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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REGRETS OVER THE PAST AND THINGS WE FAILED TO DO-MUST WE FORGET THEM OR STUDY THEM DEEPLY TO LEARN FROM THEM?

There is an ancient Viking oracle called the  Runes. One of the Runes is “Gateway-The Place of Non-Action. In relevant part it says:…”The gateway is not to be approached without contemplation….Now is not the time to make decisions. Visualize yourself standing on a gateway on a hill top. Your entire life lies out behind you and below. Before you step through, pause and review the past-the learning and the joys,; the victories and the sorrows–everything it took to bring you here. Observe it all, bless it all and release it all.  For in letting go of the past, you reclaim your power”

Does a writer really want to do this, especially his anger over the many injustices he has experienced that need balancing and correcting. Is it up to him or as so may say: “Put in in God’s hands and move on”

I am reminded of a cartoon I saw in the New Yorker. A young college graduate is sitting on the ledge of a tall building writing his parents a suicide note: “Dear Mom and Dad. You have given me a happy life and all that I needed. I will NEVER become a writer”

Isn’t that what writers do–dredge up and live in the past. Why  would anyone want to re-live all their pain and suffering.  Well it has been said that those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them(find quote).

Well not only do WE have to learn from our own mistakes and not repeat them, but don’t our parents  teachers and others  and in fact history itself give us lessons to help us avoid their mistakes in the future.

So–do we REALLY want to forget the past and move on in our quest to reach the impossible-perfection? Or is it a learning opportunity  for which we should be grateful

 

Well–What do you think?

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CONFUCIUS SAY: “Nothing new under the sun”

Well, I don’t know how he felt about the moon, but at least we know there is nothing new under the Sun.

When I was at Temple in the 60’s and 70’s, as a shy young man in my early twnties, I was overwhelmed at the number of students there and how difficult it was  for me to meet people. I later realized that the people God wants you to meet, he will arrange for that. One such person I met was a Chinese student who uttered those words to me. Often times, I learned more from the myriad of cultures I encountered at Temple than from the professors.

But, In fact a book I read suggests this may be all preordained by choice BEFORE we are born. In his book: “The Journey of Souls” the author Michael Newton goes so far as to say that before you are born into this life, after your last life time, there is a place called: “The place of recollection” where you will meet the souls that will have a significant impact on your life, whether it is a fleeting moment, such as the moment my father raised me up to shake the hand of former President Kennedy when he came to Philadelphia on July 4, 1962, totally unaware of the profound impact he would have on a handwriting case I would be involved with him and the things I would learn about him that few people know even to this day Or the profound impact my wife of almost 30 years would have not to forget my dear friend Eileen whom I met by chance on a picture taking jaunt around Audubon lake one fateful day many years ago that has profoundly  changed my life forever. Newton puts forth compelling proof of this from hundreds of past life regressions, one of which I experienced detailed elsewhere. Only a fool closes their minds to these things. Billions of people around the world hold to these beliefs and compelling scientific evidence exists also found in a book by Ian St4evenson a college professor who wrote a book called “Sixty Cases Suggestive of of Reincarnation”

My point is that you do not have to worry about getting what you need in life, God or the Universe, depending on your belief will provide, if you have faith and don’t allow your free will to muck things up too much. Plan and make goals for the future and focus your efforts each day on moving those plans forward, after you meet the required needs of your life at the moment. But most importantly listen to what God and the universe are telling you and the only way you can do that is through prayer and meditation. Prayer is asking God or the universe what your purpose is and meditation is listening for the answer, though the answer may come in a variety of ways such as these chance encounters I mention.

I firmly beleived that we are here in this life to fulfill a purpose. Generally it is to help people, but specifically it is to utilize the specific skills and knowledge we have gained that adds the piece to the puzzle of God’s or natures overall plan and the reason we have so much turmoil is that so many people are NOT doing what God wants them to do, but instead what THEY think is the right things to do and this is usually motivated greatly by self-interest, NOT the needs of others whom God has sent us here to help.

 

When my phone rings, the way I look at it is that God is sending me that person to help them and if, for whatever reason I can’t, I have to find someone who CAN

But getting back to our old friend Confucious  and “Nothing new under the sun” What ever service we are providing is not something new that someone else has not allready provided to someone else. What IS new about it is, the unique time, place and person to whom the service is provided. It may be just the thing that person needed to hear at that perticular moment that may help them resolve a major problem or issue.

