Lockhart - a Charlotte Law Firm

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Signed, (SEAL)ed, Delivered

Signed, (SEAL)ed, Delivered

• By Ashe Lockhart
• February 17, 2009

>> Have you ever wondered why some contracts have “(SEAL)” printed at the end of a signature line? The use of (SEAL) as required for contracts in North Carolina has been abolished – as it has been in most other states. However, there are two reasons why (SEAL) is still a common device on a contract: (1) a contract “under seal” extends the statute of limitations for breach of contract from 3 to 10 years and (2) in North Carolina, a contract under seal is a substitute for consideration (which is what you offer in exchange for the other party’s performance of their obligation under the contract). Case law from the NC Supreme Court holds that if a contract is under seal, then a court may not inquire behind the seal as to whether there is consideration. The NC Court of Appeals has ruled, in contrast to our highest court, that a contract under seal creates only a rebuttable presumption of the existence of consideration. The use of (SEAL) is probably most commonly found in consumer boiler plate contracts – like cell phone contracts, auto loan documents and credit card agreements. But business documents do occasionally include the (SEAL) device on the signature line.

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Our Strategy

We focus on providing business owners, start-ups, small business and private companies with legal representation in business, corporate, mergers & acquisitions and technology matters, as well as estate planning and personal business services for individuals.

We operate under a streamlined overhead structure and do not have internal billing quotas, which is a dramatic departure from the traditional law firm. As a result, we serve only one master – the client.

We strive to deliver practical and useful services and solutions and apply legal theory to the real world.

In addition to being attorneys, we have worked in banking, financial services, nonprofits and military service. Our expertise and technical aptitude are informed by real life and not limited to fluent lawyer-ese.

Ashe Lockhart – Principal

Ashe Lockhart
Ashe works with:

  • small business
  • startups
  • emerging growth
  • technology and private companies in business, corporate and technology law, including:
    • business contacts
    • private placements
    • mergers & acquisitions
    • internet transactions

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The Mission

Our mission in life is to provide valuable, useful, practical legal services to businesses and individuals; to help our clients find opportunities in whatever they do; and to be engaged, responsible members of our families and communities.

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The Strategy





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