An e-mail sent to parties involved in negotiations over the settlement of a business dispute satisfies the writing requirement in the Colorado statute of frauds, a district court ruled. The court noted that the parties agreed that the purported settlement was governed by Colorado Rev. Stat. § 38-10-112, which requires that an agreement not to be perfomed within a year must be in writing, because the agreement contemplated the execution of a five-year note. The court applied Colorado case law in concluding that the requirement of a writing was satisfied by the e-mail. The court further ruled, however, that the e-mail was not "signed" within the meaning of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. § 7001(a), because the e-mail containing the purported settlement terms was not sent by the person whose name appeared as the sender but by another party who was using that person's e-mail account, and the actual sender of the e-mail averred that he transmitted it for the purpose of "consideration and voting" of the parties, and he did not have authority to bind his employer. Thus, the court concluded, the e-mail did not consitute a writing "subscribed by the party charged therewith."

Buckles Management, LLC v. InvestorDigs, LLC, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73000 (D. Colo. July 20, 2010) Download PDF

Editor’s Note: The court did not refer to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, which was enacted in Colorado in 2002; see Colorado Rev. Stat. 24-71.3-101, et seq. The Act contains provisions equivalent to the federal Act, including the language cited by the court in 15 U.S.C. § 7001(a)