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Research & Publications

Holmes, Ruth E. “Convincing Testimony: A Document Examiners Impact on a Jury,” Journal of the National Association of Document Examiners (Summer 2011). pdf icon

A document examiner plays an unusual role in the courtroom since every juror has a signature, writes or prints in some form, and thus may be naturally inclined to closely follow the testimony of a handwriting witness. In response to questions, testimony is given, whereby the findings from the examination of documents that contain questioned handwriting are explained. This process, to be effective, requires not only the examiner’s ability to communicate with attorneys and other courtroom players, but also that the expert present themselves and the exhibits in a way that support their opinions competently and credibly. The witness is ultimately teaching the jury, a group of total strangers to the field, how to compare, contrast and understand the fine details of handwriting examination.

Holmes, Sarah E. “A Neuropsychological Investigation into the Validity of Handwriting Analysis,” Boston University Department of Psychology. pdf icon

This study is an investigation into the validity of handwriting analysis. Proponents of graphology maintain that personality traits are manifested in fine motor expression (i.e., handwriting) and this study seeks to explore the relationship between personality, cognitive functioning and handwriting. Currently, the research on handwriting as a tool for personality assessment offers mixed results, some studies support the notion that it is a valid and reliable measure of character while others claim that it lacks scientific merit and that the accuracy of the graphological evaluations is no better than chance. Despite differing opinions in the scientific community, handwriting examiners advise individual, legal and corporate clients across the country. Individuals retain their services for self-knowledge, relationship and vocational guidance, attorneys hire them as Jury & Trial Consultants, and human resource departments hire them to assist in the selection of personnel.

Holmes, Ruth E. "Jury Consultants Using Handwriting In and Out of the Classroom" Journal of the American Society of Professional Graphologists, VI, 2004. pdf icon

There is a new trend to use jury consultants and handwriting examiners to provide an outside perspective to attorneys during a trial. Adding another dimension to the courtroom process, these experts are trained to study such factors as verbal and non-verbal behaviors written communiqués, information derived from questionnaires and jury forms, focus groups, and mock trials, all to ascertain the personality dynamics of a jury. Assimilating how different personality types of the courtroom players –jurors, judges, witnesses, and attorneys interact is becoming crucial in trial strategy. Jury consultants are making a significant impact on how many trials are being conducted in the expanding legal arena.

Holmes, Ruth E. “Graphological Typology for Visionaries,” Journal of the American Society of Professional Graphologists (1995/1996). pdf icon

The handwriting of approximately 100 visionary leaders in such fields as business, science, education, art, politics and film was analyzed and categorized. Four distinct types of creativity emerged:

(1) Conforming-Creative
(2) Compensated-Conflicted
(3) Productive-Versatile, and
(4) Empowered

Common traits and distinct differences among all these individuals were assessed.