E-Signatures: Do They Create a Binding Agreement?
February 28, 2012
National Business Officers Association Annual Conference
Electronic signatures are becoming more common among independent schools. They are increasingly being relied upon for enrollment agreements and field trip waivers. But are electronic signatures enforceable or are they just another example of technology and the practices of independent schools outpacing the law? This presentation will examine the federal laws governing electronic signatures, E-SIGN and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, as well selected state statutes. It will use both published and unpublished cases to discern the status of this evolving area of the law and to uncover the trends that are most relevant for independent schools. We will also consider how technology itself may play a role in the enforceability of electronic agreements. For example, is clicking "I agree" on a computer the same as submitting a signature scribbled on an iPad? The presentation will provide specific guidance and best practices for schools that rely on e-signatures.