HIRING A DOCUMENT EXAMINER/HANDWRITING EXPERT-ATTORNEY- EXPERT RELATIONSHIP

You have finally made a decision to hire a document examiner/handwriting expert. Hopefully, it is not a week before the trial, though I do understand, perhaps better than most that true emergencies can come up, like when my client and friend a former DA in Philadelphia, calls at 11PM on a Sunday night for a trial the next morning when a petition suddenly shows up that must be challenged.

When your office is at home, and attorneys get to know that, you learn to expect those things, but you have to be a pretty close friend to even think about getting away with calling me at 11pm on a Sunday night.  Otherwise, I will just tell you to take a tranquilizer and call me in the morning and I won’t even send you a bill for the advice.

 Well now as Steve Allen used to say: “All seriousness aside, let’s talk”

Generally speaking, experts do NOT like being called at the last minute. For me, last minute is anything less than two weeks prior to the time an opinion, albeit even a preliminary, is needed. Don’t even think about it if its a trial less than two weeks before the date of trial. This does NOT send a good message to your potential expert and will likely have him running in the other direction.

The reasons should be quite obvious. As I have tried to convey in my previous post, authenticating a signature or handwritten document can be quite complex depending on the case, Although I can appreciate the fact that an attorney, who on average, research shows, only uses a document examiner once every fifteen years,   may not fully understand exactly what is needed to render an opinion that can be defended in court and, in fact, may have a simplified view of what is required.  Attorneys need to give the expert sufficient time to collect said information that the scientific authority and case law require-otherwise, the whole exercise is a collosal waste of time and money and what’s the point? Nothing is solved and both the attorney and expert risk looking very bad to the judge for not being properly prepared and the judge may harbor an unconscious bias, thinking in his or her mind that the reason the attorney waited to the last minute is that he/she wanted to “slip something by”them. Maybe just maybe, the judge won’t have the time to look at things too closely if the attorney”s signature issue is really crap and his last minute ploy is merely a ploy to delay things, hoping it may somehow favor the client’s case by stonewalling. Maybe the plaintiff is right, the client’s  signature really IS a forgery. Why would an attorney want to pay an expert to tell them something they already suspect might be true–at least not pay them a lot of money anyway-hence the recent proliferation of cheap experts willing to say anything for a buck just so that your opposing counsel can cause further delay and expense to your client and who knows maybe even make them throw in the towel and go away. Litigatin IS getting VERY  expensive these days and the truth can sometimes suffer for that. Standing on principle it seems is getting to be a lost art.

 This is why I take great pains to not allow myself to get involved in any of these dubious situations. Like I said, there sometimes ARE true emergencies, but like the sign I saw on a fellow expert’s desk says: “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”. I will take an emergency for someone I know or have worked for before, but let’s face it, it is NOT a good sign for an expert when he or she gets those last minute frantic phone calls. It usually indicates to me that the attorney doesn’t want to pay unless they absolutely have to and even then, not pay too much or on the alternative are not well prepared. To an expert, either scenario is not good. It is hard to immagine someone being so poorly prepared that they didn’t know they had a trial in a week But hey, what do I now do with the cases I am working on for attorneys who did NOT wait until the last minute?  Is it fair to them?

So the bottom line is that generally experts should avoid what my wife calls “Last Minute Louies” unless of course you like headaches and stress and chasing after lawyers for money-good luck on that.

So now back to “working with your document examin/handwriting expert” FINALLY.

Again, it is not my purpose to train anyone in document examination but instead what to do to get the most out of the attorney/expert relationship. Nor is it my job to quote the pertinent laws that relate to questioned documents in general and to this case in particular. It is a partnership, but not an equal partnership. At all  times, it must be remembered, the attorney is the manager of his or her case and the expert must comply, as long as it does not violate any legal or ethical tenet whether it be the experts Code of Ethics or the attorney’s, notwithstanding “last minute Louie” The attorney should also have SOME rudimentary knowledge of the field such as one might find in my soon to be published book to give them SOME parameters of what the expert might need.

 The expert must rely on counsel’s advice about the relavent law pertaining to the case and must comply. Likewise the attorney must comply with the scientific principles of the field that the expert must rely on and will be impeached for if not compliant.

