If a company is concerned that its state is following in the footsteps of Massachusetts, it would be advisable to understand its state`s handling of email correspondence in case law, as well as concepts such as the essential terms of an agreement and the rule of parol proof. It may even be possible to predict the most likely interpretation of text messages from one state to another based on these predictive markers and the analogy with email communication. Either way, lawyers and companies are in the best position to prepare for the legal importance of text messages in negotiations and the formulation of binding contracts. One of the repeated misunderstandings is that businesses and consumers tend to consider that if they haven`t signed a document, they can`t be linked to an email or text message. Indeed, consumers and businesses are often quite surprised and, in some cases, worried when they learn that seemingly casual conversations, which contain relevant language, may be enough to create a legally binding contract or even a guarantee. California Law: Fraud and Electronic Signatures Act Modern Fraud Law is generally a legal provision that requires certain types of contracts to be recalled in writing and to meet other requirements that go beyond those of fundamental contract law. In California, the fraud law includes contracts such as the purchase or transfer of property, leases longer than one year, larger commercial loans, and all contracts that explicitly require more than one year to conclude. It`s a good idea to make sure that you`ve clearly expressed them in a written document and that you have them on hand and that you`ll drop them off as needed, as text messages don`t serve as proof of your consent. St. John`s Holdings was in the process of purchasing a Two Electronics property in Danvers, MA, and received a text message from Two Electronics containing a Letter of Intent (LOI). The text contained the terms of the contract and the names of the brokers who carried out the transaction. In accordance with the instructions in the textu, St.
John`s Holdings signed the Memorandum of Understanding and cut the cheque for the purchase of the property. Two Electronics later sold the property to a third party and refused to abide by the check and memorandum of understanding. Subject to UETA, a contract can be concluded by any electronic medium, not just by e-mail. Although a text message string may seem flippant and therefore unenforceable, UETA says something else. If a text message string contains the necessary contractual language, the text messages are legally binding. Unlike a digital signature that uses encryption to prohibit any modification of the document, an electronic signature is only a mark on the document indicating a party`s intention to execute the agreement. This means that in most contracts established under California law, if there was a meeting of heads about the contract and a party wrote their name in the agreement to sign it, then they will likely be bound by the contract. . . .