Handwriting Examination
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  • 1. Welcome to the Tarrant County Medical Examiners Seminar December 2007 LINDA JAMES, B.C.D.E., Diplomate
  • 2. Linda James, B.C.D.E., Diplomate Statement of Qualifications
    • EDUCATION & TRAINING
    • National Association of Document Examiners: Board Certified Document Examiner, Re-certified 01/01/06
    • National Questioned Document Association Forensic Document Examination Course, 264 Study Hours
    • Apprenticeship/Hands-on Internship: Microscopes/Photography/Court Exhibits/Fax Machines/Printers/Copiers Typewriter/Ink Pens/Paper/Document Cases/Court/Procedures/Preparation/Testifying, over 200 Technical Hours
    • National Questioned Document Association: Certified Document Examiner , 315 Study Hours.
    • College Notre-Dame-de-Foy, Canada: Introduction to Document Examination Equipmen/ 45 Hrs/3 College Credits
    • American Institute of Applied Science: Police Photography, Questioned Documents
    • American Institute of Applied Science: Forensic Science , 230 Study Hours/6 College Credits/Burlington County
    • North Central Texas Council of Governments: Regional Police Academy Basic Instructor Course, 40 Hours
    • Total of 23 College Credits Earned and Applied Toward an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice
    • INSTRUCTOR
    • State Licensed Instructor, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education
    • Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies/Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
    • First Instructor/National Questioned Document Association Document Examination Course, 1992 - 1997
    • GIVEN AUTHORIZATION TO USE COURSE MATERIALS FOR INSTRUCTION
    • American Institute of Applied Science/Questioned Document Section
    • PUBLICATIONS
    • 2001: National Association of Document Examiner Journal/ Examination of Faxed Documents
    • 1999: National Association of Document Examiner Journal/ Document Manipulation
    • 1996: National Association of Document Examiner Journal/ The Silent Witness
    • BOARD POSITIONS
    • 2007: 1st Vice President of the National Association of Document Examiners
    • 2001-07: Certification Committee of the National Association of Document Examiners
    • 2000-05: Board of Director, By-Laws Chairman of the National Association of Document Examiners
    • 2001-02: Secretary of the Association Certified Fraud Examiners, Dallas, Texas
    • 1998-99: Associate Director of the Association Certified Fraud Examiners, Dallas, Texas
    • PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
    • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, National Association of Document Examiners, Texas Division-Intl. Association for Identification, Forgery Investigator’s Association of Texas, International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, International Association of Crime Analyst, American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) for the Development of Forensic Science Standards. Forensic Sciences Section (E30) Voting Member, and Questioned Documents Section (E30.02) Voting Member. Associate member of the Association of Forensic Document Examiners (AFDE).
  • 3. Linda James, B.C.D.E., Diplomate Statement of Qualifications
    • OPINIONS GIVEN ON THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF CASES
    • Ink and Paper/Recovered Hidden Writing Death Threats/Famous signatures on paintings/books
    • Disputed Wills/Lease Agreements Self-inking Stamped Impressions
    • Forged Signatures/Contracts/Checks Typewriter - Alteration/Additions
    • Dating Documents, Photo Copies Medical Records & Documents/Indented writing
    • Stolen Credit Cards/Falsified Identity Cards Falsified Annuity Claims/Sequential Writing
    • International Case Involving Kidnapping Birth Certificates/Immigration Documents
    • Capital Murder Cases/Alleged Rape Cases Bank Signature Cards/Embezzlement/Diary Entries
    • Falsified Life Insurance Forms/Traced Signatures Falsified Land Title Company Forms/Divorce Papers
    • Stock Certificates/ Mail Fraud/Election Ballots Altered College Records/Tests/Holographic Wills
    • Threatening Notes/Anonymous Notes Laser Printing Removal/Toner Anchorage
    • Bankruptcy/IRS Documents/Warranty Deeds Bank Security Agreements/Miranda Rights
    • Adoption Papers/Disguised Writing Stolen U. S. Treasury Checks/Corporate Minutes
    • APPOINTMENTS
    • Dallas County Criminal District Court, United States District Court, Dallas Division, Bell County District Court, Paris Texas County Criminal Court, Collin County Criminal Court, Practicum Supervisor/Prescott College/Master of Arts Program.