In one sense, it is really quite simple for the expert. If the scientific authority says you do X then you do X. and you request that counsel do everything in his or her power to assist you  comply with the scientific authorites and not try to manipulate things to save time or money. For example, the issue of exemplars often comes up Ie the known samples the expert must rely on to determine the writing habbits of the person who signature or writing is in dispute  DURING THE   TIME PERIOD of the disputed document. The authorities on this subject are quite clear as to what is reqired-how many, when, what type, etc. Ignorance or laziness to obtain proper samples on the part of counsel when the expert can not obtain them on their own(such as when a subpoena is required) is no excuse. The information is there in publics records, if necessary, which, thanks to the net are now much easier to obtain. Being told: “This is all I have” will only get you a preliminary opinion from me which will be useless in court. This is also true for any other information that may impact the analysis which your expert will be glad to provide in numbing detail. If the authority and thus the expert require it, it MUST be obtained. Experts who do not insist that their client/counsel provide the required material or information set themselves up for possible impeachment and even malpractice, an ever increasing tort in litigation now.  And they only have themselves to blame. If counsel does not or can not comply with proper scientific authority, the answer is simple and clear-NO FINAL REPORT WILL BE ISSUED BY THE EXPERT -PERIOD!!!! I provide a detailed list of what is required and it must be signed and returned with the required information. In my cases, it is not possible to proceed unless all the required information is provided, but it seems there are some experts and attorneys who are willing to play “Russion Roulette” as one attorney/client told me, by not doing what is required for the sake of experdiency and hoping things work out OK.

As experts, we are not in the business of taking short cuts to please counsel and thus put ourselves at risk. And counsel should not be in the business of taking short cuts lest they lose the case and incurr the rath of a client or possibly worse. It used to be that it was hard to find a lawyer who would sue another lawyer-not anymore. The relationship between the expert and his or her client/attorney should be one of mutual respect and cooporation to reach a common goal–justice for the client. It will not work otherwise.  The expert must allow counsel to do his job and not interfere and counsel must allow his expert to do his job and not impede. The right thing must ALWAYS be done to insure the best result. And let’s not forget, you don’t want to antagonize your expert by not paying their bill or resisting their advice or you will quickly lose them then have to start all over with another expert-if you can find one willing to take over.

Let’s face it, I, as an experienced and knowledgable expert do not want to be associated with experts who do not share my standards. Of course, we are not talking about students and trainees here. We are talking about experienced experts who KNOW or are supposed to know what their job is and how to do it. It often amazes me how highly little highly credentialed experts know about their field. I once had a case where an experienced government expert answered “I don’t know” twelve times in a row to basic skill questions about handwriting, prompting the judge to turn and ask: “Well, sir, just what do you know?”  There went any credability he had, highly credentialed or not. And please as an expert, DO NOT advocate for your attorney or client or there goes your credibility. You can defend your opinion when it comes under attack, as it most certainly will on cross, as Albert Osborn, one of the accepted authorities in the field says you must. But there is a BIG difference between advocating for you attorney/client and defending what you believe to be the correct conclusion.

Lawyers are no different than experts.. A good and honest lawyer does not want to be associated with anyone whose standards are less than his or hers. That not only includes integrity, but work ethic as well. What would be the point? If you win a case dishonestly, what have you won except “bad karma” as they say? You have to look yourself in the mirror. You have to look in the eyes of your kids and tell them to be honest and hard working if they are to acheive in life. There is NO exception here. We all KNOW that, so why argue the point. Why shade the truth thinking no one will know. YOU  will know. God will know. There will ALWAYS be a pay back for anyone who does not to follow what their heart tells them IS the right thing to do even if the pay back is feeling guilty and ashamed, which has been shown to have a bad effect on your health. As one young lawyer once told me: “I try not to piss off highly qualified and experienced experts. You never know when you might need them again”. By the same token, the attorney must always remember that it is really the client who has the ultimate say and who must be pleased with the effort in the end by both the attorney and the expert.  Clients should not be left in the dark about anything and should be informed each step of the way.

Like President Truman said when the politicians were telling him what they thought he should do as he pounded his fist on the table: “DAMN IT,  WHY DON’T WE JUST TELL THEM THE TRUTH!!!”  That did not win him many friends in Washington, but he covered that to: “If you want a friend in Washington”, he said, “get a dog.

I have one, my Golden Retriever Gracie(who is on YouTube by the way)

A truer friend you would never want. She never complains as long as the biscuits are nearby and finds the greatest joy in the simplest things in life, like a walk in the park. There is a powerful lesson there somewhere.

 

 

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“A HEAD FULL OF WATER”

This book will be the story of my life and what a story it is

As I have posted elsewhere, I was born 2 months premature w/hydrocephalus SO severe Dr. Sean Grady, the brain surgeon at Penn told my wife and I he had only seen 5 patients  with Hydrocephalus as severe as mine and they were all profoundly retarded, all the rest being dead

My mother was out of it and the doctors were trying to make a decision to save her or me, but we fooled them, we both lived and as Hennie Youngman, the famous comedian of years past said: “I remember the day I was born. I cried like a baby”

I remember being told I was in an incubator for months and as it turned out the high concentration of oxygen “destroyed” my eyes. Many premature babies like me wound up TOTALLY BLIND, but as it turned out I was EXTREMELY nearsighted. My close-up vision was four times greater than normal. God had a plan.