This goes directly to the point of why a writer needs to write. He or she is NOT going to provide information that has not been heard or written about many times before. No one person has the answers to ANYTHING. But for that one brief moment in time when a potential reader is browsing the shelves, they may not realize it, but they are looking for answers to a current problem and God is or the universe is guiding them right to it. Sometimes we are not necessarily looking for an answer at the moment, but it is in our subconscious sending out thoughts at the speed of light and a receptive soul who gets them and rushes to the rescue.

Some years ago, I remember a psychic from Philadelphia, Valery Morrison who had a letter of appreciation on her wall from the CIA thanking her for her help. It seems that she and a number of other famous psychics would meditate in a room toegether and focus on the question at hand about what might be inside the Kremlin in Russia. As was later verified, the information they retrieved in this way proved to be astoundingly accurate.

 

How could this be? Well, when you understand that EVERYTHING is energy with very little sold matter in the universe. It is very easy to understand. Brian Green in his classic book: “The Elegant Universe” demonstrates that Physics has proven that everything that exists in our universe was compressed into a particle that would make a grain of sand look HUGE. And in his subsequent book: “The Fabric of the Cosmos” about string theory he suggests that there may be in infinite number of these particles that come into and go out of existence over the eons of time

So when we as writers write something, it is NOT that it is new and profound to the world, but to the reader who is reading it because God whispered to them thatthis might provied an immediate answer to the problem perplexing them at the  moment

This happens to me all the time when I have a health problem. The answer often mysteriously shows up in a article I am reading or a show I am watching on TV.

So the bottom line is that DO   NOT be discouraged from writing because the information you are conveying may be just the thing someone needs to hear that could even save their life I will close with a case in point I may have mentioned elsewhere. Last year, I was walking my beloved Golden Retriever Gracie around the lake and happened to strike up a conversation with a woman and  since I had cancer was discussing various cancer cures listed on www.CancerTuto.com, one of which is the Budwig Diet. She was a doctor in Hungary in the 1950’s. She had two medical degrees and a Phd is Physics and she made a simple discovery that if you mix 2/3 cup of cottage cheese and six tablespons of flax seed oil together and have this every day, she found there was a 90% chance it would cure their cancer.

So a year later, don’t I see the same woman and she says: “I want to thank you. You saved my life. I am cancer free after doing the Budwig Diet”

So the bottom line is, don’t be discouraged about writing and getting your message out. The person or peoplle who need to hear it WILL, even if you DONT make a million, you could save a life and HOW do you put a price on that?

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ALL MEN WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED THE HORRORS OF WAR ARE HEROES-THE STORY OF MY DAD ON ANZIO BEACH IN WWII

“He ran 100 yards as machine gun bullets hit all around him and the 88 fired a couple rounds at him but he dived into a shell hole and the enemy mchachine guns converged their fire on it” A comrade later wrote: (He was a madman now and walked to the 88mm(machine gun) firing his rifle from his hip. He had apparently forgotten the other two machine guns…He reached a point about ten yards from the weapon and wiped out the five man crew with a long burst of fire…The third machine gun opened fire from about 20 years away and its first burst wounded him, making him stagger, but like a wounded lion, he charged the gun at half run…killing the two man crew with a single burst”….It was his last act and he fell, mortally wounded…” In another incident, the fighting was hand to hand and the US Soldier soon realize he was the only American left. He heard the Germans debating his fate and suddenly hear a click of a weapon and started saying his prayers. All of the sudden a rocket came out of nowhere and killed the Germans and left him without a scratch. In fact, it was often the case where shells came out of nowhere killing everyone within 30  yards, friend or foe. I remember my dad saying that the Germans were so close you could hear them talking at night and patrols were send out to assess their positions or even try to capture one of them to try to get strategic information about  troop positions or size. Thes patrols were often sent out late at night or in the early morning hours. I later found out, my dad was on one such patrol and when the sun came up had to play dead on the beach as German soldiers walked among the bodies sticking them with bayonets.

I heard this account, not from my father, but from others he told some time later. I never knew the details of my father’s service to our country until years later.My father was later blown out of his fox hole and sustained   a serious back injury. I still remember the scar in the shape of a crucifix on his back as I removed blackheads from for him as a child but he never told me any details.

What I did see, however, was my father’s heavy drinking and horrible abuse to my mother and complete lack of responsibility causing us to be thrown out of where we were living 8 time by age 14.

