Is a service contract enforceable without the vendor’s signature?

UPDATED: Mar 2, 2011

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Is a service contract enforceable without the vendor’s signature?

Both parties reside in CA, and events occurred in CA. We hired a video production crew to film an event. They emailed us a contract that listed all the services that they would perform and costs. We signed it and faxed it back to them, and paid all the costs according to the contract. There was a place on the contract for the video company to sign, but it was blank on the email that they sent. The contract stated that they would produce 2 videos for us (1 short and 1 long) from the footage that they shot. They gave us only the short video.

Asked on March 2, 2011 under General Practice, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) For a contract to be enforceable, it needs to show offer, acceptance, and consideration (basically, payment). If one party creates a contract and sends it to the other, then the other party signs it as is and returns it, that's enough to create an enforceable contract--they extended an offer (by creating and sending you the contract) and you accepted it (by signing). Since they created the contract and sent it to you, your signature makes it operative; they did not need to also sign it.

2) An enforcable contract is enforceable against either/both parties, so if they contracted to produce 2 videos but only produced one, you may have grounds for legal action against them.

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