Will a copy of a contact hold up in court if no original hard copy is avaliable?

I am starting an CPR business. I am going to have my students sign a release of liability waiver but i don’t really want to keep hard copy’s. I would like to scan them and then upload them to my cloud server to remain “paperless”. Will a copy printed from the server hold up in court should a claim arise? Is there something special that I have to do to make it hold up in court (like being notorized before uploading)?

Asked on July 7, 2012 under Business Law, California


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

More and more documents are being electronically scanned these days and the courts are accepting them as long as there is no dispute that the copy represents the original agreement.  So, yes, you could potentially go paperless by scanning all of your liability waivers.  However, the better practice for any business is to do both.  What you are describing is not just a contract-- it is your legal protection from any future liablity-- which is an incredibly valuable document.  The cloud servers haven't made the headlines for losing data, but the potential is always there.  Many companies and state agencies have tried to go paperless and then hit a glitch and have lost tones of valuable information.  Even though it's pain, you really should keep a hard copy in addition to the scanned version. 

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