Legal Question in Business Law in New York

Contracts received via a fax machine...

Let's say I type up a contract and print it out.

I then sign this contract (New York).

I then fax it over to a client (Canada).

They sign it, fax it back to me, and keep it for themselves.

- I'd end up with a contract where both of our signatures have gone through the fax machine.

- The client ends up with a contract that has my signature via the fax machine, and his via a pen.

Are both of our contracts equally legal and binding?

Asked on 5/09/07, 1:20 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

William Pinzler william M. Pinzler
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Re: Contracts received via a fax machine...

Ideally, you should each have original signatures in your possession, not fax signatures. Whether this contract is enforceable in the US will depend, in part, on whether both sides honor the terms of the contract after it is signed even if the parties have only faxed versions of signatures. However, whether this contract is enforceable in Canada depends on where in Canada the contract is signed. The operative law in Quebec is different than the law in the rest of Canada. You need to consult a lawyer in whatever Canadian province is appropriate to know whether the faxed contract is sufficient in that province.

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5/09/07, 1:34 pm
Johm Smith tom's
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Re: Contracts received via a fax machine...

Mr. Pinzler has given you a very good response. You might want to have an attorney prepare your next contract so you can pick the governing law, venue and address other issues that have also probably not been addressed in your current contract.

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5/09/07, 1:43 pm
Gary Adelman Davis Shapiro & Lewit, LLP
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Re: Contracts received via a fax machine...

In simple terms to answer your direct question: if there is a clause that states that New York is the choice of law and ff there is a clause that says that facsimile signatures shall be considered original signatures for the purposes of this agreement, then from those perspectives the contract will be legally enforceable. However, to determine if the contract as a whole is legally enforceable, we would have to look at the whole agreement.

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5/10/07, 7:44 am

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