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E-Signatures, Part 2. Practical Tips Regarding Use.


The responses to my first blog post regarding electronic signatures have generally confirmed what I was already thinking about the topic—many lawyers have been accepting electronic signatures and operating under the protections of UETA and SIGN without even knowing it.  Given the positive feedback based on my last post, I’ve decided to do a second blog entry on the topic with more of an emphasis on practice pointers. I’ve practiced commercial real estate law for almost 7 years now (6 ½ of those with one of the premiere real estate law firms in the Southeast), but I’ve never seen a big or small law firm utilize a program such as Docusign, Echosign, or Yozens for purposes of contract or closing documentation in the commercial real estate context.  On the flip side, 4 months ago, my residential broker in Atlanta used an electronic signature program for document execution when we sold […]

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E-Signatures, Part 1. Can an Electronic Signature or an Exchange of E-mails create the Basis for a Binding Contract?


There is unquestionably a trend toward greater use of Adobe, Docusign, Yozens, and other means of electronic signature for purposes of execution of legal documents and other correspondence.  A simple Google search reveals dozens of vendors offering e-signature services.  My clients, more and more often, are asking me whether they need to send originals or not when it comes time to execute legal documents.  The concern is one of cost and convenience.  Who wants to print a long document, sign numerous originals, then pay for overnight delivery service (which can cost up to $30 for Fedex) when a signed document can be sent electronically with the touch of a button?  The question is whether these electronic agreements are legal and enforceable.  The short answer: In most cases, originals are not necessary. Recognizing the need for certainty in e-commerce, forty-seven states have now passed some version of the Uniform Electronic Transactions […]

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5 Critical Diligence Items for the Purchaser of Multi-Family Real Estate


A client engaged me this week to assist with the purchase of a multi-family apartment complex in Atlanta, Georgia, which gave me a chance to dust off my multi-family due diligence and closing checklist.  Purchases of operating real estate assets (whether multi-family, office, industrial, or retail) come with many of the same issues.  All types of commercial real estate require similar purchase contract documents and diligence materials.  However, multi-family deals include a few additional items that wouldn’t normally be seen in other types of properties.  After reviewing my checklist, these are the 5 most important distinctions regarding multi-family purchases that stuck out to me: Purchasers should always review police reports for the last 2 years related to the property (particularly if the property is in a low-income area).  A purchaser may not necessarily want to purchase an asset that was the scene of a double-homicide last week or known for […]

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Post #1 for The Commercial Real Estate Attorney Blog


As many of you know, we launched our new law firm, Thompson Burton PLLC, on April 1, 2012. We put tremendous energy in getting our primary website up and running for the week of our law firm launch. Since then, in addition to servicing our clients and addressing countless start up issues, I’ve been working daily on this Commercial Real Estate Attorney web page.  We explained our strategy somewhat in Episode 1 of our video blog.  No client has ever interacted with a practice area, so we decided to use “Brand” pages instead.  The Brand pages are meant to promote an interactive experience between the attorneys practicing in a certain field and whomever needs the information.  This blog is the “Brand” page for commercial real estate.  I have high hopes for the site and plan to post useful information regularly dealing with commercial real estate, distressed real estate assets, and […]

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