Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Making an NDA With Someone in Remote Location

Dear Rich: Can you advise me as to the best process for arranging a non disclosure agreement with a party in a remote location? Can the agreement be signed and attached in an email? Would this be sufficient or is an original necessary?
Thanks to the federal e-signature law, contracts that are signed and executed electronically are as valid and enforceable as paper contracts. All you need to do is email it to the remote party who emails it back with an electronic signature. People use different types of e-signatures, including typing the signer's name into the signature area, pasting in a scanned version of the signer's signature, clicking an "I accept" button, typing in the name between forward slashes, or using cryptographic "scrambling" technology.
Jurisdiction: Where does the remote party reside? Always keep in mind that enforcing the agreement -- that is, keeping your secrets a secret -- requires a lawsuit. If you are suing an American worker -- even one temporarily at a remote location outside U.S. borders -- you're okay because U.S. courts have jurisdiction over those who reside in the U.S. But if the NDA is with a foreign national or a foreign company with insufficient ties to the U.S., you may have difficulty enforcing your agreement, especially if you must sue in a foreign country. It may help to include an injunctive relief provision and a foreign arbitration provision.