Legal Question in Business Law in California

Party A & B have a written contract, signed by both parties. Party B is not being paid under the terms of the original agreement and Party A finally agrees to alter the payment terms, but does so in writing in the form of an email. There was no official amendment made to the original contract, with both parties signing. Is the email promise from Party A to Party B to pay enforceable and/or binding?

Asked on 10/18/13, 8:25 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Frank Natoli Natoli-Legal, LLC

Probably. The email can certainly serve as a "writing" to modify a written agreement.

Of course, the facts can matter here, so you may want to consult a lawyer in private if you have any concerns.

If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.

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DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed

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Answered on 10/18/13, 8:36 am

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

The key word in the previous answer is "probably." A review of the terms of the original written contract and the course of conduct and dealing between the parties would be required before a really reliable opinion could be given.

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Answered on 10/18/13, 8:44 am
Carl Starrett Law Offices of Carl H. Starrett II

Under most circumstances, California law allows parties to a written contract to make verbal modifications to the written agreement. You'll want to check to see if the contract has any provisions requirement amendments to be in writing.

Some courts have held that email exchanges like what you described could be sufficient enough of a "writing" to overcome a contract term that requires written amendments.

to be 100% sure, you should have an attorney review the contract and the emails.

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Answered on 10/18/13, 8:46 am

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