Can a single signature bind a bilateral contract? 8 Answers as of March 26, 2014

Hello. I run a small business and was contacted by a campus organization from a local university to provide a service on a set date in the future. They sent me a contract detailing cost among others which I agreed to, so I signed and returned the contract via email. About two weeks later, I receive an email from the organization's representative telling me that they are not able to afford the cost and will source the service elsewhere. In response, I said that I have already allocated time for their event thus even if they have changed their mind they would have to compensate me for missing out on other opportunities. I reminded the rep that we were bound by a contract and she said because she didn't sign the contract, it is not valid. Is she right?

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Busch Ruotolo Simpson LLP | Noah Henry Simpson
It depends on what language is in (or not in) your written contract.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/26/2014
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
The more important question is did the contract state that it was an offer by to them. Large entities will do that on a regular basis. If it was an offer by you, then they did not accept the offer. You might have a claim, but I suggest you run the issue by a local attorney to go over the contract and the correspondence to see if you have a claim.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 3/25/2014
Strouse Legal Services | James C. Strouse
The contract is valid, but you have to figure how much time it would take to sue the University. You can sue the University in small claims court assuming the contract is for less than $10,000(in Maryland).
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 3/25/2014
KEYL ADR Services, LLC | Mark D. Keyl
In order to have a contract you must have a meeting of the minds. In your case, you tendered an offer for services, however you never received an acceptance from the other party. You did not have a meeting of the minds, therefore no contract.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 3/25/2014
WILLIAM L SANDERS, ATTORNEY AT LAW | William L. Sanders
The answer is governed more by the agreement of the parties, rather than the formalities of the writing, since, under GA law, the contract need not be in writing. I do not have enough facts to answer your questions, but I suspect there was no agreement in fact between the parties, meaning you have no remedy at law. To give you a reliable answer, I would need to know more facts. If the amount is substantial, you should go see an attorney that handles these type of cases. I do not.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/25/2014
    Law Office of Richard Winkler | Richard Winkler
    Allocating time is probably not compensable. With only one signature, you do not have a binding contract.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 3/25/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    See an attorney, need the details but I preliminarily think the detail specs with pricing was the offer and your return of it signed the acceptance.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/25/2014
    Fox & Fox, S.C. | Richard F. Rice
    It is possible that your acceptance of the campus organization's contract could be a binding contract. Contact an attorney to review the contract and your overall situation
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 3/25/2014
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