Faculty Scholarship Digest

Douglas J. Whaley


Book Reviews

Douglas L. Whaley, Review of James Steven Rogers, THE END OF NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS, 91 TEXAS L. REV. DICTA 7 (2012).

In this lively review, Doug, who has taught Article 3 (Negotiable Instruments) of the U.C.C. for forty years endorses the author’s call “for the startling idea of repealing Article 3 of the U.C.C. and replacing it with nothing at all!” As the review relates, the law of commercial paper, which means checks and promissory notes, is mired in ancient history “that haunts its statutory versions by cluttering them with ancient and irrelevant complexities.” Article 3 “is a historical remnant of the idea that a piece of paper is the embodiment of the legal obligation.” As Doug puts it, if Article 3 were eliminated, “negotiable instruments would die with it, and payment obligations would no longer suffer the bifurcation that causes . . . agony for law students, lawyers and judges, who must struggle with arcane doctrines that serve only a clogging function in the twenty-first century.” And that “clogging function,” as Doug describes it, causes many affirmative harms. In his conclusion, Doug offers his support for an effort to persuade the American Law Institute and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to begin the actual process of repeal.