July 24, 2019 - At its recent 2019 Annual Meeting, the Executive Committee of the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) authorized the appointment of three new drafting committees and four new study committees.
The new drafting committees are:
Drafting Committee on Collection and Use of Personally Identifiable Data. This drafting committee will draft a uniform or model law addressing the collection and use of personally identifiable data, including provisions governing the sharing, storage, security, and control of the personal data of others. The collection and use of personal data are important features of our modern economy, but raise significant issues of privacy and control. A uniform or model act on this subject would serve as a comprehensive legal framework for the treatment of data privacy.
Drafting Committee on Registration and Licensing of Direct-to-Consumer Sales of Wine and the Prevention of Illegal Sales. This committee will draft a uniform or model law addressing registration and licensing of the direct sale of wine to consumers and the prevention of illegal sales. Currently, more than 40 states permit direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales of wine, though few existing DTC statutes adequately address compliance with other registration, reporting, or tax requirements, and most existing statutes do not adequately address sales to persons who are prohibited from purchasing alcohol.
Drafting Committee to Amend or Revise the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act and the Uniform Condominium Act. This drafting committee will develop revisions to the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (UCIOA) and the Uniform Condominium Act (UCA). UCIOA deals comprehensively with the complex issues posed in condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities – the three forms of real estate ownership in which multiple persons each own a separate parcel of real estate, and all those persons collectively own other parcels of real estate in common. The ULC has devoted substantial resources for more than 50 years to the regulation of these forms of shared real estate ownership and has a significant interest in making sure that both UCIOA and UCA are kept up to date.
The new study committees are:
Study Committee on Default Judgments in Debt Collection Cases. This committee will study the need for and feasibility of state legislation on default judgments in debt collection cases brought by third-party debt collectors and debt buyers. Significant changes in debt collection practices in recent years have resulted in dramatic growth in the industry which, in turn, has placed considerable pressure on court dockets and raised concerns about fairness to debtors. These developments may justify a model or uniform law to regulate the processes and information required before the entry of a default judgment in debt collection cases.
Study Committee on Fines and Fees. This committee will consider the need for and feasibility of a uniform or model law addressing the impact of fines and fees on people of limited means. The impact of fines and fees on those with means can be a mere inconvenience, but for the poor and working poor who are unable to pay, those same fines and fees can be devastating, resulting in thousands of dollars of debt and functioning as a poverty trap. The committee will consider three major areas which might be addressed in a uniform or model law: (1) suspension of driving privileges because of unpaid fines and fees even when unrelated to public safety; (2) fines and fees imposed on juveniles and their parents in the juvenile justice system; and (3) fines and fees imposed without consideration of ability to pay because of adult criminal offenses.
Study Committee on Third-Party Funding of Litigation. This committee will study the need for and feasibility of a uniform or model law governing third-party funding of litigation and arbitration. Third-party funding, in its traditional form, is a non-recourse loan from the funder to a party in arbitration or litigation in return for a contingent right to receive a portion of the potential proceeds of a settlement, judgment, award, or verdict obtained for a legal claim. Within the last decade, the picture has become more complex. New forms of funding include portfolio financing of large numbers of cases at a law firm or corporation, equity investment products that finance litigation in exchange for shares in a company, and crowdfunding. Current state legislation on third-party funding varies in terms of the issues addressed and the policy solutions provided.
Study Committee on Special Deposits. This committee will consider the need for and feasibility of state legislation on special deposits. A special deposit resembles a prefunded letter of credit with three parties: a funder, a bank, and a beneficiary. The bank pays the beneficiary if a specified condition occurs. If the specified condition does not occur, the special deposit reverts to the funder. A special deposit is not assignable and is not subject to legal process. The law of special deposits has not developed much since the 1930s, and a uniform or model act on special deposits could provide greater clarity in this area.
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 128th 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.
Contact: Katie Robinson, ULC Communications Officer, krobinson@...
Uniform Law Commission / 111 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1010, Chicago, IL 60602 / 312-450-6600, www.uniformlaws.org
Legislative Program Director