Like the Saskatchewan farmer who was ordered to pay $82,000 after agreeing to a contract with a simple emoji, you may have already given your consent without realizing it.
In an interview with LCN, Alter Lexis Lawyer Inc. Founder Me Alexandre Langlois commented on a recent decision by a Saskatchewan judge before discussing the Quebec reality of contract approval.
“The judge ruled by confirming the new reality of the communications,” argued Mi Langlois.
The lawyer noted that many people in the business community are now sending each other contracts and other legal documents via text message or email. This fact led the judge to decide that the thumbs up emoji was equivalent to a handwritten signature.
A judgment given, which can be overturned even on appeal, does not become a new norm, opined Me Alexandre Langlois.
“It’s case by case. It’s not an absolute rule established by a judge in Saskatchewan,” he explained.
Furthermore, the common law in Quebec differs from that in Saskatchewan, but counsel believes this article serves as a reminder that even here, signature is not the only way to ratify a contract.
“What matters in the law of contract is the intention of the parties. To reach this conclusion, you have to ask yourself what the real intention of the parties was, and the judge concluded that this inch was worth accepting the entire agreement,” said Mi Langlois.
The latter also suggests that we should be more wary of electronic exchanges of contracts.
“I already give advice to my clients, especially in business,” says the lawyer.
In Quebec, a signature translates into a logo or image that corresponds to its endorser, which opens more doors than a traditional signature.
A simple oral agreement works like a contract.
“But even if we use this signature, it is worth accepting the contract as a whole and there is an agreement, as soon as there is an exchange of consent between the parties, whether there is a writing or not”, emphasized Me Alexandre Langlois.
To watch the full interview, watch the video above.