Volume 18, Issue 4 (October 1973)
Do Experts Frequently Disagree?
Most document examiners have probably had the above question or variations of it over the years. There is no doubt that they have handled the question with aplomb and need no further advice about how to respond should it ever arise again. Nevertheless, it is felt that the examiner may have been handicapped because he had no real statistics to buttress his self-serving answer to the question. In addition, the question merits some detailed discussion because of certain matters that recently gained nationwide publicity, as a result of which document examiners and their work have come into the limelight perhaps more than at any time since the Lindbergh case in the early 1930's. Owing to conflicts in the sensational cases alluded to, it is likely that attorneys will be asking the question more often than before. Indeed, within ten days of the culmination of one of those affairs, the writer and at least two other document examiners were cross-examined about disagreement among experts.