Attorney sanctioned over falsely prepared affidavit

For everyone who has ever signed an affidavit and had it notarized, here’s a story. The essence? Your lawyer can’t sign an affidavit for you, especially if he dishonestly claims it’s OK because he read the whole affidavit to you over the phone and you said, “Hey, OK,” but then admits he didn’t read it to his client over the phone, but who cares anyway?

The judge, for one. Look at that sharp quote from the judge in the first paragraph I excerpted, below.

This case fits nicely into my firm conviction that you can’t absorb facts from, TV, radio or other audio devices. What you hear sails into your ears and immediately out. You must read material, slowing down when necessary and pausing occasionally to think it over, in order to get the facts.

Source, New York Law Journal: Attorney and Firm Sanctioned Over Falsely Prepared Affidavit

Finding “the administration of an oath by a notary public and the notary’s attestation to the same is not merely a quaint custom mindlessly carried over from ancient precedents,” a Manhattan federal judge sanctioned an attorney and his firm for drafting, signing and notarizing an affidavit in the name of a client who never reviewed it.

Oleg Smolyar, a lawyer with Hallock & Malerba in Deer Park, New York, first told Southern District Judge P. Kevin Castel in an unsworn statement that he had read the affidavit to the client over the phone “word for word,” made changes at the client’s request, and then signed and notarized her signature because he believed he was authorized to do so by a power of attorney given by the client to the firm.

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