Questioned Documents Section News — March 2017


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source: Jan Seaman Kelly, BA, Section Secretary

The 69th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting in New Orleans was an exciting one for the Questioned Documents Section members in attendance. The week began with the Fundamentals of Printing and Graphic Arts Examinations workshop taught by Lindsey Dyn and Peter Belcastro. The section program consisted of presentations covering a wide range of topics. The success of this meeting was the result of the hard work of Program Chair Samiah Ibrahim and Co-Chair Brenda Lanners and Workshop Chair Linda Mitchell and Co-Chair Mark Goff.

The first annual Forensic Document Examiner (FDE) trivia contest was a success. Jim Lee was the moderator and provided his own comedic trivia entertainment. Kudos to everyone who participated! The second annual FDE trivia contest will be held during the section’s reception in Seattle. A very nice prize has already been donated and will be awarded to the winner of the contest. A hint to those who plan on training for this event:  the questions will come from QD books, published presentations, Daubert issues, significant court cases, and general AAFS tidbits.

Ronald Morris was the 2017 Ordway Hilton Award recipient. Ron has had a long and distinguished career in forensic document examination. In 1972, he began his training in the Examiner of Questioned Documents Office, United States Treasury Department. He then transferred to the Metropolitan Police Department, Questioned Document Laboratory, where he continued his training until 1975. Ron then worked at the United States Secret Service from 1975 to 1998. In 1998, he retired and went into private practice. Ron is the author of the book Forensic Handwriting Identification, which was published by Academic Press in 2000. Ron’s latest project is teaching a questioned document theory and laboratory class for the Saint Mary’s University in University of Halifax, NS, via Skype. Congratulations to Ron.

Three FDEs garnered new appointments during this meeting. Congratulations to Carl McClary, the new Vice President of AAFS. Congratulations to Tom Vastrick who was appointed Director on the AAFS Board of Directors. Congratulations to Linton Mohammed who replaced Jane Lewis on the Academy Standards Board (ASB). Thank you, Jane, for your service on the ASB.

The 70th Annual Scientific Meeting of the AAFS will be held in Seattle, WA, February 19-24, 2018, and the theme is “Science Matters.” President Betty Layne DesPortes discusses three broad goals for the year:  research, diversity, and communication. She discusses each goal in her message that is posted on the AAFS website.

Program Chair Samiah Ibrahim and Workshop Chair Linda Mitchell have graciously agreed to serve as Chairs for the Seattle meeting. Kevin Kulbacki is Program Co-Chair and Mark Goff is the Workshop Co-Chair. The “Science Matters” theme provides a variety of topic opportunities for presentations. Samiah can be contacted at samiah.ibrahim@cbsa-asfc.gc.cam should you have any questions. Our workshops are well attended and we would like to provide two workshops for the Seattle meeting. Please contact Linda at forensicqde@gmail.com to obtain guidance in submitting your workshop abstract. Important note:  Abstracts for presentations are due August 1, 2017.

The Seattle meeting also provides the opportunity for membership promotion. We encourage those of you who can promote to do so. Please refer to the below-listed criterion for each membership level. Membership applications are due October 1, 2017.

Associate Member to Member

While serving as an Associate Member, the applicant must:

  1. Fulfill the AAFS Basic Requirements for Promotion, and
  2. Attend a minimum of two (2) annual meetings of the Questioned Documents Section of the AAFS. The meeting at which the title of Associate Member was conferred, if attended, may be counted; however, the meeting at which the title of Member is being considered shall not be counted, and
  3. Present at least one (1) technical paper or participate in the scientific program of the Questioned Documents Section. Participation may include serving as a moderator or panelist at an AAFS annual meeting, publication in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, or participation on a working committee within the Questioned Documents Section.

* References not required.

Member to Fellow

While serving as a Member, the applicant must:

  1. Fulfill the AAFS Basic Requirements for Promotion, and
  2. Attend a minimum of two (2) annual meetings of the Questioned Documents Section of the AAFS. The meeting at which the title of Member was conferred, if attended, may be counted; however, the meeting at which the title of Fellow is being considered shall not be counted, and
  3. While serving as an Associate Member or Member, present at least one (1) technical paper that is accepted for publication by the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Journal of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, IAI Journal, Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, Forensic Science International, or Science & Justice.

*References not required.

We encourage member participation in the Questioned Documents Section. If you wish to be involved in the meeting process, contact Section Chair Linton Mohammed (lamqde@gmail.com) or Section Secretary Jan Kelly (qdwatchdog@aol.com).