Having been estranged from my father, years later, I learned he was dying of cancer, I realized there was only one thing to do, go to the hoospital and thnak him for the gift of life he gave me and forgive him. He died in peace not long after hearing those words

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HUMAN SUFFERING AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION-WHO ARE THE VICTIMS OF INJUSTICE-NO ONE LIKES DISHONEST, INCOMPETENT AND GREEDY LAWYERS. THEY HURT US ALL AND THE PROFESSION.

I have to say, right up front. THIS BLOG IS AN EXERCISE IN FREE SPEECH AND IS MY OPINION ONLY. It is also not meant as a diatribe about the conduct of  specific lawyers. If one is interested in such things, the proceedings of the various disciplinary boards will provide ample fodder to satisfy your interest-and quite interesting readings they are.  After forty years, I have gotten pretty good at figuring out who the honest, competent and hard working ones are and I prefer to deal with them. When it comes to disputed writing cases, it is really quite simple for the lawyer in principle. He simplay has to folow the prevailing case law and the authoritative literature. In practice though it may be quite another story. Getting the required information for the expert to reach a proper conclusion that will withstand rigorous cross examination is quite another matter and many attorneys simply don’t want to put out the time and effort to do so. I don’t work for lazy, cheap lawyersbut I feel very bad for the clients of such lawyers.

Quite frankly, the legal system is truly only available to the wealthy. Oh sure we have the Public Defenders offices and various Community Legal Services and Legal Aid. But those poor lawyers, idealistic they may be, can not possibly adequately handle the 50 cases or more they find on their desks each day when they come into the office and like ANY profession, you don’t learn everything there is to know in school. As well meaning and superior as the education is in many of the top schools(and I am not going to even broach the subject of the many lesser known schools which don’t have the reputation but can be just as superior), it is VERY doubtful the teachers in those schools teach lawyers to do what a lot of them do today in the “real world” such as lawyers on on TV, which I will touch on below and which most members of the public not only find distasteful but downright disgusting and an embarrassment that few seem to be in any hurry to change. What a MAJOR  mistake it was allowing lawyers to advertise, like Pandoras box that can not be closed now. What all this means, however, is that possibly tens of thousands of litigants with valid cases, many of limited tort do not have access to the courtto receive justice because the cost benefit ratio to many lawyers simply does not justify the  time and expense. But if these lawyers on earn $10,000 on the case, it is money they did not have and just imagine the good will created by helping someone.

 

Unfortunately many lawyers today view their jobs as a way to make large amounts  of money–QUICKLY, primarily for themselves.For many, the ideals they entertained when entering law school, vanish when it comes down to making a living. Fortunately, this is not the majority, but such lawyers taint the public’s opinion of the profession in general. The majority of the public view lawyers negatively because of the behavior and greed of the minority If the client gets some  money so much the better but for that minority we are talking about, that is NOT the goal, but let’s make this crystal clear-most  lawyers are NOT in  the profession to ease a client’s suffering that resulted from the cause of action before them because money alone can not solve many of the consequences foisted on the plaintiff by the misdeeds of the defendant and they are not qualified to solve those problems and in many cases nor do they care to, nor do they want to take the time and energy to do so. Unfortunately, today, the attorney does not see it as his job to find physical  mental and emotional treatment for their clients which were the cause of their suffering brought about by the actions of the defendant. It is up to the plaintiff to provide their own treatment AND TO PAY FOR IT!!!

One wonders how much of this is REALLY discussed in law schools

The plaintiff has to provide an “air tight” case to the lawyer, including paying for ALL experts to be used in the case.

Unfortunately, the facts are usually not readily apparent and often require extensive investigation to uncover facts that the defendant is trying very hard to conceal. There are very few cases such as “up and coming brain surgeon get’s rear ended by an oil truck and is a cripple for life, but the “ambulance chasers’ don’t stop trying.

 

Let’s face it, the cost of litigation being what it is today a plaintiff’s lawyer will simply NOT take a case unless it is pretty much open and shut, yet as I said, determining that often requires LOT of work the plaintiff”s counsel is unwilling to do KNOWING the alleged defenses raised by the defendant’s counsel are manipulations of the truth if not outright lies KNOWING there will NEVER be consequences for those lies which the plaintiff’s own lawyer will give credibility to to make some quick easy money

This is how the “game” is played, unless the plaintiff is wealthy and can actually pay for the investigators, experts and lawyers to ferret through the garbage raised by the defense

Everybody KNOWS the system is a FARCE  and the poor and middle class suffer the most and the people with the power to change things have NO interest in doing so.

