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New ULC Drafting and Study Committees to be Appointed

(February 3, 2012) -

Uniform Law Commission
111 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1010, Chicago, IL  60602
312-450-6600, www.uniformlaws.org

Contact:  John Sebert, ULC Executive Director, john.sebert@uniformlaws.org
                  Katie Robinson, ULC Communications Officer, katie.robinson@uniformlaws.org

NEW DRAFTING AND STUDY COMMITTEES TO BE APPOINTED

February 3, 2012 — At its 2012 Midyear Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, the Executive Committee of the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) authorized the appointment of one new drafting committee and eight new study committees.

The new drafting committee is:

Drafting Committee on Residential Real Estate Mortgage Foreclosure Process and Protections
This committee will draft an act that applies only to residential mortgages and that will be drafted as an overlay to, rather than a replacement of, existing state legislation.  The drafting committee will consider a specific list of issues that were recommended for consideration in the final report of the Study Committee.

The new study committees are:

Study Committee on Amending the Uniform Athlete Agents Act
Since the UAAA was adopted in 2000, there have been substantial changes in the marketplace for athlete agents, and a number of states have recently considered non-uniform amendments to the Act, particularly in response to recent allegations of improper conduct by agents with regard to college athletes.  The study committee will consider and make recommendations concerning the need for and feasibility of drafting amendments to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act.

Study Committee on Criminal Records Accuracy and Access
There have been many developments concerning criminal records over the past 20 years, including the creation of the National Criminal Background Check System in 1993, the establishment of criminal history repositories in all states, and the increasing use of criminal records checks for employment and other non-criminal justice purposes.  The study committee will consider and make recommendations concerning the need for and feasibility of drafting a uniform act on access to and accuracy of criminal records.

Study Committee on Family Law Arbitration
While arbitration has not normally been permitted in family law matters, in recent years a number of states have adopted legislation that authorizes arbitration with respect to some issues in the family law area.  This study committee will consider and make recommendations concerning the need for and feasibility of drafting a uniform act on family law arbitration.

Study Committee on Fiduciary Powers and Authority to Access Digital Information
A fiduciary who is administering a decedent’s estate or the affairs of an incapacitated individual needs to be able to find, access, value, protect and transfer the individual’s online accounts and digital property.  Because of the need to provide protection against fraud and identity theft, in recent years it has become increasingly difficult for fiduciaries to obtain the necessary access to digital information promptly and efficiently.  Beginning in 2005 a number of states have enacted legislation covering some of these issues, but the legislation varies greatly.  The study committee will consider and make recommendations concerning the authority and powers of a fiduciary to access digital information related to a decedent’s estate or the affairs of an incapacitated individual.

Study Committee on Portability and Recognition of Professional and Occupational Licenses of Military Spouses
The difficulty of obtaining a license for one’s professional occupation in a state to which a service member is transferred is a major problem for military families.  This study committee will consider and make recommendations concerning the need for and feasibility of drafting a uniform act on the portability and recognition of professional licenses of military spouses.

Study Committee on Recognition and Enforcement of Canadian Domestic-Violence Protection Orders
In 2011, the Uniform Law Conference of Canada promulgated legislation that would facilitate the recognition and enforcement in Canada of domestic-violence protection orders.  Earlier in 2011, the Council of the Hague Conference on Private International Law asked its Secretariat to study the feasibility of drafting an international convention concerning the recognition and enforcement of domestic-violence protection orders.  The Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic-Violence Protection Orders Act (last amended in 2002), applies only to enforcement of orders entered by courts in the United States.  This study committee will consider and make recommendations concerning the need for and feasibility of revising the Uniform Act or drafting a separate act on recognition and enforcement of Canadian domestic-violence protection orders and also will monitor developments at the Hague Conference concerning these issues.

Study Committee on Trust Decanting
Trust decanting is a nonjudicial method for modifying an irrevocable trust.  The technique has gained wide currency in the past several years, and about ten states have enacted legislation on the subject.  Common law support for the technique of trust decanting is uncertain in many states.  This study committee will consider and make recommendations concerning the need for and feasibility of drafting a uniform act on trust decanting.

Study Committee on Wage Garnishment
For a lot of companies, even relatively small businesses if they operate in more than one state, payroll is handled centrally rather than in individual offices.  Wage garnishments, however, are governed by widely varying law in all of the states, and this creates difficulties and inefficiencies in complying with wage garnishment orders.  This study committee will consider and make recommendations concerning the need for and feasibility of drafting a uniform act on wage garnishment.

Further information on the new drafting and study committees, as well as information on the Uniform Law Commission, can be found at the ULC’s website at www.uniformlaws.org.

Drafting committees, composed of commissioners, with participation from observers, advisors and reporter-drafters, meet throughout the year.  Tentative drafts are not submitted to the entire Commission until they have received extensive committee consideration.

Proposed acts are subjected to rigorous examination and debate before they become eligible for designation as ULC products.  The final decision on whether an act is ready for promulgation to the states is made near the close of an annual meeting, on a vote by states basis, with an affirmative vote of twenty or more states necessary for final approval.

The Uniform Law Commission, now in its 120th year, provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law.  The organization comprises more than 300 lawyers, judges, and law professors, appointed by the states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to research, draft and promote enactment of uniform state laws in areas of state law where uniformity is desirable and practical.  Since its inception in 1892, the group has promulgated more than 200 acts, among them such bulwarks of state statutory law as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Probate Code, and the Uniform Partnership Act.

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