Document Examination Expert Witness On Questioned Writing Part 6
Document examination expert witness Ronald N. Morris is a certified forensic document examiner and in this excerpt from Submitting a Handwriting Case for Examination, he writes on preparing a work request.
After separating the documents into questioned and known, the next step is to prepare a work request. The work request can be a specially designed form or letter. Regardless of which format is used the work request should contain the following elements:
a. A specific and complete description of the submitted documents, both questioned and known.
b. Accurately describe the desired examination(s), handwriting identification, alteration, fabrication, etc. For example, “Did John Jones write the name Sam Brown on …”, “are all of the James Joyce signatures by the same writer,” etc. Accurately describe the questioned material and its location on the document. If the known writing is collected, the location of the writing to be compared should be accurately described. One option would be to copy the collected document, and on the photocopy highlight the known writing. Attach the photocopy with the original document when submitted.
c. What disposition is to be made of the submitted documents at the conclusion of the examination(s)? Are they to be temporarily retained by the laboratory for preparation of court illustrations, or returned to the submitter? It is strongly recommended that the submitter be prepared to receive the submitted documents at the completion of the initial examination, and if at a later time another examination becomes necessary, then they be resubmitted. They can also be resubmitted for the preparation of court illustration.