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Be Careful with Emails and Texts

Dudley Goar, Attorney at Law

An article in the January 13, 2014 edition of Mass. Lawyer’s Weekly highlights the growing acceptance by courts that emails can be given the same weight as letters or other documents when it comes to contract enforcement. For example, an email might be sufficient to bind a party to an unsigned purchase and sale agreement in a real estate transaction or bind parties to a settlement agreement that has not yet been formally executed. The important issue for courts is whether the email expressed an intent to be bound, or put another way, whether there was a “meeting of the minds” between the parties. Therefore, care must be taken whenever emails, texts or other electronic communications are used during business negotiations. If the party does not want to be bound by a statement, he must make that clear in the communication. “Email Communications Result in Hard Lessons for Attorneys, Clients.” Mass. Lawyers Weekly, Jan. 30, 2014.

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