Thomas Kinkade and Media Arts Group, Inc. Lose Big as Detroit Law Firm Norman Yatooma & Associates Successfully Paints a Very Different Picture of the ’Painter of Light’

BIRMINGHAM, Mich., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ — Like so many other Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery franchisees, Jeff Spinello and Karen Hazlewood were first drawn to their investment by Kinkade’s artwork and the reputation of the “Painter of Light”. Kinkade and Media Arts, Inc. (Kinkade’s then publicly-traded corporate franchisor) kept these themes alive throughout Thomas Kinkade University, the mandatory, week-long presentation attended by Jeff and Karen, and every other prospective Signature Gallery franchisee. Media Arts executives told us their company was different – that they did business consistent with the faith-based mission of Thomas Kinkade,” Spinello remarked, “They said they would support us as partners in spreading the light. They said their business was blessed. It was such a scam.” Indeed, only a few years after investing their life savings in required Signature Gallery build-outs and vast quantities of Thomas Kinkade’s art, Spinello and Hazlewood had lost everything.

These fortunes took a dramatic turn yesterday when a three member panel of the American Arbitration Association, ruled against Thomas Kinkade’s Media Arts Group, Inc. and one of its key executives, awarding Jeff Spinello and Karen Hazlewood damages in an amount which, when interest, costs and fees are calculated, will exceed $3.5 million. Norman Yatooma, of Norman Yatooma & Associates, P.C, Birmingham, Mich., represented the pair in their suit. In all, Mr. Yatooma represents 23 ruined Signature Gallery franchisees from 7 states in pending arbitration. While several other Signature Gallery franchisees had sued Kinkade and Media Arts on the same legal theories (fraud, bad faith, and state franchise statutory violations among others), Yatooma is the first to declare victory.

For more information on this ruling, to view the full release, or to interview Mr. Yatooma please contact Mr. Yatooma’s publicist, Adrienne Lenhoff Wise at 248-366-0388 or email

Birmingham, Michigan-based Norman Yatooma & Associates, P.C. ( is a full-service law firm offering expertise in civil and criminal cases in its Oakland, Macomb and Emmett County offices. The Firm specializes in commercial litigation sounding in complex theories of contract and tort liability including franchise, class action, business and real estate law.

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Geschrieben am Friday, 24.February.2006. 11:08:36 CET

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