Uniform Law Commission Concludes 126th Annual Meeting

(July 19, 2017) -

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

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

For Immediate Release: 

Six New Acts Approved

July 19, 2017 — At its recently concluded 126th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) approved six new acts, including a new act regulating virtual currency businesses.

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. 

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 the division of a trustee’s traditional responsibilities among several specialists.  The Act clarifies the duties and responsibilities of both directed trustees and those who have the power to direct them.

The Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act is an updated version of the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, originally promulgated in 1969 as part of the Uniform Probate Code, and revised in 1982 and 1997.  This new version 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 effectively.

The Uniform Parentage Act (2017) 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.

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.  This Act can also be implemented as a set of court rules.

Other drafts which were debated at the ULC annual meeting include the Criminal Records Accuracy Act, 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.  The full meeting agenda is available here

The Uniform Law Commission, now in its 126th 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. 

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 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.