notary (plural notaries)

  1. (legal, especially civil law) A lawyer of noncontentious private civil law who drafts, takes, and records legal instruments for private parties, and provides legal advice, but does not appear in court on clients' behalf.
    • 2007, John Howells, Don Merwin, Choose Mexico for Retirement, 10th edition ISBN 0762753544, page 49:
      Unlike the United States, where a notary public is often a clerk you find working in a bank or real estate office, a Mexican notary has a higher ranking than an ordinary attorney who is not a notary. (In Mexico all notaries are attorneys, but not all attorneys are notaries.)
    • 2007, John Merryman, Rogelio Pérez-Perdomo, The Civil Law Tradition, 3rd edition ISBN 0804768331, page 107:
      Although advocates sometimes get involved in drafting instruments, notaries continue to do most of this work in civil law nations.
    • 2008, Alienation of Church Wealth in Mexico: Social and Economic Aspects, page 63:
      It is not known whether any Puebla residents did go to the capital to bid for properties in their state because in such cases the purchases would have been formalized before a notary in Mexico City, [...]
  2. (common law) A notary public, a legal practitioner who prepares, attests to, and certifies documents, witnesses affidavits, and administers oaths.
  3. (legal, Canada, US) A lay notary public, who serves as an impartial witness to the signing of important documents, but who is not authorised to practise law.
    • 1904, The Bulletin of the Commercial Law League of America, volumes 9–18, page 29:
      The giving of legal advice by notaries and others who are not admitted to practice law is, in its opinion, dangerous to the welfare of the community, because such persons have not demonstrated their capacity [...]
    • 2004, Richard J. Rolwing, My Daily Constitution, volume IV ISBN 146280974X, page 182:
      "In 1961, there was a case Torcaso v. Watkins, in which a public notary in Maryland refused to take the oath, “so help me God,” and the court said he wasn't required to acknowledge God [although] the Maryland law said you were."
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