Happy 130th Birthday to the Uniform Law Commission (“ULC”)! Samuels Yoelin Kantor Fiduciary Litigation Partner Victoria Blachly is an Oregon Commissioner for the ULC. Read our interview with Victoria about her work on the ULC.
What does the ULC do?
The ULC “provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law.” They do not have authority to enact legislation, rather they propose legislation to states to address legal issues that cross state lines and would benefit from uniformity. You may know them from some of their greatest hits, like the Uniform Commercial Code or the Uniform Trust Code.
How did you become involved with the ULC?
It’s a very long story, but let me see if I can fight my litigator’s tendency to go on forever and give you the highlights. After seeking to make the laws in Oregon better by chairing a committee with proposed legislation for access to digital assets by personal representatives, trustees and other fiduciaries, I learned the ULC was interested in the same project, on a national level. I became an “Observer” to the study committee and then the drafting committee, which resulted in the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. I was impressed with the diligence of the volunteers, in striving to propose new laws to help so many. Then, when an opening became available in 2014, I submitted my name for consideration to the Governor of Oregon. Since then, it’s been nothing but sunshine and lollipops.
What are some highlights from your work as a Commissioner?
The first thing that comes to mind is that I am so very grateful for meeting and working with such a dedicated group of volunteers, including the rest of the Oregon delegation: Justice Martha Lee Walters, Lane Shetterly, Joe Willis and Carl Bjerre. Also, the annual ULC meetings are filled with other volunteer attorneys, professors and judges that take the work seriously, are very detail-oriented and raise and address complicated legal issues with the utmost of professionalism and respect for a variety of ideas and insights. The ULC, as a non-political group, is a refreshing contrast to how some currently opt to debate legal issues.
Tell us about some issues that the ULC is currently working on.
The number of active committees and projects is too voluminous to address here, but their website has a wealth of information available. Currently I am on a Committee for updates to the Uniform Determination of Death Act. There are a large number of medical professionals, patient advocates and lay people Observers with amazing and often heartbreaking stories, who all share their perspectives. As science has progressed and knowledge has changed, the convergence between law and science makes the topic a challenge to decipher in a way that provides good answers to often bad choices.