In an odd electronic signature (eSignature) context, on December 30, 2014 a California appellate court reversed a trial court’s upholding of a settlement agreement based on a typewritten name in an email string.    See J.B.B. Investment Partners v. Fair, 2014 WL 7421609 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. 12/30/14).

The circumstances made clear to the appeals court that the parties were anticipating a wet signature on a line on the email attachment; and the gist of the string was that there had not been an expressed intent to formalize the settlement agreement.   In part, the J.B.B. court interepreted the California version of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act

However, this recent California decision did cite with approval other states’ decisions holding that “names typed at the end of e-mails can be electronic signatures.” (emphasis added).

To learn more about eSignatures law and technology, please visit my eSignatures Bibliography (online library).

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Photo of Robert Brownstone Robert Brownstone

Robert D. Brownstone is the Technology & eDiscovery Counsel and Chair of the Electronic Information Management Group (EIM) Practice Group at Fenwick & West LLP, a national firm with a special mission and headquartered in Silicon Valley. Bob advises clients on electronic discovery, EIM, retention/ destruction, information-security, privacy and social-media.

A dynamic nationwide speaker and prolific writer on many law-and-technology issues, Bob is frequently quoted in the press as an expert on electronic information. He teaches Electronic Discovery Law & Process annually at the University of San Francisco (USF) and University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Schools of Law and has also taught it at Santa Clara U. (SCU) School of Law.

Now in his 27th year as a lawyer, Bob is a member of four state bars and serves on the Advisory Board of the National Employment Law Institute (NELI). To learn more, see Bob’s full bio and extensive bibliography.