|Publisher:||Creative Media Partners, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.67(d)|
Read an Excerpt
CHAPTER XXXIX AN EXPERT IN HANDWRITING I Always took great interest in the class of expert who professed to identify handwriting. Experts of all classes give evidence only as to opinion ; nevertheless, those who decide upon handwriting believe in their infallibility. Cross-examination can never shake their confidence. Some will pin their faith even to the crossing of a T, ' the perpendicularity, my lord,' of a downstroke, or the ' obliquity' of an upstroke. Mr. Nethercliffe, one of the greatest in his profession, and a thorough believer in all he said, had been often cross-examined by me, and we understood each other very well. I sometimes indulged in a little chaff at his expense; indeed, I generally had a little ' fling' at him when he was in the box. It is remarkable that, at the time I speak of, Judges, as a rule, had wonderful confidence in this class of expert, and never seemed to think of forming any opinion of their own. A witness swore to certain peculiarities, the Judge looked at them and at once saw them, too often without considering that peculiarities are exactly the things that forgers imitate. ' You find the same peculiarity here, my lord, andthe same peculiarity there, my lord; consequently, I say it is the same handwriting.' In days long gone by the eminent expert in this science had a great reputation. As I often met him, I knew his peculiarities, and how annoyed he was if the correctness of his opinion was in the least doubted. He had a son of whom he was deservedly proud, and he and his son, in cases of importance, were often employed on opposite sides to support or deny the genuineness of a questioned handwriting. On one occasion, in the Queen's Bench, a libelwas charged against a defendant which he positively denied ever to have written....