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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.For obvious reasons, any request to backdate a document for these reasons should be flatly turned down.Backdating is dating any document by a date earlier than the one on which the document was originally drawn up.Legally speaking, this is something that you should not do – or more accurately, there will only ever rarely be occasions when this is appropriate to do.However in practice, for both good reasons and bad, backdating of documents does occur.A client or, in the case of an in house lawyer colleague (who for the purposes of this article will also be considered a client), asks you to prepare a document and then your heart sinks as he says “oh and it has to be dated” and gives a date which has already passed.Is it legal to comply with the request or must it always be refused outright?
If the date of the oral agreement was reached is somehow significant, then mention it in the recitals of the written contract.
Backdating allows executives to choose a past date when the market price was particularly low, thereby inflating the value of the options.
An example illustrates the potential benefit of backdating to the recipient.
The thing I liked about the Journal's treatment of the Alexander case was how the reporter managed to be respectful toward the Namibian legal system while at the same time hinting to readers that not every society has the same attitude toward Option backdating scandals: how management accountants can help: backdating of employee stock options can have a significant negative effect on a public company.
I am sure that from time to time we have all come across the vexed question of backdating documents.