Virginia has taken a strong and important leadership in establishing rules for the Information Highway through the Joint Committee on Technology and Science (JCOTS) and Delegate Joe T. May. Without the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) no established rules exist in common law for the Information Highway, which means that each judge must create the rules in each case as it arises. Every judge will make his own rules for the particular case. This results in great inconsistency and uncertainty adversely affecting the realization of the full potential of the Information Age economy. Governor Gilmore states: In 2000, Virginia was the first state to enact UCITA, and I was proud to be the first governor in the nation to sign it into law. We did so with the expectation that a sound legal structure would attract entrepreneurs to locate in Virginia, generate prosperity here, and enhance our quality of life. It is inconceivable that an electronic signature or an electronic contract, or term thereof, should be valid in Virginia but not in California, or indeed, in the U.S. but not in the U.K. or France. The Internet is borderless and faceless. E-Commerce is driving our economy and enhancing productivity and economic growth. Not very long ago, we transacted business face-to-face. Now we do business where and whenever we choose. On every airline flight, laptop computers are open and contracts are being made while flying over an unknown state with a party at an unknown location. Has a valid contract been entered into? With whom? Did the party have authority to contract? What are the terms of the contract? Can the contract be attributed to a particular person? What law governs? What forum has jurisdiction? All these questions need answers.
Carlyle C. Ring Jr.,
AN OVERVIEW OF THE VIRGINIA UCITA,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol8/iss1/3