ASQDE logoThe 78th Annual General Meeting of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE, Inc) was held August 10th through 14th, 2020.  It was a new type of meeting necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The meeting was originally planned to be held in Frankenmuth, Michigan but a (very wise) decision was made to hold an entirely virtual meeting instead.  The theme for this year was “Future-Proofing Questioned Documents”.

The Program Chair for the event was Mark Goff.  He and his team did a masterful job putting together a comprehensive, interesting and useful program.  The online format worked extremely well with only a few (very minor) glitches with connectivity for some participants.

The program included the following major sessions:
  1. Hand Writing & Courts in Your Country – A block of presenters from various countries around the world explaining the conclusion scales used and how the conclusions are used within their court systems.
  2. Forensic Partner Organizations – A block of presenters representing national and international forensic science organizations and forensic science standards organizations, providing an overview of their role
    in forensic science.
  3. Contemporary Issues in Forensic Science – Join us for 2 hours of discussion on various topics by the following presenters, Christophe Champod, H. David Sheets, Simon Baechler, and Gary Edmond.

Two practical workshops were presented:

  1. An Overview of Digital Examination Techniques and Remote Case Review.  A broad overview of paperless case processing workflow and review using Adobe Bridge, and Adobe Photoshop.
    • Presented by D/Lt. Mark Goff – Michigan State Police
  2. Opinion Measurement Workshop.  The purpose of this workshop was to gather information about how the various opinion measure language is related to opinion strength across examiners. Using the Human Factors report as the basis for detailing this problem, this short presentation was a precursor to a subsequent workshop on Conclusion scales
    • Presented by: Mara Merlino – Vernonica Dahir – Charles Edwards – Samiah Ibrahim – Jonathan Jackson-Morris

The trainee breakout session addressed some interesting topics including:

  1. “Basics of Expert Testimony from the Perspective of an Expert Witness” presented by Tom Vastrick, and
  2. “Assessing Handwriting and Signature Complexity” presented by Miriam Angel.

There were, as usual, several scientific sessions with some very good presentations, as follows:

  • Inter-writer Frequency of Occurrence a Tool or Process for Association and Dissociation of Handwriting
    • Presented by Thomas Vastrick
  • Forensic Handwriting Examination and Human Factors: The Report of the Expert Working Group for Human Factors in Handwriting Examination
    • Presented by Lauren Logan – Indiana State Police
  • Deposition Fundamentals
    • Presented by Jane Lewis
  • Future-Proofing Questioned Documents in Government Departments – Some Proposals
    • Presented by Tobin Tanaka – Government of Canada
  • The question of comparability of Digitally Captured Signatures from the aspect of Normalization & Stability of used Hardware/Software solutions.
    • Presented by Nikolaos Kalantizis – Chartoularios Institute of Questioned Document Studies
  • VSC techniques to examine intersecting lines.
    • Presented by Dan Freeman – Foster + Freeman
  • An Evaluation of Digital Note Taking Methods
    • Presented by Karen Nobles – Forensic Document Services LLC
  • Frequency of Occurrence in Handwriting and Hand Printing – Gap Analysis
    • Presented by Thomas Vastrick
  • Virtual Tour of the ASQDE Resource Center
    • Presented by Diane Tolliver – Indiana State Police (ret.)
  • Digitalization of work process: A case workflow for document examination
    • Presented by Shing Min Lim – Forensic Chemistry and Physics Laboratory, Health Sciences Authority, Singapore
  • The use of Digitally Captured Signature technology in everyday casework: collecting & using samples with the Wacom Clipboard
    • Presented by Nikolaos Kalantzis – Chartoularios Institute
  • Creation of a Forensic Envelope Database
    • Presented by Timothy Campbell – Canada Border Services Agency
  • Automatic verification of handwritten signatures
    • Presented by Nick Mettyear – Wacom Technology
  • Handwriting Pen Stroke vs Magnetic Toner. Which one came first? A new method
    • Presented by Paolo Vaccarone
  • A reporting framework for document examination
    • Presented by Nelli Cheng – Health Sciences Authority, Singapore
  • A Comparative Study between Spectroscopic and Physical Techniques for discrimination of the counterfeited computer-generated documents (A Case Study)
    • Presented by Al Sharif Hashem – Egyptian Ministry of Justice
  • Revealing the Evidence of Tampering in Documents Printed by Laser Printers Based on Reflectance Transformation Imaging
    • Presented by Ning Liu
  • Examination of a Religious Congregation Birth Certificate and a Teacher’s Diploma from the Early Years of the 20th Century- Case Study
    • Presented by Bataya Fuchs
  • Research on Forensic Document Examiner Methods and Procedures: Needs, Seeds, and Managing Weeds
    • Presented by Mara Merlino, Veronica Dahir, Charles Edwards
  • Within-ream paper variations and their effect on spectral imaging
    • Presented by Melanie Holt – Documents in Dispute
  • Erasable inks on documents – Can they be removed in a manner that prevents their detection?
    • Presented by Yvonne Sim – The Forensic Experts Group
  • A study of handwriting characteristics application patterns for individual identification
    • Presented by Bojie Chen
  • Determining the Sequence of Toner and Writing Inks with and without Cross-lines
    • Presented by Juergen Holzapfel – Forensic-Documents
  • My Experience Working with International Criminal Court ICC and Canada
    • Presented by Nazar Jeejo
  • Similar Placement of Stamp Impressions on Reproduced Documents – A Product of Habit Or Something Questionable?
    • Presented by Yan Wen Tan – The Forensic Experts Group
  • What is visible and what is invisible: Quantum Physics and the Future
    • Presented by Jinwoo Choi – Chungnam National University (Institute of National Defense Studies)
  • Another Look: Carbon 14 Test Results, the Shroud of Turin as a Document, and the VP-8 Image Analyzer
    • Presented by Janis Winchester
  • A Proposed National Forensic Science Training Center
    • Presented by Carl McClary – Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – Atlanta Lab