    • PROFICIENCY TESTING
    • 2005/3006/2007: Collaborative Testing Services, Inc. (Handwriting and Document Examination)
  • 4. Linda James, B.C.D.E., Diplomate Statement of Qualifications
    • PRESENTATIONS
    • 2007: Instruments Employed by Document Examiners – TCDLA 5th Annual Forensics Seminar, Dallas TX
    • 2007: A Forensic Look At Medical Records AORN (Association of Peri Operative Registered Nurse), Plano, TX
    • 2007: Principles in Forensic Document Examinations TALI’s Super Conference Irving, TX
    • 2007: Identifying Graphic Patterns in Signatures -Poster Presentation Annual NADE Conference, Tucson , AZ
    • 2006: What Can a Document Examiner Do? – TCDLA 4th Annual Forensics Seminar, Dallas TX
    • 2006: Taking Proper Request Writing Samples TALI’s Southwest Super Conference San Antonio, TX
    • 2006: The Field of Forensic Document Examination North Texas University Forensic Science Club Denton
    • 2006: Forensic Document Examiner’s Lab and Cases - Forensic Science Class - Austin College, Sherman, TX
    • 2005: Cross Examining the Document Examiner – TCDLA 3rd Annual Forensics Seminar, Dallas TX
    • 2005: President Bush National Guard Documents and CBS , N.A.D.E., Quebec, Canada
    • 2005: Business – Contract or Employment Workers for the Document Examiner, N.A.D.E., Quebec, Canada
    • 2004: What is a Forensic Document Examiner? – Plano Kiwanis Club, Plano, Texas
    • 2004: Science and Crime - Forensic Science Class - Austin College, Sherman, TX
    • 2004: Forensic Document Examination in the 21st Century - TCDLA 2nd Annual Forensics Seminar, Plano, TX
    • 2003: Forensic Document &Handwriting Examinations - Forensic Science Class - Austin College, Sherman, TX
    • 2002: What is a Forensic Document Examiner? Rotary Club - Arlington Division
    • 2001: Forensic Document Examination , AICPA National Conference, Dallas, Texas
    • 2001: Unique Cases and Their Solutions , Insurance Fraud Education Conference, Orlando, Florida
    • 2001: Unique Cases and Their Solutions , Annual N.A.D.E. Conference, Crawley, England
    • 2000: Handwriting Analysis -Texas Association of College and University Auditors, Corpus Christi, TX
    • 2000: Document and Handwriting Analysis - Association of Government Accountants, Dallas Chapter
    • 2000: S cientific Document Examinations - Chapter of the ACFE, Ft. Worth
    • 1999: Forensic Document & Handwriting Analysis - The Institute of Internal Auditors, Dallas Chapter
    • 1999: Red Flags of Forgery - The Institute of Internal Auditors
    • 1999: Questioned Documents & Forgery - North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington, Texas
    • 1997: Forensic Document Techniques - Seminar Presentation to Investigators/Peers, Dallas, Texas
    • 1997: Illustrating and Demonstrating Letters in Court - Annual Conference of N.Q.D.A., Dallas, Texas
    • 1997: Signs of Forgery - Gateway Bank, Garland, Texas
    • 1996: Scientific Document Examination: What It’s All About - ACFE, Dallas/Ft. Worth Chapter
    • 1996: The Visible Effects of Speed in Handwriting - Collin County Community College, Plano, Texas
    • 1996: Employees in the Document Examiners Office - Dallas, Texas
    • 1995: How I Did It - Three Cases - Collin County Community College, Plano, Texas
    • 1995: Faxes and Fraud - Annual National Association of Document Examiners Conference, San Antonio, Texas
    • 1995: A Fingerprint in Time - Annual Conference of N.Q.D.A., Dallas, Texas
    • 1995: Questioned Documents - Collin County Community College, Plano, Texas
  • 5. Linda James, B.C.D.E., Diplomate Statement of Qualifications
    • CONTINUING EDUCATION
    • 2007: TCDLA 5th Annual Forensics Seminar, Dallas TX
    • 2007: Association of Forensic Document Examiners Symposium, Tucson, AZ
    • 2007: National Association of Document Examiners Conference, Tucson , AZ
