Forensic Document Examination
means authenticating questioned documents for the legal community – including the analysis of:
- printed documents
- digital documents
- and any other form of documents
As the above covers a wide range of specialities, a document examiner should refer the case outside of his or her skillset to another examiner, who specializes in the necessary skill(s) as required.
For example, the services of a digital forensics expert, instead of a handwriting expert, will be needed for examination of digital documents:
- Portable Document Format (PDF)
- Microsoft Word documents
- scanned files such as JPEG and TIFF
- Adobe Photoshop files
- many others
Code of Ethics
Document examiners are hired investigators, and advocate for neither side in a dispute.
Their ethical allegiance is to the evidence rather than either side in a legal dispute.
Examiners who are members of professional organizations, such as the National Association of Document Examiners (NADE), American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE), Scientific Association of Forensic Examiners (SAFE), subscribe to a code of ethics which prohibits improperly supporting the desired outcome of any party, including the party who hired the document examiner.
Document Examiners must conduct full, fair and unbiased examinations, leading to independent, impartial and objective opinions and conclusions.