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Questioned Documents - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080515601

Questioned Documents

1st Edition

A Lawyer's Handbook

Author: Jay Levinson
eBook ISBN: 9780080515601
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 21st September 2000
Page Count: 250
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Questioned documents are any documents that may be used as evidence in a trial, ranging from handwritten notes to counterfeit currency to contracts. This concise new handbook is designed specifically to aid lawyers involved in cases that involve questioned documents (QD) evidence. It explains the basics of document examination and helps litigators improve the way they present document evidence and question witnesses. It also provides references to professional literature and other legal sources, making it easy to find further information when needed. Questioned Documents: A Lawyer's Handbook provides analyses applied to many types of investigations and types of documents. It outlines the techniques for determining authenticity, age, ink and paper sources, handwriting identification, equipment used, forgeries, alterations, erasures, and more. In addition to helping the attorneys who mush present the QD evidence and ask the questions, this handbook is also an important resource for the expert witnesses who will be asked those questions at trial.

Key Features

@introbul:Key Features @bul:* Explains the basics of document examination and shows how they apply to a variety of cases

  • Helps litigators improve the way they present document evidence and interrogate witnesses
  • Saves hours in pre-trial interviews by providing lawyers with the a thorough knowledge of the topic
  • Presents case examples from the US, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Nepal, Israel, Jordan, Russia, Romania and more
  • Includes actual questions that can be asked of expert witnesses
  • Provides an extensive list of references and research suggestions
  • Helps document examiners learn about the application of their expertise in the courtroom, and what to expect when questioned by attorneys


Lawyers and law students, law enforcers, QD examiners

Legal Organizations (Europe) (20+ orgs) UK - New Law Journal,Criminal Law Review

ABA, American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, National Assoc. of Document Examiners, International Assoc. of Crime Analysts, International Association for Identification.

Table of Contents

I. General

  1. Historical Survey of Questioned Documents
  2. Questioned Documents as a Court-Oriented Discipline
  3. Training of a Questioned Document Examiner
  4. Written Declaration of Expert Opinion
  5. Preparing for the Testimony of an Examiner
  6. In the Court
  7. Illustrations
  8. Opposing Witnesses
  9. Cross Examination
  10. How to Chose and Hire an Examiner
  11. Ethics

II. Handwriting

  1. Factors Influencing Handwriting
  2. Conducting a Handwriting Examination
  3. Special Problems
  4. Forgery
  5. Effects of the Writing Instrument
  6. Intersecting Line
  7. Is Handwriting Examination Always Correct?
  8. Conclusions
  9. The Court
  10. Graphology

III. Typewriters

  1. Introduction

  2. History

  3. Mechanical Principles of Operation

  4. Single Element Typewriters

  5. Make & Model, Type Fonts

  6. Using Typewriter Grids

  7. Maintaining Specimen Files

  8. Typewriter Individuality

  9. Toy Typewriters


IV. Printers

  1. Introduction
  2. Printers in General
  3. Laser Printers
  4. Ink Jet Printers
  5. Conducting an Examination
  6. Conclusion

V. Other Office Machines

  1. Facsimile (FAX)
  2. Perforator
  3. Check Writer
  4. Paper Cutter

VI. Cachets & Seals

  1. Cachets
  2. Seals

VII. Printing

  1. Introduction
  2. History
  3. Methods
  4. Printing Inks
  5. Examination Points

VIII. Document Copying

  1. Photocopiers
  2. Examination of Photocopied Documents
  3. Other Duplicators
  4. Note

IX. Photography

  1. General
  2. Examinations
  3. Demonstration
  4. Advice to the Lawyer

X. Pens and Pencils, Inks and Dyes

  1. Fountain Pens
  2. Ball Point Pens
  3. Ball Point Ink Differentiation
  4. Fiber Pens
  5. Conclusions
  6. Pencils

XI. Paper

  1. History
  2. Manufacture

XII. Clips and Staples

  1. Paper Clips
  2. Staples

XIII. Fingerprints on Documents

  1. Introduction
  2. Ninhydrin

XIV. Examination Equipment

  1. UV, IR and IRL
  2. ESDA
  3. Magnifiers
  4. Microscope
  5. Projectina
  6. Laser

XV. Materials to be Examined

  1. Passports
  2. Identity Cards
  3. Signatures on Art
  4. Erasures & Obliterations, Cut-and-Paste
  5. Currency
  6. Credit Cards
  7. Proof of Age
  8. Checks
  9. Travelers Checks
  10. Anonymous Letters


Questioned Document Organizations


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2001
21st September 2000
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Jay Levinson

Jay Levinson received his Ph.D. and undergraduate degrees from New York University. From 1972 until 1981 he worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a document examiner. He is a member of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, and was certified as a diplomate by the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners. In 1981 Dr Levinson joined the Israel National Police, first as a document examiner, then as a training officer. He now heads up special projects in the crime laboratory division. Dr Levinson has published more than 80 articles and papers dealing with document examination and forensic science. He has also given instruction in document examination in more than 20 countries and as an invited lecturer at several universities.

Affiliations and Expertise

Israel National Police, Division of Identification and Forensic Science, Jerusalem


"...a good overview of the many types of examinations conducted by the questioned document examiner." --Danielle P. Seiger, Questioned Document Examiner, Federal Bureau of Investigation Who would find the book most useful? Well, the title of the book would suggest that the book is mainly meant for lawyers. I am no lawyer; I am a forensic pathologist, and yet I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would imagine, people like me, who have not been trained in document examination, and yet would like to know something about how documents are compared, would find this book interesting. And this could include forensic pathologists, forensic scientists from other arenas, students, general public and even crime writers who want to weave a story around questioned documents. And for document examiners themselves, this could be a good book not only for recapitulation, but also for sharing some of the author’s own experiences. - Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine

Ratings and Reviews