clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Billy's Antiques Hires Major Lawyer for Subway Sign Defense

New, 4 comments

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Remember in The Big Lebowski when the Dude gets arrested in Malibu? (Bear with us, we swear we're going somewhere with this.) He yells that he wants to be represented by Ronald Kuby or Bill Kunstler, two famous civil rights lawyers. Well, Ronald Kuby is now the lawyer for Billy Leroy, the Bowery antiques dealer who was busted last month for selling subway signs. And he's already shifted into fighting gear for his client.

According to the NYT's City Room blog, Kuby plans to argue that Billy didn't steal the signs, since he bought them from a third party, a mysterious figure known only as "Mike." The MTA says that if this Mike really did work for him, then he would have been hired to throw out old signs, not resell them. They also point out that anyone using an MTA logo has to license it with the city, which Billy's Antiques certainly didn't do. But Kuby counters that Billy should be commended for selling the signs. "Billy has shown the M.T.A. a method to transform garbage into wealth," he told the Times. "Billy deserves some sort of M.T.A. entrepreneur-of-the-year award instead of what he went through."
· After Years, M.T.A. Cracks Down on Sign Dealer [City Room]
· Billy's Antiques Got Subway Signs Fair and Square, Says Owner [Racked NY]

Billy's Antiques and Props

78 E. Houston Street, New York, NY