The following digital posters were also presented:

  • Obtaining Request Handwriting Exemplars in a Socially Distant World, presented by  Khody Detwiler – Lesnevich & Detwiler
  • Offline Imitation Signature Handwriting Recognition Based on Convolutional Neural Network, presented by Lian Yuanyuan – China University of Political Science and Law
  • A Case of Examining the Sequence Of Intersecting Black Gel Pen Strokes And Laser Printed Document Lines Using Stereomicroscope, presented by Lian Yuanyuan – China University of Political Science and Law
  • A Request for Research Participation: Relative Proficiency Of Assessment Of Simulation Features Between Original Documents And Scanned Images By Forensic Document Examiners, presented by Gina Hunter – San Diego Sheriff’s Crime Lab
  • Is Magnetic Flux Homogenous Across A A4 Printed Page?, presented by Williams Mazzella – ESC University of Lausanne
  • The Examination on A New-Type Alteration Of Bank Acceptance, presented by Bill  Lin Zhuang – Nanjing Forest Police College
  • An Exploratory Study On The Methodology Of Collecting Experimental Handwriting Samples, presented by Xuelin Gao – People’s Procuratorate of Fengnan District, China
  • Ink Dating – The Essentials Of The Sequential Solvent Extraction Technique, presented by Valery Aginsky – Aginsky Forensic Document Dating Laboratory
  • In Review, presented by Katherine Schoneberger – Katherine Schoenberger–Forensic Document Examiner
  • Judicial Expertise Center Of Zhejiang University    Xiaoyi Wang
    How to Make Evidence Evaluation Transparent – Case Notes In Handwriting Examinations, presented by Anna Molin – National Forensic Center – Sweden
  • What Can Be Determined About the Surface On Which A Document Was Written?, presented by Steven Strach – Strach Forensic Pty Ltd
  • Determining the Sequence of Strokes By Using the Function of Three-Dimensional Reconstruction Of VSC, presented by Shuang Gao – Ordos Municipal Public Security Bureau, China
  • Handwriting Expertise Reliability: A Review, presented by Bing Li – Institute of Evidence Law and Forensic Science, China University of Political Science and Law

Finally, there was the usual business meeting open exclusively to members of the ASQDE.

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