Overview of Forensic Document Examination (1 hour MCLE credit)

An Overview of Forensic Document Examination provides the attendee with basic information about forensic document examination.

The basic information about forensic document examination. Terminology, discount standards and best practices used by forensic document examiners is defined. Reasons for not using terms such as forgery and fraud are explained. Forensic Document Examination is also known as Questioned Document Examination. An overview of laboratory equipment used by document examiners is presented. Generally accepted practices, sales scientific approach and use of a computer and digital equipment are described.

The attendee will learn:

  • An overview of laboratory equipment used by document examiners is presented.
  • Modern generally accepted practices in questioned document examination
  • Application of a scientific approach to forensic document examination
  • Use of a computer and digital equipment for document examination
  • Methods used in signature forgery
  • Methods used to create altered documents
  • When are various tools used to examine questioned documents
  • What are generally accepted methods of examining questioned documents
  • What is the basis of handwriting comparison
  • What is the difference among simulated writing, clinic altered documents, disguised writing
  • Why must the questioned document examiner be able to distinguish computer generated documents
  • A summary of questions to ask and experience to expect when interviewing a document examiner is offered.

What are the ASTM and SWGDOC (Scientific Working Group on Document Examination) standards?

As an expert witness, forensic document examiners must follow generally accepted practices in their discipline. This is required by Federal Rules of Evidence and the Frye standard. When published standards are followed the questioned document examiner is applying generally accepted practices. The SWGDOC standards are more current than the ASTM standards. The ASTM standards are being phased out.

There are standards for all aspects of forensic document examination including handwriting analysis, altered documents, printed documents and more than a dozen other standards. There are ASTM standards that are applicable to all forensic disciplines. These are applicable to forensic document examiners.

Forensic Tools Used By Forensic Document Examiners