Entries by Mike Wakshull

What you need to know before hiring a forensic expert

As an attorney, you will probably retain a forensic expert for a prospective litigation or investigation. How will you know whether this person was qualified to perform the work? Could they withstand the scrutiny of cross-examination? How will you vet the person to determine whether they are qualified as a partner for your legal case? […]

Forgery opinion – Can a forensic document examiner opine to forgery?

What is forgery? Forensic document examiners do not offer a forgery opinion regarding the authenticity of a handwritten document. Forensic document examiners opine whether a document contains handwriting not written by the person who purportedly wrote the document. They do not offer a forgery opinion. Handwriting not written by the person who purportedly wrote it […]

Cut-and-paste without the source document

Generally, a document examiner cannot determine that a signature on a photocopy is cut-and-paste unless the source signature is available. There are exceptions to this rule. When a person is careless creating a document that will be passed as authentic, the document examiner can determine the photocopy is not made from an authentic document. Signs […]

Legal definition of writing

Definitions for questioned document examiners Federal and states codes offer a legal definition of writing. Forensic document examiners often are retained to authenticate writing. According to the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Document Examination (www.swgdoc.org), “The forensic document examiner conducts scientific examinations, comparisons, and analyses of documents in order to: (1) establish genuineness or non-genuineness, […]

Is the signature forgery?

A document examiner is not able to declare a signature or document is a forgery! Since forgery requires intent to deceive this opinion is not for the document examiner to offer. The questioned document examiner may opine whether the signature is authentic or not authentic. Forgery is for the trier of fact to determine. Your document […]

A fraudulent deed was filed

Given the technology readily available to anyone, see creating false documents is quite easy. Even so, some people elect to use old technology such as copy machines and typewriters to create a forged document that appears to be real. In a recent case that was heard in Los Angeles Superior Court, a plaintiff either created […]

Are they really forged signatures?

Is the signature a forged signature? A document examiner should never opine, viagra “that is a forged signature” or “that is forged writing.” Forgery implies intent to deceive. Intent to deceive is for the trier of fact to decide. The questioned document examiner will only opine as to the authenticity of writing or authenticity of […]

Questioned document examiner credentials

Are your forensic document examiner’s credentials valid? Does your prospective document examiner have false information on their CV or web site? Is their school a legitimate school for training forensic document examiners? These are important questions to answer before retaining a document examiner. Although most questioned document examiners are honest and reputable, prescription it is […]