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Schnader Attorneys Discuss Barnes Foundation Legal History

On May 24, 2012 by Schnader in Appellate

Schnader partners Bruce P. Merenstein, Carl A. Solano, and Ralph G. Wellington were interviewed by WHYY for the May 18, 2012 article and news broadcast “Barnes Move Leaves Tangled Legacy, Lingering Hard Feelings.” On Friday, May 18, the Barnes Foundation officially opened its new galleries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after a long legal battle. The story detailed the decision by the world renowned Barnes Foundation to move its multimillion dollar art collection from Lower Merion to downtown Philadelphia. Schnader has represented the Barnes Foundation throughout years of legal proceedings related to the move.

Since Barnes’ death in 1951, the Foundation has gone to court at least 20 times to change parts of its indenture. “When trust lawyers look for preceden[ts] on things like the law of deviation … you’ll find most of the law was created by the Barnes Foundation,” said Mr. Solano. “There is a long history of legal principle involving when a trust that has been set up is having difficulty meeting its core purpose. How can you best achieve that purpose by amending certain provisions of the trust?” said Mr. Wellington. “That’s called the doctrine of deviation.”