Uniform Law Commission to Meet in San Diego

(July 5, 2017) -

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

Contact:  Katie Robinson, ULC Communications Officer, krobinson@uniformlaws.org

For Immediate Release:

New Act Regulating Virtual Currency Businesses Scheduled for Completion

July 5, 2017 — A national law group comprising members from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will meet in San Diego, California, for the 126th Annual Meeting of the Uniform Law Commission (ULC).  A busy agenda of legislative drafts, including a new act regulating virtual currency businesses, will be debated at the meeting.

The ULC, now in its 126th year, comprises more than 350 practicing lawyers, governmental lawyers, judges, law professors, and lawyer-legislators from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Commissioners are appointed by their states to draft and promote enactment of uniform laws that are designed to solve problems common to all the states.

After receiving the ULC’s seal of approval, a uniform act is officially promulgated for consideration by the states, and legislatures are urged to adopt it.  Since its inception in 1892, the ULC has been responsible for more than 200 acts, among them such bulwarks of state statutory law as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Probate Code, the Uniform Partnership Act, and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.

Seven new uniform or model acts are scheduled for completion at this summer’s annual meeting.  A full meeting agenda is available here.  Drafts which will be debated at the meeting are posted online here.

Many developments concerning criminal records have occurred 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 record checks in connection with eligibility for employment, professional and occupational licenses, credit worthiness, and other non-criminal justice purposes.  The Uniform Criminal Records Accuracy Act improves the accuracy of criminal records. The act provides multiple points of data collection and reporting, distributing the responsibilities for capturing and reporting relevant information.  It proactively addresses mistaken identity as a source of inaccuracy, and provides oversight through a system of checks and balances.

An increasingly common practice in contemporary estate planning and asset management is the naming of a trustee that is given custody of the trust property, but with one or more of the investment, distribution or administration functions of the trusteeship being given to a person or persons who are not formally designated as trustees.  This is the problem of divided trusteeship. Much uncertainty exists about the fiduciary status of nontrustees who have control or potential control over a function of trusteeship and about the fiduciary responsibility of trustees with regard to actions taken by such nontrustees.  The Uniform Directed Trust Act addresses this issue:  the division of a trustee’s traditional responsibilities among several specialists.  The Act clarifies the duties and responsibilities of directed trustees and those who have the power to direct them.

The Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Forms of Protective Arrangements Act is an updated version of the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, originally promulgated in 1982, amended in 1989, and then revised in 1997.  This new act is a modern guardianship statute that better protects the individual rights of both minors and adults subject to a guardianship or conservatorship order.  The act encourages courts to use the least-restrictive means possible and includes a set of optional forms to help courts implement its provisions.

The Revised Uniform Parentage Act is a revision of the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) of 2000, which had been adopted in 11 states.  The UPA covered several topics, including:  the parent-child relationship; voluntary acknowledgments of paternity; registry of paternity; genetic testing; proceedings to adjudicate parentage of children of assisted reproduction.  As a result of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, as well as other developments in the states, a revision to the Act became necessary.   The Revised Act addresses issues related to same-sex couples, surrogacy, the right of a child to genetic information, de facto parentage, and parentage of children conceived through sexual assault.

The Uniform Protected Series Act provides a comprehensive framework for the formation and operation of a protected series limited liability company. A protected series LLC has both “horizontal” liability shields, as well as the standard “vertical” liability shield. About 15 jurisdictions have some kind of series statute, but they vary widely. The Act integrates into any existing LLC Act, whether it is the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act or not.

The Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act creates a statutory framework for regulating virtual currency business activity, which includes businesses engaged in the exchange of virtual currencies for cash, bank deposits, or other virtual currencies; the transfers of virtual currency between customers; and certain custodial or fiduciary services.  The act includes provisions on licensing requirements; reciprocity; consumer protection; cybersecurity; anti-money laundering; and supervision of licensees.  Virtual currency can be simply defined as a form of electronic value, the value of which depends on the market. It is not backed by government (so that it lacks status as legal tender).  The interest in virtual currency arises because it is allegedly safer from hacking, often cheaper and faster, and has finality of payment.  Virtual currencies have legitimate purposes and can be purchased, sold, and exchanged with other types of virtual currencies or real currencies.

Veterans’ courts have been created in many judicial districts around the United States to ensure that veterans in the criminal justice system receive the treatment and support necessary to rehabilitate them into being productive members of society.  Very few states have legislation on veterans’ courts, but many local judicial districts have effectively created veterans’ courts by rule or practice.  The Model Veterans Treatment Court Act provides guidelines for the establishment of veterans’ courts while permitting substantial local discretion necessary to accommodate circumstances in different communities.  The Act provides that participation in the veterans’ treatment program requires approval of the prosecutor, but expressly reserves to the court all power regarding punishment including probation, conditions of probation, and consequences of violation of terms of participation in the treatment program.

Other drafts which will be debated at the ULC annual meeting, but which are not scheduled for final approval, include the Non-Parental Child Custody and Visitation Act, the Uniform Fiduciary Principal and Income Act, Amendments to Uniform Commercial Code Articles 1, 3, and 9, and the Civil Remedies for Unauthorized Disclosure of Intimate Images Act.

The current drafts of all of these acts can be found at the ULC’s website at www.uniformlaws.org.