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/s/ Conformed Signatures

The use of conformed signatures, with '/s/' followed by a typed name, e.g., '/s/ John R. Smith', has been common for a long time, and will be more widespread now than ever with so many attorneys working from home. Be sure to know the correct term to use for this form of signing. 'Electronic signature' can describe a digital image of a handwritten signature, but should also be a method that allows for the detection of any changes to a document after the signature is applied, and provide a key the signer can use to verify his or her identity. A 'digital signature' is a type of electronic signature that uses encryption to confirm the identity of the signer.

Some courts specify that a conformed signature can substitute for an actual signature on a legal filing. The Northern District of California on its website states that, "A conformed signature is used to indicate that a 'real' signature is in place of an original.", but requires a signature attestation for conformed signatures used on documents filed by another attorney. The attestation can be added at the end of the filing, or be appended as a separate document.

Delaware law allows filings for businesses to use conformed signatures. "Any signature on any certificate authorized to be filed with the Secretary of State under any provision of this chapter may be a facsimile, a conformed signature or an electronically transmitted signature." 6 Del. C. § 17-206.


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