Handwriting Experts and Perry Mason

By Antonia M. Klekoda-Baker C.D.E.

Years ago, on a Perry Mason television show, the good lawyer told his client that it was necessary to have a qualified
handwriting expert look at the document.

In the next scene, a bespectacled, mustachioed, dignified-appearing man walked in the room, blinked his eyes at the
document for one and a half seconds and said, “Yes, indeed it is a forgery!”

Just like that! How marvelous that this professional could provide an opinion without even using a magnifying glass or
microscope.

However, only in the wonderful world of the boob tube is there such a swift solution to determining a forgery. Nowadays, the
experienced Document Examiner will take more time and require as much information as is available before committing
an answer to the validity of a particular signature.

A seasoned Handwriting Expert will be able to provide more proof than merely an oral statement on the matter in order to
state that someone’s writing is bogus. Depending on the schooling of the Handwriting Expert, there will be a description of all of the documents examined and solid reasons for claiming a signature to be fake.

And, it will make sense to both the person getting the signature examined and the judge in the courtroom who has to
decide whether or not he can agree with the Handwriting Expert’s findings.

Person who forge another person’s penmanship aren’t necessarily some grubby bearded homeless individual who
followed someone into the bank and watched that person sign his name. For the most part, forgeries are the result of a very
studied and concentrated effort to produce the best possible replica of another person’s writing that truly challenges the
Handwriting Expert.