Speaker | Consultant | Educator
Diplomate, Board of Forensic Document Examiners (BFDE)
Ms. Fisher evaluates and tests questioned documents, advises attorneys throughout the litigation, and provides testimony for hearings, arbitrations and depositions. A Certified Fraud Specialist, Patricia Fisher is specialized in Questioned Document Analysis.
With few exceptions, Patricia Fisher works directly with the attorney or law firm, rather than with the individual client. This is important to protect the privilege for both the client and the case. Once Ms. Fisher has been listed as an expert, there is no longer a privilege. Everything is discoverable from the initial phone call. Working directly with the attorney Ms. Fisher can focus on the documents at issue as the attorney knows the law. The attorney can obtain or subpoena the additional documents that will be necessary.
An individual cannot do this.
Working with the attorney helps reduce potential bias. Individual clients usually want to tell their whole story to the document examiner not realizing that they are potentially eliminating the examiner from assisting them.
Video Transcript with Audio:
I was asked to take a look at a report
to see if it met the ASTM standards for handwriting examinations,
starting with one of the most important standards,
which is having a reliable comparison.
We scan in the writings,
then when I’m finished, I can take and
see what the letters don’t have in common with each other.
And, what was important here, it’s only when we get down to the S-A-N and the
O-F, where there are similar words.
Otherwise, there were no words that were similar.
An additional step that he took was to make comparisons of certain letters.
It’s really important when a document examiner,
especially working on anonymous writings,
does not simply pick and choose letters.
For example, he illustrates capital J.
There are standard ways that persons make a J.
There’s nothing individualizing or significant about this letter,
so what he did is he selected this, and I guess
two or three other characteristics that didn’t have really much value.
The biggest problem is there were so many absent characters and words.
The examination was flawed from the very start.
I need more writings. He did not do that.
And that’s why it’s really critical for
the document examiner to have very good judgment, and
not sacrifice the principles or the standards just to satisfy somebody else.