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appear and represent his State and have the full privileges of an active member of the association.
Officers were elected for the ensuing year as follows:
President, John G. Price, Attorney-General of Ohio; VicePresident, William J. Morgan, Attorney-General of Wisconsin; Secretary-Treasurer, Samuel M. Wolfe, Attorney-General of South Carolina ; members of Executive Committee, Clifford L. Hilton, Minnesota, Chairman for Minnesota ; Byron S. Payne, of South Dakota ; Jesse W. Barrett, of Missouri. (The President and Secretary-Treasurer ex-officio members of this committee.)
'The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws
AND ITS WORK.
ORIGIN, NATURE AND SCOPE OF THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF COMMISSIONERS ON UNI
FORM STATE LAWS. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws is composed of Commissioners from each of the states, the District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, Porto Rico, and the Philippine Islands. In thirty-three of these jurisdictions the Commissioners are appointed by the chief executive acting under express legislative authority. In the other jurisdictions the appointments are made by general executive authority. There are usually three representatives from each jurisdiction. The term of appointment varies, but three years is the usual period. The Commissioners are chosen from the legal profession, being lawyers and judges of standing and experience, and teachers of law in some of the leading law schools. They serve without compensation, and in most instances pay their own expenses. They are united in a permanent organization, under a constitution and by-laws, and annually elect a president, a vice-president,
a secretary, and a treasurer. The Commissioners meet in annual conference at the same place as the American Bar Association, usually for four or five days immediately preceding the meeting of that Association. The funds necessary for carrying on the work of the Conference are derived from contributions from some of the states and from appropriations made by the American Bar Association. The record of the activities of the Conference, the reports of its committees, and its approved acts are printed in the annual Proceedings. The approved acts, sometimes with annotations, are also printed in separate pamphlet form.
The origin of the Conference is, briefly, this: In 1889 the American Bar Association appointed a special committee on Uniform State Laws. In 1890 the Legislature of the State of New York adopted an act authorizing the appointment of “commissioners for the promotion of uniformity of legislation in the United States,” whose duty it was to examine certain subjects of national importance that seem to conflict among the laws of the several commonwealths, to aso ain the best means to effect an assimilation and uniformity in the laws of the states, and especially whether it would be advisable for the State of New York to invite the other states of the union to send representatives to a convention to draft uniform laws to be submitted for the approval and adoption of the several states. In the same year, a special committee of the American Bar Association, after reciting the action of New York, reported a resolution that the Association recommend the passage by each state and by Congress for the District of Columbia and the territories, of a law providing for the appointment of Commissioners to confer with Commissioners from other states on the subject of uniformity in legislation on certain subjects. As a result of the action of New York, of the recommendation of the American Bar Association, and of the efforts of various interested persons, the first Conference of Commissioners was held in August, 1892, at Saratoga, New York, for three days immediately preceding the annual meeting of the American Bar Association. Since that time, thirty Conferences have been held. While in the first Conference but nine states were represented, since 1912 all the states, territories,
the District of Columbia, Porto Rico, and the Philippine Islands have been officially represented.
The object of the Conference, as stated in its Constitution, is “to promote uniformity in state laws on all subjects where uniformity is deemed desirable and practicable.” The Conference works through standing and special committees. In recent years all proposals of subjects for legislation are referred to a standing Committee on Scope and Program. After due investigation, and sometimes a hearing of parties interested, this committee reports whether the subject is one upon which it is desirable and feasible to draft a uniform law. If the Conference decides to take up the subject, it refers the same to a special committee with instructions to report a draft of an act. With respect to some of the more important acts, it has been customary to employ an expert draughtsman. Tentative drafts of acts are submitted from year to year and are discussed section by section. Each uniform act is thus the result of one or more tentative drafts subjected to the criticism, correction, and emendation of the Commissioners, who represent the experience and judgment of a select body of lawyers chosen from every part of the United States. When finally approved by the Conference, the Uniform Acts are recommended for general adoption throughout the jurisdictions of the United States and are submitted to the American Bar Association for its approval.
The Conference has drafted and approved thirty-four acts. It has also approved seven acts drafted by other organizations. Some of its own acts have been by Conference action declared obsolete and superseded, leaving at present a total of twenty-six acts being recommended for adoption. A complete list of all acts drafted and approved, of acts drafted by other bodies and approved by the Conference, of obsolete and superseded acts, and the extent to which the acts have been adopted in the various jurisdictions, is shown in appropriate tables on pages 711-712.
The list of present and past officers, the present personnel of the Conference, and the standing and special committees are set forth on pages 695-699.
As an aid in promoting uniformity of judicial interpretation of the various acts, the Conference has fortunately secured,
through the efforts and able editorship of Commissioner Charles Thaddeus Terry, of New York, Chairman of the Committee on Uniformity of Judicial Decisions, the publication in a single volume by Baker, Voorhis & Co., of New York City, of the Uniform Acts with full annotations. The report of the Committee on Uniformity of Judicial Decisions to the 1921 Conference brings the annotation down to March 1, 1921.