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Proposed Legislation in New York Would Help Shield Authentication Experts from Liability

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 11, 2013 at 6:34 AM

At Friday's Art Law Day at the annual meeting of the Appraisers Association of America, Judith Bresler gave the keynote address on the topic of the complications created by prosective liability for authentication experts. As prominent cases ranging from the Knoedler forgeries to the decision by the Warhol Foundation and others to cease authenticating works have shown, the opinion of experts as to whether a work of art is indeed by a particular artist is a recurring and important issue. Not only do transactions worth tens of millions of dollars rest on that authentication, absent a robust exchange of opinions about authorship, frauds and forgeries are actually encouraged. As it stands, many qualified authenticators and experts have simply judged that giving an opinion is too great a risk to facing a defamation, fraud, or negligence claim, on which they will usually prevail but only after great expense. As Bresler said, “when authenticators are afraid to practice their profession, it has a far reaching effect.”

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Topics: Legislation, Knoedler, authentication, Knoedler forgeries, Warhol Foundation, Art Law Day, Appraisal, Appraisers Association of America, New York City Bar Association, Judith Bresler

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The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. It is authored by Nicholas M. O'Donnell, partner in our Art & Museum Law Practice.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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