The conventional notion regarding notary employer liability is that the employer does not incur liability when there is not an intentional act. The reasoning goes that because the notary public is a public official, the employer is insulated from bad acts by the notary public. This White Paper will explore agency principles, specifically respondent superior, and other concepts that allow for the argument that a notary employer can and should be held liable for actions of a notary while performing within the scope of his or her duties, but also that the public interest is served by this outcome.
to receive the full article. Here are some excerpts from the White Paper.
The court in Ayrault v. Pacific Bank
determined that notaries employed by banks fulfill duties the banks otherwise would have to carry out themselves, and as such, banks could be liable for the negligence of their notaries under agency theory
... with the lack of widely adopted statutory guidance on this issue, courts continue to be divided.
... notary misconduct need not be the sole cause of the harm in order for surety or employer liability to attach.
While the law provides for protection for employers, the door is still open and the argument can and should be made that employers who utilize notary employees for the benefit of their businesses should face liability for notary misconduct based on agency principles.
... while it may appear that courts favor a result where the employer is not found liable, the history of cases and the ruling in the landmark case of Vancura v. Katris
make clear that there is still an avenue available to injured third parties.