    • 2006: FIAT/IAFCI 2nd Annual Conference, Galveston, Texas
    • 2006: 69th Annual Conference of the Texas Division of the International Association for Identification
    • 2006: National Association of Document Examiners Conference, at Sea
    • 2005: National Association of Document Examiners Conference, Quebec, Canada
    • 2004: FIAT Annual Conference TCLEOSE/Austin Police Department, Austin, Texas
    • 2004: National Association of Document Examiners Conference, Anaheim, California
    • 2004: American Academy of Forensic Sciences Dallas, Texas
    • 2003: National Questioned Document Association, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • 2003: Cyber Crime and Terrorism, MetroPlex 2003, Dallas, Texas
    • 2001: AICPA National Conference on Fraud & Litigation Services, Dallas, Texas
    • 2001: 64th TIAI Annual Education Conference, Digital Photography, Bob May (FBI), Arlington, Texas
    • 2001: National Association of Document Examiners Conference, Crawley, England
    • 2001: National Questioned Document Association Educational Conference, Dallas, Texas
    • 2000: National Association of Document Examiners Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico
    • 2000: National Questioned Document Association Educational Conference, Dallas, Texas
    • 1998: Deloitte & Touche, Cybercrime & Computer Forensics/FBI Special Agents, U.S. Attorney, CFE
    • 1998: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Proving Fraud/ Master Peace Officer James D. Ratley
    • 1998: Criminal Justice Training Manager, Don Rabon, ACFE Fraud Examiner’s Seminar, Dallas, TX
    • 1998: Secret Service Trained Handwriting Examiner, Chief Deputy, Denton County, TX
    • 1997: The Forgery Investigator’s Association of Texas, Georgetown, Texas
    • 1997: National Questioned Document Association, Dallas, Texas
    • 1996: National Association of Document Examiners, Baltimore, Maryland
    • 1996: FBI Examiner, Larry Ziegler Professional Development Seminar/Court Testimony/, Maryland
    • 1996: Statement Analysis, Interviewing, & Interrogation Seminar, Dallas, Texas
    • 1996: ACJS Professional Development Seminar/Technocrimes/August Bequia, Las Vegas, Nevada
    • 1996: Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Las Vegas, Nevada
    • 1996: American Academy of Forensic Sciences (48th Annual Meeting), Nashville, Tennessee
    • 1995: National Association of Document Examiners, San Antonio, Texas
    • 1995: National Questioned Document Association, Dallas, Texas
    • 1995: Content Analysis Seminar, Dallas, Texas
    • 1994: American Board of Forensic Examiners, Branson, Missouri
    • 1994: National Questioned Document Association, Kansas City, Missouri
    • 1992: National Questioned Document Association, Dallas, Texas
    • 1991: National Questioned Document Association, Santa Fe, New Mexico
    • 1990: National Questioned Document Association, Dallas, Texas
  • 6. Linda James, B.C.D.E., Diplomate Statement of Qualifications
    • COURT EXPERIENCE: 1994 through 2007
    • Qualified under the Daubert/duPont guideline/Opinions Judicially accepted and admitted
    • 2007: Texas Workforce Commission2002: Allen County in Fort Wayne, Indiana
    • 2007: 160th Dallas County District Court, Texas2002: Dallas County Probate Court No. 3, Texas
    • 2007: 121st Judicial District Court, Brownfield, Texas2002: 68th District Court, Dallas County, Texas
    • 2007: 7th Smith County District Court, Texas, D.A.2002: Dallas County Probate Court Number 2, Texas
    • 2007: U.S.Bankruptcy Court, Beaumont Division, TX2001: 68th District Court, Dallas County, Texas
    • 2007: 114th Smith County District Court, Texas, D.A. 2001: 27th St. Landry Parish, Louisiana (DA)
    • 2007: 160th Dallas County District Court, Texas2001: Dallas County Probate Court No. 2, Texas
    • 2007: 116th Dallas County District Court, Texas2001: U.S.Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District, Texas
