Prepared by Diane Murley, SIU Law Library, October 2005
Uniform laws and model acts are proposed statutes drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, which consists of representatives of every state. Uniform laws adopted by the NCCUSL at its annual meetings may then be introduced as bills in the individual state legislatures, which can adopt them as proposed in whole or in part, modify them, or reject them. Once uniform laws are adopted, at least in part, by a state's legislature, they are included within that state's statutory code.
When courts or commentators refer to a uniform law or act adopted by a specific state, they typically include the state in the name to distinguish it from the versions adopted by other states. For example, a court opinion or law journal article discussing the version of the Uniform Commercial Code that was adopted by the Illinois General Assembly and codified in the Illinois Compiled Statutes at 810 ILCS 5/1-101 – 5/13-103 would refer to it as the Illinois Uniform Commercial Code. However, the title of the act as it appears in the Illinois Compiled Statutes is simply the Uniform Commercial Code. It is important to keep this distinction in mind when you are searching for a uniform act in the state's statutes or commentary on that uniform act.
This Research Guide includes step-by-step instructions for finding and printing the Illinois version of a uniform act on the web, in print, on LexisNexis, or on Westlaw. We use the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act as an example.
The Illinois General Assembly website is a great place to find Illinois statutes. Go to the Illinois Compiled Statutes page and click on the Search link just under the Illinois Compiled Statutes heading. You can search ILCS by keyword(s) or by Act name. Put Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act in the "Search ILCS by Act name" text box and click on the Search button. (Remember, in the Illinois statutes there is no need to include the word Illinois in the name of an act.)
Your search results should include a link to 815 ILCS 510/ Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Click on the link to see all of the sections of the ILCS that are part of the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Click on the "Printer-Friendly Version" link to print, copy or save the entire Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
If you have access to the Illinois Compiled Statutes, the Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated, or the Smith Hurd Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated, you can look up the act in the index under Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act or under Uniform Laws, Deceptive Trade Practices Act. You could also look up Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act in the Popular Name Table or the Short Title Cross-Reference Table. Like the Illinois General Assembly website, Illinois Compiled Statutes contains only the text of the statutes. Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated and Smith Hurd Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated also include case annotations, references to secondary sources and practice aids, and other research tools.
Follow the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act link to the expanded table of contents, and click in the box to the left of Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act to select all the sections of the ILCS that are part of the Act. Click on Print or Download in the upper right corner to print or download the entire Act.
You can download in Word, WordPerfect, Text, PDF, or RTF format. To print or download the entire Act in a single document without page breaks between each section, make sure that both the "Each Doc on New Page" and the "Break Pages at Document Page Break" check boxes are unchecked.
Be careful when printing multiple sections from an annotated code. The case annotations and other references can cause your document to be much larger than you anticipated. A print-out or download of the seven sections of the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act from the Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated on LexisNexis would be approximately 40 pages long. You can print just the parts of the documents that you want by selecting Custom from the "Document View" drop-down list and clicking on the Edit button. Click the Clear All button, put a check mark only in the Unanno box, and click the OK button to return to the Print or Download Documents screen. Now our print-out or download will be only 8 pages long because it will only include the statute itself.
On Westlaw, go to the Illinois Statutes – Annotated (IL-ST-ANN) or Illinois Statutes – Unannotated (IL-ST) database. At the search screen, click on the "Statutes Index" link just above the Search button.
At the Statutes Index page, click on "U" to browse the index or use the search box at the far right to search for "Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act" in the index.
Follow the "Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act" link to the first section, 815 ILCS 510/1. Near the top of the right frame, you will see a mini-table of contents showing this section in context.
If you click on the link for "Act 510," a small window pops up showing the text of all all of the sections of the ILCS that are part of the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, without annotations or other references. Click the Maximize button at the bottom of the pop-up window to display the text of all of the sections in the right frame. When the right frame has changed to display the full Act, click on the Print icon in the upper right corner to print or download the text of all of the sections displayed, without annotations or other references, in one continuous document.
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