Ambiguity in the law can cause seemingly innocuous backdating to inadvertently become inappropriate fabrication.
In addition to ambiguous law, a lawyer may also be faced with uncertain or unverifiable facts.
Additionally, as a matter of law, parties to a contract can make their agreement effective on a date of their choosing, as long as no third party’s rights are implicated.
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.
That the parties reached an agreement is usually clear.
However, the exact date of the agreement often is not, and the law may be ambiguous as to the moment when an agreement is reached.