ULC Issues Final Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA)

In an e-mail distributed October 10, 2011, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) announced the availability of the final version of the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA).  The final version of UELMA is available online at the Penn Law website at:  http://www.law.upenn.edu/bll/archives/ulc/apselm/UELMA_Final_2011.htm.  It has not yet been posted on the ULC website.

Following ULC’s approval of UELMA at its summer meeting, it was sent to the style committee for final review.   That process has now been completed.

The ULC e-mail describes the uniform act as follows:

The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act establishes an outcomes-based, technology-neutral framework for providing online legal material with the same level of trustworthiness traditionally provided by publication in a law book. The Act requires that official electronic legal material be: (1) authenticated, by providing a method to determine that it is unaltered; (2) preserved, either in electronic or print form; and (3) accessible, for use by the public on a permanent basis.

Questions about the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act should be directed to the Uniform Law Commission.

AG’s opinion: Regulating guns at Virginia public universities

Virginia’s Attorney General recently issued an opinion that universities can prohibit the open carry of firearms inside university buildings by policy; however, must promulgate a regulation to apply such prohibition to concealed handgun permit holders.

Summary of opinion:

Under the present state of the law, the University of Virginia lawfully may promulgate a policy that prohibits persons from openly carrying a firearm in the buildings that are subject to the policy.  Further, with respect to persons who have a concealed carry permit, because the University adopted a policy rather than a regulation, it has not “otherwise prohibited by law” persons with a concealed carry permit from possessing a handgun, and, therefore, the policies may not be used to prohibit persons with such a permit from carrying a concealed firearm into the buildings covered by the policy.


ULC Approves the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA)

On 7/18/2011, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) distributed an e-mail indicating that the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act was “approved during the Vote by States of the 2011 ULC Annual Meeting. Please note that the text is still subject to revision by the Committee on Style, which is scheduled to meet in September.”

In a press release posted on its web site, ULC describes the new uniform law:

A new act approved [July 12, 2011] by a national law group establishes an outcomes-based, technology-neutral framework for providing online legal material with the same level of trustworthiness traditionally provided by publication in a law book.  The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act was approved today by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) at its 120th Annual Meeting in Vail, Colorado.

Increasingly, state governments are publishing laws, statutes, agency rules, and court rules and decisions online.  In some states, important state-level legal material is no longer published in books, but is only available online.  While electronic publication of legal material has facilitated public access to the material, it has also raised concerns.  Is the legal material official, authentic, government data that has not been altered?  For the long term, how will this electronic legal material be preserved?  How will the public access the material 10, 50, or 100 years from now?  The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act provides a consistent approach to solving these problems.

The drafting committee’s web page is available at http://www.uniformlaws.org/Committee.aspx?title=Electronic%20Legal%20Material%20Act .  As of 7/18/2011, the approved uniform act has not been posted.

UPDATE:  7/19/2011 — The approved, pre-style final text is available online at http://www.uniformlaws.org/Shared/Docs/AM2011_Prestyle%20Finals/UELMA_PreStyleFinal_Jul11.pdf .

Utah Governor Charges Cabinet to Review Regulations

On January 26, 2011, in his State of the State address, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert said that “most important ways government can nurture a business-friendly environment” is to  “make regulation fair”.  Then, taking a measured approach, Governor Herbert  said:

I understand that the purpose of government regulation is to maintain a level playing field. As a small business owner, I have also experienced the cost and frustration of over-reaching and irrational regulation. In order to separate regulations that serve an important purpose, from those regulations that serve no purpose at all, I have asked each member of my Cabinet to review existing business regulations and determine which could be kept, which should be modified, and which will be eliminated.

Governor Herbert’s state of the state address is available at http://www.utah.gov/governor/news_media/article.html?article=4169.  As more information becomes available about the implementation of this Cabinet-level review of regulation, it will be posted here.

SB 1339 – relating to administrative rules

“Any agency final rule that has an impact on the private sector in this state is repealed from and after December 31, 2012”
See bill: http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/50leg/1r/bills/sb1339p.htm
(Posted Jan. 28, 2011)

SB 1339 (Administrative rules; repeal; legislative action) – SB 1339 Failed in the Senate third read March 14, 2011, with a 11-17-2 vote.
(Updated March 15, 2011)