August 24, 2008
posted by Gary Rosin
The Legal Profession Blog notes a recent Bar public reprimand of a lawyer who notarized a durable power-of-attorney even though the lawyer did not see the Principal sign the document. Apparently, the lawyer drafted the power for a friend whose mother was hospitalized at the time. The power, of course, appointed the friend as the mother's agent. I'm sure it was a general power-of-attorney. The problem? Ma didn't sign the power, did no even know about it, and had to hire a lawyer to recover the funds "friend" misappropriated.
With luck, the lawyer isn't always that stupid. When I was in practice, I was preparing some sort of document. The client signed, but not before a notary. One of the staff asked if s/he should notarize it. I explained that notaries put their names on the line; in effect, they are swearing that they that they saw the person sign.
The lawyer here will be luck if things stop with a public reprimand. How about losing the notary license? I bet that criminal charges could be brought, as well.
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