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December 11, 2019

A Star Notary Is Born

Filed under: Andy Cowan — admin @ 8:34 am

There have now been four, count them, four “A Star is Born” movies. Janet Gaynor…Judy Garland…Barbra Streisand… and of course, Lady Gaga. Which can only mean one thing… it’s time for another Star is Born movie. A Star Notary Is Born!

BRAD
(the veteran notary with a drinking problem)
Leave it to me to provide for a secure signature on an electronic document, one that proves the signature belongs to you.”

ELLEN
(up and coming notary)
Could that be called a “Digital Signature?”

BRAD
Say! You’re right. That was mighty fast. You might just have the talent to be a professional notary!

ELLEN
Do you really think so?

BRAD
I know so.

BRAD, SHAKES AND ALL, TRIPS AND FALLS.

ELLEN
Are you all right?

BRAD
Yes, I’m all right! Why, do you think I’m not all right? You think you’re better than I am?

ELLEN
(crying)
No, I swear I didn’t mean that!

ELLEN SWEARS UNDER OATH THAT SHE DIDN’T MEAN THAT. BRAD, RECOGNIZING EVEN MORE ELLEN’S TRUE CALLING, TELLS HER SHE’S A STAR. BRAD ENTERS REHAB. ELLEN ENTERS A HOME FOR HER FIRST SIGNING

THE END

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December 8, 2019

Notary Commencement Speech

Filed under: Andy Cowan — admin @ 8:13 am

Notary Commencement Speech

Greetings, Notary Class of 2019. Today marks the first day of your journey into adulthood. And driving to signings where a signer’s dog treats your leg like a lover.

Take pride in what you’ve accomplished to get to this moment. Not the parents “bribing- us-to-take-you-in” part. The certified copy of your diploma awaits you. I, as the Custodian of the Document, will be presenting the document, although I may or may not be the document signer or party named in the document. At Notary College, we don’t mess around. The University President who signed your diplomas wasn’t coerced into signing them. In that case, it was a free act and deed. Although with the student debt you’ll be paying off for the next thirty years, it was anything but “free.”

As you go through life, remember to always give back. Unless we’re talking about chewed on pens. Those you can keep. And we’re not about to give back the fifty grand you still owe us. So chew on that.

The only thing greater than the power of higher education is Power of Attorney. Or the Principal, the person who signs the power of attorney to allow the attorney-in-fact to have certain powers to act on behalf of the principal. Or the power of flipping off drivers who cut you off on the way to a signing. Or power naps. They’re incredibly powerful as the dozens of you who dozed when I started speaking would attest to if you weren’t busy snoring right now.

In closing, never let your interest in documents expire. Never let your commission expire. And take your years of college protest and turn them into an actual “protest”: a formal declaration made by a notary declaring a default in payment on a promissory note. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my speech has been boring enough for me to join you in that power nap!

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A dream about Michelle Obama’s inspirational speech
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I have a dream – notary version
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December 5, 2019

The 50th Notary High School Reunion

Filed under: Andy Cowan — admin @ 6:09 am

The 50th Notary High School Reunion

What could be more exciting than attending the biggest notary high school reunion of them all, the big 5-0? A chance to feel great that the cool kids grew up to be old and dumpy. And the geeks grew up to be old and dumpy. It’s the 50th. You were expecting “svelte?”

Jill: Hi?? … (noticing Jack’s notary high school picture nametag): Ohhhhh… Jack! Sorry for your loss.

Jack: Yeah, I went bald in notary college. You still look hot.

Jill: Thanks!

Jack: As in hot flash.

Jill: Menopause happened back in my fifties, so I’ll take that as a compliment. Are you still performing Notarial Acts?

Jack: I still witness signatures. The ones my kids make trying to sign me into a home.

Jill: At 68, they’re trying to put you in a nursing home? That’s not very nice.

Jack: I’m joking. I retired last year. Made a killing.

Jill: That’s great. How did you do it?

Jack: I was a notary specialist. My clients were all octopuses. Eight arms. Eight signatures.

Jill: That adds up. Remember our teachers in Notary Junior High? Mr. Guther?

Jack: How could I forget? He suspended me for embossing my private parts.

Jill: Oh yeah! You were a wild kid.

