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Thanks for your question and good afternoon.
If this is a contract for goods or real estate the requirements in NY at least are that it be in writing and signed by the parties.
Here is the law for reference.
NY Statute of Frauds.
You would need to sign and date the agreement here under NY law to be able to enforce it as a written contract.
More reference about the statute of frauds that is applied in New York.
Under the law contracts are promises that the law will enforce. There are legal remedies if a promise is breached or recognizes the performance of a promise as a duty. Contracts exist when a duty does or may come into existence, because of a promise made by one of the parties. To be legally binding as a contract, a promise must be exchanged for adequate consideration. Adequate consideration is a benefit or detriment which a party receives which reasonably and fairly induces them to make the promise/contract.
Here the court looks to the written agreement and signatures and dates as well as consideration given to decide if there was a meeting of the minds such that there was a contract and whether then one of the parties has breached it.
Your best protection here is a written and signed and dated agreement and record of payment for the goods or services involved.If there is then a breach it would be actionable in court.
This contract is for intellectual property, so what method(s) of signing the contract are legally binding? Physical signature, send an electronic signature, send an email to my lawyer saying it is good, just verbally say OK?
A written signature is always best means to acknowledge and agreement.A email while some proof here may leave room for dispute.
It is always a great idea to have something in writing, signed by both parties and dated.
Then it is wasy to have the court find that there was a contract and what the terms of it were.
It offers you the most protection in case of dispute later on.
It also defines the date the contract took effect.
Your goal is to always be clear about terms, signatures and dates.If you do that there is no grounds to dispute the lack of agreement.
Thanks again for letting me assist you today.It has been my pleasure to do so.
Also the statute of limitations for breach of contract in NY is 6 years for a written contract.
The 2 parties are in different states so we can not physically be in the same room to sign. What do you suggest for signatures?
Then it can be done where one party signs in person and it gets overnighted to other party.It is not required they be in same room only that they both sign and date it.Then each party should get an original signed copy for their files.So there are at least two copies of the document signed by both parties.
Thats is pretty standard way to do this so that each party has an oriignal signed copy in case of dispute.
Thanks again for the follow up.
My lawyer is telling me to send him an electronic signature, which I did feel uncomfortable about. From what you are saying, a physical signature is the best scenario?