By Dwayne Strocen
Finding a Handwriting Expert in Canada or Handwriting Analyst can be Tricky, Here’s What to Look For
While a handwriting expert can be an analyst, a handwriting analyst is not necessarily an expert. There certainly are those that claim to be proficient in handwriting analysis but not all are created equal. Here are some of the differences and what you should consider when selecting a qualified forensic document examiner.
Perhaps it is best to begin by disclosing that as President of Docufraud Canada, we have received thousands of enquiries from individuals, attorneys and company’s interested in the services of a handwriting expert. In almost all cases the end result is legal proceedings of some kind. It may be employment related, for small claims court, marital and child custody proceedings or a criminal investigation.
A credible handwriting analysis or forged signature verification must be completed by a credible examiner with all of the necessary credentials. But here is something you may not know. The examiner must also meet the courts criteria for an expert witness. Otherwise the written report and potential court testimony may not be recognized. Money not well spent and disappointment in the courts final disposition.
There is no regulatory body which regulates the industry nor an association which oversees the training of forensic document examiners. It is up to each person to do their own due diligence.
Here are some of the basic requirements of a forensic document examiner as it pertains to the courts and court testimony. To be recognized as an expert in Canada one must demonstrate the following:
• they are an expert in their field of testimony either by training or experience;
• experts have a duty to the court. This duty overrides any obligation to the person from whom the expert has received payment or instructions;
• an expert must demonstrate their opinion is unbiased and impartial;
It is this last point which is most controversial. Too many times a supposed expert is nothing more than a spokesperson for the person who has engaged their services. Their report has been tailored to fit their clients narrative and is neither unbiased nor impartial. It is this point where the courts are most cautious and concerned. And so should you.
So the question becomes, how do I select a qualified expert examiner? Asking for their qualifications is one thing but the real test is whether they have been recognized by the court in previous legal matters. The examiners C.V. should include a list of previous court testimony. With Docufraud Canada our two full time examiners are located in the U.S.A. and both have many recognized testimonies in Canada as well as the U.S.A. In addition, our written reports have been accepted in countless courts without a personal appearance.
As with all things, there are no shortage of professionals and experts but not all are created equal. Just like vetting your attorney, you need to ask the right questions to determine which is the best forensic document examiner for you.
Dwayne Strocen is a former member of the R.C.M.P. and owner of Docufraud Canada with recognized and court qualified document examiners. Docufraud Canada is recognized in all provinces and territories in Canada.
To visit our website click here: www.docufraudCanada.ca
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