The Uniform Commercial Code, the codification of the “law merchant,” is one of the greatest – if not the greatest – product of twentieth-century legal reformers. And no one played a more important role in the creation and eventual passage of the UCC than the unlikely husband-and-wife team of Karl Llewellyn and Soia Mentschikoff. Together, this superb intellectual team drafted a code that was designed to create rules that reflect what is actually happening in the marketplace, a single unified statute that merchants could live with and depend upon.
Llewellyn was the chief reporter for the overall code and the reporter for Article 2, the section on sales. Mentschikoff was the reporter for Article 9, the section on securities. For them, it was the project of a lifetime: Llewellyn began drafting the code in the 1930s, reaching the final drafting stages in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The adoption of the code by states began in 1950s, but continued into the 1980s, long after Llewellyn’s death.
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