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The “novation” theory is distinct from the conflicting legal theory that views the first contract as having been rescinded and the “second” contract as a completely new contract requiring that it be dated as of the date the rewritten contract was signed. However, the dealer appealed to the Appellate Court, arguing that the trial Court had waited too long to change its mind and was legally obligated to enter its initial decision in favor of the dealership.

The Appellate Court agreed, and ordered the Trial Judge to reinstate his initial decision in favor of the dealership.

The dealership says that it has spent over a million dollars in the Raceway Ford defense, and that it intends to recover its attorney fees from the plaintiffs, encouraging the losing plaintiffs who might be on the hook for the fees to sue their attorney for legal malpractice.

Stay tuned for continuing developments in this remarkable litigation. Miles is founding attorney with The Miles Law Firm, A Professional Corporation.

However, prior to the publication of on July 15, 2010, retired Judge Dallas Holmes issued an earlier decision in the Raceway Ford case on April 16, 2010, rejecting the backdating legal theory.

Instead, Judge Holmes agreed with the dealership that the rewritten contract constituted a “novation” of the original contract.

Backdating documents occurs for several different reasons.

Sometimes it's possible to describe a situation in the contract's body without needing to backdate it, which is preferred.

Many jurisdictions allow an earlier contract effective date than the one that's signed, but it's not always advisable.

In 1999, he resigned as France’s minister of economy and finance, to focus on his defence against an accusation that he backdated documents to justify his consultancy fees for work on a student health insurance fund. A person is guilty of forgery if he makes a false instrument, with the intention that he or another shall use it to induce somebody to accept it as genuine, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to his own or any other person’s prejudice.

Accordingly, mis-dating a contract could amount to an offence under this Act.

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Despite decision could put the brakes on at least a half dozen similar lawsuits against dealers throughout the state as legal analysts wait for the Fourth District to provide further guidance.

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