James A. Black is an Examiner of Questioned Documents and Handwriting Identification Expert in private practice since 1981. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the California State University at Long Beach and has completed additional studies in the biological and physical sciences at the same institution.
Prior to starting his own practice, he studied document examination full time for two years in the Los Angeles office of his father, David A. Black, of Sellers and Black. David A. Black was a prominent document examiner in Southern California for over forty years. During this training period all aspects of questioned documents examination were studied, including handwriting and handprinting examination, identification of writer(s), typewriters and other mechanical impressions, copy machines, erasures and other forms of alteration, obliterated writing and their decipherment, paper and inks, and numerous other document problems. James Black completed, under David Black's direction, the course of study prescribed by the United States Army.
James A. Black has qualified as an expert witness on numerous occasions in the identification of handwriting, signatures and questioned document matters in Superior Courts of the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, San Bernardino and others, as well as Federal Court, The Court of the State Bar of California, The Administrative Law Court of the Medical Board of the State of California and others. Mr. Black's opinions have, on numerous occasions, been accepted by stipulation in lieu of personal testimony. He has been retained by governmental agencies such as the California Department of Justice, the California Franchise Tax Board and the United States Department of Justice. Mr. Black is the contract document examiner for the police departments of the cities of Buena Park, Westminster and Brea. He has lectured at the Forensic Evidence seminar of the California Association of Public Defenders and is a guest lecturer at the Department of Criminal Justice at the California State University at Long Beach. A review of Mr. Black's credentials and experience by a committee of Los Angeles County Superior Court judges resulted in his appointment to the Panel of Experts assisting the Court in providing expertise to prosecutors and defense counsel.
James A. Black is a member of the International Association for Identification, a Fellow of the Questioned Documents Section of The American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is a former chairman of the Questioned Documents Subcommittee of the Forensic Sciences Committee of the American Society of Testing and Materials.
Five articles published in The Journal of Forensic Identification and in the Journal of Forensic Sciences were written by James Black.
James A. Black conducts examinations in a laboratory which is a participant in the Crime Laboratory Proficiency Testing program. The laboratory makes scientific use of microscopes, a multi-spectral imaging system, grids, filters, scientific measuring instruments, photographic equipment, an ESDA, a library of over one hundred volumes of books relating to documentary evidence and an extensive typewriter library. Specialized training in computer technology and its application to questioned documents examinations has been completed. The cumulative volume of his caseload is thousands of cases and hundreds of trials.
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