It seems my EXTREME close-up vision was PERFECT for my life’s work as a Questioned Document Examiner, otherwise known as a Handwriting Expert

It was NOT perfect however for my super thick glasses and with my EXTREMELY large head, size 8 5/8th which btw I learned was President Kennedy’s hat size which for him, unfortunately made a very inviting target.

But if you can imagine, this little boy whose head was the same size as it is today on my almost 6 foot frame, it must have made for quite a scene.  I am such a miracle, no one can explain it. Recently when I said to Dr. Hamilton at the Penn Memory Center: “Surely there MUST be others like me, he very gently took my arm and looked me in the eye and tenderly said: “None like you Bob, none like you”

Now if all this were not enough to handle growing up and through my life, I experienced MANY tragedies and hardships: For example, living and working in a Funeral home for four years in college, quite an experience to say the least, which might be the subject of another book later. But I DO want to relay two experiences from those times that had a VERY PROFOUND impact on my life.

Steven Paul Schwartz

Halloween night back in the 70’s, we had a funeral at the funeral home where a BEAUTIFUL  curly 4 year old boy was killed when some EVIL person put a heroin pill in his Halloween bag. I can STILL see that little boys face even though it has been over 50 years ago. Hardly a year goes by that I don’t think of him-the son I never had. Someone told me that he is smiling at me from Heaven every time I remember him.

Patrolman Louis Vasgar

I was having dinner with a date at Kane’s bar, right next to the funeral home where I took all of my dates. There was a movie there that shared their parking lot with the funeral home. As a result, we got free movies every weekend with our dates then had dinner at Kane’s bar. I can still picture the nice waitress Helen

Well this particular evening Bernadette and I were having dinner when Dimmie(Demetrius) came back toward us bleeding. The bar was being robbed. The robbers took the money from the register and headed for the door. Suddenly they saw brim of a police officers caps. There was a big fat guy at the end of the bar and as officer Vasgar opened the door,  the gunman blew his brain out right in front of my face. I remember discussing it the next day at my criminology class at Temple, stil shaken by what happened.

As I said, I experienced MANY tragedies but I realized a couple days ago that my book is about a miracle of survival and though I will try, it is hard to put into words the MIRACLE that is my life in SO many ways, many of those things being AMAZING gifts from God that seemed to just fall into my lap

SO THESE THINGS WILL BE THE FOCUS OF MY BOOK AND HOPEFULLY WILL WET YOUR APPETITE FOR MORE

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FAILURE TO TEACH CURSIVE WRITING-HUGE MISTAKE

I went to “public” school. My cousin Steve went to Catholic School. We were ALWAYS referred to by his friends, Tommy Claffee,  Joey Boyle et al as “Publics”. As I would later learn on that fateful day in when I was 16 in the library at John Bartram High school where I was a Sophomore  I was goofing off in the library during Study Hall(I often wondered why it was called “study Hall”, we didn’t study in the hall. Most kids just goofed off in the hall while other SERIOUSLY studied in the library annoyed by all the  noise outside(we din’t have “boom boxes” back then-Thank God). Well I at least I was INSIDE the library though, studying I wasn’t. I was goofing off browsing the shelves AND THEN THERE IT WAS-“Robert Saudek-Experiments with Handwriting”-WOW. a light went off in my head. Little did I know that THAT  book would become the foundation of my later career as a Handwriting Expert as I would find no greater books on the subject of handwriting even though they were written around 1928 I never knew there was such a thing existed though I would later learn Julius Ceasar commented about people’s handwriting 2000 years before. His second book “The Psychology of Handwriting” was even more fascinating as I simply didn’t know one could learn about someone’s personality by his handwriting. I later learned as I launched my career as a Handwriting Expert, character was just the tip of the iceberg of all the things handwriting could reveal. EVERYTHING IN THE MIND AND BODY could be discerned, including of all things-Cancer–LONG before it was medically detectable and thus LIFE SAVING but as usual, the medical profession is their never ending quest for profit instead of healing TOTALLY  ignored.

It STILL  amazes and  greatly saddens me that Cancer can be detected in the handwriting up to five years BEFORE  it was medically detectable. I say GREATLY SADDENS  me because 7 members of my family died of Cancer including my Mother and Father and all my favorite aunts and uncles. The  conventional medical profession STILL does not accept that Cancer CAN be detected and EASILY CURED up to five years prior to conventional diagnosis WITH SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS MEGA DOSE OF VITAMIN C BY IV. It is KNOWN that my dog produces up to 40,000 mg of Vitamin C in her Liver EVERY DAY but people can not because of a genetic defect that happened MILLIONS of years ago.

