Friday, August 26, 2022 at 9 AM PDT
Friday, September 30, 2022 at 9 AM PDT

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Valerie Weil 
Scientific Association of Forensic Examiners 

2022 SAFE Conference 

The 2022 SAFE Conference will be held on Zoom again this year.  

The first date is Friday, August 26, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM Pacific.

The second date is Saturday, September 30,  2022 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM Pacific

We are still adding speakers to our event.

How Chemical Examinations of Inks and Paper Can Corroborate and Supplement Forensic Document Examinations

By Gerald M. LaPorte, B Sc., B.Comm., M.S.F.S

Mr. LaPorte is a Forensic Chemist and Document Dating Specialist with Riley Welch LaPorte & Associates Forensic Laboratories.  He is also the Director of Research Innovation at the Global Forensic and Justice Center (GFJC), a pre-eminent program of Florida International University (FIU). Mr. LaPorte has been employed in various capacities in the forensic sciences since 1993, including the Director of the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences at the National Institute of Justice and Chief Research Forensic Chemist at the United States Secret Service. He was the co-chair of the Standards Practices and Protocols Interagency Working Group, under the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Mr. LaPorte was selected by the Attorney General of the United States to serve as a Commissioner on the National Commission on Forensic Science. Mr. LaPorte also served as the Chairperson of the Forensic Document Examination Subcommittee on the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science, which works to strengthen the nation’s use of forensic science by facilitating the development of technically sound forensic science standards.  He has authored numerous publications, including chapters in three forensic science text books, and has testified as an expert witness in International and U.S. Courts over 125 times.


Often times, the forensic examination of documents requires a comprehensive suite of testing to provide the most information possible regarding how and when a document was created and if a document is authentic with respect to the purported date of preparation. The purpose of this workshop is to provide attendees with a background in how chemical examinations can be used to corroborate and supplement a host of forensic document examinations such as:

i) ink and paper comparisons;
ii) indentation and impression results including sequencing of impressions;
iii) determining whether multiple documents dated over a course of time were prepared contemporaneously
iv) results from video spectral analysis or hyperspectral imaging
v) interpretation of alterations and obliterations; vi) printing process determination
vii) to potentially corroborate qualified handwriting conclusions.

Attendees will be introduced to the general concepts of thin layer chromatography (TLC), gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), and other analytical methods to understand their application to forensic document examination and the limitations of the testing. Participants will also be introduced to the basic concepts of color and light theory as it applies to video spectral analysis and certain imaging techniques. A major portion of this session will include a discussion and analysis of questioned documents from adjudicated cases. The workshop participants are not required to have a background in chemistry since the main objective is to provide an overview and understanding of how chemical methods can help to elucidate some background about the materials used to compose a document such as writing inks, printing inks, paper, and other materials that could be used to alter or artificially age a document.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Pacific time

Topic:  Sherlock Holmes Advice for Investigators
Stephen Lee, Esq.

Stephen Lee was a federal prosecutor in Chicago for 11 years, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and a partner at a mid-sized firm.  He is now a solo practitioner focusing on health care fraud defense and data analytics in complex litigation.  He is a graduate of Yale College and Columbia Law School.

Mr. Lee practices in Chicago, is a former Assistant United States Attorney, former Chicago Tribune reporter, and board member of the FBA Chicago Chapter. He is a member of the New York, Illinois and California bars