Legal Definition of notary
- Also known as "notary public": a legal officer with specific judicial authority to attest to legal documents usually with an official seal. Most countries do not have notaries vesting administrative legal authority in lawyers or court officers. Jurisdictions which do have notaries include the Canadian provinces of Quebec and British Columbia and Australia.
Definition of notary
From Old French notarie (French: notaire), from Latin notarius.
notary (plural notaries)
- (law, often 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.
* 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, [...]
- (common law) A notary public, a legal practitioner who prepares, attests to, and certifies documents, witnesses affidavits, and administers oaths.
- (law, 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 [...]
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