Having subscribers sign contracts electronically is becoming more popular. There is no doubt that electronic contracts are enforceable; that's federal law, which supersedes state law.  What steps you need to take to obtain an electronic signature on a contract so that contract will be enforced in court does present some challenging issues. You see electronic signatures more and more.  It's on tablets, on line and through smart phones.  Almost always overlooked however are how companies are able to comply with consumer laws that require certain documents to be presented to consumers when contracts are executed.  Perhaps the most recognizable documents would be the fully executed contract itself and the 3 day notice of cancellation form.  If these documents have to be delivered to the consumer how is it accomplished electronically?  The answer is, I believe, found in the Federal E-Sign Law and you need to use a Consumer Disclosure and Consent to Electronic Communication document.  You can get this signed electronically.  You can get this form at www.alarmcontracts.com as a recently added Standard Form.  If you do electronic signatures then you need the form.  We provide the form at no additional cost when you get our Nationwide Standard Form Agreements, which we have for DIY Security, DIY Home Automation and Integration and PERS.
    For nationwide operations it's really the only practical way to get the contracts signed, especially for DIY and PERS.  We provide nationwide form agreements and the necessary guidelines and consent provisions for electronic signatures.  Below is a memorandum prepared by Jesse Kirschenbaum, Esq.  This issue is going to be addressed at the next webinar.  

    Register here for the free webinar on PERS licensing and contract issues. 

            Under federal law, as defined in the E-SIGN Act ("E-SIGN"), an electronic signature (“e-signature”) is “an electronic sound, or symbol, process attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record and be legally bound.”  Basically, the e-signature must be some indication, provided electronically, that indicates the signor’s acceptance of the terms of a contract or other document and shows an intent to be bound by those terms. 
            E-SIGN clearly provides a legal basis for entering into a contract by providing your “e-signature” to the electronic contract or document.  Nearly every state has its own law on the enforceability of contracts entered into with e-signatures, but E-SIGN makes clear that federal law will supersede any existing state law with the inclusion of language stating that no contract relating to a transaction shall be denied legal effect solely because it is in electronic form.  Furthermore, in 2000, as per the express terms of the law, E-SIGN was to effectively supersede all statutes and regulations imposing paper-based requirements for entering into a contract.  The result was a state court’s inability to deny effect to electronic signatures in consumer and commercial transactions in which the parties agree to the use of such electronic methods.
            This hasn’t stopped state courts from ruling on other aspects of the e-signature process.  For instance, the New York Supreme Court addressed whether the process provided for in E-SIGN is required to create a binding contract.  That case arose over a dispute concerning settlement negotiations via email.  The court held that a farewell statement at the end of the email amounted to a “subscribed” signature even though it did not constitute a signature under E-SIGN.  Other state courts have addressed whether clicking an “I accept” button demonstrates an intent to be bound by the document’s terms.  Some courts have held that the mere clicking of the “I accept” button is enough to indicate an intent to be bound while others have ruled that the issue of intent must be decided by looking at the entire transaction and the surrounding events to determine whether the circumstances as a whole were enough to show that the signing party intended to enter into a legally binding agreement by clicking “I accept.”
            While the federal law is crystal clear that voluntary contracts entered into with e-signatures cannot be denied the effect of a legally binding agreement, the process and surrounding circumstances of the transaction will provide state courts the ability to continue ruling on the enforceability of contracts, whether electronic or not.

                                           PERS: SERIES - WEBINARS 
                              WEBINARS - ALL WEBINARS ARE FREE 

WEBINARS:  PERS:  Personal Emergency Response Service  / Medical Alert:   how and why you need to consider getting into that business  Everything you need to know and do to get started with PERS or grow your PERS business to a nationwide operation.  Presented by a leading PERS manufacturer, a central station specializing in PERS monitoring, attorneys who will address licensing and contract issues and telemarketing issues.  Sign up for each webinar separately.  These webinars are FREE.  You need to register in advance to reserve your spot [attendance is limited] and sign in a few minutes before each presentation.
Title:  Licensing and Contracting for your nationwide PERS operation
Date and time:  July  27, 2016  12 noon to 1 PM
Place:  your computer
Register here:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5380922320883276803
Presented by:   by Jesse Kirschenbaum, Esq., counsel at Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum.  Moderator: Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq.
Topic:  Licensing for nationwide PERS.  Agreement needed for nationwide PERS
Q&A:  Send your questions in advance to Jesse Kirschenbaum at Jesse@KirschenbaumEsq.com
Title:  Telemarketing nationwide 
Date and time:  August 3, 2016  12 noon to 1 PM
Place:  your computer
Register here:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3591740925073303811
Presented by:  Matthew Pitts, Director of Legal Compliance, Alliance Security, Rhode Island.
Topic:  state telemarketing licensing; Federal and State Do-Not-Call compliance and call scrubbing; current legislation including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Telephone Sales Rule (TSR); vicarious liability and the use of sales affiliates; recent litigation trends. 
Q&A:  Send your questions in advance to mpitts@alliancesecurity.com