Most people know or think that the law usually requires a written agreement, signed for a transaction, in order to be legally binding. You are not aware that an e-mail exchange can also meet the legal requirements and together form a binding contract. Suppose most transactions are for more than $500 – does an email qualify as a written tool with a signature? Courts across the country are increasingly imposing contracts that are created by exchanging emails that appear informal and are not signed in the traditional sense. In a recent decision in New York, it was found that “given the now widespread use of e-mail as a form of written communication, both in personal affairs and in business, it would be unreasonable to conclude that e-mail messages are unable to meet the criteria (the New York version of UETA) simply because they cannot be physically signed in a traditional way.” , where your customer effectively admits that there are no problems with the product, could be all you need to win your claim against them. Simply put, two people have to agree with each other. An e-mail alone cannot therefore be a legally binding contract. However, there is no reason why an email exchange should not contain all of these elements. Therefore, an e-mail exchange can be a legally binding contract. THE UETA provides that a law that requires a written registration, a set of electronic data is in accordance with the law… and a law requires a signature, an electronic signature complies with the law.
The Esign Act has a similar language. So an e-mail is clearly an instrument written according to the law, but is an e-mail a signature? A contract is not required in writing. A verbal agreement or a series of transactions between parties may also constitute a legally binding contract. The reason given by the court was that, although the name and email address are automatically inserted into an email, since the sender created the email account so that these items are inserted, they are intentionally inserted by the sender as a signature. It`s the same for a signature block in an email. There is therefore a theoretical basis for the idea that an agreement on terms in an e-mail, whether formally declared or not, could constitute a legally binding agreement, and this theoretical basis was born in the real world by law. The answer may vary from one legal order to another. Since many contracts require a written and signed agreement to be reached before a contract can be amended, the question of whether an email can change a contract depends on whether the e-mail is a written contract.