Chief Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford of the United States district court of Vermont, who had declined the opportunity to view the murals on site, although he held the October 8 hearing at the VLS Moot court, delivered his Summary Judgement on October 20, 2021.
v. Case No. 5:20-cv-202
VERMONT LAW SCHOOL, INC.,
ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
In this document, Judge Crawford, who, although he acknowledges the murals to be a work of stature, gives the green light to the Vermont Law School to cover the 50 foot mural, The Underground Railroad, Vermont and the Fugitive Slave, by building a permanent wall enclosing the mural to keep it from view, forever.
Following this outcome, Sam Kerson's lawyers:
Steven J. Hyman, chair of the Litigation Department at McLaughlin & Stern, NYC
and Richard I. Rubin, Rubin, Kidney, Myers and Vincent, Barre, Vermont
delivered this statement:
We are disappointed by Judge Crawford’s decision and will be taking an appeal to the Second Circuit.
It is unfortunate that more than 25 years after Vermont Law School asked Mr. Kerson to paint these 2 X 24’ murals commemorating Vermont’s role in the Underground Railroad and celebrated its completion it now is intent on permanently covering them from view. VARA (Visual Artist Rights Act) was intended to preserve our cultural history and protect the honor and reputation of the artists who contribute so much to that history. The
Law School’s unyielding intent to entomb these murals - acknowledged to be of recognized stature -behind a wall so that they can never be viewed again is clearly both an affront to Mr. Kerson’s honor and reputation, and to the values intended to be preserved by the Visual Artists Rights Act.
can be found in these
two different statements -
click on the PDF thumbnails to access the statements.