April 1, 2022

Many attorneys believe that only formal, fully executed agreements can be legally enforceable. But courts will often enforce unsigned agreements—in the form of term sheets, outlines, or email exchanges—even when the parties contemplate, but don’t execute, a more formal agreement. In these cases, the critical legal question is whether the parties intended the unsigned, preliminary agreement to be binding—even if they also intended to execute a more formal agreement later.

In this short video, Schlam Stone & Dolan partner Joshua Wurtzel discusses the circumstances under which courts will enforce unsigned, preliminary agreements, and explains how attorneys can structure these types of agreements to make it more—or less—likely that they will be enforced, even if a formal agreement never gets executed.