Can a former biz partner obtain digital artwork files if I file for bankruptcy following a judgement against me?

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Can a former biz partner obtain digital artwork files if I file for bankruptcy following a judgement against me?

I regretably did not fight a lawsuit against me regarding my former business partner. In a nut shell, I am a professional artist who has owned & operated a business that sells products entailing hand drawn designs that I’ve soely created. I was sued by my former partner; I ignored the lawsuit and eventually had a judgment against me for $86,000. My company is dead broke and he is coming after the digital files. There was no agreement in place. Can he obtain the digital files if I file for bankruptcy?

Asked on December 8, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If he is a former partner of yours in that business, he may have a right to the files if they were (a) created by your for the business (as work product, as samples, etc.) and/or (b) created by you during business hours using business equipment; in these cases, the files would be business assets which he, as a partner, would be as entitled to as you are.

2) Even if the files are not business assets to which he may be entitled by dint of having been a partner in the business which created them, if they have an monetary value, they would be assets which the bankruptcy court could take cognizance of and require the liquidation of (i.e. the sale of--including to this partner, if he's the only one would buy them) to satisfy creditors.

In short, there are ways he can reach them. You should retain a lawyer to advise and represent you to protect your assets, including these files.


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