Backdating share

Insufficient or nonexistent records, human errors in recalling past events and injudicious reliance on the observations of others can all lead to backdating that misrepresents.A lawyer should be certain of the relevant facts before backdating a document.Drafting and executing a document after an event occurs, but in a manner that accurately reflects the date on which the event transpired, is a permissible form of backdating.This is backdating that memorializes, something the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has recognized as a legitimate practice.Consequently, backdating the document formalizing the agreement to the date the parties struck the deal can be precarious.If the agreement was reached earlier than the document’s date, the backdating memorializes; if the agreement was not reached until a later date, the backdating misrepresents.Yet, for the business lawyer, backdating documents is often not only permissible, but is a regular and necessary part of everyday practice.

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Staying in bounds Staying on the right side of the misrepresentation-memorialization line is critical.The media’s coverage of the stock option scandals caused the public to strongly associate backdating with corporate malfeasance.To the layperson, the term “backdating” is merely another word for lying, cheating, and stealing.An erroneous assessment of a client’s veracity, even if made innocently, can lead to severe consequences if the backdating perpetrates a fraud.

Prudent lawyers should refrain from backdating if they are uncertain about when the relevant acts took place.Misrepresentation versus memorialization Whether backdating a document is appropriate depends on the backdating’s “purpose and effect.” Backdating to perpetrate a fraud is obviously unethical and illegal.

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