- For Attorneys
A contract requires a knowing acceptance of the terms it contains. Typically, acceptance is made by the parties signing the contract. If acceptance is lacking, such as by a forged signature, a valid contract cannot be formed. A party may not unilaterally change the terms of a contract without the acceptance of the other party to the contract.
It will be a matter for the court to determine the enforcability of the contract, based on all the facts and documents involved. If forgery of a signature is proven, a valid acceptance will not be found and the contract will not be enforceable. Rescission is the name for the remedy that terminates the contractual duties of both parties, while reformation is the name for the remedy that allows courts to change the substance of a contract to correct inequities that were suffered. In order to have a rescission, both parties to the contract must be placed in the position they occupied before the contract was made. Courts have held that a party may rescind a contract for fraud, incapacity, duress, undue influence, material breach in performance of a promise, or mistake, among other grounds.