Hello Everyone in the Questioned Document Community

Hi All

This is my first post of my new blog on questioned documents and handwriting. I will be sharing interesting information I have discovered that may help you in your practice or just be on special interest.

I seem to find very interesting books, that help me in many ways, but particularly when it comes to testifying in court. As anyone who practices as a document examiner knows, testifying can be one of the more challenging things we do in our practice. Anything I find that is helpful to enable me to do a better job is always welcome.

I have been practicing Yoga off and on for many years and use many techniques daily to help me to relax and focus. I find that doing balance poses and alternate nostril breathing helps me to relax and focus and balances my brain. Recently, however, I have come across two books, though they have a lot of useful and fascinating, there are a couple points of interest I want to mention as they relate to the subject of this blog–testifying as an expert in handwriting cases.

The first book is: “The Brain That Changes Itself” By Dr Doidge. The book discusses many cases where people with profound brain disorders are able to miraculously make a full recovery. One such story is about a 69 year old doctor who had a massive stroke and was confined to a hospital bed as a vegitable. His son, also a doctor refused to let his father just waste away to nothing so he literally dragged his father out of bed and forced him to crawl on the floor. Now eventually the father died three years later MOUNTAIN CLIMBING. It seems that when they did the autopsy, the stroke had destroyed 97% of his cortex. He was functioning on 3% of his brain which enabled him to go back to lecture at colleges and function throughout his day. This is a fascinating book.

I mention this because a lot of brain research is mentioned in this book.

I mention this because, as experts, we must have balance in our brain between the logical and intuitive parts of our brain. Well, it seems that the simple act of tracing something totally balances the brain.

The other book I want to mention is “Improving Your Self-Image” by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin. Another excellent book full of gems. But the one thing I wanted to point out is that he talks about how teaching and public speaking are excellent ways to build your self-image. Yet, like testifying, some people, especially novices get quite nervous at the thought. What the Rabbi suggests is that before you speak, or in our case testify, bring a joke book with you in yur brief case and divert your mind by reading the jokes to make you laugh. It does wonders to relax the mind.

So now when  I am getting ready to testify or give a lecture, I can be seen outside reading joke books and tracing the cartoon drawings in the books. It works wonders. Give it a try.

In closing, I would like to leave you with the following thoughts expressed so eloquently by the authors

Spread your arms to those with needs

And serve with joy and zest

Fill each day with Golden Deeds

And always do your best

William Ward


If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill

Be a scrub in the valley but be

The best little scrub by the side of the rill

Be a bush if you can’t be a tree

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass

And some highway happier make

If you can’t be a Muskie, then just be a Bass

But the liveliest Bass in the lakeWe can’t all be Captains some have to be crew

There’s something for all of us here

There’s work to be done and we’ve all got to do

Our part in a way that’s sincere

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail

If you can’t be the sun be a star

It isn’t by size that you win or you fail

Its by being the best of whatever you are

As TS Elliot once said:

“Only those willing to risk going TOO far can truly find out just how far they can really go”

Best, Bob

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