But the most inexcusable behavior behavior in all this is not the lawyers, but the judges(former lawyers) they know only too well how the system works and what the truth is in a case pretty quickly but since most judges are political appointees they serve  the interests of those who appointed them, not the people Similar to my work as an expert, 90% of all forgeries are grossly  obvious but the legal and scientific hoops I have to jump through to prove that makes the process too expensive for the people who suffer the most.  Judging by who is suing who, the judges seem to making the decision to get rid of the “riff raff) who clog the courts. And even worse than the judges are the law makers, who also know the system since they are almost all lawyers who make very little effort to see that those individuals who seek justice have a snowball’s chance of getting.

But I have saved the best for last. Don’t lawyers realize how the public perceives the absurdity of the lawyer huksterers on TV which make a mockery of decent professionals who despise them, but hey-its Freedom of Speech they claim and they are making lots of money just like they were taught to do in law school–or were they.

 

Does anyone REALLY  care. Apparently not

So what is the answer?

 

Please tell me

 

ROBERT J. PHILLIPS

www.DocumentExaminer.org

DocumentExpert@comcast.net

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BAD JUDGES-HOW DOES IT HAPPEN? ASK THE PRESIDENT

With the election of Donald Trump as President, we have been hearing a lot of talk from him about bad judges,  especially the ones who disagree with him. Justice is blind so they say, but is it really? Why is there so much controversy over the recent pick for the Supreme Court. President Obama, who had the right to pick a new judge before he left office was met with cries that he should wait for the new REPUBLICAN President to make the pick. Should it really matter? Are not judges supposed fair, objective, honest, impartial with superior knowledge and experience of the law and a sincere desire to ferret out the truth from litigants not always willing to give it. I am reminded of the words of Supreme Court Justice William Jennings Bryant when he would pound his gavel at the beginning of a court case and announce” Let the perjury begin” Are judges  REALLY interested in the truth if it doesn’t jibe with the view of the President or whomever picked them or the party they belong to. Do people REALLY believe judges are honest and fair and are looking for the truth? I doubt it. We all know that most lawyers are not. This is why most people don’t trust lawyers. Honest lawyers usually starve.

In my over 40 years as an expert with over 500 court appearances (www.documentexaminer.org), I have experienced many instances of blatant incompetence from judges if not outright dishonesty(Abscam) I write about one on my blog about the case of Hadassa Azizi v. Robert Phillips(me)Here was a woman who conspired with her business partner to cheat the tax payers of NY out of the sales tax on $1Million dollars from her liquor store. I did not know this of course so I concluded the  records were forgeries, having been signed unbeknownst by me  by the partner, but Azizi never paid my fee to come to court and she lost the case. Lo and behold I get a law suit in the mail where she blames me for losing her case for not coming to court and in an unfortunate twist of fate, in heading to court on the day, pulled out my file only to realize that I had another case w/the same name and brought the wrong file to court. After explaining the problem to Laskin, I requested a continuance n the case to retrieve the correct file NINE times on the record. He refused and a judgement was entered against me. Now if that were not bad enough, I appealed the case myself to the Appellate Court and after hearing the facts, they refused to overturn the judgement of Laskin. So was the court interested in justice, fairness, honesty-obviously not. How could they be that stupid. Well obviously they are not stupid. Dishonest in protecting a stupid and dishonest judge–by all means. I gve them solid proof Azizi lied.

So here we are today many years later and the incompetent/dishonest judge this time is David M. Ragonese((Hawkins v. Phillips(CAN-SC-OOO-207-15)

Mr. Hawkins hired me as an expert in a petition challenge case involving allegedly forged signatures. He called on a Friday for a hearing on Monday and as an act of kindness, I waived my rush fee and charged him $2000 but he sent $1000 with the papers deciding what HE wanted to pay. Now he  obviously had SOME  intent to hire me. Lawyers don’t go around sending experts a thousand dollars out of the kindness of their heart so I did an initial review over the weekend which was inconclusive. I told Hawkins I would need to come to court to see the originals(my original hope in reviewing the copies is that sometimes in can be determined that a group of signatures was all signed at once)

Instead, what I get was a law suit requesting the return of his fee because he didn’t get anything for his money.(I spent the weekend studying hundreds of signatures) He may have thought he was buying a favorable opinion, but an inconclusive opinion is STILL an opinion. But the REAL crusher was that in his suit, he claimed I was a crook  running a criminal enterprise under RICO, a federal crime in FEDERAL court. Of course, this was a total lie and he offered no proof so I filed a counter suit for defamation. Every expert I know has a non-refundable retainer as it prevents them from being hired by anyone else.

