NLR Sports Memorabilia Dealer John Rogers Sued for Missed Payment

by George Waldon  on Monday, Jul. 21, 2014 12:00 am  

Rogers called Brace on Feb. 6 with assurances that he intended to make the scheduled April 1 payment as well as provide the contractually promised digitalized copy of the Brace Collection.

An incomplete and technically poor quality copy of the collection received from Rogers on Feb. 21 only increased concerns.

Under terms of the sales agreement, Rogers isn’t prohibited from selling pieces of the collection, presumably after first making copies for Brace.

Auction records obtained by Arkansas Business indicate that hundreds of negatives from the Brace Collection indeed have been sold. Sources in the baseball memorabilia community indicate that hundreds more have changed hands via private transactions.

As part of her lawsuit, Brace also asked the court for a temporary injunction to stop Rogers from selling any more of the collection.

“The only reason we’re filing for the injunction is to protect the asset,” said Sammie Strange Jr., a Little Rock lawyer who filed the suit for Brace. “Once he missed the payment, he is now in default, and she now has a security interest in the collection.”

On March 31, the day before the 2014 payment was due, Carmen Smith, then in-house counsel for Rogers Photo Archive, emailed Brace and her attorney to say that the money wouldn’t be coming, citing problems with the copyrights to some of the collection.

“I have advised John to withhold the 04/01/2014 payment to Ms. Brace until we get this resolved. Additionally, given the vast number of problems that we have encountered in such a short period of time, the best resolution may be to return the collection, unwind the agreement and repay any funds already paid.”

Smith, a board commissioner at Central Arkansas Water, no longer works for Rogers. She couldn’t be reached for comment on the email.

“This was the first time allegations related to copyright issues had ever been raised in the almost two years since the contract was executed,” Brace said in a sworn affidavit included in her lawsuit.

Rogers hasn’t provided any documentation of the alleged copyright issues despite her requests for such, according to the complaint.

In a 2011 interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Rogers said revenue from selling and leasing newspaper and archive images was $8 million in 2010 and on track for $10 million in 2011.



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