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Attorney acting a notary at the same time

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Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Arizona
There is nothing inherently illegal about an attorney being a notary, and vice-versa.

Please respond to this thread without using the "preview" function if you need further information.
 

Mommasita

Junior Member
my post didn’t go through, here is the question

In a divorce husband hires an attorney whom is also a notary. Attorney drafts a lengthy settlement agreement including 9 warranty deeds and a default dissolution. Wife has no counsel because husband threatened her. Wife signs all the documents and husbands attorney’s office and attorney acts as notary for both client and his wife. Is it illegal for the notary to notarize documents that they drafted and have their law firm and their name which they received personal financial gain in doing so?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
In a divorce husband hires an attorney whom is also a notary. Attorney drafts a lengthy settlement agreement including 9 warranty deeds and a default dissolution. Wife has no counsel because husband threatened her. Wife signs all the documents and husbands attorney’s office and attorney acts as notary for both client and his wife. Is it illegal for the notary to notarize documents that they drafted and have their law firm and their name which they received personal financial gain in doing so?
It is not inherently illegal.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
It is not inherently illegal.
While not inherently illegal based on the two links provided on this thread I do believe that this particular attorney violated the rules. I would not notarize anything where I was going to receive a benefit, no matter how small.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Just to be clear for the OP - all that the notarization means is that he witnessed you signing the document. What are you trying to accomplish? You are not claiming that you didn't sign the document, so there's really nothing wrong here, is there?

Let's assume, hypothetically (because I don't think it's likely that the attorney did anything wrong), that the attorney didn't properly notarize the document. What do you hope to accomplish?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
While not inherently illegal based on the two links provided on this thread I do believe that this particular attorney violated the rules. I would not notarize anything where I was going to receive a benefit, no matter how small.
I agree about not notarizing anything whereby I received a benefit, but what benefit do you think the attorney received by this? Just being paid to represent one person or the other doesn't count.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Here is a link specific to Arizona. See page 13 of the notary manual for prohibited conduct:

http://www.azsos.gov/sites/default/files/notary_manual_and_cover_march_2018_03.pdf

The attorney should not have notarized the documents.
Quincy - I don't see how you come to that conclusion. Would you care to expand on it?

ETA: The handbook even acknowledges that an attorney can notarize a document they prepare, but does say that the Secretary of State office recommends that an attorney not notarize a document that he prepares because it can "... casts doubt on the impartiality of the notarization." Not because it's illegal or improper. Sure, the attorney may have some questions to answer, but so long as he can show that both were present at the time their respective signatures were affixed to the document, then there's going to be no problem.
 
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LdiJ

Senior Member
I agree about not notarizing anything whereby I received a benefit, but what benefit do you think the attorney received by this? Just being paid to represent one person or the other doesn't count.
He is getting paid to do what is in the best interest of his client. I believe its improper. I would not notarize anything that I prepared.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
He is getting paid to do what is in the best interest of his client. I believe its improper. I would not notarize anything that I prepared.
Fair enough - and I agree with you insofar as saying that I wouldn't do it either. It is not, however, improper in every instance, and I don't believe it's improper in this instance.
 
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