A Notary is not a Lawyer

This follows the need to explain to foreign people that a “notary” is nothing of what they often think it means.

Many frauds are perpetuated, and not only among the Hispanic community, and not only for immigration purposes, by persons who are “notary public” and mislead the people into believing they can help with legal matters, or that being a notary public provides some sort of added credibility.

In most countries, particularly civil law countries, these countries do not have “lawyers” in the American sense, insofar as that term refers to a single type of general-purpose legal services provider;[10] rather, their legal professions consist of a large number of different kinds of law-trained persons, known as jurists, of which only some are advocates who are licensed to practice in the courts. It is difficult to formulate accurate generalizations that cover all the countries with multiple legal professions, because each country has traditionally had its own peculiar method of dividing up legal work among all its different types of legal professionals.

Civil-law notaries (or latin notaries) are specially trained lawyers acting as public officers with jurisdiction over voluntary, i.e., non-contentious, private law. Unlike a notary public, their common-law counterparts, they are able to provide legal advice and prepare instruments with legal effect. They often receive the same education as advocates, trial lawyers, or any professional litigator such as barristers or attorneys in common-law countries, avocats in French-speaking countries, and so forth.

Civil-law notaries are limited to areas of private law. Private law resolves disputes between private parties and requires minimal or no government intervention. The most common areas of practice for civil-law notaries are in property conveyancing and registration, drafting contracts, business transactions, successions, and other estate related matters. Ordinarily, they have no authority to appear in court on their client’s behalf; their role is limited to drafting, authenticating, and registering certain types of transactional documents. In some countries, such as the Netherlands, France or Italy, they also retain and keep property records – in minute form – in notarial protocols, or archives.

Difference from North American Notaries Public

A civil-law notary should not be confused with a notary public in the United States and Canada, who has none of the legal powers notaries enjoy at civil law. Rather, notaries public only have the power to administer oaths, take declarations or depositions from witnesses, acknowledge signatures, and certify copies, usually in conjunction with some legal process.

Notary Public is a 6 hours class costing $99.

For this reason, immigrants from civil-law countries where civil-law notaries exist, particularly those from Spanish-speaking nations, are often confused by the office of notary public and have been defrauded by dishonest notaries misrepresenting themselves as having legal powers. In some states there have been ongoing efforts to prohibit notaries public from listing themselves as Notario Público. Such a law has existed for more than fifteen years in California. Similar laws now exist in Texas, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.


Saint Ivo of Kermartin (17 October 1253 at Kermartin, a manor near Tréguier, Brittany, France – 19 May 1303 at Louannec, Brittany), also known as Erwann (in Breton) and Yves (in French), Yvo, Ives, or Ivo. He is a saint and patron of lawyers and abandoned children. Saint Ives is also the patron saint of Brittany. His feast day is on May 19. His first name is often associated with his family name, Yves Helory (also : Helori or Heloury, the orthography was not fixed at this time).

Trial begins in Submarines for Dubai

An interesting article that underlines the weight of Florida in maritime matters. In this article, a former naval officer in the French Navy moved to the United States, and was recruited by a Dubai company to build submarines. The story that follows is more James Bond-type than regular contract dispute….

By CURT ANDERSON , 02.14.11,  http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/02/14/general-us-submarines-for-sultans_8308354.html

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Trial began Monday in a dispute between a former French intelligence officer who started a recreational submarine business and a powerful Dubai conglomerate over their failed venture to build and sell the exotic undersea vessels around the world.

The competing lawsuits filed in Florida federal court by Dubai World and the spy-turned-sub builder, Herve Jaubert, came after Jaubert fled Dubai in early 2008. He claims his escape included disguising himself as a Muslim woman in a head-to-toe burka and using his diving skills to disable a patrol boat.

Dubai World, however, contends that Jaubert is no more than a sophisticated con man who misrepresented his ability to design and build submarines, overcharged the company for parts and didn’t live up to their contract. Dubai World contends it lost $31 million, including construction of an 80,000-square-foot factory to build the subs.

The company’s attorney said in an opening statement that Jaubert is “a self-described master manipulator” who made more than $5 million in salary and benefits through a series of financial schemes that ripped off Dubai World. The submarines never worked as promised, he added.

“Not a single product was ever sold. Not a single penny of revenue was received.”

Jaubert, meanwhile, claims he was held as a virtual captive in Dubai after authorities confiscated his passport in 2007 as their business dispute escalated. He contends he was threatened with torture and jail unless he paid the company about $1 million – money Jaubert felt he did not owe.

Jaubert’s attorney said the submarines did operate as promised and that top Dubai World executives even had a plan for lavish floating homes that would be accessible by their own subs, each to be built by Jaubert’s operation. Hess insisted that Jaubert was highly qualified and had sold at least four workable submarines in the past.

“He wanted to bring his submarines to the people. He wanted to bring the person to the underwater experience,” Hess said, adding that Jaubert committed no fraud. “He was about, and is about, building submarines. He’s not a finance guy.”

Each side seeks unspecified damages from the other. The trial before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez is expected to take about two weeks.

Jaubert described his Dubai experience in a recent book “Escape From Dubai,” in which he claims he used the Muslim clothing to move about undetected once he decided to flee. He said he used scuba gear to disable a patrol boat by cutting fuel lines, then motored into the ocean in a rubber dinghy to meet a waiting a sailboat.

Jaubert said he sailed first to India and then returned to Florida, where he filed suit against Dubai World. The company then filed a countersuit. Key parts of Jaubert’s suit have been dismissed, including his contention that Dubai World defamed him in public statements.

According to court papers, Jaubert spent 10 years as a French naval officer involved in covert operations, especially building surveillance devices. He trained as a combat diver and submarine pilot, using the latter skill after retiring from the military to begin a submarine charter business in 1996 in Puerto Rico.

Jaubert subsequently moved to Stuart, Fla., and started Seahorse Submarines. In 2003, Dubai World executives approached him about moving to Dubai, a part of the United Arab Emirates, to build submarines for the world’s super-wealthy and the charter tour industry. Dubai World handles a broad range of businesses and investments for Dubai’s government.

“I saw it as an opportunity to mass produce recreational submarines worldwide,” he said in a 2009 interview.