Uniform Law Commission to Meet in Virginia

(July 1, 2015) -

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:

Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act Scheduled for Completion

July 1, 2015 — A busy agenda of legislative drafts – including a new Revision to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act – awaits the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) at its 2015 Annual Meeting, scheduled for Williamsburg, Virginia, July 10-16.

The ULC, now in its 124th 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.

Six new uniform acts or amendments to acts are scheduled for completion at this summer’s annual meeting.

The Uniform Athlete Agents Act was adopted in 2000, and has been enacted in 43 states. In recent years, however, there have been substantial changes in the marketplace for athletic agents, and a number of states have recently considered non-uniform amendments to the act, particularly in response to allegations in recent years of improper conduct by agents with regard to college athletes. The Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act makes numerous changes to the act, including expanding the definition of “athlete agent,” providing two alternatives for registration; adding new requirements to the signing of an agency contract; and expanding notification requirements.

The Uniform Recognition and Enforcement of Canadian Protection Orders on Domestic Violence Act provides for the enforcement of domestic violence protection orders issued by Canadian courts. Reflecting the friendship between the United States and Canada, citizens move freely between the two countries, freedom that in certain limited circumstances can work against victims of domestic violence. Canada has granted recognition to protection orders of the United States and other countries in the Uniform Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees Act. By this act, enacting states accord similar recognition to protection orders from Canada.

“Decanting” is the term used to describe the distribution of assets from one trust into a second trust, like wine is decanted from the bottle to another vessel.  Decanting can be a useful strategy for changing the outdated terms of an otherwise irrevocable trust, but can also be abused to defeat the settlor’s intent.  The Uniform Trust Decanting Act includes one stricter set of rules that applies when the settlor gave the trustee limited discretion over distributions, and another more liberal set of rules that applies when the trustee has expanded discretion.  The act also limits decanting when it would defeat a charitable or tax-related purpose of the settlor.

The Revised Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is an updated version of the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, which was last amended in 1974.  The act includes new articles covering the disposition of tenant property, lease termination in case of domestic violence or sexual assault, and security deposits.  The updated act also allows for notice by email and incorporates certain common law decisions that interpreted provisions of the 1974 act.

The recent wave of residential foreclosure actions revealed flaws in the foreclosure system, particularly in states where court systems were overwhelmed.   The Uniform Home Foreclosure Procedures Act provides a balanced set of rules and procedures to standardize and streamline the foreclosure process.  The act protects homeowners by requiring adequate notice and documentation before a foreclosure action can proceed.  The act protects lenders by precluding contrary municipal ordinances and expediting foreclosure of abandoned properties.  Finally, the act includes rules for pre-foreclosure resolutions and negotiated transfers to encourage non-judicial solutions.

Receivership is an equitable remedy allowing a court to oversee the orderly management and disposition of property subject to a lawsuit.  Although the remedy is not new, there is no standard set of receivership rules and the courts of different states have applied widely varying standards.  This Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act applies to receiverships involving commercial real estate, and provides a standard set of rules for courts to apply.  It will result in greater predictability for litigants, lenders, and other parties doing business with a company subject to receivership.

Other drafts which will be debated at the ULC annual meeting, but which are not scheduled for final approval, include the Family Law Arbitration Act, the Series of Unincorporated Business Entities Act, the Wage Garnishment Act, the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, and the Social Media Privacy Act.

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