Document examination cannot be done in court. Even if the judge insists on an “on the spot” examination, a professional examiner will not oblige. Document examination is a very complex process; it requires time and an immense amount of focus because the examiner has to follow a standard methodology. To understand why an expert cannot perform an “impromptu examination” in court, here are some of the specific steps the expert must take before reaching a conclusion:
- Make sure that all the documents are arranged in a chronological order
- Examine all documents both macroscopically and microscopically
- Assign a code to each document: “Q” for “questioned” and “K” for “known.”
- Become familiarized with the unique features and patterns of the known signature
- Record all findings systematically on a check list of graphic indicators.
- Evaluate elements such as: ratio, slant, spacing, etc., using measuring devices.
- Conduct a side-by-side comparison of the questioned and known signatures.