Is It Real or Forged? Handwriting Expert, Robert Baier ’77 M.A., Can Tell

Photo courtesy of Robert Baier

Robert Baier '77 M.A.

Handwriting expert, forensic document examiner or forgery expert—whatever you call him, Robert Baier ’77 M.A. is a very busy man. If he is not giving a deposition or testifying in court as an expert witness, he is dealing with the many clients who seek his expertise on everything from contested wills and deeds to forged checks and suspect signatures.

Baier, who works with Handwriting Services International (HSI), is a much sought after document examiner and handwriting expert.  He has solved high-profile cases such as Marlon Brando’s disputed will and multiple cases for UPS’s Department of National Security.  He has appeared on television on “Inside Edition” and spoken at numerous conferences around the nation.

Baier is also a retired high school physical education and health teacher and an outdoor enthusiast who has jumped out of planes at 14,000 feet and has been on a team that set a North American canoe record on the Penobscot River, among other feats. “I was a little bit of an overachiever,” he says simply.

Born in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, Baier received a B.S. in Physical Education from the University of Bridgeport before landing a job teaching in New Jersey at the Northern Valley Regional High School District.  While teaching there, he attended Montclair State and earned an M.A. in physical education.  As a physical education teacher, Baier was instrumental in helping Project Adventure—the high rope challenge course program—get started in New Jersey and spent the next 15 to 20 years teaching it.

As his retirement approached, Baier began to study document examination and became a Certified Handwriting Expert and document examiner.  He then launched a Web site, partnered with HSI, and has been doing document work exclusively since 2003.

“There are two separate fields of handwriting experts,” Baier explains. “One is a handwriting analyst or graphologist who deals with the personality profiling of a person based on their handwriting.  The other is a handwriting expert who is trained to determine the authorship of a handwriting sample, which is what I do. I can testify in court—a graphologist can’t.”

Although attorney-generated cases involving court testimony take up quite a bit of his time, Baier says that most of his business comes from the general public through his Web site.  “The most common work I do is verifying the authenticity of wills,” says Baier.  “You would be amazed at how often a person passes away and all of a sudden, a new will pops up that no one has ever seen before.  And it almost always leaves everything to the person who ‘found’ it.”

Always ready for a new challenge, Baier is now branching out into college speaking.  Drawing on his years of experience, he is developing educational speaking programs on topics such as campus safety and identity theft and he plans to launch a new company soon.  His years of teaching high school students have benefitted him in another way too.  “When I’m in front of a jury now,” Baier says, “I can absolutely get what I want to say across to them and know that they will understand me one hundred percent.”