July 13, 2022 - At its recent 131st Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) approved five new acts.
Uniform Commercial Code and Emerging Technologies. The 2022 Amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) update and modernize the UCC to address emerging technologies. A new UCC Article 12 on Controllable Electronic Records governs transactions involving new types of digital assets (such as virtual currencies, electronic money, and nonfungible tokens), and corresponding changes to UCC Article 9 address security interests in digital assets. The 2022 amendments also update terminology to account for digital records, electronic signatures, and distributed ledger technology, provide rules for electronic negotiable instruments, and clarify the rules for UCC applicability to hybrid transactions involving both goods and services.
Uniform Alcohol Direct-Shipping Compliance Act. The Uniform Alcohol Direct-Shipping Compliance Act enhances an enacting state's capability to detect and stop unlawful direct-to-consumer ("DTC") shipments of alcoholic beverages to the state's residents. The Act integrates with existing state law as to whether DTC shipping is allowed, and for which types of alcoholic beverages. The Act does not create new or additional authorization burdens to ship alcoholic beverages directly to a consumer. Instead, the Act creates new tools for state regulators to use to ensure that existing state laws regarding DTC shipping are obeyed. For instance, the Act provides state regulators a mechanism for distinguishing between DTC shipments originating from shippers licensed under the state's existing law and DTC shipments originating from non-licensed shippers.
Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act. The Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act will fill a gap in the law regarding the execution of certain estate planning documents, including trusts and powers of attorney. The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) authorizes the electronic execution of bilateral contracts if the parties to a transaction agree. The Uniform Electronic Wills Act (UEWA) authorizes the testator of a will and witnesses to execute a will in electronic form. However, trusts, powers of attorney, and some other types of estate planning documents fell into a legal grey area where the law governing electronic execution was ambiguous. The Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act clarifies that these documents may also be executed in electronic form. The new Act was drafted to complement UEWA and could be adopted by a state simultaneously with that Act to comprehensively authorize the electronic execution of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and several other types of common estate planning documents.
Model Public Meetings During Emergencies Act. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for public bodies to meet when disasters and other emergencies make in-person meetings of public bodies either impossible or inadvisable. The Model Public Meetings During Emergencies Act is intended to provide a process to ensure that important public meetings can go forward when these events occur consistent with protecting public access to meetings. The Act builds on existing state laws authorizing the declaration of emergencies and subjecting public meetings to various procedural and public access requirements. This Act is intended to work in harmony with those laws, particularly open meetings and other laws providing for public comment on and participation in the deliberations of public bodies.
Uniform Telehealth Act. In recent years, improvements in telecommunication technologies have transformed the delivery of health care. The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic greatly expanded patient demand for telehealth services. To meet patient needs, many states chose to modify licensure and other requirements that served as barriers to the delivery of telehealth services. Today, many states are re-examining laws related to telehealth, often with an eye toward expanding access to care while maintaining protections for patients. The Uniform Telehealth Act has two broad goals. The first is to make clear that, as a general matter, health care services may be provided through telehealth, if doing so is consistent with applicable professional practice standards and the practitioner's scope of practice, as defined by the state in which the patient is located. The second goal is to establish a registration system for practitioners who hold licenses in other states. This Act permits a registered practitioner to provide telehealth services to patients located in the state adopting the Act.
Other drafts debated at the ULC annual meeting, but which were not scheduled for final approval, include the Special Deposits Act, Updates to the Uniform Unincorporated Organization Acts, Debt Collection Default Judgments Act, Mortgage Modifications Act, Public Health Emergency Authorities Act, Restrictive Covenants in Deeds Act, Updates to the Uniform Health Care Decisions Act, and Tenancy in Common Ownership Default Rules Act.
The ULC, now in its 131st 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.
The current drafts of all of these acts can be found at the ULC's website at www.uniformlaws.org.
Uniform Law Commission / 111 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1010, Chicago IL 60602 / 312/450-6600 / www.uniformlaws.org
Contact: Katie Robinson, ULC Senior Director, Strategy & Communications, krobinson@...
Senior Director for Strategy and Communications