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Checklist of Suspicious Features

If you have a suspicious document or handwriting, any or all of these clues should alert you to the need for a document examiner.

* The handwriting appears to be a style the alleged maker may not have used; it just doesn't look right.
* Only copies are available, and they are of unusually poor quality.
* No one knows the document's origin or the history of its custody.
* The text of the document seems to anticipate and answer objections that will be raised against it, especially peculiar ones.
* The paper, ink, mode of production, or other feature of the document may not have existed at the time the document purports to have been executed or may not have been available in the place where the document originated.
* A will or other legal document uses a literary form purported to be drawn up by an attorney, but has been created with the use of a template.
* There is a discrepancy on a commercially printed form between the date the form was printed and the purported date and place the document was made. For example, a "1999" legal document could not have been made on a form printed in 2008.
* Corrections and erasures seem to be present. Some of these can only be detected by a forensic examination using forensic laboratory equipment.

By J. Joseph & Associates, Forensic Handwriting Investigations
Board Certified Forensic Handwriting Examiner
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jacqueline A. Joseph, Board Certified Forensic Document Examiner and Handwriting Investigator
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jacqueline A. Joseph, B.A., CDE, D-BFDE* Board Certified Forensic Document Examiner and Handwriting Investigator

*D-BFDE (Diplomate with the Board of Forensic Document Examiners). Fewer than 1% of forensic document examiners worldwide have achieved this noted credential.

Since 1992 she is has provided services in handwriting identification and authentication in the Pacific Northwest and worldwide. As a testifying expert, she has given testimony in civil and criminal matters. Her published papers include research in ambidexterity, opposite-hand writing, disguise and more. In collaboration with Marcel B. Matley, she produced an educational DVD "The Two Pillars of Individuality and Identifiability in Handwriting." This work was approved for 3 semester-credit hours at East Tennessee State University Forensic Science Department.

Copyright J. Joseph & Associates, Forensic Handwriting Investigations

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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