So this will be my life’s work-writing the book about my life at almost  age 70. Its NEVER too late as I learned when I recently heard the story of a black man, wrongly convicted, who spent 36 years in prison,  and sent out the door with the shirt on his back and nothing more, only to realize that in those 36 years he produced HUNDREDS  of water color paintings which now sell for up to hundreds of dollars apiece.

My book will be filled with amazing stories of my life experiences and “forgery” and handwriting cases even I still can’t believe, like the stories of Serial Killer Gary Heidnick and talk show host Kelly Ripa who displayed her own form of evilness

So my book is coming and hopefully this blog will wet your appetite to buy it. You can visit my web site at www.DocumentExaminer.Org

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WHEN IS IT TIME TO RETIRE FROM YOUR LIFE’S WORK AND MOVE ON AND WILL YOU HAVE THE MONEY TO LIVE THE SAME LIFE STYLE

When you work for a company, that question is usually decided for you whether you like it or not. If they like you, you might make it to 66, the usual retirement age, but if they don’t, they will find a way to get rid of you, hopefully after the age when you might be able to collect your pension, but like my Mother, they fired her right before she was to collect her pension.

This is where you have to do what many people don’t—take control of your financial future at an early age. Few are lucky enough to come from wealth and if they do, it can make them financially “lazy” thinking everything will just continue to come to them as it has from their wealthy parents and relatives. if you start saving a MODEST from wealth, but as many learn too late, it is likely you WILL retire wealthy IF YOU START EARLY ENOUGH and it doesn’t take a lot of risky investments to do that. As people get older and realize they DID NOT do what I am about to tell you the investment strategies become riskier and riskier in an effort to build that retirement “nest egg”.  The result is usually disaster. When things get REALLY bad PRAYING  TO HIT THE LOTTERY becomes a last resort, but don’t hold your breath. Many foolish souls resort to crime at that point and spending YEARS behind bars is the true definition of CATASTROPHE

Yet the answer is  REALLY quite simple, but most don’t do it. They would rather get the new car(I have NEVER owned a new car. I drive a 1978 Chevy Caprice Classic) buy a house right away instead of living with family for a while or in an apartment and saving money.

Starting at age 18, with your first job, if you save $1000/yr at 4% from a US Savings Bond, you will have more money at 65(retirement age) than if you START saving $1000 a year at age 35  at 8% and save for 30 years.  Instead people don’t do that. They want the new car, the house and on and on. It’s smart to buy a house but you don’t gain anything unless you sell it hoping property values don’t go DOWN  in the years you live there and as we ALL know they can be an ever increasing expense with property taxes, utilities, maintenance  Even if property values go up, many are forced to sell their houses to pay for the nursing home if they are not lucky enough to have a helpful family or ANY family

The answer REALLY is that simple and it does NOT  take much of a sacrifice to save $1000.00/r at age 18. You can buy a used car, limit your vacations, clothes, don’t eat out as much, but MOST  important, a modest, safe investment WILL yield HUGE dividends by age 65 even only @5%.

SOOOOO if its REALLY  that simple why don’t more people do it. You tell me.

I was getting ready to give a   a lecture at Rowan University on handwriting and the professor was telling the students that if you start saving $1000.00 a year at 5% at age 18, you will have more money at the retirement age of 65 than if you start saving $1000.00 a year for 30 years starting at age 35 with no risky investments-just a return of 5%.

Very few people do that. It gives you GREAT control of your life and relieves a LOT of stress in later years

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HARASSMENT BY AUDUBON NEW JERSEY POLICE DEPARTMENT OVER MY TWO CLASSIC CARS PARKED IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE WHICH ARE BOTH LEGALLY REGISTERED AND INSURED

I have owned two classic cars for over 30 years-a 1978 Caprice Classic and a 1980 Malibu which have been parked in front of my house for years. They are legally registered  and insured to me. Hardly a week goes by that someone does not knock on my door who wants to buy them, especially the 1980 Malibu I have seen these cars on line fully restored selling  for up to $7000.  I would be willing to sell the Malibu for that price once restoration is complete. However, I get offers of as little as $300

Lately the Audubon Police have marked these cars as abandoned and placed a red abandoned sticker on the cars and asked they be removed from the street. The cars ARE NOT ABANDONED. Audubon MUST file a certification under oath that the cars meet the legal  guidelines for being abandoned but nevertheless, I have removed them to my driveway. Nevertheless I found a white car, parked out front of my house-NJ tag #611FRU designed to prevent me from parking in front of my house.

