New York, 1984 Attorney Registration Number 1939032
California, 1996 Attorney Registration Number 181832
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, Federal Courts For The Eastern and Southern Districts of New York

2nd Circuit Court of Appeals


Adjunct Professor of Law and Society, 2013-present


Adjunct at CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, Brooklyn City Technical College s

300 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Law Offices: Gale P. Elston P.C.

Founder and Principal Attorney since 1983 111 Broadway Suite 1403, New York, NY 10006 (646)584-3987


PHD. Candidate, Philosophy, all but dissertation 2015.

The European Graduate School, Division of Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought,

Alter Kehr 20, CH-3953 Leuk-Stadt T: +41 (0)27 474 9917 F: +41 (0)27 474 9918

JURIS DOCTORATE, Benjamin Cardozo, 55 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, 10003. June, 1983.

President: International Law Society.

Member, Annotated Women’s Annotated Legal Bibliography.

New York University, Russian and Accounting 1988

 BACHELOR OF ARTS, Philosophy Major, English Minor, DEAN’S LIST,

Creighton University, Omaha, NE. 1980


Adjunct Professor, Social Sciences, Teaching: “Law and Society”,

New York City College of Technology, 300 Jay Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11201. 2013-present.

“Copyright, Trademark and Patent Law” for Design Students of Karim Rashid, Philadelphia, Pa. 1988.


“Recent Changes In Copyright Law”, 2018, Yellen Law Offices, New York City.

“Deleuze and Territoriality,” 2015, Saas Fee Summer Institute of Art, Saas Fee, Switzerland.

“VARA and Social Art Practice”, 2015, New York Laser, a Leonardo Education and Art Forum (LEAF) event, New York City.

“Artists Rights”, 2012, The Spokane Art School, Spokane, Washington.


“The Visual Artists’ Rights Act”, 2013, Ashwagh Hall, Easthampton, New York.

“New Copyright Law Created in Philip Pavia v.1120 Avenue of The Americas Assoc.”, 901 F.Supp. 620, Southern District of New York, 1995. Panel Discussion with William Patry, Esq., scholar and chief author of The Visual Artists’ Rights Act. 1995.


In 2018 I prepared a litigation strategy to protect the environment on behalf of Artist Rahmani. Here is the resulting film, supported by The Blade of Grass Foundation and Rava Films:


Three of my notable cases are used as text book material for ART Law in Volume Two, “Art Law, The Guide For Collectors, Investors, Dealers and Artists” by Ralph E. Lerner and Judith Bresler, Practicing Law Institute, 1992. Those three cases will be included as case studies in my proposed syllabus.

“Sociology and Law” chapter for “ Into To Sociology” by Annie Ngana-Mundeke, Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2018.



Law Office of Gale P. Elston, P.C., Owner and Manager of Firm, 1988-present. 111 Broadway, 14th Floor, Suite 1403, Yellen Suite, New York, New York 10006.

General business law and Trust management. Counsel for national and international art galleries and artists. Copyright Law, VARA and copyright litigation, trademark registration and general litigation. Represent artists and galleries, corporations, closely held corporations and partnerships.

Represent artists’ and galleries’ legal interests in Europe, New York and California.

Represent recording artists and the estates of visual and performing artists.


Real Estate Finance Department, reviewed documentation for Offering plans and checked compliance with State Law.


Partner in real Estate firm, opened New York City offices. Created legal documentation for Limited Partnerships for small banks, Condominiums, Housing Cooperatives and other transactional activity. Wrote and submitted numerous Co-op Plans to New York Attorney General’s Office.


“Phillip Pavia v. 1120 Avenue of the Americas Associates, The Hippodrome Garage and Building Company, Edison Parking Corporation, Harold A. Gottesman, The New York Hilton Joint Venture, The Hilton Hotels Corporation and The Prudential Insurance Company of America” , 901 F. Supp. 620 (Southern District of New York 1995)

Successfully represented Plaintiff, a notable, internationally exhibited Italian-American painter and sculptor. Required owners of Plaintiff’s work to compensate artist for the mutilation of the work by improper storage, dismantlement, and improper maintenance pursuant to the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) and New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law §14.03.