The day of the hearing, he claimed he was busy with other matters and requested a telephone conference which Ragonese allowed even though I was just as busy and was sick with cancer. His claim was that he could not be sued for anything he said in court so my counter claim was dismissed. Apparently he and Judge Ragonese think it is OK to file false claims without any proof in court with no sanction.

As with the Azizi case, when the case was sent to arbitration, the arbitrator Donald Ryan ignored the evidence and ruled I had to return the fee, even though as a general rule, expert retainers are non-refundable and Hawkins agreed with this This was discussed with Hawkins in a recorded conversation which unfortunately I can not locate at the moment, but I did locate the notes of my conversation which were done during the normal course of business and are presumed genuine unless clear and convincing evidence can show they are false.

Unfortunately these arbitrations are a total  boondoggle. The arbitrators get paid hundreds of dollars and can rule any way they want withouut giving a reason in writing and most litigants can not afford the cost of the appeal

I now can prove that EVERYTHING Hawkins said in his pleadings and on the record was a total lie and I just got a notice the case is closed.

COMMENT

It is preposterous to think that a judge of Ragones alleged knowledge and experience would allow a litigant such as Hawkins make such an outllandish claims, which I now know were a total lie without ANY proof whatsoever. To me, in my opinion, it casts substantial doubt on his competence and objectivity and whether he should still be permitted to continue to sit on the bench. Bad judges need to stop protecting dishonest lawyers otherwise a litigant has no hope of receiving justice. But I doubt anyone in Camden cares

FINALLY

These comments are absolutely true and are being made during the course of litigation and are made under my rights of free speech under the FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES and I welcome dissenting views.

 

ROBERT J PHILLIPS

DOCUMENT EXAMINER

PO BOX 2125

HADDOINFIELD, NJ 08033

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Eldridge Hawkins-A Liar not to be trusted

Now I know what Mr. Hawkins will claim if he reads this–I am slandering him, but being a lawyer, he knows that truth is the absolute defense against slander and libel. If you search his name on the net, you will find that many suits he has filed have been dismissed, meaning they were without merit. I suspect, but can not prove as yet that the defendants in those suits may have suffered my fate. All I can speak to are the facts in MY case

I have been an expert for over 40 years. When my phone rings, I take that to mean that God is sending me that person to help and I am eager to do so. That being said, there are those who seek to take advantage of that. Working in fraud as I do and did, one learns the cues when you are dealing with people. In addition to being able to analyze signatures for forgery I can also determine deception, in accordance w/the principles in the book by Robert Saudek Also there is something in the voice I pick up that raises a red flag. Such was the case w/Hawkins and his jive and unprofessional talk, using such words as “flippy-floppy when he called that day. Also, it was an election petition case which ALWAYS raisesa red flag as the majority of the clients I have worked for in the past have proven to be dishonest. One attorney even said when he gave me the check: “This means we own you, right?” I handed the check back to him and showed him the door.

So againt my better judgement, I took the case and asked for a retainer of $2000, due to the fact that there were 144 signatures that needed to be analyzed. He countered by saying, how about if I pay you $1000 now and the other thousand when I get more signatures: Translation: If your initial signature is favorable I will pay you the other thousand. He was buying a favorable opinion in my opinion. I have seen this over and over in the past in my practice.

So I worked over the weekend on the case. As an expert, even without looking at known samples, if a group of signatures or entries were made at once sitting, this can be determined by measuring the speed of the signatures. See the case on my web site I did for Saul Krenzel Esquire and the Data Store in Federal Court in Philadelphia. I looked for evidence of this in Hawkins case but found none so Monday, I told him I needed the known samples from the Voter Registration files

They were never provided. Instead I got a law suit. Clever attorney that he is, he saw his chance to sue w/o a written agreement, but verbal agreements are binding, especially when they are recorded. I record ALL of my conversations.

The law suit was a pack of lies, even going so far as to suggest I was running a criminal under RICO. Of course, he provided no evidence of that because it was a flagrant LIE. However, he will soon have to produce that “evidence” to the Ethics Board. He even went so far as to repeat those assertions in court TWICE again providing no proof.

One of my reasons for writing this blog is to see if there are others who have been also victimized by Hawkins.

