technology
    • Carter v. Helmsley-Spear and the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, 3 U. Balt.Intell.Prop.L.J. 167 (1995).
    • Carter v. Helmsley-Spear, Inc.: A Fair Test of the Visual Artists Rights Act? 28 Conn. L. Rev. 877 (1996).
    • Copyright, Visual Artists Rights Act, Second Circuit Holds Sculpture to be Unprotected “Work for Hire,” 109 Harv. L. Rev. 2110 (1996)
    • Libel by Fiction: Greene v Paramount Pictures Corporation, This article describes the law of defamation claims arising from portrayals in works of fiction which are based upon real persons.
    • Speaker, New York State and City Bar Association
    • Speaker, Appraisers Association of America


    • Lang v. Retirement Living Publishing Co., Inc., 759 F.Supp. 134 (SDNY1990), aff’d 949 F.2d 576 (2nd Cir.1991)
    • First Commercial Bank v. Gotham Originals, Inc., 64 NY2d 287, 486 NYS2d 715 (1985)
    • Cheng v. Dispeker, 94 Civ. 8716 (SDNY1995)
    • Bryan v. West 81 Street Owners Corp., 589 NYS2d 323, 186 AD2d 514 (1 Dept.1992)
    • Lower Manhattan Loft Tenants v. New York City Loft Board (SDNY1998)
    • Lower Manhattan Loft Tenants v. New York City Loft Board (SDNY1998)
    • Wesselmann v. International Images, Inc., 645 NYS2d 263, 169 Misc2d 476 (Sup.Ct.N.Y. Co.1996)
    • Carter v. Helmsley-Spear, Inc., 852 F.Supp. 228, 861 F.Supp. 303 (SDNY1994)
    • Liebgold v. Hofstra University, 664 NYS2d 831, 245 AD2d 272 (2 Dept.1997)
    • Liebgold v. TransUnion Corp., 97 Civ. 4870 (SDNY1997)
    • Admerasia, Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service, 00 Civ. 9784 (SDNY2000)
    • Mareno v. Nakano, 98 Civ. 9048 (SDNY1998)
    • Bloomberg v. West End Estates, LLC, N.Y.Co.Index No. 108512/99
    • Caprotti v. Town of Woodstock, 94 NY2d 73 (1999), cert. den. 529 US 1108 (2000)
    • Anthony v. City of New York, 339 F3d 129 (2 Cir.2003) (Sotomayor, J.)
    • Louis Vuitton Malletier v. Accessory Exchange, LLC
    • Elektra Entertainment Group, Inc. v. Does 1-9, 04 Civ. 2289 (SDNY2004)
    • Thome v. Alexander & Louisa Calder Foundation, 70 A.D.3d 88, 890 N.Y.S.2d 16 (1st Dept. 2010)
    • Business and Residents Alliance of East Harlem v. Martinez, 03 Civ. 5363 (SDNY2004)
    • Hanover Direct, Inc. v. Richemont Finance S.A., & Chelsey Direct, LLC, N.Y. Co. Index No. 602269/03
    • Granite Realty Associates, Inc. v 403 East 76 Street Corp. et al., N.Y.Co. Index No. 04/600356
    • Soho International Arts Condominium v. City of New York, 01 Civ. 1226 (SDNY2004)
    • Andrews 44 Coffee Shops Inc. v. TST/TMW Lexington, L.P., N.Y.Co. Index No. 603952/04
    • Valentine v. GE Management Group of NY, Inc., N.Y.Co. Index No. 602699/06
    • Pearson Education v. Yi Shi, 06 Civ. 11504 (SDNY2008)
    • Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. v. Ideal World Direct, 06 Civ. 4174 (SDNY2006)
    • Atlantic Records v. Shutovsky, 06 Civ. 7904 (SDNY2006)
    • Orkin v. Taylor, No. 07-216 (2007)
    • Leser v. Penido, 62 A.D.3d 510, 879 N.Y.S.2d 107
    • Lava Records, LLC v. Amurao, 354 Fed. Appx. 461
    • Doss, Inc. v. Christie’s, Inc., 10-540 (2 Cir.2010)
    • Arista Records, LLC v. Doe 3, 604 F.3d 110 (2 Cir.2010)
    • Orkin v. The Swiss Confederation, 2011 U.S.App. LEXIS 20639 (2 Cir.2011)
    • Marchig v. Christie’s, Inc., 2011 U.S.App. LEXIS 14288 (2 Cir.2011)
    • Katt v. Markov, 651599/2012 (Sup.Ct.N.Y.Co.2012) (breach of fiduciary duty against auctioneer).
    • Biro v. Condé Nast, 807 F.3d 541 (2d Cir.2015), cert. pet. filed March 4, 2016 (defamation action against NewYorker magazine and other media defendants, pending in US Supreme Court)
    • Thome v. Alexander & Louisa Calder Foundation, 14 Civ. 3446 (S.D.N.Y.2014) (Sherman Act antitrust action against artist’s foundation for refusal to authenticate artwork).

    Educational Background:

    • University of Miami, B.S., Electrical Engineering, Graduate work in Physics and Mathematics, 1966
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    Office Location for Richard Allen Altman

    150 E 56th St
    Suite 12B
    New York, NY 10022

    Phone: 212-633-0123

    Fax: 212-633-0123

    Richard Allen Altman:

    Last Updated: 6/14/2021

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