Over a period of some fifty years I have made an in-depth study of all aspects of handwriting analysis and identification, and am familiar with the works of internationally recognised authorities on the subject.
In February 1981 I passed the entrance examination of the American Association of Handwriting Analysts. In 1988 I qualified for professional membership to the World Association of Document Examiners; court qualified in 1990. Unfortunately the Association closed in 2003 after some 30 years. During its heyday it had some 500 members internationally and did some sterling work which included the re-publication (through Nelson-Hall Publishers/Chicago) of text books including “Questioned Documents” by Albert S Osborn (Second Edition) and “Suspect Documents – Their Scientific Examination” by Wilson R Harrison that were almost unobtainable. One of the Directors was Edna W Robertson who is the author of the book “Fundamentals of Document Examination”. In June 1985 I qualified for membership of The International Association for Identification (USA); the Association, which was founded in 1915, has a membership in excess of 6000 members worldwide. I served as a member of their Standing Committee on Forensic Laboratory Analysis in 1991. I am a Founder Member of the South African Association of Forensic Document Examiners (created on 14th March 2008), a Professional Member of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (UK); the Society has almost 3000 members in 60 countries.
I have been involved as a document examiner / handwriting expert in some 4000 investigations since 1983, for banks, insurance companies, schools, universities, private investigators, and for the legal profession.
Among others, I have been called upon to express expert opinion concerning document related matters, for Spoornet / Transnet, for The Ombudsman for Banking Services, for Trade Unions including NUM, NUMSA, POPCRU and PAWUSA, the Institute of Chartered Accountants (SA), and for the South African Revenue Services.
I have appeared as an expert witness in Magistrate’s, Industrial, and High Courts in the Republic of South Africa, in Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Zambia. I have been called as an expert witness at arbitration, at disciplinary hearings, and before the Law Society of Natal. Over the years I have, on occasion, been asked to express an opinion and to present expert testimony, regarding type-script, postmarks and rubber-stamp marks.
ARTICLES IN JOURNALS
My article “Write into the Future” was included in the November / December 2004 edition of The Journal of Forensic Identification; i.e. the journal of the International Association for Identification of USA, and in the July 2004 edition of IA Adviser – the journal of The Institute of Internal Auditors of South Africa. My article “Conflicting Evidence of Handwriting Experts” appeared in the June 2005 edition of “De Rebus” – the journal of the Law Society of South Africa. A copy of the above described articles can be found in my website. An abridged version of a judgement given by the late Justice Harold L Berman was included in the August 1995 edition of the S.A. Law Journal. It appears as “A Trimestral Potpourri” entitled “The Curious Case of the Sheiks”. It includes my involvement.
In view of my background and experience I am capable of expressing a worthwhile opinion as to whether handwriting (including signatures) is or is not that of a specific person, and also regarding the integrity of documents generally.