    • 2007: 297th Tarrant County Judicial District Court, TX2001: Dallas County Probate Court No. 2, Texas
    • 2006: U.S. Navy General Court-Martial, Pensacola, FL2001: PUC Hearing Austin, Texas
    • 2006: 18th Judicial District Court, Johnson County, TX 2001: 193rd Dallas County District Court, Texas
    • 2006 Dallas County Probate Court Number 2, Texas 2001: Hopkins County Court, Texas
    • 2006:297th Tarrant County Judicial District Court, TX2001: 116th Dallas County District Court, Texas
    • 2006: 8th Judicial District Court/Colfax - Raton, NM 2001: 19th East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
    • 2005: 422nd District of Kaufman County, TX2000: State Bar of Texas
    • 2005: 366th Judicial District Court, Collin County, TX2000: Singapore Subordinate Criminal Court
    • 2005: Workers’ Compensation CCH, Mt. Pleasant, TX2000: 67th Tarrant County District Court, Texas
    • 2005: 86th Judicial District Court, Kaufman County,TX2000: Denton County District Court, Texas
    • 2005: 297th Tarrant County Judicial District Court, TX2000: Brazos County District Court, Texas
    • 2005: 116th Dallas County District Court, Texas1999: Walworth County, Wisconsin
    • 2004: Dallas County Probate Court Number 2, Texas1999: Tarrant County JP Court, Texas
    • 2004: NASD Arbitration, Dallas, Texas1999: Dallas County District Court, Texas
    • 2004: U.S. District Court, District of Alaska 1998: Dallas County District Court, Texas
    • 2004: U.S. District Court, Northern District, Texas1997: Tarrant County Court Number 2, Texas
    • 2004: 44th District Court, Dallas County, Texas1997: Dallas County Probate Court No. 2, Texas
    • 2004: U.S. District Court, Eastern District, Texas1997: 236th Tarrant County District Court, Texas
    • 2004: Albuquerque, N.M. 2nd Judicial District Court1997: Denton County Probate Court, Texas
    • 2004: Dallas 134th District Court, Texas1997: McLennan County Court, Texas
    • 2004: Texas Workforce Commission1996: NASD Arbitration Hearing, Dallas, Texas
    • 2003: 59thJudicial District of Grayson County, Texas 1995: Dallas County Probate Court, Texas
    • 2003: Tarrant County Probate Court #2, Texas1995: Hunt County District Court, Texas
    • 2003: State Bar of Texas Disciplinary Counsel
    • 2003: Dallas County Probate Court Number 2, Texas
    • 2003: Morris County 76-276 District, Texas
    • 2003: Dallas County Probate Court Number 2, Texas
    • 1994: Bell County District Court, Texas2003: Dallas 195th Judicial District Court, Texas
    • 1994: U.S.Bankruptcy Court, Dallas Division, Texas
    • 1994: Dallas County District Court, Texas
    • 1994: U. S. District Court, Dallas Division, Texas
  • 7. OBJECTIVES
    • Handwriting Examination vs. Right to Privacy
    • Legal Status of Handwriting Evaluation
    • Handwriting is Brain Writing
    • The types of Non-Destructive Testing of Documents
    • Empirically testing the hypothesis
    • Four things that contribute to a reliable conclusion
    • Specialized training
  • 8.
    • Handwriting Examination vs. Right to Privacy
    • The legality of handwriting analysis has been established in court decisions within the past ten years, relating to the national labor relations act, the equal employment opportunity commission and the Privacy Act of 1974.
    • “ Handwriting is behavior in public and therefore (handwriting analysis) is not an intrusion into privacy.” This was ruled in the cases of U.S. vs. Rosinsky, 547 F2ND 249 (CA 4TH 1977) and U.S. vs. Hazelwood School District, 534 F2ND 805 (CA 8TH MO 1976
    • The university of California researched precedents where handwriting analysis has been used in courts throughout the nation as far back as 1881. some of this research can be found in American Law Reports Annotated (103 A.L.R. Pages 900-901)
  • 9.