What I despise, having worked in law enforcement for over 45 years is the games that the Audubon, NJ Police seem willing to play. I am interested in knowing if anyone on line has had similar experiences, not only w/the Audubon, NJ police, but ANY police Department over the issue of “so called” abandoned cars. Please post it here. Something MUST be done about this. NO ONE likes being abused by the Police Department. Thanks God that the internet allows people to share these experiences to reduce such abuse by Police Departments who somehow think they are above the law. Please contact me at HandwritingExpert@Comcast.net or call me at 856-520-0271 so that we can formulate a plan to see thiis is not repeated.

Thank you,

ROBERT J. PHILLIPS

DOCUMENT EXAMINER

WWW.DOCUMENTEXAMINER.ORG

 

 

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THE LESSON OF IMPERMANENCE-NOTHING LASTS FOREVER SO THERE IS NOT POINT IN REACTING NEGATIVELY BUT ACCEPT AND ADJUST

Today’s lesson is about over reacting to things we cant change and letting negative emotions they create to pass like clouds in the sky without reacting to them.

Such is the case when we interact with people more powerful than us. If you want to change, it MUST be through the proper authority that creates the laws we all MUST follow if we feel that authority is being abused as it often is because of the perception by the rich and powerful who make the rules that they operate with impunity. But as my dear mother often told me when I became frustrated and impatient with these problems: “Remember Bob, the constant drip of water can wear away a stone. That is why I LOVE the movie: “The Shawshank redemption. I won’t give it away if you have not seen it, but I believe it was one of the greatest movies of all time. I think EVERYBODY  should see it to deal with life’s more difficult problems. Just like healing ourselves from ANY illness. As my Chines Doctor, Cai Ping Lin one told me: “Nature, Time and Patience are the three great physicians. The body has been healing itself for a million years. You have to give it a chance. The AMA has only been around for 200 years and TCM-Traditional Chines medicine for 5000 years and Ayurvidic  Medicine also for 5000 years. Go there first for a cure

 

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THE GAME OF BEING AN EXPERT WITNESS AND DEALING WITH INCOMPETENT AND UNETHICAL LAWYERS

I have been a Document Examiner/Handwriting Expert for almost 45 years. Sadly, most attorneys, who suspect that they MIGHT b on the wrong side of the case are not really looking for the truth. Since 95% of ALL cases settle anyway, an attorney working on a contingency who suspects his client is not telling the truth after he decides to take the case-IE he was deceived and fooled by his/her client wants to get as much as he/she can out of the case and often to do that they will hire an expert, who on the surface seems qualified as long as they don’t look too closely. Their goal is to stall and delay to wear down the opposition especially if they are poorer/weaker than their client and don’t  the money for protracted litigation even if they are absolutely right. This is why the wealthier client always seems to get a more favorable settlement even if they are wrong. Judges often play a role in this, especially if they have a crowded docket and want to “get rid” of cases. The bottom line is that the poorer litigant ALWAYS GETS  SCREWED unless they have an attorney with integrity who wants to help a poorer client such as those young principled attorneys I often find working at VIP(Volunteers for the Indigent Program in Philadelphia) or other similar programs around the country such as Community Legal Service in Philadelphia or Legal Aide throughout the country.

Today with the internet it usually easy to find a competent expert or incompetent one if that is your choice so you can delay the case and hope for the best if your case is weak. The name of the game in those cases is to put in minimal effort and hope for the best, telling your client: “That’s the best I could do” They certainly DO NOT want to put in more hours at their hourly rate than they have hope of recovering in a settlement. These attorney don’t mind taking these cases as long as at the end of the day they can’t make some money that exceeds the time spent. To make up for this, they file a volume of these cases so that the total earnings exceeds the time they put in yet they will tell the client, if they are disappointed that was the best they could do given the weakness of their case that they are all too willing to point out to their client.

Let’s face it ALL attorney want a case that will yield a LOT of money with minimal effort Ie “wealthy lawyer gets rear ended by oil truck and is crippled for life” A lawyer will jump at that case. But if your case has the SLIGHTEST weakness-real or imagined the attorney will put out minimal effort then suggest you jump at the first offer since you will likely not do better at trial as long as the offer exceeds the time spent on the case.

ITS A BIG GAME-EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT.