Jack: But I got an A in shop class for making the stamping device.

Jill: You affixed it to a tangible record, all right.

Jack: Weren’t you a cheerleader back then?

Jill: I sure was. I still remember our chant. “Give me an A, give me an F, give me an F, give me an I, give me a D, give me an A, give me a V, give me an I, give me a T, what’s that spell?

Jack: Affidavit?

Jill: I don’t know. I was a great cheerleader but a lousy speller.

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November 23, 2019

Trump Rallies the Notary-publicans

Filed under: Andy Cowan — admin @ 5:53 am

Trump Rallies the Notary-publicans

President Trump took his reelection campaign to the heart of notary country today to try to rally his base.

DJT: Look at this crowd of notaries! This is an even bigger crowd than the crowd who showed up for my Inaugural. There must be dozens and dozens of you. Whoever booked me for this time waster, as in my old job… “You’re fired.”

I’ve gotten more done for notaries in my first two and a half years than Presidents Obama and Bush put together. The numbers of jobs for notaries witnessing the signings of executive orders putting immigrant kids in cages is through the roof, am I right? And it’s a beautiful, fantastic roof. Almost as beautiful as the wall I’m pretending to build I pretended Mexico would pay for.

I see a lot of credible witnesses in the crowd. I’m talking about a third person who personally knows the document signer and verifies the signer’s identity. And look, there’s the anything but credible witness, Don Junior. Chin up, Don. Oh, it’s already up? I couldn’t see it – it’s a very weak chin. Takes after one of my ex-wives, not me. Except for the “anything but credible” part. There he’s a chip off the old block.

We’re gonna have fantastic Errors and Omissions insurance for all you notaries. That’s because I want to protect a notary from any mistake that causes a financial loss to a client, so you won’t be sued for recovery, okay? I know all about being sued. You know who needs Errors and Omissions insurance? The fake news. I see you out there. CNN. MSNBC. They omit things all the time. Like how unbelievable fantastic I am. They make errors all the time. Like that footage of me walking up to Air Force One with toilet paper stuck on my shoe. It wasn’t toilet paper!

It was the Constitution. By the time I got done trampling over it, it looked like toilet paper, okay? And there was no collusion. No obstruction. That last one was a lie but I throw you so many, who can keep up?

And the Dems want to impeach me, because they’re bad, bad, disgusting, horrible people. And I’ll never resign. Whereas if you notaries resign your commission, you have to notify the Secretary of State’s office within 30 days. And not Secretary of State Crooked Hillary. That’s right…“Lock her up!” “Lock her up!” Wait, you’re not chanting it right. It’s “her,” not “him.” Stop chanting “Lock him up!” I’m not rooming with that mouth breather Michael Cohen! Forget it. Or Manafort. Do you know he dyes his hair?

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October 13, 2019

Seven Tips for Choosing a Lawyer in a Personal Injury Case

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — admin @ 10:43 am

Seven Tips for Choosing a Lawyer in a Personal Injury Case
When choosing a personal injury lawyer for your case, there are many things that you need to take into consideration. If you have been injured and want the compensation that you are entitled to, you need to find a lawyer that knows exactly how to win your case and has experience in similar cases. Here are seven tips for choosing a lawyer for your personal injury case.

Location
Before you focus on anything else, you need to make sure that the lawyer you want can practice within your area. For those who live in Pennsylvania, you need to find a trustworthy Lehigh Valley personal injury lawyer such as those who work at Trapani Law Firm.

Track History
If you want to know the likelihood of a lawyer winning your case, you need to check their track history and see how many cases they have won, as well as what these cases entailed. Finding a personal injury lawyer who wins the cases they take on is essential, but you should also be aware that some lawyers only decide to take on the cases they know they will win, meaning this is just one thing that you need to consider.

Relevant Experience
Experience provides you with a sense of stability and allows clients to check the track history and understand more about how a lawyer works. While all lawyers need to start somewhere, when dealing with a personal injury case it is best to stick to a lawyer with relevant experience.

