References: Howard C. Rile, Jr. and A. Frank Hicks have worked for many law firms over the years. See the References page for a current list of attorneys who may be contacted, or download a PDF of references here.

Articles: As part of presentations to the California State Bar, the following article was written to assist attorneys in preparing a tamper-proof document:

Rules for Preparing Tamper-Proof Documents

Ink Dating: Often a questioned document case may involve issues related to ink dating. While Rile, Hicks & Mohammed possesses the laboratory equipment necessary to answer questions involving differentiation of inks (using the Video Spectral Comparator), answering questions regarding the age of inks involves minimally destructive testing that can only be done by a forensic ink chemist. We recommend ink expert Dr. Valery Aginsky for assistance with ink dating issues. He may be contacted through his website,

Examination of Original Wills: As it is the best practice to examine original documents, in cases where a Last Will & Testament is in question and has been filed with the court, for some courts, a court order is required to allow the examination. Download this PDF containing sample text for orders required in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Assuming that the primary objective is to examine the signature, handwriting, or initials on the Will, this may be done at the courthouse. However, if there are questions regarding whether pages have been switched, the original Will would have to be examined in our laboratory. For assistance in gathering exemplars to compare to signatures, handwriting, or initials, download our Guidelines for Exemplars/101 Sources here.

Fingerprint Examination: Cases involving questioned signatures on real estate documents frequently require examination of signatures in notary logs, where a thumbprint is a requirement. We do not do fingerprint examination, but we do recommend the services of fingerprint expert Alan McRoberts. His website is

Expressing opinions resulting from handwriting examinations: Rile & Hicks uses the recommended terminology of the American Society for Testing and Materials in expressing opinions resulting from handwriting examinations. The ASTM Standard uses a 9-point scale, ranging from Identification to Elimination. The scale is copyright protected. For more information, please visit the ASTM site discussing this scale at