Forensic Document Expert
You have found yourself in a situation where you need to consult with an expert. Your case requires the resolution of an issue in order to proceed. Now the question is, how do you find the right expert?
Since you are reading this blog, you obviously are using the internet. If you do a quick search for an expert you will likely find a list of referral agencies. Referral agencies are a good place to start a search for an expert. Also check your local bar association website for their expert listings. Generally, the referral sites provide information about experts for various genres and sub-categories of expert, such as medical, legal, construction, maritime, etc. By searching for the category, specialty and sometimes the location of a given expert, the site provides the names and backgrounds of each person listed. Here is a sampling of what I found on the first page of a Google search: www.freereferral.com, www.almexperts.com, www.tasanet.com, www.roundtablegroup.com, www.hgexperts.com. And, there are many more …
As you may well imagine, not all referral agencies are created equal. Most rely on paid advertising to pay the bills. Therefore, anyone paying the annual fee gets listed in the categories of their choice. So it is logical to deduce that choosing an expert listed on one of these sites will take more than just calling the boldest listing. A closer look at the credentials of each expert listed may give you some clues as to their experience and training, but that should be just the beginning of your quest.
You may also try to search for an expert through a national, state or local professional organization in the genre of interest. Many such organizations have membership rosters or a referral service. There again, it helps to have an idea of how credible the organization is before relying on their listing of members. Perhaps some of the questions to ask are –
1. What are the requirements for membership? No matter what, there are costs involved in managing any organization. Besides dues, you will want to know that the organization in question has an established protocol for accepting members.
2. Is there continuing education required? For some, the meaning of “professional” includes an ongoing learning process, both individually and within the genre’s society. If the organization is established as promoting a given profession, it will either offer or strongly suggest regular continuing education training.
3. What is the purpose of the organization? Some organizations exist for the sole purpose of marketing and networking for its members. Professional organizations have as their purpose either training and education, self-regulation, professional enrichment or public service (or a combination of these). A professional organization is more likely to be a reliable source of a credible expert.
There is nothing better than to be referred to an expert through an acquaintance who has had a favorable experience with a certain expert. Sometimes it takes a few phone calls to track down someone who has needed such an expert. From him, you can gain first-hand information of the strengths and weaknesses of the expert. A good place to ask around is in legal circles. Attorneys, paralegals, private investigators, insurance investigators and other involved in civil and criminal court proceedings employ experts regularly and may be able to direct you to someone who will help you find just the right person for your case. At any rate, it is still a good idea to independently research the credentials of your potential expert. Your success may depend on your expert’s abilities and experience.
For more information or help with your handwriting signature analysis or document examination you can contact me at ALLIANCE FORENSIC SERVICES in Escondido, CA. 888-760-0339
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