Handwriting Authentication Services

Handwriting Authentication Services

Sheila Lowe has testified as a handwriting expert since 1985. She has been court-appointed in public defender cases in the county of Los Angeles, and has provided an opinion in multi-million dollar forgery cases. Her articles on handwriting examination were published in the January issue of L.A. Lawyer and the April issue of Citations, the magazine of the Ventura County Bar.

If you have a suspected forgery, here is some information you’ll need to know:
In cases of suspected forgery, it is always best to have original samples. With anything less than originals, only a qualified opinion may be offered (i.e., the opinion is tentative pending examination of the original questioned document). If originals are unavailable, the next best thing is a high-resolution scan, a high quality digital photograph, or lastly, a first-generation color copy. Faxed copies are the least desirable.

A handwriting examiner also needs good exemplars in order to make a competent comparison. The best exemplars will be similar in nature to the questioned document. Thus, if the writing in question is a signature, the comparison exemplars should also be signatures. If printed writing is to be examined, as is often the case in anonymous notes, printed exemplars should be submitted. The exemplars should be writing that has already been done, not for the sake of the examination. It is best to have as many exemplars as possible that were written around the same time as the questioned writing, and it is also helpful to have writing from a range of dates.

If you need some ideas about where to find exemplars of signatures, here’s a link to 101 places to look. Here's a link to an article on How to Take Request Writing.

The handwriting examiner will need some information about the person whose signature or handwriting is being questioned. The following link contains a checklist of information that would be helpful. You may not have all the answers, but whatever you can provide will make the examiner’s job easier.

Like other professionals in the legal field, handwriting experts require a retainer for the first few hours (usually 3 hours) of work, and you will be required to sign a retainer agreement before any work is begun.

Email Sheila Lowe for a copy of her curriculum vitae: sheila@sheilalowe.comor call: (805) 658-0109.

Note: On August 2, 2006, an article titled "The write way" by reporter Sharon DeMarko-Gordon was published in the Niagara Gazette and other print and on-line newspapers. The article was about entertainment graphology and quoted several graphologists, including one purportedly by Sheila Lowe. Please note that Sheila was never contacted for an interview for this story, and never made the comments attributed to her. When she asked Ms. DeMarko-Gordon about the quote, a strange story began to unravel. The final chapter has yet to be written, but according to the reporter, someone posing as Sheila Lowe gave this interview. For the record, Sheila does not do entertainment graphology. Ever.