PENNumbra Essay Examines Whether Uniform Laws Truly Provide Uniformity


A Failure of Uniform Laws?

One of the main purported benefits of uniform codes is that states adopting them have access to a pre-existing body of law to aid in their interpretation (i.e., the judicial opinions of sister states). In A Failure of Uniform Laws?, Professor Michael Risch tests the viability of this assumption through an empirical analysis of West Virginia, which along with forty-six other states, has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Risch finds that West Virginia courts interpreting the UTSA do not rely on sister-state courts, but instead on common-law and treatise-based interpretations. Risch’s Essay is a preliminary exploration of whether the UTSA is providing the uniformity touted by its proponents, to be followed by a more comprehensive geographical study.

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