In Questions Attorneys Pose Regarding Document Examination, document examination expert witness Jan Leach writes:
1. Should I hire an expert as a consultant or as an expert witness?
Consultants can sit with you during a trial proceeding and offer insight. An expert witness will present a finding in court and will only appear for testimony.
2. What should a Letter of Opinion contain?
The question or task posed by the attorney should be clearly stated. The known and questioned documents are listed and identified; the scientific process should be described by the expert as followed in the study, and the opinion reached should be expressed by known standards of the industry.
3. What should be conveyed about the case initially? Often an examiner is contacted by both sides of a case. To avoid conflict of interest, share the name of client and other litigants as well as the opposing attorney. Withhold case information and claims until no conflict is assured. Once retained, the expert should be detailed with a description of the case and its related documents,. How many documents are in question and how many known signatures are available for comparison?
Jan Leach is a Forensic Document Examiner with court appearances in Florida, NY and the southern states since 1996. Typical cases include contracts, disputed wills, quit claim deeds, mortgages, trusts, altered medical and insurance records, promissory notes, and identity theft.