Ideally Document Examiners like to look at originals whenever that is possible. Examinations can be made from good quality copies with the opinion qualified that it is based on looking at copies rather than originals. In some cases the strongest opinion can not be made without looking at original documents. All original documents will be returned.
It is good to have between 12 and 25 signatures for comparison. Some cases require more, and some cases can be determined with fewer. This usually depends on the consistency of the writer and some of the above mentioned factors. Please call so we can discuss your case more thoroughly.
When examining handwriting, document examiners prefer to look at handwritings or signatures that are contemporaneous to the document in question. Contemporaneous usually means within one year of the date of the document in question. If we are examining writing of the very young, the very old, the writing of someone ill, or taking medications that might alter the handwriting, the writings might need to be much closer to the time of the questioned writing.
If we are looking at handwriting specimens, it is helpful to compare cursive writing with cursive writing and printing with printing. The writings should contain similar letters, words or groups. It is helpful to look at writing done on similar types of documents. Often it is helpful to have a wide range of types of documents on which there is handwriting or signatures. People often change their writing habits for different types of documents.
Sometimes it is necessary to take request writing from an individual, if insufficient known exemplars are available. Please call me before taking any request writing yourself, so that the job is done thoroughly and correctly the first time.