To be sure, I HAVE encountered honest, hard working whose goal is to seek justice for their client, even if they don’t make a lot of money. They figure they will be rewarded for their efforts on the next case and it makes them feel good that they could help. For all you Chrstians out there, remember was Jesus said: “Bread cast upon the waters cmes back three fold” And the added bonus is: You can sleep soundly at night knowing you helped a fellow human being even if you did not make a ton of money. After all, isn’t that while we are here-to help those less fortunate and complete our mission. Often, the letters I get from appreciative clients don’t have price (www.DocumentExaminer.Org. But  I can sleep at night knowing i did  my best and helped a fellow human being who often through no fault of their own found themselves in a unfortunate situation.

In that sense, I am glad I am toward the end of my career and can now devote my time to writing about the many wonderful experiences I have had and unfortunately, the not so wonderful ones from which I have learned a lot and now can help others(including fellow experts) to avoid the same pitfalls.

Again, isn’t that why we are here to help others?

By the same token, good attorneys are honest, hard working and care about helping their clients and creating positive energy. Unfortunately bad attorneys are dishonest, lazy and only care about themselves and don’t really care about their clients or the bad energy they create. They just don’t realize, it comes back to them in the end. But not just them, they taint the profession and hurt everyone.

You would think that the State Ethics Committees would be eager to get rid of such attorneys but unfortunately such is not the case. My Killian, head of the PA State Supreme Court Ethics Committee covered up what I believe to be blatant unethical conduct of an attorney who threatened to go to the “Authorities” if I filed a law suit against him an his client whom he encouraged to file what he knew was a false law suit against me and of which I have a recorded conversation.

This is why people have little faith that attorneys who commit misconduct will be properly disciplined and little faith in lawyers in general who can commit such blatant misconduct and have it covered up by the PA Supreme Court. And if you ask the public their opinion about attorneys, most people generally have a negative opinion and it is little wonder why when agencies like the PA Supreme Court covers up blatant unethical conduct.

If you have had similar experiences pllease post them on my web site or Facebook. We need to take control of this or we will ALL lose

Respectfully submitted,

ROBERT J. PHILLIPS

WWW.DOCUMENTEXAMINER.ORG

DOCUMENTEXPERT@COMCAST.NET

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A WISE YOUNG LAWYER ONCE TOLD ME YEARS AGO: “I TRY NOT TO ANGER HIGHLY QUALIFIED EXPERTS. YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU MIGHT NEED THEM. IS THAT TRUE TODAY?

I have been an expert for over 40 years having appeared in court over 500 time since my first testimony on January 13, 1976 for David P Brown III, a truly fine lawyer. I wish I could say I have encountered a better lawyer, though there have been many just as good. But lately they seem few and far between.

As I think is true w/many segments of the business community today. It seems that the thrust seems to be minimum effort, maximum gain, which is one reason, at this stage of my career I am pretty much only taking cases from prior clients or referrals from prior clients whom I feel I can trust

I am trying to focus on finishing the fours book I have started to write, in some cases years ago so therefore, cutting down on my work load. The problem is, there are few Handwriting Experts around who can match my experience, background and knowledge, which I have gained through GREAT effort on my part.

The problem as I see them are basically three fold. 1-There is little incentive for SOME attorneys working on contingency to spend money for a highly qualified expert like myself because it means less money for them and since 95% of cases settle anyway, many clients are pleased to get a settlement even if it is for an amount that could have been much higher with a little more effort from counsel. The client doesn’t know that, however.

2-Because many lawyers don’t want to spend the money unless there is an excellent chance of recovery of a large settlement, they are allowing the clients to contact the expert directly-a MAJOR mistake since those conversations may NOT be confidential and clients are eager to “argue” the validity of their case for which the expert can be questioned and an inference drawn by opposing counsel the opinion is not objective and thus tainted. Even though many clients ARE honest and DON’T try to influence my opinion, that will not stop opposing counsel from trying and if it is in front of a jury, no one really knows what jurors are thinking. There is the perception that if one side gets an expert, the other side will get their expert to reach an opposite conclusion. The sad thng is that there are many dishonest and incompetent experts who are willing to do that for the right price hoping they will not be thoroughly cross examined which often doesn’t happen. What happens instead is the client of that expert is forced to settle for a much lower amount in their settlement, though it is doubtful their attorney will admit that

3-MANY injustices occur because the amount of time needed by the attorney to prove the case is just too cost prohibitive and surely opposing counsel sensing that will do everythng in their power to delay the matter if they feel there is a chance they can lose, but sense the attorney just doesn’t want to put out the necessary effort.

Then there are the countless number of valid cases that never see the light of day because there is no money available to prosecute them, Community Legal Services Aside. Such attorney, though they mean well, just don’t have the knowledge and experience to prevail unless the case is “Open and shut”

The bottom line of all this is that even in ever increasing numbers this is not just a problem of the “poor” but the middle class as well. Vast numbers of people NEVER see the inside of a court room nad I have not seen a great hue and cry over that. Which is SAD.