You can write to me at DocumentExaminers @comcast.net.

My next step is to give Hawkins a chance to produce his evidence that I am part of a criminal enterprise under RICO and if he does not, which he can’t because it is NOT true a formal complaint with be filed w/the Disciplinary Board and a suit filed.

When one looks at this in  a more compassionate vain, after all, its hard to imagine the time and effort Mr. Hawkins went to to cheat an expert out of $1000.00 once he realized there was a legal loophole he could exploit. His file was pretty thick and he came down from Orange New Jersey in the middle of a Nor’easter. Its very sad when you think about it, yet when you “google” him you might understand why. There is seething anger that certainly has nothing to do with me. He is to be pittied for his behavior, but what I find more troublingis the ruling of the arbitor. Perhaps he was just saw this simply as a way to make a few bucks to pad his pension since he did such a poor job and did not realize the absurdity of being expected to review 144 signatures for $1000 or maybe he wasn’t upset that an attorney could make up such an absurd and outlandish claim that I was operating a criminal enterprise under RICO-a claim he repeated THREE TIME  under oath.

What puzzles me is that the rather experienced arbitrator did not see this nor consider the principle of “faith and fair dealing” Surely I did SOME  work. Hawkins sent me 144 signatures to review over the weekend.

I would be willing to testify in any case where Hawkins is involved for free to tell my story

 

Sincerely,

 

ROBERT J. PHILLIPS

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LAWYERS WHO FAIL TO HIRE EXPERTS-INAFECTIVE REPRESENTATION OF COUNSEL

Litigation is becoming increasingly complex today with our ever expanding technology that the average judge or jury finds is often beyond their comprehension(except for the average 8 year old) But us older folks are often totally lost w/the computers today, much less the “smart phones”. I still use a flip phone from Walmart.

My point is that judges and juries are often VERY reluctant to rule on certain cases without the help of experts and experts can be expensive–good ones at least. The legal world is full of “cheap” experts, but you know the saying: “You get what you pay for. Now to a lot of attorneys whose goal is to delay and obfuscate when they know they are on the “wrong” side of the case, will hire the cheapest expert, especially if their opponent is the one without the money and can’t really afford extended litigation.It then becomes a war of attrition until the poor litigant drops out, even if he’s in the right. Judges are often overwhelmed with cases and it seems their only concern is to clear their dockets and will twist the arm of a weaker litigant to get the case to go away. As William Jennings Bryant, fame Supreme Court Justice once told such a litigant: “Sir, this is a court of law-not a court of justice” Laws are passed by the rich and powerful to favor the rich and powerful, not the average person. So unless your case is “open and shut”, don’t expect to win over a rich and powerful client or entity. That is why it took a Civil War to get rid the the country of slavery even though Thomas Jefferson said in the 1700’s “All Men are created equal” or why it took until 1954 for blacks to get an education equal to that of whites. The list goes on and on. And the powers that be at the time deluded themselves into thinking that what they were doing or not doing was the right thing. Were they REALLY that stupid or just plain dishonest And if you think racism is gone, you are fooling yourself. It has just gone underground like all the other discrimination we still face today such as the gay situation today. Do you REALLY think that those with the money and power are going to give it up, much less share it. What world are YOU living in? Things might be a little better, but that’s only because many, unwilling to change were forced to do so, not because they really wanted to.

And chief among the resisters to real change, are the lawyers and jujdges. This is why Shakespeare said, hundreds of years ago about regaining control of the government: “The first thing we have to do is kill all the lawyers”. Now certainly, no one today would say such a thing, but I am sure a lot of people certainly have thought about iti given the way SOME lawyers have abused their power and the courts reluctance to call them to task unless there is a “smoking gun”. But unfortunately that leaves an awful lot of room for skulduggery with very little chance of being exposed, much less something being done about it.

So let me know what YOU think

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PERSONAL INJURY TODAY-THE IRISH SWEEPSTAKES-LAWYERS LOOKING FOR QUCK EASY MONEY WITH VERY LITTLE EFFORT AND THE DOMINATION OF LAWYERS OF OUR SOCIETY

Most lawyers are honest, hard working people who want to do what’s best for their clients, but as a friend quipped: “Its the other 49% that trouble me.”

