Forensic science is the application of various sciences
to the law. The application of allied sciences and analytical
techniques to questions concerning documents is termed
forensic document examination. The examination of
questioned documents consists of the analysis
and comparison of questioned handwriting, hand
printing, typewriting, commercial printing, photocopies,
papers, inks, and other documentary evidence with known
material in order to establish the authenticity of the contested
material as well as the detection of alterations.
Forensic document examiners (FDES) help lawyers by
examining and offering written opinions on a variety of
disputed document problems including: wills, deeds,
medical records, income tax records, time sheets,
contracts, loan agreements, election petition, checks, and
Lawyers benefit from FDES specialized knowledge of literature in the questioned document field. This knowledge
will assist lawyers in preparing meaningful direct examination questions for their own experts and cross-examination
questions for opposing experts.
There is no college degree or major in forensic document examination. The majority of FDES have undergraduate
or masters degrees, however. Most of the recognized regional and national forensic science organizations
require a baccalaureate degree as a condition of membership.