Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Commercial Law Research Guide

This guide is for students conducting introductory research in the area of commercial law in the United States.

Contents

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Primary Law Resources

A. UCC Official Text

The Official Text of the UCC has undergone several revisions. The first Official Text was promulgated in 1951 (and published in 1952), with additional Official Texts appearing in 1957, 1958, and 1962. In 1961 a Permanent Editorial Board (PEB) was established to evaluate and edit the code. New articles were added in 1987 (Article 2A) and 1989 (Article 4A). Since 1962, there have been no wholesale revisions of the Code. Instead, the PEB has revised individual articles at various times, and periodically publishes the Official Text.

Current Versions of the UCC and Accompanying Materials

In addition to the Official Text of the Code, the UCC contains explanatory material intended to address and resolve any confusion or ambiguity in its provisions. These are the Official Comments of the Permanent Editorial Board, and the Permanent Editorial Board Commentaries. While these two items have similar title, they are different entities. The Official Comments have been published along with the Official Text since the first edition of the Code. The PEB Commentaries began in 1990 to address ambiguities and other issues left open by the Code and the Official Comments. The PEB Commentaries are generally published at the end of the Official Text in an appendix.

  • Current Official Text

    • Westlaw: UCC-TEXT .
      • Includes Official Comments and PEB Commentaries (through 1994).

    • Lexis: Legal > Secondary Legal > Model Acts & Uniform Laws > Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) .
      • Includes Official Comments but not PEB Commentaries.

    • Legal Information Institute (free Web)
      Online version of the Uniform Commercial Code provided by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell. Also provides locator links to state statutes that correspond to Articles of the Uniform Commercial Code. Does not include Official Comments or PEB Commentaries.

    • Uniform Laws Annotated (1968-Present) KF165 .A5
      This title is particularly useful because it notes state adoptions and variations of each UCC provision. Along with other uniform and model laws, the Uniform Laws Annotated contains the UCC Official Text as well as Official Comments and PEB Commentaries. The annotations include citations to relevant cases and secondary sources.
      • Westlaw: ULA (Current through 2007) .

  • Other Official Materials

    • American Law Institute Library
      Contains the Uniform Commercial Code and all superseded restatements, codifications, proceedings, reports and other special publications published by the ALI. Also contains ALI-ABA periodicals and material from the Statement of Essential Human Rights archive.
    • Uniform Commercial Code Permanent Editorial Board Commentary (Through 1994)
      "Text of supplementary commentary by the Permanent Editorial Board for the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which is issued to resolve an ambiguity in the UCC, to state a preference as to how an issue should be resolved, to elaborate on the application of the UCC, to apply the UCC to new or changed circumstances, or to clarify the interaction of the UCC with other statutes."

Superseded Versions of the UCC and Other Historical Materials

The Law Library has access to all previous versions of the UCC, either in print or electronic format, or both. These versions all include Official Comments:

  • 1952 Official Text KF879.5 .A2 1951
  • 1957 Official Text (with the 1956 recommendations from the Editorial Board) KF879.5 .A15 1957
  • 1958 Official Text KF879.5139 .A2 1958
  • 1962 Official Text (No print version currently available)
  • Subsequent Official Texts (1987 - 2005)
    • Available through HeinOnline .
    • Scroll down to section titled "Uniform Commercial Code Official Texts"

The Law Library also has material relevant to the history of the UCC and its evolution:

  • American Law Institute: Annual Proceedings
    These are edited transcripts of the annual proceedings, and contain discussions of draft versions of ALI publications, including the UCC.
  • American Law Institute Library
    Contains the Uniform Commercial Code and all superseded restatements, codifications, proceedings, reports and other special publications published by the ALI. Also contains ALI-ABA periodicals and material from the Statement of Essential Human Rights archive.
  • Karl Llewellyn Papers KF213 .L55 1990 Micro
    Llewellyn, a law professor at Columbia and the University of Chicago, was the first Chief Reporter of the UCC, and was largely responsible for the development of the original Code. Section J of his papers contains materials related to the UCC.

State Versions of the UCC

  • UCC Local Code Variations (Through January, 2008)
    U.C.C. Local Code Variations reflects the differences that exist between the text of the Official Uniform Commercial Code and the Code as it adopted by the legislatures of the various states, territories and the District of Columbia. The information is organized by Article and section of the Official Code. The variations are found beneath the each Code section and are listed by state.
  • UCC Reporting Service - State Variation Tables
    Contains secondary research information and is made up of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Reporting Service and includes the State Variation Tables. It provides all the textual changes for each state where they have modified the
    text of the UCC.
  • Uniform Laws Annotated (1968-Present) KF165 .A5
    This title is particularly useful because it notes state adoptions and variations of each UCC provision. Along with other uniform and model laws, the Uniform Laws Annotated contains the UCC Official Text as well as Official Comments and PEB Commentaries. The annotations include citations to relevant cases and secondary sources.
    • Westlaw: ULA (Current through 2007) .

B. Case Law Resources

The enacted versions of the UCC are also interpreted and applied in both state and federal courts. While general case reporters at all levels (such as the Federal Reporter and state supreme court reporters) will report these cases, there are also several databases and print reporters that publish commercial law cases exclusively.

  • State Uniform Commercial Code Cases (Dates of coverage vary by court) 
    Contains all Uniform Commercial Code Cases from all available Supreme Court,
    Courts of Appeals, selected trial and miscellaneous court decisions from all
    states, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.
  • UCC Reporter - Digest (Dates of coverage vary by court)
    Case digests for all U.S. jurisdictions, arranged by Code section.
  • Uniform Commercial Code Case Digest ( Pike & Fischer) (1976- ) KF885 .U57
    Contains digests of all Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) cases from all federal and state jurisdictions with expert commentary and analysis.
    • Not available electronically.

  • Uniform Commercial Code Cases (Dates of coverage vary by court)
    Database contains documents from federal courts and from the state or local courts of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands that have appeared in West's national reporter system or in Callaghan's uniform commercial code reporting service. Also included are selected unreported decisions which may be published at a later date
  • Uniform Commercial Code Cases, Federal & State (Dates of coverage vary by court)
    Contains case law from the following federal and state sources: U.S. Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, Court of Appeal
    Federal Circuit, District Courts, Court of Claims, Bankruptcy Courts and individual state courts.  The file is made up of
    selected documents relating to Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) law.
  • Uniform Commercial Code Reporting Service (1965 - ) KF885 .U565
    Contains full text of cases from federal courts and from the state or local courts of all 50 states.