    • Legal Status of Handwriting Evaluation
    • Handwriting examination has overcome challenges under 2 U.S. Constitutional Amendments (4 th and 5 th Amendments)
    • 4 th Amendment Rulings:
      • U.S. vs. DOE (Handwriting is considered under property relationships re public view
      • U.S. vs. Katz (Handwriting has no protection for what a person knowingly exposes to the public)
      • U.S. vs. Mara -1973 (Handwriting is considered under property relationships re public view)
      • U.S. vs. Sydney W. Rosinsky -1977 (Handwriting considered under property relationships re public view)
    • 5 th Amendment Rulings:
      • California vs. Gilbert -1967 (Production of handwriting exemplars)
      • U.S. vs. Dianisio -1973 (Production of handwriting exemplars)
  • 10.
    • Handwriting is Brain Writing
    • “ The preconscious nature of writing. A term formulated by Wilhelm Preyer, a professor of physiology at Jena, Germany, in 1895 after experiments that led him to the conclusion that handwriting is a centrally organized function. He demonstrated that similar writing patterns occurred when writing was executed by holding the writing instrument in the right hand, the left hand, the mouth, and the toes.”
    • Fundamentals of Document Examination, Edna W. Robertson
  • 11.
    • The types of Non-Destructive Testing of Documents
    • Combination of low magnification, examination through colored filters to enhance contrast
    • High contrast photography
    • Infra-red and infra-red luminescence examination using a video spectral comparator device to enhance the image
    • An examination of the indentations caused by the writing instrument using low angle, or oblique light techniques, or ESDA
  • 12.
    • The types of Non-Destructive Testing of Documents cont.
    • The employment of appropriate instruments in order to make a proper application so that the physical observations are accurate and objective. I have all the equipment necessary for the examination of documents. This consists primarily of various measuring devices and typewriter grids for measuring handwriting and typewriting and magnifiers of varying powers; 4-power, 8-power, and 10-power magnification is used most often. If stronger magnification is necessary, a stereoscopic microscope that can go up to 40-power can be used. In addition, I have a light box (similar to what a doctor uses to view x-rays), a 35mm camera for taking photographs of original documents that cannot be removed from certain facilities, and the ESDA machine.
  • 13.
    • Empirically testing the hypothesis
    • Webster defines scientific method as the following:
    • “Principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.”
    • Webster’s New Encyclopedia Dictionary (New York: B.D. & L. 1994)
  • 14.
    • Empirically testing the hypothesis cont.
    • Pose a question
    • Collect evidence
    • Hypothesize
    • Deduce its implications
    • Test them experimentally
    • Accept, reject, or modify the hypothesis
  • 15.
    • It has been written that what distinguishes scientific knowledge from other knowledge is:
      • the method by which it is created or collected;
      • a systematic extension of common sense; and
      • sound skepticism, that when combined, is referred to as scientific method.
    • District judge D. I. McKenna, in his recent decision in U.S. vs. Roberta and Eileen Starzecpyzel, 880 Fed. Sup. 1027, April 4, 1995, quotes the words of Green in Expert Witness and Sufficiency of Evidence in Toxic Substances Litigation, 86 N. WU. L. Rev. 643, 645 (1992), who states:
    • “ Scientific methodology today is based on generating hypotheses and testing them to see if they can be falsified; indeed, this methodology is what distinguished science from other fields of human inquiry.”
    • Empirically testing the hypothesis cont.
  • 16.
    • Sample case: 1 st examination:
      • REQUEST :
      • The question posed was whether or not the original document dated in July of 1992 was produced in 1992.
      • The document was made available for examination.
      • Hypothesize: the alleged document was produced in 1992.
      • EXAMINATION CONDUCTED :
      • Copies were made on yellow paper of the subject document and the 1992 known documents in order to take contemporary notes.
      • Examinations were made by employing the stereoscopic microscope, light box, transparencies, ESDA, MiScope, and microphotography.
      • CONTEMPORARY NOTES :
      • The typewriting that was printed on the subject document was by a laser printer.
      • The typewriting that was printed on the contemporary 1992 known documents was by a laser printer.
      • Consistent stray dots were present on the document indicating a nick in the drum.
      • The same pattern of stray dots were not found on other known original July of 1992 documents to the subject document.
      • CONCLUSION :
      • The document may not have been produced in 1992. Proceed to the next examination.
