By Sheila Lowe

If you are called upon to handle a case that involves a handwriting forgery, you will probably need to retain a forensic handwriting expert. If you’ve never had the occasion to retain a handwriting expert before, how do you know which one can do the job?

Most forensic handwriting experts come from one of two backgrounds. Some are trained through a law enforcement or other government agency, such as the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, the United States Postal Service or a police department and later began practicing in the private sector. Others learned through private study with a mentor who has spent many years in the field. Is one background superior to the other? What is more important than where the expert trained or where he worked is what he learned during that training, and the experience later garnered through years of practice. It’s worth noting that in most cases training through government entities is not available to private experts. However, they study many of thesame textbooks, acquire the same knowledge, and follow the same procedures, so a private expert has equivalent competencies.

Continue reading – January issue of CITATIONS (page 12)

Sheila Lowe is a forensic handwriting examiner. She teaches Introduction to Forensic Handwriting Examination at UC Riverside.

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