The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) is a uniform act developed by the Uniform Law Commission that provides governments with “an outcomes-based approach to the authentication and preservation of electronic legal material.” Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (July 2011). It mandates that official electronic legal materials be (1) authenticated, (2) preserved, and (3) accessible. Starting with Colorado in 2012, nearly twenty states have enacted some version of UELMA.

As an outcomes-based approach, UELMA does not dictate a method of implementation. And given the complexity of digital storage and authentication, the range of satisfactory implementation methods is quite wide. The District of Columbia enacted its version of UELMA in 2017. The District utilizes the Open Law Platform to publish its laws and the Code of the District of Columbia in an UELMA-compliant manner. This white paper discusses UELMA compliance as implemented by the Open Law Platform. Using a combination of plaintext XML, the open source distributed version control system called Git, and strong encryption, the Open Law Platform creates a repeatable process for
authenticating and preserving electronic legal materials.

It is our hope that this document can highlight important considerations and provide a roadmap for governments wishing to publish their legal materials in compliance with UELMA.

Contact us today to learn how we can authenticate and preserve your legal documents.

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