Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Statute of Frauds and Emails — Typing a Name at Bottom of Email Sufficient to Satisfy Statute, But “Pre-Printed” Signature Is Not

Rhodium Special Opportunity Fund, LLC v. Life Trading Holdco, LLC, 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1525 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty. Mar. 31, 2014):

Courts in New York have held that an email may constitute a writing for the purpose of the statute of frauds. See Naldi v Grunberg, 80 AD3d 1, 14, 908 N.Y.S.2d 639 (1st Dept 2010); Williamson v Delsener, 59 AD3d 291, 874 N.Y.S.2d 41 (1st Dept 2009); Steven v Publicis. S.A., 50 AD3d 253, 854 N.Y.S.2d 690 (1st Dept 2008). The courts have focused on the requirement of a signature to determine when emails meet the requirement. In Rosenfeld v Zerneck, 776 NYS2d 458, 460, 4 Misc. 3d 193 (Sup Ct 2004), the court held that typing a name on the bottom of an email indicated authentication in the way that a signature would on paper for the statute of frauds. The act of typing the name matters, as a pre-printed signature in an email footer has been held to be insufficient as a signature for an email to meet the statute of frauds. Landesbank v 45 John St. LLC, 102 AD3d 587, 960 N.Y.S.2d 64 (1st Dept 2013). In the instant case, the set of emails had typed signatures that met the signature requirement.

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