“Rene Moncada v. Taito Corp., DC Comics, Inc., and Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.”, 90 CIV 6924 ( S.D.N.Y.1990). Obtained recovery from Warner’s Bros. for a muralist whose outdoor mural on a New York City building was used as a video game backdrop (copyright infringement action).

“Radical Records Ltd v. Lollipop Productions, Radikal Records, Jurgen Korduletsch, BMG/RCA, CEMA Special Markets, A Division of Capitol Record, Inc., Quality Records and Warlock Records”, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Case No. 1:95-CV-04817).

Successfully represented Plaintiff, a “first comer” recording label, against a “second comer” international recording company in a trademark action in which Defendant was alleged to have engaged in a trade dress infringement, service mark, trademark and tradename infringement, dilution, unfair competition and false and misleading statements case causing damage to Plaintiff’s business.

Nature of Suit: Property Rights – Trademark, Artists’ Rights, Intellectual Property; Trademark/Tradename.

Cause of Action: 15 USC 1125 Trademark Infringement (Lanham Act).

“Phillip Pavia v. John L. Eastman, individually and as co-conservator of the Property of Willem de Kooning, Marjorie Luyckx and Edvard Lieber as co-conservators of the Estate of Elaine de Kooning.” Supreme Court, New York County (Case No. 024352/1990).

Successfully represented Plaintiff, a notable, internationally exhibited American painter and sculptor, against the conservators of the property of Willem de Kooning for authentication of sculptures. Plaintiff was granted authentication for certain works created by Willem de Kooning.

Plaintiff obtained exclusive right, title and interest to certain castings, and the sculptures in his possession were authenticated as original Willem de Kooning sculptures and Studio of Willem de Kooning sculptures. Plaintiff was alloted compensation for his labor in casting the sculptures. Key Nature of Suit: Copyright, Artist’s Rights, NY Arts and Cultural Affairs Law.

“The Rivington School v. City of New York”, Civil Court, New York County (Case No. 127003/1993). Prohibited New York City from destroying and removing a school and grand scale sculpture created by an international collaboration of sculptors. Negotiated a new site for the sculptors. (copyright action).

“Client 1 v. Don Imus”. Obtained recovery for a British graphic artist hired to create to Don Imus’ Christmas card after Imus used same to promote his brother’s business (copyright/ limited extent of work for hire action).

“Client #2 v. Hustler Magazine”. Obtained recovery for a European fashion model whose unauthorized photo and real name were used in an international Hustler edition in breach of contract (right of privacy/ right of publicity action).


Published Case Reviews:

New York Times, Inside Art: “A Settlement is Reached in Suit Against de Kooning”. 1990

East Hampton Star: “Settlement In de Kooning Suit”. 1990

New York Law Journal: “Suit Over DeKooning Work Left Standing”. 1990


Trustee, Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin County, Ca. 2007-2008.

Founding Board Member of White Box, Alternative Art Space 2000-2009. Executive Director White Box, 3/08-3/09. 329 Broome Street, New York, NY. Directed operations of not -for -profit alternative art space, managed staff, grant writing, and exhibitions of cutting edge alternative art. Created educational programming. See:

Founded ReCreate, a 501(c)3 organization to support artistic activity, 2013-present.

Non-profit Board Member of Faith Ringgold’s Anyone Can Fly Foundation, a non-profit which supports students and young artists in Harlem and seeks to expand the canon of artists from the African diaspora. 2016-2017.

Non-profit Board Member of The Robert D.Bielecki Foundation, a non- profit which supports musicians and composers. 2019-the present


Elston Fine Arts, Ltd., 219 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009 Owned and operated fine art gallery in Manhattan 1990-1992.

Founder, OreProjektz, San Francisco 1995-1998