Are scanned signatures legally binding?

This is regarding e-mailing someone a one-way NDA. Is it legally binding if the recipient scans and emails it back or do I legally need to obtain the originals as well? lso, is it legally binding if only the recipient signs the NDA (the NDA I have only has fields for the recipient to sign)?

Asked on August 2, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, a scanned signature (e.g.a  PDF of the signed document) is binding; an enforceable agreement is signed when there is evidence showing that one party made an offer (e.g. put the terms out there) and the other party accepted those terms (e.g. signed it).

If the NDA is to be enforced agaisnt the other party, and you are the one who drafted the NDA, then you could enforce it against them even if only they, and not you, signed it--your "agreement" is shown by the fact that your authored and sent out the form, and their agreement is shown by the signature.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, a scanned signature (e.g.a  PDF of the signed document) is binding; an enforceable agreement is signed when there is evidence showing that one party made an offer (e.g. put the terms out there) and the other party accepted those terms (e.g. signed it).

If the NDA is to be enforced agaisnt the other party, and you are the one who drafted the NDA, then you could enforce it against them even if only they, and not you, signed it--your "agreement" is shown by the fact that your authored and sent out the form, and their agreement is shown by the signature.


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