Ronald N. Morris - Forensic Document Examiner and President of Ronald N. Morris & Associates, Inc.
Education and Experience
Background education - Bachelor of Science Degree
Mr. Morris completed a formal training program in accordance with American Standards Testing and Materials (ASTM), standard E2388. The training program was approximately three years in recognized questioned document laboratories under the direct and daily supervision of senior qualified document examiners. It included a structured combination of study using leading text and technical papers in the field of document examination, learning and applying examination techniques, and the proper use of technical aids in actual case work and research projects. Some of the areas covered in the program are:
- The emphasis of the training program was on learning and properly applying the principles of handwriting and hand printing identification
- Interlineations and alteration determination
- Document fabrication techniques
- Mechanical impressions, i.e., typewriters, embossers, cutter blades, etc.
- Photographic techniques applicable to document examination
- Printing processes
- Other theoretical and applied principles and techniques directly related to the examination of documents.
After successful completion of the basic training program, he continued working with senior examiners on a daily basis. Additionally, he maintains his proficiency by attending and participating in professional and technical conferences and workshops conducted by organizations, such as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists (MAAFS), etc., and exchanging information and working with other recognized forensic document examiners.
1972 - He began his training in the Examiner of Questioned Documents Office, U.S. Treasury Department.
1973 - 1975 Transferred to the Metropolitan Police Department, Questioned Document Laboratory, where he continued his training.
1975 - 1998 He transferred to the U.S. Treasury Department, United States Secret Service (USSS), Questioned Document Branch as a Forensic Document Examiner, where he worked until his retirement in 1998.
1998 - Present He formed Ronald N. Morris & Associates, Inc. (RNM&AI), a forensic document consulting firm. RNM&AI specializes in handwriting and hand printing identification and other document examinations, such as interlineations and alteration, fabrication techniques, nondestructive ink differentiation, indentation analysis using a Forster+Freeman® ESDA system, etc.
He has attended seminar and training sessions in forensic document examination at the Federal Bureau of Investigation training division at Quantico, VA.
He has attended seminar courses, including laboratory work in paper properties and measurements, paper physics, and the basic and advance course in fiber analysis at The Institute of Paper Chemistry, Appleton, WI.
He has attended and served as guest lecturer at questioned document technical seminars at Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
He served as an instructor at the U.S. Treasury Department Agents Basic Training School in Washington, DC. Additionally, he attended and served as an instructor at the USSS, Office of Training, questioned document course for special agents and investigators held in Washington, DC, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, GA. He also served as an instructor at the questioned document course for state and local police investigators, and investigative aids at both the USSS, Office of Training, in Washington, DC, and at FLETC. These training classes were not then, and are not now intended to provide the comprehensive training necessary to become a qualified forensic document examiner. The teaching assignments were a part of the duties of document examiners in the USSS, Forensic Services Division, Questioned Document Branch.
Additionally he has attended and/or presented technical papers, conducted workshops and breakout sessions on questioned documents at the:
- American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)
- American Society of Questioned Documents (ASQDE)
- Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Sciences (MAAFS)
- Southwestern Association of Forensic Document Examiners (SWAFDE)
- International Association of Financial Crime Investigators (IAFCI) - formerly known as the International Association of Credit Card Investigators (IACCI)
- International Association of Asian Criminal Investigators (IAACI)
- INTERPOL and several other international conferences
- At a joint meeting of the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS), Mid-West Association of Forensic Sciences, Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Sciences, the Southern Association of Forensic Scientists
- Virginia Public Defenders conference in Norfolk, VA
- A luncheon meeting of the Charlottesville, VA, bar association
- Guest lecturer at the Northern Virginia Community College, Questioned Document Seminar
- Virginia Tech - Blacksburg, VA.
- George Washington University, Master Degree Forensic Science Program - questioned document class
- Classes for bank investigators and other personnel at various banks, plus church, business, and other civic groups.
He served as a technical representative from the USSS to the INTERPOL, Payment Card Work Group, where he was elected Chairman of the Sub-group of experts. The group's mission was to develop an international classification system for plastic card documents - payment cards.
He serves as a technical adviser to the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). In that capacity he serves with other forensic scientists, in conducting accreditation surveys of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) forensic laboratory system. Their mission is to assess their conformance to the International Standard Organization (ISO) standards governing the examination and operation procedures of the Questioned Document Laboratory system in Canada.
- February 1991 - present - The United States Secret Service, Forensic Services Division
- August 1980 - 2005 - Diplomate, American Board of Forensic Document Examiners (ABFDE)
Professional organization memberships
- Member - The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)
- Member - The Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists (MAAFS)
- Member - The Canadian Society of Forensic Science (CSFS)
- Retired member - The International Association of Financial Crime Investigators (IAFCI), formally known as the International Association of Credit Card Investigators (IACCI)
He has testified approximately 200 times as an expert in handwriting and hand printing identification and related document cases. His testimony experience includes federal, state, local courts, courts in the District of Columbia, and military court martials.
Published author and papers
Author of Forensic Handwriting Identification / Fundamental Concepts and Principles, published in 2000, ISBN 0-12-507640-1, and contributor to The Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences, both published by Academic Press.
Co-author of Access Device Fraud and Related Financial Crimes, published by CRC Press, 1999, ISBN 0- 8493-8130-4.
Author of The Manufacturing of Genuine Credit Cards, published in Vol. 46, No. 3 May/June 1996, Journal of Forensic Identification of the IAI.
Co-author of "What is the Basis for a Handwriting Elimination?" Published in the Journal of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, Vol. 13, No. 2, December 2010.
Author or co-author of technical papers on different questioned document topics, including, but not limited to, handwriting and hand printing identification, opinion terminology, document interlineations and alteration, fabrication techniques, nondestructive ink differentiation, paper fasteners, the examination of plastic card documents, and other documentary evidence examination areas, etc.