Daniel Buck
Air Jordans vs mortgage applications
Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:56am

I'm not sure that we all have any real disagreement here. Autographs and signatures are often different, and questioned document examiners understand that. The way Michael Jordan (notice I date myself by using as an example an athlete whose era ended years ago) signs his name on an AJ I with a Sharpie and a mortgage application with a Mont Blanc are probably different. A Michael Jordan handwriting savant should know that the autograph and the signature are different, and be able, one would hope, to authenticate one or the other. (Or not -- see note below.)

The classic example, moving from the NBA to the White House, is Abraham Lincoln, who had several different signatures, depending on the purpose/occasion, not to mention authorized signatures made staff members.

By the way, after reading Hauls of Shame -- http://haulsofshame.com/ -- one might exercise some caution about handwriting experts. Experts get stumped or tricked all the time (except perhaps on Pawn Stars) and if they have skin in the game, i.e., a financial interest in the outcome, well, all bets are off. There are many other famous examples of handwriting-expert pratfalls, the Hitler Diaries, the Mark Hofmann penned Emily Dickinson poems, and so on. We now have a minor plague of self-designated facial recognition experts authenticating bogus celebrity-outlaw photos. In fact, they are all in all something on the order of 0 for 10 in the accuracy department, in my opinion I hasten to add, and 0 for 11 if you include the Amelia Earhart debacle. Dan

PS If you sign everything the same way -- whether it be checks, Air Jordans, birthday cards, or notes to the milkman -- you are I suspect the exception.

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