Sunday, August 19, 2012

Series Of Emails Between Buyer's, Seller's Attorneys Creates Binding Real Estate Contract?

In Boston, Massachusetts, the Boston Business Journal reports:

  • In a case that could chill electronic correspondence among parties of a real estate transaction, the Massachusetts Superior Court ruled that a series of emails between the buyer’s and seller’s attorneys created a binding agreement.

    Plaintiffs Ian Feldberg and Michael Rodgers alleged that, through emails, they entered into a binding agreement to purchase two lots in Sudbury for $475,000 from Harold Coxall. In court documents, Coxall said the emails did not satisfy the state’s fraud statute, which requires contracts for the sale of real estate be, “in writing and signed by the party to be charged.”

    Coxall, therefore, moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint as frivolous. But Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled that electronic mail may satisfy the statute of frauds and in favor of the plaintiffs.

    Still, whether the parties’ email exchange satisfied the statute of frauds in this case is not know in this case since the parties have settled their dispute and dismissed the case.

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