Disciplinary Record
A disciplinary record is essentially what it says on the tin. This record can inform you of any complaints that the lawyer may have received and can also provide information such as if the lawyer has ever been disbarred or suspended. If you have already met with the lawyer and they are ticking the right boxes, it may be worth discussing with them what happened with a complaint they received and how they dealt with it. Unfortunately, clients can sometimes file a complaint even when the lawyer has done everything within their power to assist them, so it is best to determine the root cause of the complaint before ruling a lawyer out completely. You can find information regarding a disciplinary record about any lawyer online.

Practice Years
Those who have been in the profession for a long time will have great experience and will understand a personal injury case better than anyone. If your case is especially complex, finding a lawyer with many years of experience is even more important to enable you to win your case and gain the compensation that you deserve.

Reputation
Finding a personal injury lawyer with a good reputation means that you are more likely to trust them with your case. You can check reviews on most law firm websites and you may also be able to find reviews online. A personal injury lawyer who has a good reputation within the state may be able to get your case solved more quickly as they are known throughout the courts. Finding positive reviews from previous clients can enable you to feel more at ease as it can be hard to judge someone on a first meeting. You may also want to ask the personal injury lawyer upon your first meeting if they have any client testimonials for you to read through.

Focus
Personal injury cases are all unique, and so you may want to find a lawyer that has a special focus on your personal injury case. It may be that you were involved in a slip and fall accident and so finding a lawyer that has focused on similar cases is ideal. You can usually find this out on their website or by speaking to the lawyer directly.

Following these seven tips you can find a personal injury lawyer that is perfect for your needs and your case.

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October 3, 2019

Help!…getting a divorced but husband has my stamp!

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:19 pm

Got a call form a frantic notary that is in the mist of a seemingly nasty divorce. She has a question and it is obvious right away that she is clueless as to what her notary laws are. She states that she may be calling the wrong place but her husband has her seal. She also wants to know if she is still an active notary? I’m thinking; “Oh boy”. I told her first off lets address the fact that you should know that your seal an journali (if required or not to keep one) is to remain with YOU at ALL TIMES in a secure locked location and secondly, you should be fully aware whether your commission is active or not. I mean if she doesn’t know (besides the SOS who would know) And, I am sure they will think it odd of her to be asking. I can’t for the life of me understand why folks are so lax and nonchalant with their seals. The power of the seal is enormous. It can create havoc on peoples lives and cause many financial problems.

In my humble opinion, it seems to me that if you are going to take on such a responsibility being a notary public that you would try at the very least to learn everything you can about being a notary public for your state. There are what I call the ‘rules of engagement’ and one should do their best to know them. Once you become a notary public you are considered a government official and you need to know what you ‘can and cannot do’. There are rules to be followed and you should know them.

It really terrifies me that we have thousands of notaries throughout the county that have no clue of what they are doing. They just tell me that they want to make a quick buck, or its just a side hustle or I just what to do loans. There is way more to being a notary then making a fast buck, etc. There can be financial devastation to you and/or others if you don’t know what you are doing. If you mess up someones paperwork it will be on you. And if you leave your stamp just laying around ‘willy nilly and it is used for fraud god forbid that to, will be on you. So for her to leave her stamp with her soon to be ex-husband was IMO gross negligence and I told her so. I recommended that she contact her husband immediately and secure her seal and journal (if he had that as well).

Please folks read your handbooks and learn all you can. It’s WAY more to being a notary than making a fast buck or side money….

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September 28, 2019

For God’s sake take a notary class. (if you can find one)

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:15 pm

Got a call today from a new notary in Texas with a question. The first thing I ask her was how long she had been a notary. She is brand new-only a couple of months. I let her know (just like everyone else) that she needs to know her notary laws. She was not aware that this was of the utmost importance but then none of the new notaries do. They are foccused on loan signing. Never realizing that without basic knowledge of their notary laws they will fail and make countless errors. Definitely not a good way to start a business. So while we were talking, another notary called in. I ask her to hold and answered the call. Ironically, it just so happened to be another notary also from Texas that had a question on how to fill out a notary acknowledgment. She tells me that she pulled an acknowledgment off the internet and was perplexed as to how to fill it out.

I let her know, I just so happened to have another notary from Texas on the phone and it might be a teaching moment for the both of them and would she mind if I merged her into our conversation since they both were new ( I assumed this based on the question she was asking) and from Texas. She readily agreed and I merged the calls. I introduced them to one another and then asked the notary who had the acknowledgment question to to proceed with her question.

