What Is Covered In An Initial Consultation?

What is covered in an initial consultation with a document examiner/handwriting expert?

If you suspect a document has been forged, you have probably searched for an attorney and possibly a handwriting expert.

In an initial conversation with a document examiner, they will want to know if there are any original documents. If there are original documents, are you in possession of those or have they been filed with the courts?  

The examiner will want to know what kind of document(s) you are questioning. This document is called the questioned or disputed document. How many disputed/questioned documents do your need examined?

The examiner will want to know if you have comparison samples. These may be known documents, exemplars, comparison samples. There are two types of exemplars: collected and requested. Collected exemplars are most often provided because they are examples that can be close to the date of the questioned document. Requested writing is a sample provided in current time. Sometimes, these are not as reliable as the opposing side can say they were altered, or the person has passed away there is no way to collect this requested writing.

The questions you ask at your consultation are also important. You will want to ask about similar cases, trial testimony experience, deposition testimony experience, will the examiner travel if necessary?

While a CV (resume) is a good place to start to find a qualified expert, beware of experts that overstate their qualifications, are not part of an organization for continuing education, and do not attach specific dates to qualified training.

Due to COVID-19 experts are requesting to testify remotely, you need to find out ahead of time. Many courts are only remote; however, many are not. Do you and your attorney feel that an in-person testimony is more effective if the trial will be in-person? If so, make sure your expert is willing to appear in person.

Can you hire a Document Examiner/Handwriting Expert for a case in another state? 

Absolutely. Some states do not have many document examiners and some clients live in rural areas which means travel will be necessary no matter what. Finding a document examiner with the experience and expertise that you trust will be worth the travel fees, if they are necessary.

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We do not dispense legal advice, you should seek legal advice from a suitable attorney.

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