Chilling Speech

The New York Times has an interesting article this morning about how art experts are afraid to give an opinion on the authenticity of artwork because they are afraid of getting sued.  The article notes that plaintiffs rarely win these kinds of suits, but the time and expense of litigation is a real deterrent.  To avoid this problem, the College Art Association has begun to offer affordable insurance to those who authenticate art, and some experts are requiring the owners to sign a waiver promising not to sue.  This article is a reminder how often the fear of litigation can chill free speech, even when the “law” is on the speaker’s side.

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1 Response

  1. Ken Rhodes says:

    Free speech is just one in a long list. Rendering assistance, interceding to prevent violence, … the potential cost of defending one’s proper actions is a chilling deterent to lots of activities.