The New York State Senate has passed a bill protecting art experts from the kinds of lawsuits that have made many reluctant to freely give their opinions about the authenticity of works of art. Nonetheless, the approved bill, which was introduced by senator Betty Little and passed by a vote of 61 to 1 on 15 June, is less generous than previous drafts. Whereas the first draft guaranteed that authenticators who had been vindicated by the courts would recover their fees, this is only possible now if a judge specifically allows it. The burden of proof required to bring a lawsuit against an authenticator has also been lowered slightly, although claimants must still demonstrate a “preponderance of evidence”. But the bill’s original authors remain hopeful that the legislation “will re-incentivise art scholars and authenticators to render opinions about the authenticity, attribution and authorship of works of art”, says Withers Worldwide lawyer Judith Bresler, who co-drafted the bill with Dean Nicyper of Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer. The fight is not over yet: the New York State Assembly must pass the bill in order for it to become law. The assembly meets next in January 2016.