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Judge Orders Attorney To Study Notary Laws And Regulations

An attorney who notarized court affidavits without requiring the personal appearance of his signers has been ordered by a judge to hit the books and educate himself — and his entire staff — on state notarial laws and regulations.

Joseph P. Cerato was publicly reprimanded by the Supreme Court of South Carolina for submitting seven court affidavits that he had notarized without requiring the physical presence of the signers. Cerato said he thought speaking with the signers by telephone was sufficient, according to court documents.

In addition to the judge’s education mandate, Cerato was also required to pay court costs and complete a legal ethics course.

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