Contract via Email

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Contract via Email

What exactly would need to be defined in emails to constitute a binding legal
contract NJ? Also, what would be the penalty for breaking such a contract?

Asked on February 25, 2017 under Business Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A contract requires:
1) A "meeting of the minds"--that there is agreement between two (or more) parties as to the essential or critical terms--if there is disagreement over the terms, there is no contract;
2) That agreement to the terms be clearly signaled--a party is not held to a contract unless the party has agreed to be held;
3) That there be an exchange of "consideration": each party gives the other something (which can be cash, other property or assets, promises to do something of value, or the giving up of an existing right or debt)--without an exchange of consideration, there is no contract. 
If the above elements exist, there is an enforceable contract. Otherwise, not.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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