Well, I need to immediately clarify the implications of the above title. Manay lawyers only do what they are forced to do by the defense to answer the frivolous defenses they raise THAT ARE OFTEN OUTRIGHT LIES.  It is a paper war and everything is on “boiler plate” handled by the secretaries and in rare cases the para legals and therefore, is a war of attrition which the clients lose out unless they are wealthy. I actually had a lawyer tell me that he didn’t think I had a case, but if I paid him $30,000.00 he might be able to find a legitimate reason to justify taking the case.

Do you REALLY think a lawyer is going to take on a case, spend time and money, if there is the foggiest chance  there is a legitimate defense to the case? And the defense KNOWS that yet proceeds with their speculation, distortions and outright lies that the plaintiff lawyer legitimizes to force his client to accept so he/she can make a quick buck and move on to the next victim and do it all over again. Now I have even seen language in legal contracts that give the attorney the right to back out, basically if things get too difficult or time consuming to proceed. In other words, attorneys do not want to take ANY risk at all. They already have the client paying all coast up from as it is. These cases are one big farce and the rest of the law is a big game played out by the wealthy who in some cases throw millions of dollars at lawyers so their secretaries can push a button on their computers and generate  stacks of paper thousands of pages, that they merely changed the name from the previous case.

A brilliant older lawyer who hired me on a case some years ago, specializes in suing major corporations. He searches the Appellate records for a case similar to his that was upheld on appeal, boiler plates it then files them in volume, knowing it is going to take X amount of dollars to defend a case they can’t win so an offer is made. If you handle it right, you can file 20 such cases at once, get say a $20,000 offer to settle and make $400,000 hardly lifting a finger with the secretary doing all the work moving huge stacks of paper  from one building to another and you don’t even have to pay for postage anymore.

Wouldn’t you call that a scam? Yet it is perfectly legal.

Such is the case with most PI cases and other cases as well.

And experts like me are feeling the brunt of this. When one of my colleagues lamented how lazy and devious lawyers can be, I quickly interjected: ‘The majority of lawyers are honest, hard working and helpful people who want to do the best for their clients’ hIS COMMENT WAS: “Well that may be true, but its the other 49% I worry about that give the legal profession a bad name”

I suppose that when you ask the public about lawyers, the profession is rated as one of the most disliked. The question then becomes: “Why do SO many people dislike lawyers SO MUCH?” Maybe readers can give me their views, but I think it boils down to the fact that the ones who run the government are lawyers and politicians,   are mostly lawyers  and are roundly despised yet wield  most of the power and control over our lives, which may be a major reason why Donald Trump will likely win Republican nominee for President, the first non-lawyer/politician since Eisenhower, elected in 1952.  In our greatly litigious society, no business can do ANYTHING without the stamp of approval from their lawyer that will most certainly be contradicted by another lawyer looking to sue and pity the small company or poor person who can’t afford to defend a frivolous law suit.

You know what Shakespeare said about taking control of the government: “The first thing we have to do is kill all the lawyers”.

Small experts like me, see this all the time, my most notorious case being a lawyer suing me on Christmas Eve over $900 because he didn’t like my opinion because that is not what he paid for. Because I had a corporation at the time, I had to hire a lawyer-surprize-surprize. Five years and $18,000.00 in legal fees later, I succeeded in getting the lawyer fired from his high paying job at a large company because of his antics, costing him hundreds of thousands in lost earnings, according to the lawyer I hired.

But does anyone have principle anymore like me? You know what Cervantes said: “I value my principles more than my life”.

In the old days, lawyers were known as “counselors”. Not anymore. It is all about money for most. But lost in the equation of all this is the client and THEIR best interests. When my phone rings, it is the client I have in mind not the lawyer. The way I figure it is: “God is sending me that person because He knows I can help and if for any reason, I can’t–I FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN!!!

My own recent case in an example. I was thrown off of a stretcher because I wasn’t secured on the stretcher and as a result, sustained permanent injury according to a medical expert and am unable to work to the same capacity as before and according to a leading forensic economist have potential losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And what’s crazy, the medical transport company taking me to and from PT told me I was the fifth person thrown off the stretcher by the same ambulance company.

I purposely called all these guys you see on TV to see what excuses I would get and the responses I got were pathetic.

It makes you feel very bad for the poor and the powerless, or even the middle class today that their chances of getting justice are slim and none.

So the big question is, what can be done to remedy these situations. I am open to suggestions. It seems that the plaintiff has to do EVERYTHING and pay for EVERYTHING unless it is a total “slam dunk”

Many lawyers consider it a loss if the hours they spend on the case at their hourly rate exceeds the money they eventually get in a settlement, NOT the fact that they made $30,000.00, whether it took them a lot of hours to do it. Since I am so compulsive about my work, I NEVER get paid for the actual time I spend, but I am grateful for what I get.

