The Sorry State of Modern Payment Systems Law
In the mid-twentieth century, payments law meant the law of checks and promissory notes, as set out in Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Long ago, a “negotiable instrument” was a privately issued instrument that circulated from hand to hand as a substitute for currency. Although that no longer happens, twentieth century law was still based on concepts of negotiability, including the “holder in due course” doctrine. The worst effects of that doctrine were eliminated by developments in Federal law in the late twentieth century. The law, however, has not considered whether there is anything useful left in the law of negotiable instruments once the holder in due course doctrine has been eliminated.
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