Washington Law Review


Washington’s Electronic Signature Act: An Anachronism in the New Millennium

March 01, 2013 | 88 Wash. L. Rev. 559

Abstract:  Today, electronic contracting is at the forefront of how consumers, governments, and businesses conduct their affairs. Over the last several decades, electronic contracting has taken on new forms that have raised doubts about contract formation and enforceability. In order to facilitate commerce, the federal government and forty-nine states have responded by passing legislation that gives broad legal recognition to electronic signatures. Washington State is currently the only state that has not updated its electronic signature statute to comport with modern technology and ways of doing business. As a result, Washington’s Electronic Authentication Act is likely preempted by federal law, and it presents an uncertain environment for electronic contracting. This Comment argues that Washington should join the overwhelming majority of states in adopting the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act to optimize its statutory framework for facilitating electronic contracting.

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