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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
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Posted: June 15, 2017

Exchange of E-mails Did Not Create Binding Contract

On June 7, 2017, the Second Department issued a decision in Saul v. Vidokle, 2017 NY Slip Op. 04485, holding that an exchange of e-mails did not create a binding contract, explaining:

The emails relied upon by the plaintiff to establish the alleged agreement among the parties for the purchase of the defendant’s apartment were insufficient to satisfy the statute of frauds, as they left for future negotiations essential terms of the contemplated contract, such as a down payment, the closing date, the quality of title to be conveyed, the risk of loss during the sale period, and adjustments for taxes and utilities, and were subject to the execution of a more formal contract of sale. Contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, in the emails exchanged by and between the parties and the defendant’s attorney, the parties expressly anticipated the execution of a formal contract. Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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