 

As one lawyer once told me-the first lawyer I testified for in 1976. “Whatever you get, its better than a sharp stick in they eye”

RJP

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IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A MIDDLE CLASS LITIGANT TO OBTAIN JUSTICE TODAY?

The court calendars are clogged today with large companies and corporations do battle in court and the poor are certainly not denied access to the court system That would most certainly spark outrage by any number of organizations.

But what about the middle class who have too much money to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to for for the increasingly staggering cost of litigation? Well “too bad” the system seems to be saying.

Well there are contingency fees, right? Good luck finding someone to take a case on a contingency if they have to do even a modicum amount of work. Remember, people or companies who engage in activities that invite law suits don’t take out ads on bulletin boards or TV advertising what they are doing.  Their elicit activities are usually well hidden, which means it often takes a lot of “discovery” to find them and that means a lot of money for investigations, interrogatories, depositions etc and if the defendant can stall enough by throwing up roadblock after roadblock, maybe the problem will just go away.

It is staggering to think how may legitimate cases  never see the light of day while others against large companies  get gigantic awards and the same thing happens at a smaller company and the award is minimal or, one of my favorites, a black man gets beaten to within an inch of his life by a city cop and gets nothing while a pretty Puerto Rican girl gets slapped by a cop at a parade and gets 1.2 Million  or an elderly man gets stuck on an escalator on a cruise ship and gets injured and gets $24 Million(you really wonder how such numbers are arrived at) and another sustains the same injury on the elevator in a small office and gets a fraction of that.

No wonder the public’s confidence in the legal system is waning

But Hey, this is the best legal system in the world right? Yeah right!!!

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STOP/LIMIT ADVERTISING BY LAWYERS-DOES ANYONE REALLLY LIKE OR RESPECT MOST OF THEM?

Now don’t get me wrong, working as a Document Examiner for the last 40 years, I have come to know a LOT of honest, hard working lawyers and in talking to them, many of whom have become friends  colleagues, to a man/women, they can’t stand the ads. They cheapen the profession and many a decent attorneys get tarred with the same brush as the hucksters who promise the stars, but ONLY if you have a SERIOUS injury. One ad mentions the word SERIOUS many times-translation: Don’t bother me unless you are half dead and/or have a LOT of money. Who makes the determination as to what a SERIOUS injury is–hopefully a doctor and not a lawyer.What has the legal profession come to?

No one in the media will criticize-they are making MILLIONS off of the ads.Talk about trashing free speech. What is that? Does it exist anymore? Though this is blog is about legal advertising, the same can be said about drug advertising. Aren’t you sick of them?(makes you want to see Doctor Oz for an alternative treatment and make no mistake, for every drug ad you see, there is an alternative treatment that has been around, in some cases, for thousands of years. and doesn’t cost much and won’t kill you)Yet all of these drug ads have some many caveats. Ehst caveats do legal ads have? Do they tell you what is legally required to succeed in an injury case? Do they tell you under what circumstances the WILL NOT take the case?

Why don’t we see ads for alternative treatments? Why don’t we see any the articles written by LEF.ORG discussing many CURES from herbs and supplements, chief among them cancer cure(spoken as one who is cancer free after two years using alternative treatments.)

Now the problem is that the media is controlled by billionaires. Talk about an assault  on free speech.  Does any private citizen have a chance to be heard, unless they do something outlandish that captures the attention of the media. Truth is, there IS no such thing as free speech anymore.

Does any private citizen have a chance of being heard in court anymore? The process is SO complicated and expensive, the courts have become the playground of the rich who sue each-other for the stupidest of reasons and the courts say nothing. “The rich have the right to litigate” I was told by a judge and once a judge is appointed, it is virtually impossible to get rid of them lest they commit a major crime.

They view Pr Se litigants as a nuisance that clog the courts and slow everything down.

I wonder how many agree with me about some of these legal ads and are willing to get up off their butt and actually say and do something? We survived for years without them and did fine–ditto for the drug ads. I think these ads should be looked at as possible Concumer Fraud

Its time they stop and the money put to better use helping others, not making some lawyers and drug companies filthy rich.

Like Teddy Penbdergass sang: “WAKE UP EVERYBODY”. PLEASE post this on social media.

Thanks

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