    • Empirically testing the hypothesis cont.
  • 17.
    • Sample case: 2 nd examination:
      • REQUEST :
      • The question posed was whether or not the original document dated in July of 1992 was produced in 1993.
      • The document was made available for examination.
      • Hypothesize: the alleged document was produced in 1993.
      • EXAMINATION CONDUCTED :
      • Copies were made on pastel green paper of the subject document and the 1993 known documents in order to take contemporary notes.
      • Examinations were made by employing the stereoscopic microscope, light box, transparencies, ESDA, MiScope, and microphotography.
      • CONTEMPORARY NOTES :
      • The typewriting that was printed on the subject document was by a laser printer.
      • The typewriting that was printed on the contemporary 1993 known documents was by a laser printer.
      • The consistent stray dots that were present on the 1992 document, indicating a nick in the drum, were not found on the 1993 known original documents.
      • CONCLUSION :
      • The document may not have been produced in 1993. Proceed to the next examination.
    • Empirically testing the hypothesis cont.
  • 18.
    • Sample case: 3 rd examination:
      • REQUEST :
      • The question posed was whether or not the original document dated in July of 1992 was produced in 1994.
      • The document was made available for examination.
      • Hypothesize: the alleged document was produced in 1994.
      • EXAMINATION CONDUCTED :
      • Copies were made on pastel blue paper of the subject document and the 1994 known documents in order to take contemporary notes.
      • Examinations were made by employing the stereoscopic microscope, light box, transparencies, ESDA, MiScope, and microphotography.
      • CONTEMPORARY NOTES :
      • The typewriting that was printed on the subject document was by a laser printer.
      • The typewriting that was printed on the contemporary 1994 known documents was by a laser printer.
      • The consistent stray dots that were present on the 1992 document, indicating a nick in the drum, were found on the 1994 known original documents.
      • CONCLUSION :
      • The document was produced in 1994.
      • Question answered.
    • Empirically testing the hypothesis cont.
  • 19.
    • Four things that contribute to a reliable conclusion
    • The following four things contribute to a reliable conclusion for an expert’s opinion in forensic document examination:
      • Physical observations are accurately and objectively demonstrated.
      • The explanation of scientific theories is reasonable and based on proper theory and objective sources.
      • Crisp and impeccable logic is applied.
      • Precise definitions of terminology are used.
  • 20.
    • Specialized training
    • No college degree available at this time
    • Only a certification for this field
    • State approved curriculum
    • Continuing education
    • Misleading information about schools
    • Certifying Bodies
  • 21. Best Evidence
    • We are allowed to use “best evidence” when the original is not available.
    • Best Evidence:
    • Primary evidence, as distinguished from secondary; original, as distinguished from substitution; the best and highest evidence of which the nature of the case is susceptible, not the highest or strongest evidence which the nature of the thing to be proved admits of. The original of a written instrument is itself always regarded as the primary or best possible evidence of its existence and contents; a copy, or the recollection of a witness, would be secondary evidence. “Best evidence” or “primary evidence” includes the best evidence which is available to a party and procurable under the existing situation, and which in its nature suggests there is better evidence of the same fact, is “secondary evidence”. Black's Law Dictionary, 6th Edition
    • Best Evidence Rule:
    • A rule which requires that best evidence available be presented in lieu of less satisfactory evidence. People v. Banks, Colo. App., 655 P. 2d 1384, 1387. This rule prohibits the introduction into evidence of secondary evidence unless it is shown that original document has been lost or destroyed or is beyond jurisdiction of court without fault of the offering party; if original document is lost, then secondary evidence is properly admissible. State v. Stephen, Mo. App., 556 S.W. 2d 722, 723. Fed.R.Evid. 1002 states the basic rule as follows: “To prove the content of a writing, recording, or photograph, the original writing, recording, or photograph, is required, except as otherwise provided in these rules or by Act of Congress.” ibid
  • 22. Best Evidence
    • Primary Evidence
    • Primary evidence means original or first hand evidence; the best evidence that the nature of the case admits of; the evidence which is required in the first instance, and which must fail before secondary evidence can be admitted. That evidence which the nature of the case or question suggests as the proper means of ascertaining the truth. It is the particular means of proof which is the most natural and satisfactory of which the case admits, and includes the best evidence which is available to a party and procurable under the existing situation, and all evidence falling short of such standard, and which in its nature suggest there is better evidence of the same fact, is “secondary evidence”. ibid
    • Secondary Evidence
    • That which is inferior to primary or best evidence. Thus, a copy of an instrument, or oral evidence of its contents, is secondary evidence of the instrument and contents. It is that species of evidence which becomes admissible, when the primary or best evidence of the fact in question is lost or inaccessible; as when a witness details orally the contents of an instrument which is lost or destroyed. ibid
  • 23. HANDWRITING OPINION TERMINOLOGY
    • identification ( definite conclusion of identity )-This is the highest degree of confidence expressed by document examiners in handwriting comparisons.
