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Notary Bulletin

Managing Risk Amid The New Notary Landscape

With compliance and liability issues increasing dramatically, employers are faced with the need to set clear policies for their staff Notaries and to require sound recordkeeping and regular, formalized training to meet best practices requirements.

More and more businesses and risk-managers are becoming aware of the need to implement sound policies and best practices based on a recent judicial mandate holding employers liable for ensuring that their staff Notaries follow professional standards of care when carrying out their duties. The court ruled standards often go beyond what is spelled out in state law. These issues can be professionally managed with the right knowledge, which is why the NNA has opened a key session of its 2010 Conference in Chicago to employers of Notaries.

This information is so important that a special General Session at the Conference featuring an analysis of the Vancura v. Katris case is being offered without charge to employers of Notaries. The General Session, scheduled for Thursday June 17 at 9 a.m., will feature a discussion with Michael Closen, an attorney and leading expert in notarial best practices who testified as an expert witness before the Illinois Appellate Court.

In Vancura v. Katris, the Court ruled that an employer can be held liable for the misconduct of its Notary employees who are not properly trained or supervised. Employers now have a broad “common law” duty to protect the public from a Notary who fails to meet the standard of care outlined in the Model Notary Act, even if state law does not mandate that level of performance.

The session will detail employers’ responsibility to train and supervise staff Notaries and focus on creating notarial standards of care that protect the public, and protect themselves and their Notaries from liability.

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