The McGeorge Alternative Summer Advantage Program (“McGeorge ASAP”) is a self-directed volunteer summer legal research project created by alum Lexi Purich Howard and Asst. Dean of Career Development Molly Stafford in response to COVID-19. The program matched McGeorge students who lost summer opportunities due to the pandemic with local attorneys for guidance on a research project on the topic of the student’s choosing. This week’s ASAP paper was authored by Jordan Taylor (2L, 2022) under the mentorship of Lexi Howard (’15), co-creator of this program and an associate attorney at Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made social distancing a priority for public health and safety. Throughout the country, all but three states have enacted remote online notarization, either permanently, prior to the pandemic, or temporarily or permanently, in response to the pandemic, to support notary publics and signers in need of notary services. Remote online notarization (RON) allows notary publics to notarize documents by utilizing audio-visual communications through third-party platforms. In California, remote online notarization has not been enacted, so signers must still appear before a notary public in person, or signers must use a mobile notary public service. RON gives notary publics the ability to provide notary services to COVID-positive patients in isolation, using methods secured by multi-factor and knowledge-based authentications. Even with security measures in place, remote online notarization carries a potential for fraud and data breaches. The California legislature has twice rejected proposals for remote online notarization. Two bills introduced in Congress seek to pass legislation that enacts remote online notarization nationwide for interstate commerce. Whether or not California or Congress enacts remote online notarization, it should still be enacted, at least temporarily, in California until the passing of the COVID-19 pandemic…”