Menu
Button: Make a Payment Button: Newsletter Mailing List

Icon: Healthcare LawHands-On Experience

Providing legal advice

and services since 1977

Enforcing Electronic Contracts / More On Contracts Describing The System / Who Wants To Give A Webinar? - January 18, 2017

***********************
NOTICE:  We are scheduling a series of webinars entitled "All you need to know about ______".  If anyone would like to participate as a presenter please let me know your topic within next day or so.  Thanks.
*************************
ENFORCING ELECTRONIC CONTRACTS
***********************
Ken 
    I have a question about the signing of a contract we presently use Docusign which is an Electronic doc contract signing solution.   My questions are, number one can the subscriber say that they didn't sign it?   I only have an electronic signature and anyone can do that?   Two, how enforceable is an electronic signature. Three, not that I would, but what would protect the customer from having a contract drafted and signed with the customer not actually signing it? 
Thanks,
Anthony
**************************
RESPONSE
**************************
    Electronic contracts are enforceable as a matter of law.  There is Federal law and probably loads of state laws that permit electronic signatures on contracts.  Especially when dealing with consumers [residential subscribers] there are consumer laws that you need to comply with, such as the 3 day notice of cancellation and providing a copy of the contract to the subscriber when fully executed.  In order to comply with consumer law requirements you need to get consent from the consumer to provide the documentation electronically.  That's why we designed the Disclosure and Consent to Electronic Communications form.  If you do electronic signature I suggest that the Disclosure and Consent to Electronic Communications form precede the contract form; get them both signed.  I've been told that Docusign provides this consent form, so you may not need to get it from me, but I haven't seen its form. 
    As far as enforcement of alarm contracts, dealing with forgeries or claims that the contracts was not executed, you are going to be faced with the same issues that you would have if you produced a written signed document.  You're going to have to establish that the subscriber signed the document you intend to produce at time of trial.
**************************
MORE ON CONTRACTS DESCRIBING THE SYSTEM
**************************
Ken,
    As always, these are Fantastic topics of discussion. I do want to make sure I clarify or understand the intent when we say "should contracts describe the system".
    This is not to say there shouldn't be a "Scope of Work" defining the work, equipment, etc., the contractor (Security Dealer/Systems Integrator) is going to provide and the time frame in which they estimate to be able to perform the work. There could also be responsibilities on the part of the building owner or home owner that should be defined if any. 
    Just like the phone line example and if cut the system will be unable to communicate unless there is a back up. We could probably say the same thing after explaining to the owner, here are the areas of your facility/home where you are vulnerable and this is our suggested design yet the owner decides to go with something less than suggested and something happens. 
    I'm beginning to think the first line of any contract should state, we are a security company, if you want or need additional insurance we can provide a list of insurance companies for you.
Thank you,
Keith Canova
***********************
RESPONSE
***********************
    All the Standard Form Agreements have scope of work included in the Schedule of Equipment and Services.  A number of you have addressed this issue and none have suggested that we actually tell the subscriber what a fire alarm system is, or what a burglar alarm system is.  What we do tell them is what it isn't and its many limitations, as well as your limits of liability.  I think that's how we're going to leave the Standard Form Agreements.  Perhaps if we had more room on the form we could add more, but as it is the forms are packed with essential provisions.  Disclaiming that you're an insurance company happens to be one of those provisions.
**************************