Frequently asked questions
What advice can you provide before I submit a case?
I can provide an initial assessment to establish whether an appropriate examination can be undertaken based on the documents available.
What does peer-review mean?
As an experienced document examiner, I believe that my assessments will withstand scrutiny in a court of law. However, to provide even greater surety to my clients, appropriate peer review of my findings will be conducted as part of the examination. Such peer review is carried out by a fellow experienced document examiner who has completed the necesssary training.
What is a court-compliant report?
Where it is intended that reports will be used as evidence in court, my reports will contain all of the necessary declarations and clauses that ensure compliance with current court submission procedures.
How do I submit a case?
Please see the Case Submission page.
Will my documents be damaged?
All examinations are non-destructive, so your documents will not be altered or damaged whilst in my possession.
Forensic Document Examiner or Graphologist?
A forensic document examiner provides an opinion regarding the authenticity or authorship of signatures and handwriting. This is based on scientific principles and involves the detailed examination and comparison of the characteristics of handwriting and signatures. Training to be a forensic document examiner requires a scientific degree and an apprenticeship, following a structured course, taking at least two-years.
Can you date documents?
It is not usually possible to determine accurately the date that a document was produced. Sometimes indirect methods may provide an indication of the approximate date (for example the presence of a watermark or use of a particular typeface).
What is your Range of Opinions?
Handwriting and signature cases will be reported using a scale of opinions, in line with similar scales used by forensic document examiners in the UK and beyond.
Conclusive evidence - identification of one individual to the exclusion of all others
Very strong evidence - most unlikely that any other individual was responsible
Strong evidence - unlikely that any other individual was responsible
Limited evidence - on the balance of probabilities it is likely that the individual was responsible but alternative explanations cannot be excluded
Inconclusive - cannot determine whether or not the individual was responsible
Limited evidence - on the balance of probabilities it is likely that the individual was not responsible but but alternative explanations cannot be excluded
Strong evidence - unlikely that the individual was responsible
Very strong evidence - most unlikely that the individual was responsible
Conclusive evidence - the individual can be eliminated as being the writer
Can I pay for a letter of opinion instead of a report?
In order to provide a reliable opinion, I always carry out a full examination and assess the significance of the findings based on my experience. All results are provided in a report, with images where considered useful, and which includes any necessary declarations for use in court.