Book

The End of Negotiable Instruments

James Steven Rogers

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199856220
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919574 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199856220.001.0001
The End of Negotiable Instruments

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When we make purchases [better word than ‘things?’], we need to use some system for making payment. Today we use checks, credit cards, debit cards, and various other electronic or semi-electronic payment systems. One would assume that the legal system has developed a sensible, coherent body of law to deal with payment system problems. One would be wrong. Modern American law of payment systems is, to be honest, a confused muddle. The basic problem is anachronism. The law of payment systems has not come to grips with the realities of the modern world. Rather, much of the law is still based on “negotiable instruments law”, a body of law that developed centuries ago when instruments issued by private parties circulated as a form of money. A great deal of the current law of checks and notes is the product of nothing more than an historical fluke, such as the odd details of the eighteenth century Stamp Acts. The law could be much simpler if it were written in light of the way that checks and notes are actually used today, rather than being based on concepts derived from the past. This book shows that there is no need for a statute governing promissory notes and that the law of checks would be far simpler if it treated checks simply as instructions to the financial system, akin to debit or credit cards. The book provides an indispensible guide for lawyers, judges, professors, and students who must find ways of dealing sensibly with this profoundly anachronistic body of law.

Keywords: negotiable instrument; check; check collection; promissory note; commercial paper; law merchant; holder in due course; payment systems; anachronism

Book.  304 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The End of Negotiable Instruments

Chapter

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The Sorry State of Modern Payment Systems Law in The End of Negotiable Instruments

Chapter

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Paperless Paper in The End of Negotiable Instruments

Chapter

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The Bank Always Loses in The End of Negotiable Instruments

Chapter

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Are Checks Ever Transferred? in The End of Negotiable Instruments

Chapter

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What Would a Modern Law of Checks Look Like? in The End of Negotiable Instruments

Chapter

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