Best practice for periodic key change?

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Sun May 8 04:21:41 CEST 2011

On 05/07/2011 09:50 PM, David Shaw wrote:
> Incidentally, speaking of bitmap signatures - a "signature" made via 
> a rubber stamp of a signature can be binding under certain 
> circumstances as well (at least in the US - I don't know about 
> elsewhere).

Within the U.S., the standard doesn't involve signatures /qua/
signatures.  It involves making a mark on a document to express your
will.  A contract signed with a simple mark of "X" is still legally binding.

There's some hoary old story that was, once upon a time, taught in law
schools: but Dad went through law school fifty years ago, so maybe it's
fallen out of fashion.  It involved a lawsuit brought against a bank by
two farmers (in Vermont, I think).  The first farmer owed the second a
quantity of money, so the farmer picked up a grease pen and wrote on a
pumpkin, "Pay this man $10 from my checking account."  The second
farmer took it to the bank.  The bank refused to honor the check.  The
two Vermont farmers were too stubborn to budge: it was a valid legal
document and no rich banker was going to tell them otherwise.  The bank
refused to budge: if a *pumpkin* can become a valid check-writing
instrument, what will that do to their bookkeeping process?

The trial court ruled in favor of the farmers.

(Warning: secondhand information passed on from a source recalling a
story he heard fifty years ago.  I'm led to believe the legal principles
involved are still accurate in today's legal climate, but time and
memory may have made this story a bit apocryphal.)

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