Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with eNotaryLog CEO James Mitchell (left) and President Joseph Bisaillon (right) to discuss the company and the changes it brings to the notary world.
AALM: Tell us what first drew you to your industry.
JM: We were drawn to the industry because we saw the efficiencies that remote online notarization (RON) can bring law firms. RON transforms the way clients and lawyers execute documents. The new RON laws being passed enable law firms to utilize these new greenfield technologies to modernize and digitize their existing business processes to promote security, efficiency, and a better customer experience
AALM: What compelled you to start your own company?
JB: Our drive to start the company originated from a shared experience when a few years ago our friend was diagnosed with cancer. During his battle with cancer, we became aware of some of the frustrating shortcomings in the current system around the transfer of assets and in particular, notarizations. We came out of our experience that some of the challenges we faced during that time were solvable and a desire to in some way, honor our friend.
AALM: How is your company different from its competitors?
JM: At eNotaryLog, we strive to simplify digital for our clients, from notarization, e-signatures, and identity proofing. We believe it is our responsibility to lend a hand in helping our clients move their current paper-based systems to a digital world. We focus on highly customizable and secure products that work for the legal industry. We believe that the digitization of the notary industry should make businesses more secure and digital. In legal, we work hard to help companies digitize their existing processes, while introducing remote online notarization and eSignature as the tools to get your company fully digital.
AALM: How would you describe the culture at your company? The team?
JM: eNotaryLog fosters an innovative “can do” spirit which results in more thoughtful and better products that solve the problems of our clients. The culture we have created values opinions, feedback and communication with the end result being happier employees who take pride in their results and treat the company as their own. We have created an atmosphere that builds strong teams through ongoing communication, leveraging the best of each individual and ultimately the celebration of our wins.
AALM: How has your field evolved since you first entered it? What’s the biggest positive and negative change?
JB: Currently, the RON industry is growing at a faster rate than previously seen in terms of adoption and legalization. The current struggles we are facing are mainly in the law and how these RON laws interact with other states. The above is the perfect example of why national legalization would help move the United States to a digital world. When we first started this company, RON was not legal in the state of Florida. Since then, over a dozen states have enacted some form of legislation to legalize remote online notarization. It has been a crucial tool to ensure business continuity. As businesses utilize this technology, they are realizing it delivers them more security, cost savings and benefits than the old paper process. We believe that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of this type of technology and started us on the path to the permanent digitization of the notary industry.
AALM: What do you think is the most pressing concern for attorneys when it comes to your field?
JB: Compliance. As a legal professional your clients rely upon and trust you to not only be an advocate on their behalf within the legal system, but to also keep them from running afoul or otherwise making costly or time-consuming mistakes. To any legal professional that trust is sacred and protected by hours of diligent research and preparation. At eNotaryLog we admire that commitment and strive to provide a service and platform that protects the client’s trust in their attorney through superior compliance.
JM: The most common concern we hear from attorneys is about the enforceability of the documents. Luckily, with RON laws and the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts many of these laws are based on, we have security in the process far beyond what can be done in the paper world. The remote online notarization process includes identity verification done more accurately than it can be done in person, tamper evident documents to ensure validity and strict audit trails.
AALM: What changes do you see on the horizon for your field? How are you and your company preparing to stay ahead of the curve?
JB: We are just starting to see what this industry will be like in the next five years. If you look at the early days of RON, you will see between 2011, when the first law was signed, to 2017, only three states signed laws. In 2018-2019 19 states signed laws with seven following in 2020. In a fast-moving industry like RON, we have to be building for tomorrow, not today.
JM: We see the digitization of the paper world starting to happen. We are developing innovative solutions to address the industries need for security and trust in the digital processes. We work with industry organizations, state legislators and law firms to ensure we’re building a complaint and secure platform, while also delivering a great experience for the users.
AALM: What do you most enjoy about working with lawyers?
JM: Attorneys are self-starters, and their entrepreneurial spirit combined with their comfort with tackling complex problems has made attorneys a blast to work with. For example, despite being an industry still in its infancy I found that attorneys were one of the first groups to seize the initiative and educate themselves about the new capability that is remote online notarization. This allowed us to move quickly from educational conversations to productive discussions which gave me a sense of investment from the legal community.
Lawyers understand our focus on security in the digital process because it provides stronger enforceability of executed documents.
AALM: What is one of the biggest challenges you face in your industry? How do you overcome it?
JB: In a new industry created by law, the most considerable task you have to do is educate users on how to use the laws. Laws are written to allow for growth of the industry and technology, which allows for a large gray area in which the industry must traverse. We believe being active in the industry is key to helping drive best practices in these gray areas.
JM: We often are contacted by companies inquiring about the different legal requirements and guidelines surrounding remote online notarization. We believe that certifications can help address the difficulty in evaluating remote online notarization vendors. Always inquire about the certifications your RON platform has to help you determine if it’s a risk level you are willing to burden for your documents.