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June 5, 2009

Professor Carl Bjerre Plays Key Role in Revisions to the Uniform Commercial Code

Oregon Law Professor Carl Bjerre, an expert in commercial law, played a significant role in the recent successful passage through the Oregon legislature of a bill revising the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) Articles 1 and 7. Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed the bill last week.  Professor Carl Bjerre
Professor Bjerre is a delegate to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (“NCCUSL”), which drafts legislation in which nationwide uniformity is desirable and recommends it for enactment in the states. Among the most important NCCUSL projects is the UCC, a set of guidelines for sales, loans, payments and other commercial transactions.
For the recent bill, Professor Bjerre also served as reporter for the Oregon Law Commission (“OLC”), a body of individuals who review state laws recommended for reform, and then decide which laws should be studied and developed. As reporter, Bjerre’s responsibilities included working with legislative counsel on the revisions, research, and testifying before Oregon’s Senate and House judiciary committees. Oregon Law Professor Emeritus Dom Vetri also serves as a commissioner on the OLC.
Article 1 of the UCC, which outlines the general definitions and principles that apply throughout the code, was generally modernized through the revision process, Bjerre said. The revised Article 1 eliminates a statute of frauds, modernizes the implied duty of good faith, and clarifies the role of course of performance in contracts throughout the UCC.
Article 7, which deals primarily with warehouse receipts, bills of lading, and other documents of title, was revised to allow for electronic transactions. This revision is significant as transactions now can occur faster than before, and amongst individuals remote from one another. By allowing for electronic transactions, the field opens up to many more possible buyers and sellers.
Having the revisions passed through the state legislature is the culmination of numerous years of work by Bjerre and others. Oregon now joins 35 other states that have adopted the UCC Articles 1 and 7 revisions.

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