1. If the parties did not wish to allow e-mail to serve as an appropriate method to modify the contract, what working could have been used in Steven’s employment agreement?
2. Could the principle that the court articulates apply in a negotiation via e-mail for the sale of goods? That is, if two parties are negotiating a price via e-mail and there is language of agreement by the parties, does that alone satisfy the statute of frauds even if no actual written contract with the parties’ signatures exists?
In a transaction to sell Steven’s public relations firm to Publicis, the parties entered an employment agreement whereby Stevens would be employed by Publicis as the CEO of the newly formed subsidiary, with the requirement that any modifications to the agreement had to be in writing and signed by both parties. Later, Publicis removed Stevens as CEO. An executive from Publicis and Stevens had subsequent e-mail exchanges regarding Stevens’ new role. The e-mail exchanges contained unambiguous terms of acceptance by Stevens and each e-mail transmission bore the typed name of the sender. Eventually, Stevens and Publicis had a breach of contract dispute and Stevens asserted the statute of frauds as an affirmative defense.