If you are wealthy, you can ANYTHING  you want and I don’t see a lot of judges protesting too loudly about that and in fact have even encountered judges who don’t want the poor or middle class in their court room.

If anyone can offer solutions to these problems, I would certainly be open to them. I don’t think the media cares about this. After all, if they let hundreds of children die of the flu, when it was cured in 1959 in one day w/IV Vitamin C by Dr. Klenner, why should they care about this

But please feel to write about this and PLEASE  pass this along

 

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HEY BABY-ITS WWW.BOOK BABY.COM THEY WILL HELP YOU GET YOUR BOOK TO MARKET BUT YOU HAVE TO FINISH IT FIRST

I have been a writer ever since I saw the episode on “Leave it to Beaver” where he began keeping a diary. I was 12 at the time and I am 68 now and have been keeping diaries and journals ever since(maybe). When you keep a diary or journal it is supposed to be an every day thing-right? Well one of the things that stoped me dead in my tracks was when my wife started to read them.

Now mind you, I wasn’t hiding any secret affairs and most of what I have written, I have discussed with her many times BUT!!! You don’t keep diaries and journals for other people to read. You write them for YOURSELF. If you choose to share parts of them say for a book, that is entirely up to you. It is your choice, but your whole state of mind changes about your writing when you think there is even the slightest possibility someone else may read in. Inthe famous “Beaver” episode, the parents read his diary when he did not come home to find out where he might be. Beaver was devastated and the parents apologized, but the damage ws done-just like my wife reading my diaries. Fortunately we have gooten past that and she KNOWS  that is  a MAJOR NO NO. But I still have not resumed daily writing in my diaries. Most of my writing today is on Facebook-quite a different genre to be sur, though I can be pretty candid about my life,especially my recent penile cancer were I had to have my penis removed. Why do I share such an intimate detail about myself-very simple TO SAVE LIVES. Men who are not circumcised have a much higher risk of getting penile cancer and 30% of them die from it because the AMA and FDA haven’t informed anybody how easy it is to cure. In fact almost ALL cancers are easy to cure, but tht is another story.

So now I will try AGAIN to write a weekly blog and since this IS my business we site, I will try to restrict my blogs to anything in the legal profession and believed me there are tons of fodder as we see on the nightly news every night and as usual, I am always open to suggestion.

One of the problems I encoutered and wrote about when I first started my blog was I was getting THOUSANDS of hits, only to realize that the parasites were attaching themselves to my blog so THEY they will get noticed. So if you write, PLEASE be somewhat re;event. I AM a great believer in Freedom of Speech, but this blog is about the legal profession. I don’t want to be getting emails from auto mechanics talking about cars et al

So please feel from to write and if I think you are being a jerk, I will tell you then block you. But if you have something relevant please share.

My latest absurdity is the women who got her cell phone stuck in her vagina and got $1.8 Million in damages. What exactly was her loss?Did it permanently damage her vagina so she could not enjoy sex anymore? Giw di you actually PROVE that. I suppose she has to have sex with many men to find out

But in any case, if you have heard of or been involved in any similar such absurdity when it come to the law, lawyers and judges, tell us about it. I often wonder about judges who even allow thee cases to proceed.

So, bye for now

Robert J.  Phillips-Bob

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PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH YOUR CASE-DO NOT ALLOW CLIENT TO HIRE THEIR OWN EXPERT

Leading lawyers take TOTAL command of their cases if they expect to win. This is ESPECIALLY true when experts are needed. This is true for a number of reasons:

1-Most experienced lawyers have used experts in the past and usually have a relationship       with most expert leading experts in various fields because they have used them before         and won cases with them

2-If they don’t know of or have used an expert, they usually ask colleagues which experts        THEY have used successfully in the past

3-A top and competent lawyer does not want to leave such an important aspect of their           case  to chance  as large amounts of money might be at stake

4-With the internet today, it is very easy to research the background of the expert and              choose one that is highly recommended and has had a number of recommendations              from other lawyers and favorable comments from judges.

5-Conversations between an attorney and expert are confidential, maybe not between a client and expert.

6-Unknown to the lawyer, the client may have said or done something to influence the            expert to taint their opinion only to have that exposed at trial with devastating                       consequences

However, I have observed an alarming trend today where clients are contacting experts directly, either without the knowledge or approval of the attorney or with the recommendation of the lawyer to find their own expert because the attorney doesn’t want to pay for the expert.

As alluded to above, this can have devastating consequences for the case. Clients know nothing of the experts except what they read and are not as adept at uncovering damaging information which could greatly affect the outcome of the case.