The notary had received an assignment to print a 3-4 page document, travel to the signer, have him sign, notarize and scan back to the attorney for a fee of 80.00. (decent fee btw.) She completed the assignment but for some reason (it is not clear why) she gave the notarized page to the signer. When she returned home from the job she realized her error and proceeded to find an acknowledgment certificate online and was trying to fill it out. I asked he how long she had been a notary and she stated that she had been a notary sine 1988. No disrespect to her but I find that to be a little disingenuous and very hard to believe considering the circumstances. To be a notary that long you would know what to do.

First off why she gave the notary acknowledgement to the client speaks volumes on its own. This is a rookie move; a person who has no clue as to what they are doing. Secondly, to not know how to fill out the notarial section is another rookie move. I told her that she should really consult her handbook as to what goes where. Hopefully, they address how to fill out a notarial certificate. I also let her know that she could take a picture of the acknowledgement and I would be more than happy to go through it with her. However, her best option would be to get off the phone with me and call the signer and go back and get the original acknowledgment certificate she had left with him. As of this writing, I have not heard back from her. Hopefully, for her sake, she got it all figured out.

The other notary remained silent until I let the other notary go. And she too now understood that she was also in the same position. She knows nothing about where to put what on a notarial certificate or just being a notary in general. I told her to also try and find a notary class and read her handbook cover to cover. Learn it-know it. If you are good notary you will be a great signing agent. After all the whole reason you would be called on to do closing/signings in the first place starts with you being a commissioned notary for your state. And guess what, they expect you to know your job. PERIOD. If you don’t know what you are doing you are just asking for trouble. So read and learn up like your life depended on it. Because guess what- it does.

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September 21, 2019

Notary Tips from Carmen

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 10:31 pm

Do your research FIRST before you buy anything.
Know the ends and outs of the notary business that you are trying to undertake.
know the difference between a notary and a signing agent. These are 2 different hats that can conflict with each other
Know what is expected of you.
Know how many notaries in your area.
Try to find out if they are busy.

Find answers to the following questions:

Is there any work in your area?
How do I get the work?
How much money will it cost me to get started?
What supplies and hardware do I need?
What license or insurance do I need?
How long will it take me to make a profit?

You cannot listen to folks who are selling classes. They have one objective-sell you their course. They will tell you what you what to hear. Keep in mind it takes quite a white to build a successful notary business. You need to market, market and market some more.

2. Make sure you know YOUR states notary laws; cold. This is of the utmost important. This knowledge is what will keep you out of
trouble. And it is far more important than loan signing. If you are a great notary you will be an exceptional signing agent.

Know what ID is acceptable in YOUR state. What to do if they don’t have acceptable ID. What if it is expired? Can you still use it?
Where to place your seal.
When can you use credible witnesses? and why would you use them?. What are they and how many do you need in your state?
Who’s sole responsibility is it to fix a notarial certificate?
When is it a must that you change the venue? Do you even know what a venue is?
Who’s responsibility is it to initial these changes?
Can you use another states notarial certificate? And if yes when?
When are you supposed to give an oath?

These two things seem to be the most the notaries argue about;

Notaries continue to argue about whether they can use another states acknowledgement or not.
They consiisting argue about making changes to the documents.

Who’s sole responsibility is it to fix a notarial certificate?
Who’s responsibility is it to initial certain changes on the notarial certificate?

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September 18, 2019

What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do for Their Clients?

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: — admin @ 10:20 pm

What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do for Their Clients?

There is a large list of issues that require the assistance of law. So many that one lawyer can’t master how to deal in each of them. That’s how the concept of different lawyers for different types of cases came into being. One of the most widely seen issues in the United States is personal injury. So the need for personal injury lawyers was inevitable. Personal injury lawyers help people get their due right from the opposite party or insurance company when they face an accident. However, there is a lot more to the job then what a common man sees. Here I’ve shared all necessary actions taken by a personal injury lawyers for their clients.

Educates You About Your Rights
They always start with educating you about the rights you have in the matter under discussion. They are lawyers who have spent years practicing this field of law. As most clients don’t understand the depth of the situation, lawyers start by explaining how the law works. You will learn about your rights reserved by the law and your responsibilities. Once you understand the situation, you would know better if you are at right or wrong and if you should pursue that case. This education helps you make an informed decision.

