If you are interested in any of the following services, please contact me to discuss the matter further. I presently accept cases time-permitting and subject to conflict-of-interest concerns.
I provide complete forensic document examination services that include forensic handwriting examination (authorship of writing, signatures, initials, etc.) as well as other types of document examination. I am an experienced examiner and expert witness with over 35 years experience in criminal and civil casework. I am based in Ontario, Canada, but will accept work from all areas of Canada, the USA, or other countries.
Instructions are accepted from solicitors, companies, the public sector and other organizations. Private individuals should have legal counsel approval before submitting anything for examination. Instructions funded by Legal Aid are also accepted.
My services include the following:
- Professional document examination
- Free initial advice to assess suitability of documents
- Peer-review of findings/report from another qualified examiner
- Professional review of findings/report produced by any other examiner
- Court-compliant report, if and as required
- Presentation of evidence in Court
FDE opinions are routinely presented in legal proceedings (criminal, civil, regulatory, etc.) and they are also helpful in various non-legal matters, such as genealogical or historical research. All services are provided under contract according to specific conditions outlined therein.
Example cases include contested wills, mortgage fraud, identity fraud, medical malpractice, theft, homicides, threatening or anonymous communications, drug transactions, kidnapping, extortion, and misrepresentation, among other things. This list represents common requests; however, there is no limit to the type or number of situations where FDE methods could be of assistance.
Remember that people produce and use documents all the time for many different purposes. If you are unsure whether I can help, please contact me directly to discuss the specifics of your situation.
Main Services — Document Examination
- Authorship assessments
- Handwriting and handprinting,
- Initials and signatures, and
- Digitally-captured signatures (DCS).
- Source attribution for printers, copies, all manner of office equipment to products from those items, including
- Examination of ‘counterfeit’ items or documents particularly packaging, invoices, forms, etc., and including identity and security documents.
- Occurrences to documents:
- Detection and/or decipherment of alterations, obliterations, erasures, etc.,
- Physical restoration of shredded and torn documents,
- Sequence determinations relating to paper folding events, ink deposition sequences, inserted entries/interlineations, etc.,
- Indentation analyses for the detection and/or decipherment of latent (i.e., non-visible) indentations including the sourcing of indentations, sequence determinations based on indentations, etc.
- Date determinations – for the production of a document or an event affecting a document.
If any of the above services are of interest to you, please contact this office to discuss a submission.
A final written report will be provided, if required. There are two options for written reports, provided according to client need. A written summary letter provides a limited overview and summary of results, while a written forensic report is very detailed and comprehensive; with the latter being completely appropriate for court or other purposes. Please note that a full forensic report takes much more time to produce than the summary letter so there is more cost involved. The client may also request a summary letter with a forensic report provided at some later time, if it becomes necessary.
Please note that all reports reflect the independent work product and opinion of the examiner. As such, written reports are not subject to review or change by the client at any time or in any manner whatsoever.
Further to the above, it is critical that the client understand they are paying for the forensic examiner’s time and expertise. The opinion that results in any given case is not subject to negotiation. Additionally, full payment for services is required regardless of examination outcome.
To be blunt, an opinion cannot be purchased or changed to meet some particular or ‘desired’ outcome.
I am not a ‘hired gun’ and my opinions are always based solely on the evidence and what it says about the matter-at-hand. I provide independent, objective evaluation of that evidence in terms of the matter in question. This is an important aspect of the service that must be fully understood.
Services provided are court-ready although verbal reports are not considered to be sufficient for this purpose. Our methods are based on accepted procedures and existing standards for this type of work. I am an experienced witness and have provided expert testimony for various courts and jurisdictions.
I firmly believe in, and operate according to, well-established principles that apply to every forensic practitioner. Briefly, it is the examiner’s duty to:
- Assist the Court in understanding what the evidence at hand means,
- Provide a fair, objective and non-partisan view of the evidence,
- Address only those matters falling within the domain of forensic document examination, and
- Most important, remain a servant of the Court ahead of all others (i.e., the examiner’s duty to the Court supersedes any obligation to another party, including the party engaging the examiner’s services).
It is also important to understand that “expert” status in court is determined case-by-case by the trial judge who assesses the admissibility of all evidence presented to the court, including the status of proffered expert evidence. FDE testimony, like all forms of expert evidence, is subject to such challenge each and every time it is used.
Historically speaking, FDE evidence has been very well accepted in Canadian (and other) courts. However, admissibility in any given proceeding cannot be 100% guaranteed. To date, my evidence has always admitted into court and accepted by the trier in every instance in which I have appeared as an expert witness. I have no reason to believe that will change.
Please be wary of any forensic examiner who refers to themself as an “expert”. That person may be qualified and deserve to be considered competent in their field, but such a designation for court purposes is not something that can or should be self-declared, pre-declared, or assured by any party other than the court. Be sure to read my FAQ relating to this topic.
I review the work of other examiners 1) to determine whether that work is consistent with accepted standards, 2) to assess the basis of the opinion(s), and 3) as a basic quality assurance function. This service is often requested by a party who has received a FDE report issued by another examiner, either in their employ or employed by some other party. Such a review involves consideration of the methods used, the inferences made, as well as any conclusions drawn and reported.
Please be aware that many individuals claim expertise in this area without any actual qualification whatsoever. Be sure to read my FAQ relating to this topic.
Such reviews can be done with or without re-examination of the material, although the former is a better option, in general. This type of review often includes an assessment of the examiner’s actual FDE qualifications, their training and experience, as well as the work done on the file, including their conclusion and its justification (or lack thereof).
One very specialized service I provide is a formal peer review of casework done by other qualified examiners and this is conducted at their request; usually as part of their own quality assurance program. This can be particularly beneficial for sole practitioners or those working in smaller public or private laboratories. In general, such reviews are conducted remotely using secure communication options and appropriate digital imaging. Of course, this service is conditional, like other services and regular casework, upon any conflict of interest concerns that may exist.
Training & Workshops
I am an experienced trainer and lecturer. My FDE courses are open to qualified forensic document examiners, and to select non-FDE parties with an interest in the field. Many different courses, both basic and advanced, are available and can be provided in a standard format or customized to the needs of the client.
Please note: For all FDE training courses, a complete CV must be provided so I can assess prior training and qualifications of each applicant. I reserve the right to accept or reject any applicant for any reason, without explanation or negotiation.
I also provide general lectures about forensic science, forensic document examination, the logical approach to evidence evaluation and other topics, if requested.
What can you expect?
I personally guarantee you can expect, and you will receive:
- a balanced, honest, and objective assessment,
- professional, ethical, competent, and timely services at very competitive rates, and
- complete confidentiality and discretion at all times.