Their decisions to hire are largely based on fee as they view all exerts as the same.

An example of how this can be a total catastrophe  for a client not researching the background of their expert was a case I testified in recently where the defendant hired an expert against whom 7 previous judges found them not credible. The end result was that the defendant had to pay the plaintiff $300,ooo.00 plus interest because the court did not believe the testimony of the defendant’s expert.

A very disturbing thought does come to mind though, a scenario all too common unfortunately where wealthy litigants and companies are involved and the plaintiff has a lawyer working on contingency and that is that the defendant KNEW the truth in the case and hired a cheaper expert just to force their poorer opponent to hire a quality expert and drag the case out hoping for a more favorable settlement.

Many plaintiff attorneys working on contingency unfortunately, since they won’t be paid until the end of the case emphasize the defendants defenses to force their client to settle, especially if they thing their is the slightest chance they could lose. Many plaintiff law firms will not take cases at all for that reason. I have had a number of cases of my own where there was NO defense to the claim yet my own lawyer bombed me with “what if” questions. The bottom line with many plaintiff firms is minimum effort, maximum gain unless the case is a slam dunk, in which case plaintiff lawyers line up to take the cse.

The sad thing is that there are probably thousands of legitimate cases that never get justice because some attorney has decided it would take too much effort to prove them.

This means that only the wealthy get justice and you see the court dockets clogged every day with trivial matters brought by the wealthy who have plenty of money to hire top “hired guns”.

But most cases are brought by poor clients and attorney;s simple don’t want to hiire quality experts and leave it to the client’s who most often make poor choices when hiring experts because they are cheaper when in fact, hiring the expert is the job of the attorney.

The bottom line is that an attorney is playing “Russian Roulette” with their case when they allow a client to hire an expert directly because they have no clue what is going on and I am finding that is simply a cheap, lazy lawyer who allows that to happen. In a recent case, a poor client took $16000 out of his life savings to pay the lawyer so she already got her money and when my investigation showed massive fraud she didn’t want to pay me from the money she received to do the right thing and totally ignored my advice to prove the fraud.

I did turn the matter over to the judge and prosecutor so even though the lawyer didn’t want to do her job, maybe the judge and prosecutor will do theirs

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PA SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINARY BOARD-COVERING UP FOR DISHONEST LAWYERS

I have an on going case with the above board concerning a well known lawyer I can’t name as yet as no final ruling has been made by the PA Supreme Court though I believe Mr. Paul Burgoyne, Chief Disciplinary Counsel in the Philadelphia office is covering up blatant misconduct by this lawyer.  These are the facts on the record at the moment in court in Philadelphia

The attorney hired me as an Handwriting Expert representing his client in a criminal action involving her signature. I did EXTENSIVE work on the case, but the attorney never provided the required information to me allowing me to complete my work so I could not reach a final opinion, but I DID  provide EXTENSIVE  questions to assist in the cross examination of the states expert and had three detailed conversations with the attorneys staff to assist at trial.

Apparently the defendant was not satisfied having bought a more favorable from another expert.

I received a demand letter from the attorney obviously representing his client  asking for a full refund which stated in part: “You are not capable of assisting MY client in this matter due to…your lack of professionalism…and work you provided was deficient” Only another expert could make that determination. I provided to the attorney 12 pages of work product, including an extensive three page report listing my findings and revewing the report of the state’s expert and 25 pages of evidence.

I provided to the attorney and the Ethics Committee copies of all this

I never met or spoke to the client(she did not speak English)nor did I have a signed contract w/her. My agreement was with the attorney and it was recorded as I record ALL my calls in New Jersey, it being a “one party permission” state for the recording of phone calls. He told me he would have her drop her groundless law suit. Relying on that fact, I did not appear in court and learned a judgement was entered against me. The attorney lied. When I contacted the attorney and confronted him about this, he threatened to go to the “authorities” if I filed a law suit–a blatant ethics violation.

I filed an appeal of the judgment and was able to have it vacated and in the process of filing a counter claim against the client and the attorney in Federal Court in Camden and looking for counsel to file a claim against the attorney’s malpractice carrier.

But I have to say that in my over 40 years as an expert I have never encountered such blatant incompetence such as that in the Philadelphia Court. How does judge Bradley Moss find a judgment for $2300.00 against me in favor of a women I never met who does not speak English and provided NO written contract and no the Disciplinary office in Philadelphia covers up blatant unethical misconduct by a prominent Philadelphia lawyer who threatened to go to the authorities if I sued and denied in a letter he hired me in a prior case in Federal Court where I had to sue him and levy his bank account to get paid.

I find such deceit and incompetence by the Committee and the court to be outrageous and will not stand for it

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