The statute of frauds is a venerable doctrine in real estate law, requiring most real estate contracts to be in writing. But in the age of tweets, texts and instant messages, do such informal communications qualify as "writings"?
The California Legislature attempted to answer that question with Assembly Bill 2136, which took effect Jan. 1 this year. It provides the "ephermeral" electronic communications, such as text messages and IMs, don't satisfy the statute's requirements for writings-meaning a contract reached using those kinds of communications may not be enforceable.
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