Entries by Mike Wakshull

Presentation to American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (www.aaepa.com)

On Friday, October 18 I had the privilege of presenting “Document Fraud in Elder Abuse and Probate Cases” to the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys at their conference in Coronado, CA. This organization is excellent at planning. They have speakers perform a microphone check and test presenting the slides the day before the presentation. […]

Examples of document fraud in probate cases

A will is discovered in a book After his father died, the son was looking through a book his father owned. On a page of the book the son discovered a holographic will written allegedly by his father. He filed this will with the Riverside County court. The will left the entire estate to the […]

Rebecca Zahau on ID Discovery

The show #RebeccaZahau: an ID Murder Mystery on Discovery HD that aired last week on Discovery HD had many errors and attempts to bias the audience. Reporter Diane Diamond (@DiDimond) stated I allegedly made estimates about the height of the person who write “SHE SAVED HIM, CAN YOU SAVE HER” on the door at the […]

Electronic cut-and-paste documents

The fake slowed down image of Nancy Pelosi speaking mainly realize how prevalent the use of software is to create false images passed off as legitimate images. In my profession as a forensic document examiner I am seeing this more frequently. I have three #forensic document cases from #attorneys involving what is called a #cut-and-paste […]

A weak forensic opinion helps win a case

A weak forensic opinion helps win a case. You have hired a forensic examiner to analyze evidence for your civil case. After a thorough examination of the evidence, the forensic examiner delivers a weak forensic opinion toward favoring your theory of the case. Will the examiner’s weak opinion help you in trial? When the opinion […]

A standard operating procedure for document examination

Standard operating procedures A standard operating procedure best suited for their needs is developed by each document examiner. Regulated industries dictate the standards to be followed. For non-regulated industries, the examiner can follow ASTM/SWGDOC/SAFE or some other industry-recognized standards. When the document examiner’s standard operating procedure (SOP) is based on the ASTM, SWGDOC, SAFE, or other industry […]

Mike’s testimony at the Zahau v. Shacknai trial

On March 5 and 6, 2018 forensic document examiner Mike Wakshull testified in the wrongful death trial of Rebecca Zahau. Handwriting examination was used to determine who wrote the words, “SHE SAVED HIM CAN YOU SAVE HER” on a door at the Spreckels Mansion on Coronado Island, California. In 2011 Rebecca Zahau was found dead […]

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 […]