The topic of commercial law encompasses the rules for sale and distribution of goods and the procedures for payment in such transactions. Modern U.S. commercial law is derived from the 17th century principles of the law merchant. Those principles were initially incorporated into the common law before becoming codified into individual state statutes.
Early American legislation lacked consistency between the states. By the end of the 19th century, legal professionals recognized the need for uniformity in certain areas of law. Due to growing interstate commerce, one of those areas was commerical law. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws was created and it passed a Uniform Negotiable Instruments Act followed by a Uniform Sales Act. Unfortunately, those acts were not universally adopted. By the mid-20th century, the National Conference joined with the American Law Institute to draft a Uniform Commercial Code that would be widely enacted by the states. The UCC was first published in 1952 and has been revised many times since then. New articles have also been added over the years.
This research guide is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather will list some of the major sources of law in the area and a variety of tools for the researcher to use when confronted with a commercial law issue. Links in this research guide will take the researcher to information about the resource, and in some cases, will link to full text of the resource. The titles of materials held in the Seattle University Law Library are linked to the bibliographic records in the library's catalogs. The title or citation for Web-based materials will be linked to the internet site where those materials or information about them may be found. Citations to materials that are available on Westlaw, Lexis, or other databases, including cases, statutes, and law review articles of interest, may be linked to their source in one of those databases, and if so, will be available only to authorized users.