Wednesday, May 19, 2010

UCC Article 1 Legislative Update

As I predicted in my last legislative update, Mississippi and Wisconsin are the 38th and 39th states to have enacted Revised Article 1.

As introduced on January 11, 2010, Mississippi SB 2419 initially included a choice-of-law provision similar to the original version of Revised § 1-301 that every enacting state has rejected and that the ALI and NCCUSL replaced in 2008. Subsequently amended to replace the introduced version of § 1-301 with language tracking the now-official version, SB 2419 passed the Mississippi Senate on February 10 and the Mississippi House on March 9, and Governor Haley Barbour signed it into law on April 13. Mississippi SB 2419, which adopts uniform Revised § 1-201(b)(20), defining good faith as "honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing," takes effect on July 1.

As introduced on January 22, 2010, Wisconsin SB 472 initially included uniform Revised 1-201(b)(20), but was subsequently amended to substitute the pre-revised § 1-201(19) "honesty in fact in the conduct or transaction concerned" definition in existing Wisconsin law. So amended, SB 472 passed the Wisconsin Senate on April 13 and the Wisconsin Assembly on April 22, and Governor Jim Doyle signed it into law on May 12. Wisconsin Act 320 (née SB 472) should take effect on August 1.

As of July 1, the effective date for Mississippi SB 2419 and the delayed effective date for last year's Indiana SB 501 (which I previously discussed here and here), which replaces the existing "honesty in fact in the conduct or transaction concerned" good faith definition in Indiana's version of Revised Article 1 with the uniform Revised 1-201(b)(20) definition, will tilt the balance in favor or uniform Revised 1-201(b)(20) -- as opposed to retaining the pre-revised 1-201(19) definition -- to 28-10 in favor of uniform Revised 1-201(b)(20). When it takes effect on August 1, Wisconsin Act 320 will tilt the balance back slightly to 28-11 in favor of uniform Revised 1-201(b)(20).

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