Far too often I'm asked this question: "What is the difference between notaries in Louisiana and notaries everywhere else?" Well, this is a great question.
Here in Louisiana, we are considered Civil Law Notaries. Every other notary (meaning in the other 49 states of this country) are Notaries Public. Here's the difference. Wikipedia gives a wonderful definition, which I will paraphrase below:
Civil Law Notaries draft, take and record legal instruments and are vested as public officials with the authentication power of the State. Unlike Notaries Public, Civil Law Notaries are highly trained, licensed practitioners providing a full range of regulated legal services. Civil Law Notaries often receive the same education as attorneys at civil law but without qualifications in procedural law.
In other words, Civil Law Notaries are trained in civil law, must know civil law but are not practicing the law as an attorney does. We can, however, prepare the same documents but can't appear before a judge on your behalf. In essence, our role is limited to drafting, authenticating and registering certain types of transactional or legal instruments.
The most common areas of practice for Civil Law Notaries are in residential and commercial conveyancing and registration, contract drafting, company formation, successions, estate planning and powers of attorney.
So, as I've always said, unless you are appearing in court and your document needs to be signed by a judge, please see a Civil Law Notary. You can receive the same level of expertise without paying the expertise fees charged by attorneys.
All Posts Written by: Shannon Barnes
Shannon Barnes is a Louisiana civil law notary, having statewide jurisdiction and over 25 years of legal experience. This blog is designed to provide knowledge and information not ordinarily obtained through conventional means.