The Finer Points of Serving as an Attorney-Notary

The Finer Points of Serving as an Attorney-Notary

By Christopher D. Caspary Henry J. Heinz, American entrepreneur and businessman, once remarked that “to do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.” The designation of notary public has a long and distinguished history that dates back approximately 1500 years. Today, documents are notarized with regularity and presented or required in a variety of proceedings and applications. Though notarizations are commonplace, notarial guidelines can be complex and specific processes and procedures are statutorily mandated pursuant to R.C. 147.07 et seq. Sounds like we may need to play a little ketchup. Becoming a Notary For starters, attorneys are not automatically notaries. Instead, attorneys must be additionally appointed and commissioned by the state through an application process. Notably, the application process occurs at the county level. Attorneys must be officially commissioned prior to notarizing any document. Seal & Register Prior to notarizing any document, a notary “shall provide themselves with the seal of a notary public.” See R.C. 147.04. Specifically, the statute provides: The seal shall consist of the coat of arms of the state within a circle one inch in diameter and shall be surrounded by the words “notary public,” “notarial seal,” or words to that effect, the name of the notary public and the words “State of Ohio.”  The seal may be of either a type that will stamp ink onto a document or one that will emboss it.  the name of the notary public may, instead of appearing on the seal, be printed, typewritten or stamped in legible, printed letters near his signature on each document signed by him. Acknowledgment vs. Jurat the specific nature of the notarization depends upon...
Practical Tips for Trial Attorneys

Practical Tips for Trial Attorneys

  When I was in law school and took criminal procedure, the focus of the course was on the adjudication process.  Based on what I have seen as a trial judge, I don’t think that focus has changed.  And it’s obviously important that criminal defense attorneys understand the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, how to file proper pretrial motions, and how to raise constitutional issues regarding searches and seizures.  But the fact of the matter is that most criminal cases are adjudicated not by a trial or be winning a pretrial motion but by the entry of a plea of guilty or no contest. What this means is that if you do criminal defense work, most times you will be representing a defendant at a sentencing who has been found guilty by a plea and not by a trial.  For those defendants, the sentencing hearing is far and away the most important part of their criminal case.  It is that hearing that will determine whether the defendant goes to prison, or gets probation.  If the hearing is for an offense that carries a mandatory prison sentence, then the hearing will determine how long of a prison sentence that the defendant will serve. Too often I think that attorneys feel that that judge already knows what sentence he or she is likely to impose.  While this is true in many cases, it is certainly not true in all cases.  If you are representing a criminal defendant at a sentencing hearing there are several things you can do to increase your client’s chances of receiving probation or a shorter rather than...
Litigation

Litigation

Litigation is so much more than the term “lawsuit”.  There are so many factors that go into litigation.  In this series of blog posts, we will explore the different kinds of litigation and also share advice from litigators and judges.  Litigation support is an indispensable part of the process.  We will be covering the different kinds of litigation support (such as court reporting) and a variety of tools that can help you win your case.  If there are any questions you have about our services, or litigation in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me through our online chat function on the homepage of our website.  ...
Guest Authors

Guest Authors

Guest authors bring a unique perspective to our blog. They are an invaluable part of the legal community here in Cleveland, Ohio and around the country. The guests who we have chosen know how “do the lawyering” much better than I do, and we sincerely appreciate them lending their expertise to share with all of our dear readers and enhancing the legal profession. Would you like to be featured on the blog? Sent me a message via the live chat function on our website. We would love to hear from you!   Here are some of our previous guest authors. Click to access their articles. Adrian Thompson of Taft Stettinius Richik Sarkar of McGlinchy Stafford Judge James L. Kimbler...