Lord knows I've tried to find some.
My most recent search was unable to come up with anything
on this point. This is in connection with a project for the
New Jersey Law Revision Commission, where I work.
I have some personal theories on the subject.
For the purposes for which most electronic communications
are undertaken, the sender and receiver either "agree" that
an email message is a sufficient communication (by implication from
their continued use of the medium) or they don't, simply by not
using the medium for transactions in which a signature is important.
In other words, if you are conducting a transaction that is
sufficiently important to require a "signature" in the formal
sense (e.g., an acknowledged holographic signature) you aren't
likely to be conducting that kind of transation entirely on line. On
the other hand, if you are conducting a transaction of that
level of importance in an on line environment, chances are
you are doing so pursuant to an express agreement which settles
the issue, or by an implicit agreement.
Also, the legal standard for what constitutes a signature is pretty
low. Any symbol used with the intent to authenticate a document.
Assuming that there are no additional requirements such as acknowledgment
or the like, an email header can satisfy that standard, IMHO. If an
electronic transaction is going to fall apart, it seems likely that
something other than the legal effect of the "signature"
on a "document" evidencing the transaction would be the cause. Thus
no cases yet.
At 11:03 AM 6/10/98 -0400, you wrote:
>A more specific question:
>Is anyone familiar with case law discussing the effectiveness of
>electronic signatures in jurisdictions where they are not specifically
>recognized by statute?
Maureen E. Garde ([log in to unmask])