    • strong probability ( highly probable, very probable )-The evidence is very persuasive, yet some critical feature or quality is missing so that an identification is not in order; however, the examiner is virtually certain that the questioned and known writings were written by the same individual.
    • probable -The evidence contained in the handwriting points rather strongly toward the questioned and known writings having been written by the same individual; however, it falls short of the "virtually certain" degree of confidence.
    • indications (evidence to suggest )-A body of writing has few features which are of significance for handwriting comparison purposes, but those features are in agreement with another body of writing.
    • no conclusion (totally inconclusive, indeterminable )-This is the zero point of the confidence scale. It is used when there are significantly limiting factors, such as disguise in the questioned and/or known writing or a lack of comparable writing, and the examiner - does not have even a leaning one way or another.
    • indications did not -This carries the same weight as the indications term above; that is, it is a very weak opinion.
    • probably did not -The evidence points rather strongly against the questioned and known writings having been written by the same individual, but, as in the probable range above, the evidence is not quite up to the “virtually certain” range quite.
    • strong probability did not (highly probable did not, very probable did not ) -This carries the same weight as strong probability on the identification side of the scale; that is, there is a virtual certainty that the questioned and known writings were not written by the same individual.
    • elimination- This, like the definite conclusion of identity, is the highest degree of confidence expressed by the document examiner in handwriting comparison . By using this expression, the examiner denotes no doubt in his opinion that the questioned and known writings were not written by the same individual.
    • Journal of Forensic Sciences, Letters to the Editor, March 1991
  • 24. What Can A Document Examiner Do?
    • In addition to determining the authenticity of handwriting and signatures on questioned documents, Document Examiners can identify the author of:
    • * forged writing * anonymous disguised writing * graffiti.
    • Document Examiners can determine:
    • If the document has been altered in any way.
    • Has information been removed from a document?
    • What has been removed?
    • Have parts of the document been obliterated?
    • What was written under cross-outs, black-outs or white-outs?
    • Has additional information been put on the document?
    • Have pages been substituted:
    • The sequence of information written or printed on a document.
    • Which writing is on top when two signatures are intermingled?
    • How many different writers signed the document?
    • What is earliest age that the document could have been written?
    • When was the watermark first manufactured?
    • Has the paper been artificially aged by heat or by chemicals?
    • What type of pen was used to create the document?
    • Was it in existence when the document was purportedly written?
    • What typewriter or printer was used to create a document?
    • Was the same typewriter used to create certain documents?
    • Was the document created by a printer connected to a computer?
    • What type of printer? Daisy wheel? Dot Matrix? Ink Jet? or Laser?
    • Is a photocopy cut and paste?
    • Has a genuine signature been affixed by taking it from a genuine document?
    • Has material been substituted on a page after it was signed?
    • Is the document counterfeit?
    • Is a document a desktop forgery?
    • Was the document scanned into a computer, altered and printed?
    • Other types of cases:
    • Embezzlement  Medical Malpractice  Industrial Espionage  Bigamy
    • Indented Writing Cases
  • 25. ADVANCED DOCUMENT & HANDWRITING EXAMINATION SERVICES, LLC
    • Linda James
    • would like to
    • THANK YOU
    • for attending her presentation for the
    • 2007 Tarrant County Medical Examiners Seminar
    • Please contact Linda at [email_address]
    • for any questions you may have.