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August 24, 2008

On Notarizations

     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.

August 24, 2008 in Agency Cases | Permalink

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