Overview

Questioned Document Problems

This office specializes in the field of forensic document examination. The Osborn practice spans four generations of this family. Albert S. Osborn, a pioneer and highly regarded author of texts in this special field of identification, first began devoting all of his time to the study and demonstration of evidence in questioned document problems around 1910. Since that time detailed and photographically illustrated reports have been made in thousands of cases. These include civil and criminal cases for the United States Government and law enforcement agencies in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states. In fact, examiners in the Osborn office have testified before courts of law in every state of the union except South Dakota. Other cases have been examined from numerous foreign countries.

Undoubtedly the most well known case was the Lindbergh kidnapping trial (State of New Jersey v. Hauptmann) which took place in 1935. Albert S. Osborn and his son, Albert D. Osborn, testified on behalf of the prosecution. Other well known cases include: State of New York v Molineaux, Jack Kearns v Jack Dempsey, Smith v Irving Berlin and, more recently, Metromedia v Fugazy, Calloway v Marvel Entertainment, Antar v Antar and People v. Kimes to name a few.

In 1954 Paul A. Osborn, the son of Albert D. Osborn and the third generation of this family practice, continued work in this unique field of identification. Technological advances in the various processes of written communication such as the photocopier, electronic typewriter, electronic printer, erasable ink pen and many other instruments and equipment have greatly increased the variety of case work which were reported on and demonstrated in courts for over fifty years by Mr. Osborn. In 1982 John Paul Osborn, Paul A. Osborn's son, joined the New York City practice continuing the work started by his great grandfather. In 2000, the practice was moved from New York to New Jersey.

Many people do not realize the full scope of this work, but believe is limited to the identification of handwriting. Actually a considerable percentage of document problems involve questions other than the identification of handwriting. This office has case files of practically every kind of document problem imaginable, all of which were reported on in detail and most of which, at one time or another, required demonstrative testimony.

The large variety of document problems and the methods and demonstrations of proof which can be offered are extensive. Members of this office are always willing to discuss problems regarding documents, from signature and handwriting identification matters to other, more unusual problems including typewriter, printer and photocopy identification, as well as alteration, addition, obliteration, dating and other such matters.

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