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Commercial Law: Home

Resources for law students, bar examinees, and other researchers for Commercial Law

Useful Definitions

Agent: One who is authorized to act for or in place of another; a representative.

Attachment: The creation of a security interest in property, occurring when the debtor agrees to the security, receives value from the secured party, and obtains rights in the collateral.

Equity of Redemption: The right of a mortgagor in default to recover property before a foreclosure sale by paying the principal, interest, and other costs that are due.

Escrow: A legal document or property delivered by a promisor to a third party to be held by the third party for a given amount of time or until the occurrence of a condition, at which time the third party is to hand over the document or property to the promisee.

Foreclosure: A legal proceeding to terminate a mortgagor's interest in property, instituted by the lender (the mortgagee) either to gain title or to force a sale in order to satisfy the unpaid debt secured by the property.

Guaranty: A promise to answer for the payment of some debt, or the performance of some duty, in case of the failure of another who is liable in the first instance.

InsolvencyThe condition of being unable to pay debts as they fall due or in the usual course of business.

Negotiable Instrument: A written instrument that (1) is signed by the maker or drawer, (2) includes an unconditional promise or order to pay a specified sum of money, (3) is payable on demand or at a definite time, and (4) is payable to order or to bearer.

Security Interest: A property interest created by agreement or by operation of law to secure performance of an obligation (especially repayment of a debt).

All definitions come from Black’s Law Dictionary, 11th ed. (2019). 


Commercial Law includes all aspects of business, including advertising and marketing, collections and bankruptcy, banking, contracts, negotiable instruments, secured transactions, and trade in general. It covers both domestic and foreign trade; it also regulates trade between states.

The term commercial law describes a wide body of laws that governs business transactions. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which has been adopted in part by every state in the United States, is the primary authority that governs commercial transactions. The UCC is divided into nine articles, covering a broad spectrum of issues that arise in commercial transactions.

[Summary from Commercial Law,, (last visited July 18, 2014).]

Uniform Commercial Code

The UCC is divided into the following eleven articles:

Article 1: General Provisions
Article 2: Sales
Article 2A: Leases
Article 3: Commercial Paper
Article 4: Bank Deposits and Collections
Article 4A: Funds Transfers
Article 5: Letters of Credit
Article 6: Bulk Transfers
Article 7: Warehouse Receipts, Bills of Lading and Other Documents of Title
Article 8: Investment Securities
Article 9: Secured Transactions; Sales of Accounts and Chattel Paper

Subject Guide