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George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Contracts Law

Topical guide to resources in the area of contracts law.

Background

Although Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce, it has generally left the task of developing the law of commercial transactions to the states. The UCC is state law developed by the Uniform Law Commission (UCL) [formerly known as the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws] and the American Law Institute (ALI). Individual states may choose to adopt Code provisions in their entirety, or in part, and may have their own variations of a UCC provision.  The earliest provisions of the UCC went into effect in the 1950's.    

The goal of the UCC is to promote uniformity in the commercial laws of various states. The UCC is broken down into nine substantive articles. Some of the articles that cross into commercial contract law include: Article 2 (sale of goods), Article 2A (lease of goods), Article 3 (negotiable instruments), Article 5 (letters of credit), Article 8 (investment securities) and Article 9 (secured transactions).

Because the UCC has been universally adopted, businesses can enter into contracts with confidence that the terms will be enforced in the same way by the courts of every American jurisdiction. The resulting certainty of business relationships allows businesses to grow and the American economy to thrive. For this reason, the UCC has been called “the backbone of American commerce.” Source: www.uniformlaws.org/acts/ucc .

Does the UCC Govern?

The ABCs of the UCC Series by the American Bar Assn. Each book is written to address the basic concepts and operation of the Code articles in a simple straightforward manner. Ask for them at the Circulation Desk.