Investigates the Case
Not many people know but good lawyers have to investigate the case to fully understand it. For this purpose, many lawyers visit the place of accident and discuss the incident with witnesses to form a theory on how the accident took place. Many law firms hire professionals like former police officers to investigate the case for them.

Calculates the Damages
Most people that don’t have a lot of experience of personal injury cases calculate the cost of only immediate damages. Professional personal injury lawyers have a better sense of assessment in this case due to their experience. They will calculate things like the time you had to take off from your office due to injuries, incident’s mental impact on you, harassing phone calls from bill collectors in addition to the vehicle repair and other costs. They will get you enough reimbursement that you won’t feel if the accident impacted your life in any way.

Deals with Oppositions
There is a possibility that your insurance company may pay you the due right without any issues. On the other hand, you may have to fight more than one parties in the court who might be asking you to pay for all the damages. According to lawyers at Davis Law Group, Seattle personal injury attorneys, you won’t really need a lawyer in the first case; however, things get complicated when more than one parties are involved.

Fights the Case in Court
No man without a law background can fight a case in the court against a professional lawyer. They have a lot more than just knowledge of the law. Their practice allows them to understand the situation, your mentality, and answer to every question before you tell it. You will see them using tricks to get you to say things that would weaken your case. It is said that things can get very ugly in the courtroom – they said the truth. Lawyers might even attack your personal life to make you lose temper. To beat this experience, you need another professional of the same caliber.

Please also see:
Olympia Injury Lawyers

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September 17, 2019

How a video game reminded me what a noble profession we have

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — admin @ 9:57 pm

So, you’re probably wondering why I’m even talking about a video game. After all, working as a notary is serious business and you wouldn’t be wrong in saying that it is a profession where errors are seriously frowned upon. Our experience in the profession varies, but the one thing that’s constant among all notaries is that there are professional standards that need to be met.

Some tasks are straightforward and simple, while others are more complex. Yet, no matter how simple the task may be, the smallest error can put others at risk. The game I’m referring to, called Papers, Please, offers is a similar — albeit virtual — experience.

First Off, What Exactly Is Papers, Please?

A recently released point and click game game, Papers, Please places the player in the shoes of a border inspector of a country called Arstotska. The player’s task is to screen each person who wants to enter the country and to try to adhere to standards set by the government. There are many other aspects of the game, but this is the aspect that I want to put a heavy emphasis on. In the game, making an error gets you a citation, and in the later stages an error means letting dangerous people through the border, which puts lives at risk. You essentially handle sensitive data, check it for accuracy and truthfulness, and decide whether you’d allow the person into the country or not.

It’s quite similar to how we check statements and decide if the facts hold up. In fact, most, if not all court proceedings rely heavily on notarized documents, especially during personal injury cases, according to the lawyers at tariolaw.com.

Why Should We Care About This Game?

Well, that’s where the error is. You assume that this is about the game. It’s not. What really struck me was how the tasks got more and more complicated as the game progressed. You have to assess various pieces of information and decide whether to stamp a traveller’s passport, allowing them access through the border.

This puts an air of risk in the game, even when all the player does is to look through papers and counter-check facts presented by a traveller. And the way that the travelers interact with the player in an attempt to appeal to the player’s kinder nature forces you to make hard decisions.

How Is It Related To The Profession?

It reminded me a lot of how we, as public notaries, are the front line of defense against any attempts to commit fraud. In the same way that the inspector in Papers, Please is the first line of defense against people who would do the country harm, we are the first line of defense against people who want to put falsehoods onto paper or when they try to twist the truth in their favor.

And it’s rather funny that I was unexpectedly reminded of this duty by a video game that I happened to stumble across whilst browsing my YouTube feed in my free time!

I mean, whether you’ve had 30 years of experience in the profession or you’re a rookie who’s learning the ropes, it can be draining to do the same thing over and over if you forget your purpose. I’ll say it again, ours is a profession that can’t have any mistakes, whether they’re big mistakes or common mistakes — we are all about accuracy and precision. And sometimes it can be quite draining, but always remember that the seal that we stamp has power and authority. People are depending on us to verify facts and to educate them on what they’re getting into by signing a document.

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