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Is an email considered legally official in a court of law?

Katy, TX |

If you receive an email from someone and they tell you that their email is more than suffice when you ask that they put it in writing instead with their signed signature just as legal?

I had someone send an email to me that was very important information, but when I asked for them to put it in writing instead as I cannot conclude that they were the true sender of the email since their computer could have been used by anyone in their home/office, they told me, "no" the email was official. Is that true? Is is possible that the email would not constitute being official if you were to have to use it in a court of law?

Thank you!

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    This is a maybe yes, maybe no answer. To be valid, a contract needs to show "manifestation" of intent.

    If you have an email trail that talks about the terms and conditions of your contract, and the other party says "I agree" most courts would call that an electronic signature.

    However, many more facts are needed to determine your exact situation. You are going to need to speak with an attorney.

    Most lawyers on Avvo, including myself, offer a free phone consultation.
    Andrew M. Jaffe
    Attorney at Law
    Practice Limited to E-Commerce and Internet Law

    This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.

  2. I agree with Attorney Jaffe. It really depends on the content of the correspondences as well as the circumstances surrounding the agreement. However without more information it is difficult to tell whether or not this is a situation where it will be likely that a court will consider the emails enough to create a contract.

    If you are attempting to create an enforceable contract, it would be in your best interest to contact an experienced and knowledgeable business attorney. Many offer free phone consultations. They will also be able to tell you, depending on the reason for creation of the contract, whether or not you will need an attorney to write and negotiate the contract for you. Best of luck!

    The Law Office of Andrew Chung, PLLC. (832) 409 0117. . The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.

  3. Agree with my colleagues below. As a rule (despite the click and hit word of today) you simply can not beat a good old fashioned written signature when proving a contractual relationship.

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