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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29680
Experience:  29 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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What are the methods to sign a contract agreement to make it

Resolved Question:

What are the methods to sign a contract agreement to make it legally binding to be executed?

Do I have to physically sign the agreement?
Can I send an electronic signature and what is a legal electronic signature?
Should I physically date the agreement?
What about the other party, what legally binding methods do they have to perform for signature?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good afternoon.

RayAnswers :

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.

RayAnswers :

Here is the law for reference.

RayAnswers :

NY Statute of Frauds.

RayAnswers :
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section a contract for the sale of goods for the price of $500 or more is not enforceable by way of action or defense unless there is some writing sufficient to indicate that a contract for sale has been made between the parties and signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by his authorized agent or broker. A writing is not insufficient because it omits or incorrectly states a term agreed upon but the contract is not enforceable under this paragraph beyond the quantity of goods shown in such writing. (2) Between merchants if within a reasonable time a writing in confirmation of the contract and sufficient against the sender is received and the party receiving it has reason to know its contents, it satisfies the requirements of subsection (1) against such party unless written notice of objection to its contents is given within ten days after it is received. (3) A contract which does not satisfy the requirements of subsection (1) but which is valid in other respects is enforceable (a) if the goods are to be specially manufactured for the buyer and are not suitable for sale to others in the ordinary course of the seller's business and the seller, before notice of repudiation is received and under circumstances which reasonably indicate that the goods are for the buyer, has made either a substantial beginning of their manufacture or commitments for their procurement; or (b) if the party against whom enforcement is sought admits in his pleading, testimony or otherwise in court that a contract for sale was made, but the contract is not enforceable under this provision beyond the quantity of goods admitted; or (c) with respect to goods for which payment has been made and accepted or which have been received and accepted (Section 2--606). (4) Subsection one does not apply to a qualified financial contract as that term is defined in paragraph two of subdivision b of section 5-701 of the general obligations law if either (a) there is, as provided in paragraph three of subdivision b of section 5-701 of such law, sufficient evidence to indicate that a contract has been made or (b) the parties thereto, by means of a prior or subsequent written contract, have agreed to be bound by the terms of such qualified financial contract from the time they reach agreement (by telephone, by exchange or electronic messages, or otherwise) on those terms. - See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/UCC/2/2/2--201#sthash.5gvL5NzU.dpuf
RayAnswers :

You would need to sign and date the agreement here under NY law to be able to enforce it as a written contract.

RayAnswers :

More reference about the statute of frauds that is applied in New York.

RayAnswers :

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.

RayAnswers :

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.

RayAnswers :

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.

Customer:

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?

RayAnswers :

A written signature is always best means to acknowledge and agreement.A email while some proof here may leave room for dispute.

RayAnswers :

It is always a great idea to have something in writing, signed by both parties and dated.

RayAnswers :

Then it is wasy to have the court find that there was a contract and what the terms of it were.

RayAnswers :

It offers you the most protection in case of dispute later on.

RayAnswers :

It also defines the date the contract took effect.

RayAnswers :

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.

RayAnswers :

Thanks again for letting me assist you today.It has been my pleasure to do so.

RayAnswers :

Also the statute of limitations for breach of contract in NY is 6 years for a written contract.

RayAnswers :

Thanks again.

Customer:

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?

RayAnswers :

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.

RayAnswers :

Thats is pretty standard way to do this so that each party has an oriignal signed copy in case of dispute.

RayAnswers :

Thanks again for the follow up.

Customer:

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?

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
I have switched this out of chat because of technical problems.Please let me know if you have more it is not a problem.Thanks again.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Yes to me a hand signed original is best and then you each have a signed copy.I think this iffers you the most protection and no problems with mis-use either.Tell the lawyer you are uncomfortable with e signature and want to sign a hard copy and mail it overnight.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Thanks again for letting me be of service.I appreciate the chance to help you.
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29680
Experience: 29 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
Ray and 19 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your recent question and rating.If you can leave a positive customer survey it is appreciated too.If you have another question please post it for Ray.

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