More and more offices are becoming more “green” including Goosmann Law Firm. As offices ditch the pen and paper and use more electronic records, it’s important to know exactly what is legal and what isn’t when it comes to e-signatures.
What is an e-signature?
An e-signature is an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. It indicates your intent to agree or approve the contract to which it is attached. In most cases an e-signature is a valid signature as long as both parties to the agreement agree that it is.
With more offices using e-signatures, the government has enacted laws regarding e-signatures. The main federal law governing the validity of e-signatures is the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act ("ESIGN") "). This act states that no contract or agreement can be denied or unenforced only due to an electronic signature. Most states have also passed The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (“UETA”), including Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
As with many statutes produces through political compromise, ESIGN is riddled with exceptions and special provisions. Similar exceptions, and others, exist in many state versions of UETA. The places where e-signatures aren't accepted are dwindling fast, but there are still areas in which e-signatures are not accepted. For more information on whether an e-signature is legally binding in your specific situation, please contact me at Jeana@goosmannlaw.com.