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
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
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
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
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).
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
Bankruptcy/IRS Documents/Warranty Deeds Bank Security Agreements/Miranda Rights
Adoption Papers/Disguised Writing Stolen U. S. Treasury Checks/Corporate Minutes
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.
2005/3006/2007: Collaborative Testing Services, Inc. (Handwriting and Document Examination)
Linda James, B.C.D.E., Diplomate Statement of Qualifications
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)
“ 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
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.
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)
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.”
We are allowed to use “best evidence” when the original is not available.
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
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
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
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