Notary Publics in Louisiana, unlike all 49 other States, are CIVIL LAW Notary Publics. Louisiana Notary Publics have training and duties similar to an attorney, and consequently have broad powers normally strictly reserved for lawyers & attorneys.
Based upon the French Napoleonic Code, Louisiana's Civil Law System provides for Louisiana Notary Public’s to draft wills, prepare & execute affidavits, acknowledgements, authentic acts and powers of attorney.
And, believe it or not, this can present challenges when working with constituents, both inside and outside the state of Louisiana. With the consolidation of local banks and mortgage companies into large multinational chains, many of the documents that pass before Louisiana notaries, often originate from corporate headquarters of companies based outside of Louisiana. Hence, the documents are common law based, and frequently require remediation prior to notarization in Louisiana. This can be both confusing and frustrating for constituents, who are usually in a hurry, and often anxious about their transaction, frequently involving large sums of money.
The Louisiana Notary Public must not only be skillful in reconciling the document requested of him to notarize, but also be adept in communicating the differences and quirks of Louisiana’s Napoleonic based legal system.
Brian J. Rhinehart