November 04, 2020

Technology and Practice

Technology and Practice

It's the Message, Not the Medium! Electronic Record and Electronic Signature Rules Preserve Existing Focus of the Law on Content, Not Medium of Recorded Land Title Instruments
      David E. Ewan, John A. Richards, and Margo H. K. Tank, 60(4): 1487—1506 (August 2005)
The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act ("UETA") and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act ("ESIGN") empower county recorders to accept and record electronic versions of mortgages and other land records. However, a controversy has emerged recently regarding whether scanned images of paper documents can satisfy express or implied state law requirements that "original" documents must be submitted to a county recorder. This article takes the position that scanned documents are the legal equivalent of "original" paper documents, that they may be used to satisfy any such "original" requirement, and therefore may be accepted for recording by a county recorder if the recorder chooses to accept such electronic records.

Securities on Blockchain and the Uniform Commercial Code
     Reade Ryan and Mayme Donohue; 73(1): 85-108 (Winter 2017/2018)
This article initially provides a high-level description of blockchain technology intended to be accessible to those without a technical background, and illustratively describes an existing blockchain system that already evidences securities issued and being traded. The article then sets forth and analyzes how Article 8 of the Uniform Commercial Code covers blockchain securities as “uncertificated securities.” Finally, the article provides guidance to corporate lawyers faced with giving a legal opinion relating to the issuance and sale of securities on a blockchain.

Square Peg Meets Round Hole: Regulatory Responses to Challenges Created by Innovation in Banking
      Jonice Gray Tucker, Daniel Stipano, Kari Hall, Brendan Clegg, and Anthony Carral, 75(4): 2491-2518 (Fall 2020)
During the past decade, an underlying tension between the financial sector’s embrace of innovative products and services and the regulatory framework that governs the industry surfaced—and that tension has since become even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing pressure from customers’ twenty-first century expectations and competition from emerging fintechs, banks began implementing technological advances into their businesses even before disruptions to the U.S. financial system caused by the coronavirus placed a spotlight on the critical role those advances will play in banking’s future. This article highlights a number of areas of law where the governing framework erected during bygone eras has hindered the industry’s adoption of innovation and proven incompatible with the digital revolution that has changed the business of banking. This article also explores the successes and failures of a range of approaches adopted by the federal regulatory agencies responsible for the framework’s design, implementation and enforcement as they try to mitigate this tension. The degree to which these agencies embrace innovation in the industry, and use the tools at their disposal to encourage its continuation, will go a long way toward determining whether banks can weather this period of economic disruption, meet the changing needs of their customers, and fend off competition from industry upstarts.