Friday, June 19, 2015

Hold that sigh of relief (UPDATED 2X)

Hyperallergic had a report a couple days ago suggesting that the "much-anticipated legislation" protecting art authenticators from frivolous lawsuits had passed into law.  Not quite yet.  What happened was it passed in the State Senate; it still needs to be voted on in the State Assembly, and that probably won't happen until next year.

I'm on record as a skeptic of whether this law will make as much of a difference as people seem to think.

UPDATE:  The story has been updated to now say that, "[t]hough the bill has cleared one major hurdle with the State Senate’s approval, it still needs to be voted on by the State Assembly before it passes into law."

UPDATE 2:  Nicholas O'Donnell provides even more reasons to be skeptical that the law will have as much impact as advertised:  "When I first saw the news it seemed like a minor development, but then I went and read the bill.  It stripped out a material aspect of the bill first proposed last year that would have required plaintiffs seeking damages against authenticators to prove their case by clear and convincing evidence, a daunting standard.  Heightened pleading requirements are still contained within the bill, but the attorneys’ fees provision has also been watered down, with such an award now discretionary rather than mandatory."